Tagged ‘dance‘

Paul Simon’s The Boy In The Bubble

This is the opening track on Paul Simon’s Graceland album. He immersed himself in the music of South Africa before his 1985 trip, and came across a song by the Lesotho group Tau Ea Matsekha. Simon wanted to meet them, especially the songwriter and leader Forere Motloheloa, who played the piano accordion. When Simon arrived at Ovation Studios in Johannesburg, he started recording with the group, reworking their song.

In the song, Simon seems to be exploring the dual nature of science and of humanity. We live in a world where we are doing amazing things with medicine and technology, but we are also creating sophisticated weapons at the same time. The developed world is in a bubble of comfort and self-absorption, while the developing world ekes by in the dry wind and dead sand. It is almost impossible for modern global society to make sense of it all: “these are the days of miracle and wonder”.

Genki Sudo’s World Order

World Order

World Order “World Order”

World Order is a Japanese music group produced and directed by retired mixed martial arts fighter Genki Sudo (Sudō Genki, 須藤 元気). Genki Sudo is also the lead vocalist as well as a member of the group along with six other dancers.

World Order

World Order “Boy Meets Girl”

World Order is known for their synchronized choreography that reminds me of clockwork or an assembly line (see my post on the Algorithm March).

World Order

World Order “Machine Civilization”

When you watch the music videos, notice how the people around them react to the group and to the camera. Apparently, World Order will choose a public space to film their performance with no control of the surroundings. People will go about their business around them. Most will ignore the group, but some will try to avoid disrupting the filming, take their own pictures of the performance, or even try to participate with the group!

World Order

Boy Meets Girl

Machine Civilization

Algorithm March And Ninjas


I already mentioned in a previous post the Japanese kids’ show Pythagora Switch (Pitagora Suitchi, ピタゴラスイッチ) and their awesome Pythagorean devices (Pitagora Sōchi, ピタゴラ装置) made from various common household objects.

As if it couldn’t get any more awesome, the educational show also has a song and dance called the Algorithm March which really ramps up the awesomeness. The song and dance teach young children how to follow directions as they perform a sequence of body movements as they sing along with the song.

It is first performed by Kikuchi Hideki and Yamada Kazunari of the comedy duo Itsumo Kokokara. Then, they have guests such as soccer players, airline workers, and bus drivers performing the dance with them. Even ninjas! See the video clip below! The people line up and each person slowly moves forward while going through each body movement one at a time. The entire line goes through the sequence of steps (thus, algorithm march) as the song repeats.

The sequence of body movements are as follows, with the steps being repeated after finishing the sequence:

  1. One step forward, bend knees while reaching out with arms straight and then return
  2. One step forward, lean back with arms bent back and then return
  3. One step forward, turn around and bow once at waist
  4. Face left, right hand to brow and look around
  5. Face left, one step forward and bend knees, do a breast stroke and return
  6. Bend down and pretend to pick up a chestnut on the ground
  7. One step forward, move arms up and down like you are using a bicycle pump
  8. One step forward, flap arms at sides as if being inflated by the pump

When the entire line properly goes through the sequence of steps, each person becomes intercalated with the people ahead and behind him or her in a fascinating way that reminds me of clockwork or an assembly line:

If the above video clip doesn’t work, click here to view the video or click on the image below:


Obviously, everyone needs to follow the correct sequence of intructions for the Algorithm March to work. So, that is where the algorithm comes in.

Al Gore playing drums

Al Gore rhythm! Get it? Nevermind…

The word algorithm comes from the ninth-century Persian scholar Al-Khwārizmī (Abū ʿAbdallāh Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī, عَبْدَالله مُحَمَّد بِن مُوسَى اَلْخْوَارِزْمِي‎). Al-Khwārizmī means native of Kharazm, a city now in modern Uzbekistan. Al-Khwārizmī wrote a treatise in Arabic describing the rules for performing arithmetic using Hindu-Arabic numerals as well as for solving linear and quadratic equations.

His arithmetic technique was called algorism when his work was translated into Latin and it was the Latinized form of Al-Khwārizmī. Incidentally, the word algebra is also from Al-Khwārizmī. It is from al-jabr, one of the ways he used to solve quadratic equations. His name is also the origin of the Spanish guarismo, meaning digit.

The Center for Elementary Mathematics and Science Education at the University of Chicago has a series of videos from their Everyday Mathematics program. This program is a comprehensive Pre-K through grade 6 mathematics program developed by the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project. The videos demonstrate the use of algorithms in performing the basic arithmetic functions.

Since an algorithm is a step-by-step solution to any problem, they are useful in areas beyond mathematics and computation.

You can express an algorithm either as a sequence of instructions:

South Park Gnomes

The gnomes’ business plan.

Or as a flowchart:

Flowchart for the Rock-Paper-Scissors game.

Flowchart for the Rock-Paper-Scissors game.

Adventures In Time And Space 2: Where The Hell Is Matt?

Dancing 2005

Where The Hell Is Matt?

Video game designer Matt Harding created a video called Dancing that shows him dancing at various locations around the world. After making his video from footage that he collected from his travels in 2003 and 2004, Matt posted it for his family and friends on his blog in 2005.

Matt then made a second, extended video in 2006 with sponsorship from Stride gum. The video is also called Dancing, which he uploaded to YouTube as Where The Hell Is Matt? His website for his experiences can be found here. 

Dancing 2006

Where The Hell Is Matt?

In the 2006 version of Dancing, Matt appears in the following locations (the coordinate system is WGS 84). The list is in chronological order:

  1. Salar de Uyuni, Plurinational State of Bolivia (-20.133775, -67.489133)
  2. Petra, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (30.32245, 35.451617)
  3. Machu Picchu, Republic of Peru (-13.163333, -72.545556)
  4. Venice, Italian Republic (45.4375, 12.335833)
  5. Tokyo, Japan (35.689506, 139.6917)
  6. Galapagos Islands, Republic of Ecuador (-0.666667, -90.55)
  7. Brisbane, Commonwealth of Australia (-27.467917, 153.027778)
  8. Luang Prabang, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (19.883333, 102.133333)
  9. Bandar Seri Begawan, Nation of Brunei (4.890278, 114.942222)
  10. Area 51, Nevada, United States of America (37.235, -115.811111)
  11. Tikal, Republic of Guatemala (17.222094, -89.623614)
  12. Half Moon Caye, Belize (17.2, -87.533333)
  13. Sossusvlei, Republic of Namibia (-24.733333, 15.366667)
  14. Routeburn Track, New Zealand (-44.726954, 168.170337)
  15. Monument Valley, Arizona, United States of America (36.983333, -110.1)
  16. South Shetland Islands, Antarctica (-62, -58)
  17. Chuuk State, Federated States of Micronesia (7.416667, 151.783333)
  18. London, England, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (51.504722, -0.1375)
  19. Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array, New Mexico, United States of America (34.078749, -107.618283)
  20. Abu Simbel Temples, Arab Republic of Egypt (22.336944, 31.625556)
  21. Easter Island, Republic of Chile (-27.116667, -109.366667)
  22. Gare TGV Haute-Picardie, French Republic (49.859167, 2.831667)
  23. Ephesus, Republic of Turkey (37.939139, 27.34075)
  24. New York City, New York, United States of America (40.70569, -73.99639)
  25. Mutianyu, People’s Republic of China (40.438017, 116.5619)
  26. Guam, United States of America (13.5, 144.8)
  27. Mokolodi Nature Reserve, Republic of Botswana (-24.743294, 25.798903)
  28. Berlin, Federal Republic of Germany (52.503056, 13.444722)
  29. Sydney, Commonwealth of Australia (-33.8694, 151.2019)
  30. Dubai, United Arab Emirates (25.117222, 55.198333)
  31. Rock Islands, Republic of Palau (7.161111, 134.376111)
  32. Mulindi, Republic of Rwanda (-1.476389, 30.040278)
  33. Neko Harbor, Antarctica (-64.833333, -62.55)
  34. Kjeragbolten, Kingdom of Norway (59.033564, 6.569722)
  35. San Francisco, California, United States of America (37.819722, -122.478611)
  36. Seattle, Washington, United States of America (47.650955, -122.34728)

Incidentally, the background music is Sweet Lullaby by Deep Forest. The song contains vocal samples from the traditional lullaby Rorogwela sung in the Baegu language. The vocal samples were recorded by ethnomusicologist Hugo Zemp while he was in the Solomon Islands.

Where The Hell Is Matt? Dancing (2005)

Where The Hell Is Matt? Dancing (2006)