"Dance This Mess Around" - what are the other eight dances

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In "Dance This Mess Around," the B-52s famously declares that they and their friends "do all 16 dances!" at parties. However, they only mention half of them. What are the other eight dances? Is there an extended version somewhere, or perhaps a few verses they cut out of the final version, or (most likely) it's just a bit of lyrical absurdity not worth even bothering about?

mike a (mike a), Thursday, 1 February 2007 15:46 (sixteen years ago) link

I suspect it's a zen koan.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 1 February 2007 15:47 (sixteen years ago) link

1. The Limburgh
2. The Shugaloo
3. The Shy Tuna
4. The Camel Walk
5. The Hypocrite
6. The Hippy Shake
7. The Coo-Ca-Choo
8. The Aqua-Velva
9. The Dirty Dog
10. The Escalator

sexyDancer (sexyDancer), Thursday, 1 February 2007 15:52 (sixteen years ago) link

I have heard there's a land where they have 1,000 dances

sexyDancer (sexyDancer), Thursday, 1 February 2007 15:53 (sixteen years ago) link

Right, those eight appear in the last part of the song. "Hippy Shake" is not actually defined as a dance, and "limburger" isn't so much a dance as an anguished plea for a dance partner.

mike a (mike a), Thursday, 1 February 2007 15:54 (sixteen years ago) link

what's a limburger anyway?

is anyone anticipating the new Baaderonixx? (baaderonixx), Thursday, 1 February 2007 15:55 (sixteen years ago) link

stinky cheese

sexyDancer (sexyDancer), Thursday, 1 February 2007 15:57 (sixteen years ago) link

They also only name 23 of the "52 Girls."

jaymc (jaymc), Thursday, 1 February 2007 15:58 (sixteen years ago) link

Maybe the "52" refers to the grils' relationship with the B-52's

sexyDancer (sexyDancer), Thursday, 1 February 2007 16:02 (sixteen years ago) link

i always thought he was saying 'chartona,' not 'shy tuna.' not that either make any fucking sense.

the table is the table (treesessplode), Thursday, 1 February 2007 16:03 (sixteen years ago) link

I can pretty much visualize what the shy tuna dance looks like.

is anyone anticipating the new Baaderonixx? (baaderonixx), Thursday, 1 February 2007 16:04 (sixteen years ago) link

I wonder if Keith ever found the essence from within.

sexyDancer (sexyDancer), Thursday, 1 February 2007 16:05 (sixteen years ago) link

Maybe the "52" refers to the grils' relationship with the B-52's

Huh, this had never occurred to me!

jaymc (jaymc), Thursday, 1 February 2007 16:18 (sixteen years ago) link

baaderonixx, i demand a video of you doing the shy tuna.

the table is the table (treesessplode), Thursday, 1 February 2007 16:22 (sixteen years ago) link

Isn't that the dance where you flex your arms like fins, open your mouth and bulge your eyes?

is anyone anticipating the new Baaderonixx? (baaderonixx), Thursday, 1 February 2007 16:34 (sixteen years ago) link

According to this, at least 3 are the Hully Gully, The Mashed Potato and the Flying Turbo...


Daniel Peterson (polkaholic), Thursday, 1 February 2007 17:26 (sixteen years ago) link

seven years pass...

This still bugs me, believe it or not.

mike a, Friday, 25 July 2014 15:02 (nine years ago) link

If his Chrysler is as big as a whale, how does it even fit on the road?

Dr. Diapers (Old Lunch), Friday, 25 July 2014 15:20 (nine years ago) link

In "52 Girls," is Tina Louise two girls or one?

Hideous Lump, Saturday, 26 July 2014 05:56 (nine years ago) link

six years pass...

At the same time Cage was composing for dance, and when he and Merce Cunningham began collaborating regularly in the mid-1940's, they agreed to structure the dance and music together, in advance. Cunningham later recalled that "this use of a time structure allowed us to work separately, Cage not having to be with the dance except at structural points, and I was free to make the phrases and movements within the phrases vary their speeds and accents without reference to a musical beat, again only using the structural points as identification between us."2

The 16 Dances, first performed on 21 January 1951, were the most ambitious choreographic work to use this structural technique. In scope and content they recalled Cage's musical Sonatas and Interludes (1946-1948): but the 16 Dances also anticipated techniques to come, as Cunningham has explained:

The 16 Dances . . . was a long piece intended to fill an evening. It was also the first time the use of chance operations entered into the compositional method. The choreography was concerned with expressive behavior, in this case the nine permanent emotions of Indian classical aesthetics, four light and four dark with tranquility the ninth and pervading one. The structure for the piece was to have each of the dances involved with a specific emotion followed by an interlude. Although the order was to alternate light and dark, it didn't seem to matter whether Sorrow or Fear came first, so I tossed a coin. And also in the interlude after Fear, number XIV, I used charts of separated movements for material for each of the four dancers, and let chance operations decide the continuity.

My solution to this age old question is therefore that The B-52's performed Cage and Cunningham's 1951 choreographic work in its entirety followed by the Shug a loo, the Shy Tuna, the Camel Walk, and the Hip O Crit - all of which were determined by chance operations. A brief hippy hippy forward and the hippy hippy shake marks the end of the adapted work.

Unhappy with the first attempt, Fred implores the group to perform again "oh, it's time to do 'em right!".

The group again performs 'The 16 Dances' from the start, with this run through being followed by the Coo ca choo, the Aqua Velva, the Dirty Dog, the Escalator, and the hippy hippy forward and hippy hippy shake coda.

Still not satisfied, Fred requests a third run through. However, Cindy seeing some improvement and wanting to encourage the now-exhausted dancers asks Fred "Doesn't [the improved performance] make you feel much better?" Fred, not wanting the dancers to slack off, pretends not to hear the question.

However, before another attempt begins, Cindy realises they are running out of rehearsal time and calls "stop!". All performers voice agreement "yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah".

Another reason why the B-52s should never have moved to New York

Master of Treacle, Sunday, 13 June 2021 10:29 (two years ago) link

motherfucking Ricky Wilson is my god

assert (matttkkkk), Sunday, 13 June 2021 10:32 (two years ago) link

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