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Harlem Shake sweeps the Internet

Well, 2012 was the year that ludicrous dance crazes finally came of age with the staggering ubiquity of awkward, rhythm free souls attempting to ride invisible horses. Yes - Gangnam Style’s spectacular ascent to worldwide domination came in huge part thanks to its easily imitated, totally original and completely tongue in cheek dance moves.

Suddenly we have a new contender for 2013. The Harlem Shake.

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Five bored Australian teenagers, sick of being cooped up indoors during a prolonged bout of stormy weather decided to film themselves doing stupid dance moves to a track by Baauer called the Harlem Shake.  The idea was already lurking in a corner of the internet after ‘Filthy Frank’ had posted an orgy of lycra onsies and serpentine shaking to the track, but it was the boys that gave it its recognisable form. They posted it on Youtube and suddenly the hit count was in the millions. A la Gangnam Style – hundreds of other people all over the world have begun posting up their own interpretations of the Harlem Shake spawning a franchise Youtube count of over 20 million and featuring such strange bedfellows as the US and Norwegian armies.

There does not seem to be an exact dance move like the Gangnam style ride and lasso. There is however a common thread. A scene of normality. One person understatedly breaking ranks and getting a little groove on. Then suddenly the bass drops and the scene cuts to everyone going nuts in a rainbow array of costume, gymnastic silliness and absurd abandon.

Flash mobs are forming, self expressively outlandish displays of silliness are developing and costumery is rapidly becoming part of the Harlem Shake phenomenon. With each video naturally trying to outdo the others, comedy is at a premium and the limits look set to keep getting pushed into ever more comic territory.

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Written by Cyrus Bozorgmehr - Google+ Profile - More articles by Cyrus Bozorgmehr

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