The subject of No Dance is the early-80s resurgence of dance in Rock subculture which first arose during the punk explosion. In an overtly stylized 'non-documentary' form, the film looks at the pogo and Punk; the Twist and New Wave; the 'no dance' of Blitz/New Romanticism; plus club music, electronic drum programming, break-dancing, 'real' Rock'n'Roll, and sexuality in dancing.
The soundtrack was released as a mini-LP on Present Records.
Composition, production & mix - Philip Brophy
All keyboards & drum programming - Philip Brophy
Saxes - Ian Cox & Ralph Traviato
Guitar & bass - Robert Goodge
Soundtrack mini-LP released on Present Records
Music-video clip produced for Present Records
Premiere of 16mm No Dance - Australian Film Institute Awards, Sydney & Melbourne
Premiere of Super 8 No Dance - Super 8 Film Festival, Paddington Town Hall, Sydney
Resembling in part what has been tagged 'the essay film', No Dance is a rumination on the cultural manifestation of dance music in the early 80s. Eschewing anthropological, sociological and diaristic views of the rock/dance crossovers at the time, the film patches together a series of clichés, stereotypes and conventions associated with the production and consumption of dance music, as well as the implied and declared statements made by their involvement. In this sense, the 'characters' in the film represent these strands of thinking. Their voices - post-dubbed and mixed as narrations for the film - symbolically personify these views, hence the characters's names (the listener, the record buyer, etc.). The music for No Dance is a suite of 'meta-songs' centred on this rock/dance nexus, and provides an aural 'backing' to the characters' statements. The newly developed Linn drum machine (the first micro-processor drum module to incorporate digital samples of actual snares, kicks, claps, etc.) was the key instrument in producing the tracks.
The songs for No Dance were composed and recorded in 1982 - in stereo for the Super 8 film which was mastered with a stereo magnetic sound-stripe. The original stereo mixes were folded into mono for the 16mm optical soundtrack, but were kept as stereo for the mini-LP soundtrack release.
1. No Dance Theme ("It's a really great record.")
2. The Linn Dance ("The prime act of manipulation is the production of the beat.")
3. The Body Dance ("I'm dancing with myself.")
4. The Modern Dance ("Fuck ideology! Let's dance!")
5. The No Dance ("Speaking without moving your lips. Dancing without moving your feet.")
6. The Mega Dance (meta-mix/culture-clash)
The soundtrack is collaged and layered like a radio play or documentary, to which the images are edited. The soundtrack was produced in stereo for a video version; a mono mix was done for the 16mm optical soundtrack.