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BOGLE: DANCER WHO HAD THE MOVES!

BY HOWARD CAMPBELL
Observer senior writer

 

The dancer has always had a place in Jamaican music. They were known as ‘legs man’ back in the days of hotspots like Glassbucket and Chocomo Lawn.

Bogle

Bogle

None is more popular or innovative than Gerald Levy. Most people know him as Bogle.

It has been 12 years since Bogle (aka Mr Wacky) was murdered at a gas station in Kingston. Ironically, he and friends had just left a dance.

The Jamaican entertainment scene was robbed of one of its most original figures at age 40.

For over 10 years, Bogle ran the dancehall scene with a number of signature moves including The Bogle, Willie Bounce and Urkle.

bogle

Slick choreography and ghetto fabulous fashion made him a bona fide star during the 1990s when the biggest artists in dancehall wanted him in their music videos. Some like Beenie Man (World Dance) and Buju Banton ( Bogle), immortalized him in song.

Bogle was a member of the Black Roses Crew, a flamboyant bunch that also included de facto leader William “Willie Haggart” Moore. The crew’s Gothic style and hard partying lifestyle made them one of the period’s marquee attractions.

Significantly, Bogle set the pace for younger dancers out of the ghetto, including John Hype, Ice and Shelly Belly.

bogle (2)

That influence was not restricted to Jamaica. Bogle was in demand for shows in North America, Europe and Japan, areas where he still has a cult following.

In September 2013, the Dancehall Saturdaze event in Helsinki, Finland, hosted a “tribute to Father Bogle, the greatest dancer in dancehall”. In the video for her 2009 hit song Rude Boy, Rihanna did The Bogle.

Once a prop for artists, Jamaican dancers are now stars in their own right. European and Japanese youth flock Jamaica to learn their moves. Usain Bolt emulates them after each victory.

They all have Bogle to thank for that.

 

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