This is not a desperate attempt to increase the traffic to my website, but a brief comment on the latest video by Armand van Helden, Shake that Ass. It is an interesting video for various reasons. Although the song appeals to both sexes, the video is aimed primarily at a young male audience. At least I don’t think many girls will be watching it repeatedly waiting for the girl in the black underpants to come by, but I could be wrong, of course. The director could have included some guys shaking their ass to make it more gender symmetrical. After all, there’s a long tradition from Elvis Presley to John Travolta and Justin Timberlake of girls swooning over dancing guys.
The video is also an example of a music video copying the style of an internet phenomenon. I have for a long time wondered why there appear to be so many videos on YouTube of one or two girls dancing in front of a webcam in the kitchen, the bedroom, the living room, the bathroom, doing hip rolls, dancing to Shakira or some reggaeton video.
It could of course be that they are all professionals and that the whole set-up has been staged. While some of them are or appear to be so, there are simply too many for this to be true of every video. Apart from that it doesn’t explain all those videos of girls imitating the Daft Bodies video.
Of course the girls in the video may not have uploaded the video to YouTube themselves. They may have made the video and sent it to a friend who forwarded it until someone posted it on YouTube.
Even though some videos may therefore be circulating without the dancer’s consent, the fact remains that there is a video. Again someone else may have made the video, but even if this is true for some videos, there will still be many which are self-made. As you can see I’m making some kind of a classification tree.
But why would you make a video of yourself dancing to Slow Wind? To watch and improve your dancing skills? To send to a boyfriend? Just for the fun of it?
As I said it is an interesting phenomenon. What’s more, it is a global phenomenon. And by the way, there's another way of looking at these videos and that is by concentrating on the background, which gives an interesting look at interiors around the world.
And what about guys? They’re busy showing off their breakdance and skateboard skills. But that’s another post.
And in case you wonder, I was indeed thinking of doing something like this as well, but Armand van Helden got there before me. But there are many directions into which you can take this idea.
It's also proof that dancing is popular around the world. This may sound a bit lame, but think of it this way. There are more people dancing and making videos than there are people painting, writing fiction or designing buildings. It's only a small step from here to either dance or video as an artform.
This was originally posted in 2008. I've removed the links that no longer work. You know where to search if you want to find some working links.