Another Italian earworm by way of China

JISHOU, HUNAN — During the Christmas party, one of the acts was a dance, (请你恰恰), by some juniors in class 4. The tune was one of those catchy ones that sticks in your head for days. And, it’s from the same studio that gave me — and China — another earworm, the “Rabbit Dance.” So, here are the students performing the dance. Again, if you can’t view the embedded video, you can download or watch it from this link. You’ll notice that some of the male dancers are in fact female dancers. Our college’s student body is predominantly female, but I found at least one professional performance online by a woman dressed as a man. So, there’s a precedent! Because my mind works this way, I spent some time trying to track down the source of this tune, and the dance. It’s sort of cha cha, but not really, and there are hints of electro/house/Eurodance mixed in with the Latin beat. If you’ve listened to Aqua, you’ll know what I mean. So, here’s the skinny. The Chinese title, Qing Ni Cha Cha, which means, “Please Will You Cha Cha?” sounds very close to the original English title, Chilly Cha Cha. ...

The Chinese “bunny hop,” Allegro andante

JISHOU, HUNAN — I am sure my last post tantalized you so much that you are dying to know more about Gelato, the perpetrators of the “Penguin’s Game” dance. So here are some more details I’ve coaxed out of the Internet. Gelato is a man-woman duo from the Remini part of Italy. He’s a DJ (and apparently the guy in the penguin get-up) and she a singer/dancer from one of the clubs there. I’m guessing she’s the tall blonde in the black coat with fake-fur trim. They like eating ice cream, so they named their band Gelato. “Penguin’s Game” was their first single, and they also released an album, Vanilla and Chocolate. I still don’t know their names, though. These info-nuggets come from their record label’s website. SAIFAM of Italy makes “small, anonymous but talentful dance projects,” according to one DJ website. SAIFAM’s own site says they also produce “fitness music,” the kind of catchy, bouncy music you want to get up and move to. In the immortal words of James Brown, “Get up offa that thing.” You can sample tracks by Gelato and other groups at the SAIFAM website, and even buy them if you are so moved. SAIFAM ...

More musical goodies: the Chinese “bunny hop” 6

JISHOU, HUNAN — I just came from the English Club Christmas party, where we danced a version of the “Bunny Hop” to a catchy tune I haven’t heard anywhere else but in China. So, in keeping with my recent tradition of scouring the Internet for perfectly useless trivia, I went googling, yahoo-ing and baidu-ing to learn something about it. Since it seems to be something akin to an oral tradition, getting anything definite about it was a real challenge. In China, the song is called “Rabbit Dance 兔子舞,” since the basic steps are just like the American “Bunny Hop” dance. [Ray Anthony’s band did a 45 of this in the mid-1950s; the B side was the “Hokey Pokey.” So now you know.] But if you pay attention to the lyrics to “Rabbit Dance,” the song we hear in China says nothing about rabbits or bunnies. The animal in question is … penguins. Here’s the lyrics. If I’m violating copyright, please excuse me. Tracking down the performers was hard enough. left left right right go turn around go go go left right left left right right left left right right go go go left left right right go turn around go ...
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