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High Kicker of Elves.

Marc Woodworth on the ebullient and unironic beauty of Robert Pollard's single-leg high kick, from Bee Thousand, his recent contribution to Continuum's 33/1/3 series:

1. The act itself: There is the planting of the other foot, the non-kicking foot. Video evidence is inconclusive, but the planting foot seems most often to be the right foot, in which case the preferred kicking foot is the left. Mr. Pollard plants the kicking foot by executing a small but powerful hopping motion, not unlike the one a diver executes on a diving board before leaping into the air.

2. Once the planted foot completes its diver-like hop and braces against the floor of the stage, the kicking foot begins to ascend -- the kicking foot at the end of a stiff leg that is locked from the ankle to hip in a straight line. A bent knee would diminish the effect and has never, to our knowledge, marred even the most challenging effort at the high kick.

3. The shoulders and head move forward as the leg and foot ascend, the motion a punter makes following through after he has kicked the ball. Where are the hands and arms? We hardly see them, but, if we focus on these appendages rather than the leg itself, we note that they are in the air, presumably to balance the body in the act of kicking, of forcing the foot to be at the opposite extreme from where the anatomy of a human body dictates it most usefully should be. The ascending leg and foot and the forward-moving shoulders and head create a bend at the waist, itself not a focus, in the same way the hands and arms are not a focus, for viewers of the event -- the leg commands the eyes and the rest of the body becomes invisible as we watch the astonishing height of the kick. But the kick's power comes from another unseen source -- the core, as a dancer would say, the viscera, the guts, that generates this bodily movement even as it plays no visible part in the movement as visual spectacle.

4. The return -- a form of recoil -- is sudden and therefore becomes a blur, though it is no faster than the upward movement and therefore, somatically speaking, no less visible than the ascending kick which we seem to witness with perfect clarity. The downward motion of the leg and foot is the necessary but post-climactic result of the leg having risen so high, so quickly. The kicking foot reaches the ground -- the stage -- with a matter-of-fact reentry that is -- as quick as it is -- unspectacular. The one-legged high kick is complete.


Maybe he kicked a little too high?


Wednesday November 15
Baltimore, MD- Sonar

Friday November 17
Boston, MA- Paradise

Saturday November 18
Northampton, MA- Pearl Street


Damn it all to heck.

"[in philly on 11/14] bob did a few kicks and had good form on the jumper during supernatural car lover. i do remember on one high kick he seemed to wince and lean over a little bit, and maybe he aggravated the thing just then and got through the show on adrenalin" -- lexo on the Disarm The Settlers forum.

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