Wednesday, April 11, 2012

"She has danced into the danger zone, where a dancer becomes a dance."*

        Well, I’m in recovery mode from the major holiday that went down all across the world Sunday: Easter. FUCK. YEAH. You know how hard Easter rocks, and how you usually end up nursing a three-day hangover from all the shit that went down? Well, that was me (I). I Eastered the fuck out of Easter Sunday.
        And by that I mean: I went to Phoenix to visit my bff Michelle and we attempted to worship at the altar of many an outlet mall in her fair city and found that the whole goddamn place was shut down in honor of our Lord Jesus Christ. That’s racist. Or something equally bad.
        And then we decided that we were sick of trying and went to see The Hunger Games. Then we went on a jog that ended in frozen yogurt. We did hit a bar after that (the really loveable Bikini Bar in Downtown Phoenix) so it was mildly hardcore (an oxymoron? I don’t think so).
        So in yet another game of let us find a non sequitur, I would like to talk about something totally unrelated to any of the above-mentioned activities.
        I have a great idea for a new business venture: Dance Dance Karaoke (working title).
        I got the idea while listening to “She’s A Maniac” on the way to visit my friends Tom and Jess last Friday. If you’ve ever seen Flashdance, you’re probably already picturing the scene: Jennifer Beals, sporting her sexiest legwarmers, dancing like she’s mid-seizure (or like “a maniac,” if you prefer) in her loft. She’s also sweating like a pig, if my memory is as good as I think it is.
Flashdance. (Adrian Lyne, 1983).
        Here’s how DDK works: you get up in front of a room full of drunkards (you know, like karaoke) and you have a screen in front of you. But instead of lyrics, the screen shows a famous dance scene from a movie or music video and you have to mimic the steps as best you can. It could be something from Girls Just Want to Have Fun or Footloose or Prince’s “Diamonds and Pearls” video where he does the splits while bouncing off a couch. It could be the dance at the gym from West Side Story or “The Hand Jive” from Grease. It could be the “Time Warp” and you could get six-to-ten friends to do it with you. 
Here's a good dance to rehearse with friends before a night out at DDK. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.                         (Stanley Donen, 1954).

A dance you could do after several shots of rumplemintz.  From Mary Poppins. (Robert Stevenson, 1964).
        Behind you, on a larger screen, the same dance is projected for the drunken bar patrons to watch, so they can compare your moves to the actual moves and judge you accordingly.
        Is this already a thing? Because I think I’m kind of brilliant. I know there’s a game for the Wii or the Connect that has you dance and judges you on accuracy, but this is more about blitzed bar patrons judging you against their memories (and the solid evidence on the big screen).
        Here are some potential setbacks:
1.     Will the bar be responsible for injuries incurred in the execution of an advanced dance move by an intoxicated amateur?
2.     What if, as in the case of “Diamonds and Pearls” or “Holding Out for a Hero” (the song to which Kevin Bacon tumbles sensually in Footloose), one needs a large prop (a couch or a hay loft, as the case may be) in order to mimic the dance? The dance routines might have to be pared down, as they are in the case of someone who decides they want to sing “Do You Feel Like We Do” by Peter Frampton (which clocks in at approximately 13 minutes) on Karaoke night.
3.     Group dances that aren’t choreographed tend to look a little awful. It’s not like musicals where everyone just so happens to be a professional dancer and a performer in the Spring Recital that happened two weeks ago. Bummer.
        Otherwise, I think the idea is solid. Most scathingly brilliant ideas have hiccups in the beginning, so I’m confident that with the correct support and funding, this could be up and running in the next year or so. And unlike singing Karaoke, it’s not super annoying when someone is trying really hard to be good. Watching someone dance well is actually pleasurable. And watching someone dance terribly is incredibly awesome. Listening to someone sing out of tune is the opposite of fun. And those people who sing Karaoke like they’re trying to impress the shit out of all the other losers at the bar are the most annoying of all.
        Dang, this is long. You know where to find me if you want to invest in DDK. Or suggest a better name for it.
*”She’s a Maniac” by Michael Sembello.

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