Happiness is the Snoopy dance

Animated gif’s give me a headache so I’ve put all the examples for this post at the bottom. That should stop them from flashing in your peripheral vision unless you scroll down to see them. None of the videos start automatically.

What does happiness look like?

I’m researching ways to make emotions and feelings into solid forms. For ‘rage’ I have taken the gestural traces of the shower scene in Psycho and made them into a 3D clay shape. The knife follows clear arcs across the screen that are easy to identify and draw.

Happiness seemed more evasive but I have started to notice patterns and for the moment, I’ve decided that those patterns of movement can be summed up in the Snoopy happy dance.

Snoopy has a few variations on his dance but they mostly follow a pattern that starts with him tapping his feet, running/jumping on the spot , raising his arms to the side, raising them to the air then tilting his head back.

A quick Google for ‘happy people’ returns results of people jumping, arms outstretched, leaping for the sky with heads back.

In the final scenes of “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946), George Bailey runs up the stairs, arms outstretched to gather up his children.

More recently, Gru reluctantly takes to the dancefloor in “Despicable Me” (2010). He finds the beat with his head then his arms go out and up.

I once did a Bollywood dance class and we were taught that gestures have meanings. This open handed shape stretches the hand wide, it is called Alapadma and refers to “blossomed lotus, happiness” 

 

Happiness embodied isn’t just a physical pose, it is an opening out, an expansive gesture that leaves the person vulnerable to attack. It starts small and blossoms, like a lotus.

Scroll down for a nightmare of happy gifs.

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Gif nightmare below

 

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The Tiny Art Gallery Manual

a book to help you run your own small gallery kindle and in print

a book to help you run your own small gallery kindle and in print

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