People Get Ready fuse music and modern dance in a combination that’s as arresting as it is unexpected. After attending one of their shows, Bob Boilen, host and creator of NPR’s “All Songs Considered,” dubbed it his favorite show of 2012: “No single show took my breath away the way this one did—part rock concert, part performance art, part dance, all perfectly melded together. … It felt like a band creating a music video for every piece of music performed.” Below, check out a live video of People Get Ready’s performance for the song “Middle Name,” followed by a collection of six music videos in which unexpected dancing is the name of the game—including a few videos featuring artists with ties to People Get Ready.
1- In this music video for Blonde Redhead’s “Top Ranking,” artist and filmmaker Miranda July contorts her body in a series of one-second-long poses. [Interesting connection: People Get Ready’s Steven Reker served as choreographer for July’s 2011 film, The Future.]
2- Bay Area–based art-rock band Deerhoof enlisted People Get Ready members Steven Reker, Jen Goma, and James Rickman to dance in their video for “Fête d’Adieu.” Check out Reker’s solo around 1:36.
3- This memorable Spike Jonze–directed video for Fatboy Slim’s “Weapon of Choice” features a nimble Christopher Walken dancing and flying through the lobby of a Los Angeles hotel. (Walken trained as a dancer for musical theater before making his way to film.)
4- Another Spike Jonze–directed video, this time for Björk’s cover of Betty Hutton’s 1951 song “It’s Oh So Quiet.” The Icelandic singer wanders the streets in slow motion, but when the chorus hits, she bursts into choreographed dance numbers with whoever is nearby, including auto shop workers and elderly ladies with parasols.
5- Thom Yorke’s idiosyncratic dance moves (choreographed by Wayne McGregor) were a viral sensation in Radiohead’s 2011 video for “Lotus Flower.” This time around, Yorke writhes alongside contemporary dancer Fukiko Takase for his side project, Atoms for Peace.
6- After a busy year collaborating on pop hits like “Blurred Lines” and “Get Lucky,” Pharrell’s latest music video is billed as “The World’s First 24-Hour Music Video.” In the interactive video, the camera follows individuals as they gleefully dance their way through the streets of Los Angeles. Watch closely for cameos by the likes of Steve Martin and Steve Carell.
Pharrell‘s 24 Hours of Happy is a complete internet experience. Check it out, here.