Saturday, January 05, 2008

List of the Month: Top 10 Dances You'd Like To See The Cebu Prison Inmates Perform

In case this reference somehow passes you by, take at look at this post of mine from a week or so ago about the strikingly innovative 'rehabilitation through dance' programme they've been developing at the Cebu Provincial Detention & Rehabilitation Center in the Philippines.

Counting down in reverse order on this one.....

10) I Want To Break Free
(I'm not sure that there is an established dance routine that goes with this, but what the hey - I'm sure Byron Garcia, the svengali behind the dancing prisoners phenomenon, could come up with something appropriate. And I'm sure a lot of these guys would love to replicate the transvestism of the original Queen video. The song would surely strike a chord with them as well.....)

9) The Monkees Theme
(OK, not much of a dance, but this has been a favourite of mine from earliest childhood. To have 1,000 or more prisoners advancing slowly across the exercise yard doing the 'Monkees walk' - that stiff-legged swagger, legs akimbo, one leg overlapping that of the person to your left or right at each step - would be awesome.)

8) Agadoo
(Yes, an appallingly irritating novelty song and a really pointless dance - but somehow kind of compelling nonetheless. And scarcely more irritating and pointless than 'The Algorithm March', one of the Cebu prisoners' first-ever routines.)

7) Bad
(Since the prisoners have obviously already established an affinity with Michael Jackson [Thriller is their biggest 'hit' on YouTube], this would seem to be a natural next step for them. Well, either this or Smooth Criminal, of course!)

6) Walk Like An Egyptian
(Perhaps the boys could pick up a few moves from this 'classic' - incomprehensibly popular! - British vaudeville act of the '20s and '30s....)

5) Tiger Feet
(Again, not much of a dance - but what there is, is great.)

4) Macarena
(Do dance crazes get any cheesier than this? But these boys love cheese!)

3) Haka
(It would be pretty fucking scary to have that many people doing the traditional Maori war chant made famous by the All Blacks rugby team. I wonder what the world record is currently for the largest simultaneous performance? Another shot at the Guinness Book of Records for our boys, methinks.)

2) The Time Warp
(Perhaps Byron himself could preside over this one as 'The Criminologist'....)

And the winner is........ of course, what else?....... WHY haven't they done this one yet???


Keep checking YouTube for the latest releases. I'm sure some of these will be appearing over the next year or so.


Froog said...

Oh, damn! I really should have found space for The CanCan in this list as well - that would be just mind-blowing!!

homeinkabul said...

did we figure out who the man playing the girl in their thriller bit is? Cuz, well, I need to know.

Froog said...

According to Wikipedia, he's called Wenjiel Resane. Why - do you want to send him fanmail?

Froog said...

Aha! According to Wikipedia, the prisoners do perform YMCA. Apparently it was one of the first things they learned - because Byron had the (bizarre?!) idea that the more macho prisoners might somehow be less offended by the idea of dancing to something that was so over-the-top camp. However, there doesn't seem to be a video of it yet.

Further Note: That Wikipedia entry on the Cebu prisoners seems to have been updated recently to include allegations from a TV documentary (screened on UK's Channel 4) that some prisoners have been coerced into participation by threats and beatings. I hope that's not true, but it wouldn't entirely surprise me. I shall look into this further.