Editorials, Columns, & Opinions

Then do the Harlem Shake

Article by Jacob Wilkowsky (Q19)

February has been a good month for pop culture. There were the Grammys, the Oscars, the Super Bowl—each event soliciting hordes of celebrities and awesome commercials. Even the usual list of high-profile diplomats has expanded from the likes of Angelina Jolie, Bono, and George Clooney, to include the outlandish Dennis Rodman. (Hopefully we will see an NBA team in Pyongyang, North Korea soon.) However, there has been one cultural phenomenon that has outshined them all. I’m obviously talking about the tour-de-force that is, The Harlem Shake.

The first Harlem Shake video came out on February 2nd, and has since gone viral with over 175 million views. The trend involves recording a group of unassuming peers as they dance to the smash hit, Harlem Shake by Baauer. Initially the group performs mundane tasks, with the exception of one helmeted party dancing to the Harlem Shake. Then as the song drops at its catchphrase, “Then do the Harlem Shake,” the group suddenly goes WILD! It’s an elaborate art, so why don’t I just show you, because QUEST obviously did its own version.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Js7930WGAXU&feature=youtu.be

So as I mentioned before, and as you just saw, it is an art. Notice the collaboration between Danny Laurence and Mark Barbagallo. Where did Danny find a mop? How does Mark so deeply capture the human condition as he gyrates in place? Obviously there are the stars like Michael Goglia (Banana Suit), but the whole production was truly a team effort. The ensemble includes talents such as Mercedes Valero, Cat Ashley, Stephen Barbagallo, Kenny Lopez, Meenu Singh, Aditya Sridhar, David Kravitz, and Erika Colostrom. And while we all loved making this piece of cinematic art, we suggest you don’t try it at home. Even though February has been a great month for pop culture, only so many can occupy the spotlight.

One comment

  1. Danny Laurence

    Great article. I too pondered Mark’s essence when the video was in post-production.

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