Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 10 July 2014

Harlem Shake: Move over Psy's Gangnam Style there's a new viral video meme in town

Above: A still from the Harlem Shake YouTube video. You're welcome / we're sorry.
Above: A still from the Harlem Shake YouTube video. You're welcome / we're sorry.

A new viral video trend, the Harlem Shake, has been spreading across the web and it’s starting to bubble up to the surface as all good internet memes do.

This latest craze features several people 'dancing' to the first 30 seconds of Baauer’s ‘trap and bass’ track of the same name. This is not to be confused with the genuine ‘Harlem Shake’ dance move.

There seems to be no end to the scope of this meme, as news anchors, football teams, page 3 girls, and even armed forces are getting in on the action.

Each video starts with a single masked dancer gyrating around in the middle of a normal everyday scene, such as an office space or college lecture, preempting the mayhem that follows once the Harlem Shake track kicks in.

Despite its simple premise, the ‘rules’ for creating the perfect ‘Harlem Shake’ video are very specific. Rather than trying to sum up all the ingredients of a perfect Harlem Shake video, the best way to understand is to just watch a few for yourself. You’ll soon get the idea!

The Harlem Shake meme originated with this short video clip, which features young men in fancy dress dancing frantically to the song. The clip has received over 14 million hits on YouTube.

A response video was posted by the Sunny Coast Skate Company, which set the template for the many thousands of new versions that followed.

There are already more than 12,000 different versions of the video across the internet, each one more crazy than the last, including a hilarious version filmed underwater, which is embedded below.

Even the likes of Google and Facebook have created their own unique takes on the viral trend, with Google performing a version outside of their Mountain View campus in California, amongst the many Android statues that decorate their front lawn.

Members of the Norwegian have also got in on the act, clocking up a staggering 24 million views with their version below.

According to knowyourmeme.com the formula for the Harlem Shake meme is:

[14T x (A1 + V1)] => Δ => [14T x (A2 + V2)] => [2T x (A3+V3)] OR

[14 seconds of (build-up music) played as (one person passively dances while others linger around them motionless)] then an instant video cut to [14 seconds of (bombastic dance music) played as (many people dance aggressively)] then [2 seconds of (a slurring sound) and (slow-motion video of the aggressive dancing)]

Google Trends: Harlem Shake

Harlem reacts to 'Harlem Shake'

 

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