Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy Dance Friday #71 -Thriller

Some dances are iconic. I remember the first time I encountered Michael Jackson's Thriller. I was a young teen, visiting family, and my cousin, who shares my penchant for unusual creative endeavors, took me into his room, turned off all the lights and cued a song on his newest tape (the ancestors of CDs for all you younguns) - Vincent Price narrated in his distinctive voice, and the music kicked in, and I knew I was experiencing something special.

At the time, I was more impressed with the Paul McCartney duet on "The Girl is Mine" but which song had the iconic video? "Thriller."

10 minutes long, actual dancing doesn't come in until about 8 minutes in, but what gets packed into those remaining minutes is pure genius. Not commenting about anything else regarding Mr. Jackson, but his dancing and his choreography and this piece in particular, well, it's still readily identifiable how many years later? Exactly my point. We've seen Thriller flash mobs, Thriller proms, Thriller wedding dances, Thriller prison inmates, and there's even a website,, which annually strives to break a world record for largest number of people simultaneously dancing this specific routine.

Google "Thriller Choreography" and you'll find endless interpretations of this iconic piece by dancers/choreographers,

It's been incorporated into ballroom routines

and adapted for kids of all ages and even for dancers on wheels. For a dance where the cast of characters is largely comprised of the undead, Thriller's choreography is still alive and kicking. For me, that's the sign of a true classic, and we've only addressed the choreography. That's a whole mini movie packed into ten minutes, with a twist at the end that still sends shivers down viewers' spines.


Anonymous said...

WOW! I just posted last Saturday about Thriller in my Blog. My son got married last year 10/30/10 (yes, Hell night) and we had a Halloween wedding. We did not do the chicken dance or the electric slide ... we danced to Thriller, by the late, great, King of Pop.
Gerri Brousseau

Anna Carrasco Bowling said...

Gerri, that was a great blog post, and part of my inspiration. Thumbs up to your son and daughter in law for their good taste in dances.