In an article in this week's Time magazine, it is reported that the craze began on Feb. 2 when a fan posted a self-made video of the 2011 techno track created by a producer-DJ named Baauer on YouTube. In the past 3 weeks, hundreds and hundreds of copy-cat videos have flooded the internet. Although there are countless creative differences, the videos all contain the song, flailing dance moves, and use of jump-cuts.
It seems everyone wants to show off their moves. And, of course, DC isn't exempt. There is the Harlem Shake at the White House (without President Obama). There is the Harlem Shake: Democracy Edition (recorded outside the Capitol). There is the Harlem Shake Washington DC Bar Edition (from the Hamilton). There is even a web site rating the best and worst Harlem Shake videos from DC-area college campuses.
|Dunbar students rehearse their shake moves|
Now, the craze may seem frivolous and even nonsensical to some. But before you get too critical, check out a few of the videos. There's a good chance that you might enjoy yourself. And, if nothing else, it gets students who are often criticized for being inactive, shaking to better health.
Tales, Tidbits, and Tips
For those of you pining for the good old days, here is a video of Chinese activist artist Ai Weiwei with his take on the Gangnam style dance of yore, which in internet meme parlance, can mean last month. Ai Weiwei's major exhibition closed this weekend after a succesful run at the Hirshhorn.