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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Four Corners & Funky Four Corners Dances & Fraternity Routines

Edited by Azizi Powell

Latest revision: December 10, 2020

This is Part II of a two part pancocojams series on the four corners & funky four corners music, dances, and fraternity routines.

Part II features videos of those dances and fraternity routines.

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/04/four-corners-funky-four-corners.html for Part I of this series. Part I provides information about and four examples of "Four Corners" & "Funky Four Corners" records.

The content of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are featured in these videos and all those who are quoted in this post. Thanks also to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.

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GENERAL OVERVIEW
The "four corners" and "funky four corners" are late 1960s African American originated individual dance & African American originated line dances.*

*As per information provided in http://funky16corners.wordpress.com/2009/06/28/funky16corners-radio-v-71-getting-the-corners/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Funky_16_Corners.

"The funky four corners" is also the name of footwork, hopping (steppin) routines that are performed by the historically Black Greek lettered fraternity Omega Psi Phi, Inc.

In addition, the audience at a South African Gospel concert [Solly Mahlangu - Wa Hamba Nathi] also does the four corners dance to a Gospel song.

*The "four corners" is also a name of a American country line
dance. Click http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gr7W1nK49tk for one example of this dance.

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GENERAL OVERVIEW OF THE MEANING OF "FOUR CORNERS" AND "FUNKY FOUR CORNERS" [updated Dec. 10, 2020]
"Four corners" records are instructional dance records which include the title "four corners", "funky four corners", or the word "corners" with some other number. "Instructional dance" records are those in which a singer gives instructions on how to do a particular dance. However, those dances can be done to other records.

"The four corners" refer to moving your entire body (or just your butt) in four corners. The term "four corners" refer to the north, east, south, and west.  

A form of the four corners social dance is included toward the end of the dance for the song "Your The One I Want" in the 1978 American movie Grease.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oKPYe53h78&ab_channel=HolidayPartyMusic Grease - You're The One That I Want [HQ+Lyrics]
Holiday Party Music, Jun 5, 2009 [at 3:16 in this movie clip].

Here's an excerpt of a Rolling Stone magazine article about actor John Travolta showing talk show host Jimmy Fallon the four corners dance move when he visited that show on the fortieth anniversary of that movie: https://www.rollingstone.com/tv/tv-news/watch-john-travolta-revive-grease-dance-with-jimmy-fallon-628735/ Watch John Travolta Revive ‘Grease’ Dance With Jimmy Fallon

Actor taught ‘Tonight Show’ host move used during ‘You’re the One That I Want’ for film’s 40th anniversary

By RYAN REED, June 14, 2018
"John Travolta taught Jimmy Fallon one of the signature dance moves from Grease, “the Four Corners,” celebrating the film’s 40th anniversary of its New York City premiere.

“Like with Pulp Fiction, I grew up with all these kind of novelty dances,” Travolta said. “So in Grease, they needed a step for ‘You’re the One That I Want’ at the end. I said, ‘Well, we used to do the Four Corners – why don’t we do that?’ The choreographer said, ‘Show it to me,’ and I did.”

Travolta slid naturally back into the belt-grabbing hip swivel, instructing a giddy Fallon on the right-left-back-back approach."...
-snip-
Here's a link to a video of that Jimmy Fallon Show segment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Bxnov4Iz0s&feature=emb_logo&ab_channel=TheTonightShowStarringJimmyFall
-snip-
The comments about the four corners dance begins at .46 in this video.

Notice that the dancers remain facing forward while they grab their belt and (only slightly) swivel their hips. This is only one way that the four corners dance was/is performed.

**
The "funky four corner" Omega Psi Phi fraternity routine is usually done with call & response chanting and is always without any accompanying music.

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SHOWCASE VIDEOS
Editor's Note: From listening to the Highlighter Band's record "The Funky 16 Corners" which is the first of the "corners records"*, it appears to me that a line dance was the first type of dance that was done to "corners records" with individual dances and fraternity routines being performed later. However I'm not sure if that conclusion is correct.

Example #1: FOUR CORNERS



iwill77, Uploaded on May 12, 2007

SHUFFLE DANCE FROM ENGAGEMENT PARTY ON 5/11/07

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Example #2: fight the power dance Isley brothers-Four Corners


nikkicole1,Uploaded on Apr 29, 2011

my family once again line dancing

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Example #3: Flash Mob - Part 3 - Funky Four Corners



cmliss2010, Uploaded on Nov 5, 2010

More and more flash mob rehearsals
-snip-
This is an example of the four corners as an individual dance, not a line dance.

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Example #4: Solly Mahlangu - Siyabonga Jesu (Wa Hamba Nathi) [South African Gospel]



Gospel SA, April 18, 2014
-snip-
The lead singer, the background singers & the audience start performing the four corners" at 3:44 in this video.

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2012/12/solly-mahlangu-wahamba-nathi-siyabonga.html for a pancocojams post about this song.

At 3:44 the lead singer Solly Mahlangu says "Let's do the four corners" while beginning that dance.

My sense is that those marching movements to Gospel songs are performed as indications that the marchers are serious in their religious beliefs & that they are part of God's army. I'd love to know if the "four corners" is also performed in the nation of South Africa for non-Gospel songs.

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SHOWCASE VIDEOS -FOUR CORNERS FRATERNITY ROUTINES AND CHANTS
"The Funky Four Corners" hop* routines are still performed by members of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

Note: These movement routines & chants should only be performed by those who are associated with this fraternity.

*Members of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. refer to their choreographed movements as "hops" and not "steps".

Example #1: Omega Psi Phi Beta Eta

.

Xay90, Uploaded on Aug 20, 2010

The Beta Eta Chapter of the University of Alabama sets it owt for the new students in the Ferguson Center. Starting the year off right, Beta Eta devises its master plan to set it OWT for the year.

Omega Psi Phi
The Beta Eta Chapter

X.Burgin
www.quethelights.com
-snip-
The funky four corners routine begins at 2:17 in this video.

Here's my transcription of this chant:
Lead group: Oh let
[Oh let]
Ah me see
[Ah see what]
Lead -Ah the funky four corners
[I say the funky four corners]
I said the the funky four corners
[See the funky four corners]
All: Hee yah Ahh ah Omega Psi Phi
Hee yah Ahh ah Que Psi Phi
Hee yah Ahh ah Omega Psi Phi
Hee Yah Ahh Que Psi Phi
Ah Q!
[barking]*

*Dog barks are the signature call of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
-snip-
Transcription by Azizi Powell from the video. Additions & corrections are welcome.

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Example #2: Funky Four corners



royr314 Uploaded on Aug 2, 2011
-snip-
Here's my transcription of this chant:
The group chants in unison:
Oh let
Oh let
Ah me see
Ah see what
Oh let
Oh let
Ah me see
Ah see what
The funky four corners, yeah
With its funky butt
It goes “Yah Hah Hiii Omega Psi Phi
Yah Hah Hiii Omega Psi Phi
Oh Yah Hah Hiii Omega Psi Phi
It goes “Yah Hah Hiii Omega Psi Phi
[barking]*

*Dog barks are the signature call of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
-snip-
Transcription by Azizi Powell from the video. Additions & corrections are welcome.

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Example #3: PLL 4th of July Parade - Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.



dmvques, Published on Sep 6, 2012

The Bruhz of Pi Lambda Lambda SET OWT Funky Four Corners during the Dale City 2012 4th of July Parade.
-snip-
The funky four corners routine is from 0.53 -1:14 in this video.

Here's my transcription of this chant:

Oh, let me see
[Ah see what]
The funky four corners
[yeah]
The funky
The funky four.
All: It goes
Ah yah Hiii Omega Psi Phi [4x]
Que!
[barking]*

*Dog barks are the signature call of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
-snip-
Transcription by Azizi Powell from the video. Additions & corrections are welcome.
-snip-
Added August 29, 2020
Click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pq7isK-uOTQ for a 2012 video of  The Funky Four Corners performed by a chapter of Omega Psi Phi.

Yet another Omega Psi Phi "Funky Four Corners" routine from 2012 is found around 12:45- 13:16 in this video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qNnQdutcqw


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4 comments:

  1. Habari Gani, Sis. Azizi: Thank you so much for the info on the Funky Four Corners dance sequences and videos. I am currently coordinating movement classes and discovering your website was a Gift from the Most High and the Ancestors! Your blogs are wonderful and I will definitely continue to follow your posts!

    Peace & Blessings,
    Sis. SunShine

    ReplyDelete
  2. Greetings, Sister Sunshine!

    I appreciate your comment. I'm glad that this post and others are being read and that people find them interesting, enjoyable, and/or helpful to the work that they are doing.

    Keep on keepin on!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Here's an excerpt from an Encyclopedia Brittanica entry about Native American dancing (United States)

    https://www.britannica.com/art/Native-American-dance/Regional-dance-styles
    ..."The Creek, Yuchi, Seminole, and other tribes of the southeastern United States greatly emphasize the summer green corn harvest ceremony, or Busk. Before the removal of many of those tribes to reservations in Oklahoma, they acquired a few dances outside their own traditions. They carried the stomp circling to its utmost development by winding the line of dancers into a spiral or even into four spirals at the four corners of the dance ground."...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here's a link to one four corners Indian dance:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4U36jZ77G0&ab_channel=PhilJ Navajo Four Corners Dance Hopi House, Grand Canyon Village published by Phil J, Sept. 11, 2013

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