Last year, the guerrilla performing arts group Public Displays of Musical Affection, invited members of the public to waltz and swing to Bjork’s 1995 hit, “It’s Oh So Quiet.” History repeated itself this year as 200 commuters spontaneously busted their moves to a techno-pop version of “Do-Re-Mi:”
So why “Do-Re-Mi?” Well, this choreographed viral gem, in which it was prepared by a mere 2 rehearsals, is a publicity stunt to promote a TV reality series called Looking for Maria, in which women fight for that famous role in the Belgian production of The Sound of Music. It is based on an earlier viral – an ad for T-Mobile in London, when hundreds of passengers groove, grind, boogie, and even waltz capriciously in Liverpool Street Station. The latter dance mentioned might remind fans of the 1991 Terry Gilham film The Fisher King about the grand spontaneous ball attended by commuters in Grand Central Station.
To me, spontaneous dancing is nothing new. Before even screen media, people have since heard danceable music play live in past generations and start dancing right away. An example of this dance before even the techno “Do-Re-Mi” is the Catalan sardana, a circle dance. Catalans usually start forming a circle and dance in intricate, precise steps whenever they hear a cobla band, containing of shawms and brass, permeate the air with their rustic beats as they commute on foot in town. Other passers-by who know how to dance this precisely-detailed dance join in, creating an augmented ring of people. In my opinion, the sardana is one of the forerunners to people starting a dance performance out of the blue.
So why not make our own spontaneous dance number? We can form ourselves in a group and rehearse in a hall, then take our creativity in the world, surprising everyone in sight. That brings color to an ordinary day.