Skip to main content

Giving in to dance

Guest blogger Jehan Mohd writes about what she thinks about the promotional stunts for the late King of Pop's DVD release of the concert that never was.

 

GETTING a bunch of convicts serving time at a maximum security facility to promote the launch of your latest DVD may not seem to be the brightest of ideas…unless you’re a recently deceased-cum-former-King-of-Pop and the prisoners are those at Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center, a maximum security prison in the Philippines.

The inmates who made waves globally in 2007 when a video of them dancing to Michael Jackson’s Thriller hit YouTube aren’t exactly unknown (collectively, anyway) – videos of them dancing to other songs have received tens of millions of hits in total.

Nevertheless being visited by longtime MJ choreographer Travis Payne and dancers Daniel Celebre and Dres Reid who taught the inmates the moves to a sequence from MJ’s This Is It, and performed a dance to promote the launch of the DVD must still be pretty exciting.
 
It’s hard not to admire and get excited by the efforts of these 1,500-odd men.

You might even forget that these are hardened criminals and not a bunch of kids getting together for a flash mob type event (yes, I am spoiling the video for you) – at the end of the video, they form a giant peace sign.

The choice of They Don’t Care about Us as the song they dance to is kind of ironic (or fitting, depending on how you see it) as one of the original music videos (two were made for this song) saw Michael Jackson singing and dancing with inmates in a prison facility.

Who, aside from their families and loved ones, would look upon prisoners kindly or with admiration? These are people who committed not just any petty crime but serious offences – including murder, rape and drug trafficking – that landed them in the maximum security facility.

Prison warden and security consultant Byron Garcia sees dancing as a form of rehabilitation.

In his site, he says that rehabilitation has to be “anchored on bringing out the best in men instead of the worst…” and that it should be done with compassion so that a sinner can be separated from the sin.

I can imagine that the people who fell victim to their acts not being fans of these criminals.

Still, for the four to five-minute duration of the songs they dance to, normal viewers and total strangers to them would still be amazed at how “hard-core” criminals can let their guards down enough to give in to dance.

Comments

Popular Posts

Happy Father's Day

June is a significant month for fathers and those who have acted as father figures: stepfathers, uncles, grandfathers, big brothers, teachers and mentors. It is the month when some countries including Malaysia celebrate Father's Day. As American poet Anne Sexton put it: "It doesn't matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was." My own father, who was a major influence in my life when I was growing up in Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia, passed away a long time ago. Since then there has been one major father figure in my life: my mentor, who is also my uncle, and he has helped me through difficult times. Fathers teach by example. You learn important values from them and you acquire some of their tastes for things. It could be anything: a love for English literature, words and books, among others. Sometimes you did not agree with their viewpoints but realised later that they were right about many things. As a child, growing up in a hometown known for its laid-back wa

Rediscovering the traditional Malaysian Indian kitchen

I love this artwork (acrylic on canvas) by Jayashree Ramasamy @Jay, who has captured the mood of the traditional Malaysian Indian kitchen. Jay recalls her grandmother preparing meals for the family in a room which was equipped with ancestral cooking utensils and that was the inspiration for this painting. For more of Jay's creations head for the National Art Gallery where 'The Story Telling' exhibition is now being held (April 14 to May 15, 2011).  'The Story Telling' is a group exhibition showcasing the creations of four emerging artists including Jay from the Symbols Art Club . The other three artists are Kathiravan Subramaniam, Rohini Indran and Mohana Kumara Velu @ Mona Kv. Each work of art is a story that the artist tells about his or her personal experiences and observations of daily life. The launch this afternoon was in conjunction with the Tamil New Year today. 'Food is Served' by Kathiravan Subramaniam. The rationale: 'We may have diff

Dealing with death of a loved one

Today marks the end of Rabiaa's mourning period. She had completed four months and 10 days or 130 days of grieving, the stipulated period for expressing sorrow for Muslim widows.  The death of her husband on Dec 30, 2020 was expected  but it still came as a huge shock to her. It was too sudden, she felt. Yet  observers would not agree. Her husband became bedridden in mid-November after a collision between his big bike and a car which had come from the opposite direction after taking an illegal turn.  In addition to being bedridden, Anwar, lost his voice which was the direct result of the  brain injury he had suffered after the accident. He was diagnosed with traumatic brain injury. How does Rabiaa feel now? The pain is bearable but the memories remain as vivid as ever. She is still unwilling to clear up all of her husband's things and some items remain in their original positions as before he became bound to the bed. His belongings connect Rabiaa to Anwar and she basks in the w