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Happy St. Patrick's Day
March 17, 2011 3:23 PM   Subscribe

Irish dancing flash mob in Sydney's Central Station. The dancers included twenty members of the Riverdance show and dancers from local Irish dancing schools.
posted by furiousxgeorge (54 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Subtract all the parents with video cameras, and there were about three people there that didn't know it was going to happen....
posted by tomswift at 3:29 PM on March 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


That isn't a flashmob it's a live performance by performers decked out in the worst, most forced "casual" clothing I have seen since the gang of denim waistcoat wearing bullies in "License to Drive." If they had started dancing simultaneously within the crowd then it might have worked.
posted by fire&wings at 3:39 PM on March 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm cut I was too tired to see the Rumjacks play at the Sando last night. Local Irish punk FTW.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 3:40 PM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


and are these the same guys responsible for the samba (?) music in North Sydney Station this morning? thanks for noting...
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 3:41 PM on March 17, 2011


FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUU
posted by basicchannel at 3:44 PM on March 17, 2011


The Irish have gone from blowing up train stations to riverdancing in them, film at 11.
posted by phaedon at 3:46 PM on March 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


The Irish have gone from blowing up train stations to riverdancing in them, film at 11.

Why does violence always escalate? Will the terrorism never end?
posted by maxwelton at 3:53 PM on March 17, 2011 [8 favorites]


I for one got a kick out it and feel no need to make smart aleck remarks or put down those having fun ...go forth and sin no more
posted by Postroad at 3:57 PM on March 17, 2011 [10 favorites]


Subtract all the parents with video cameras, and there were about three people there

I was all weepy when the little girl in the green dress popped her eyes and opened her slack jaw in awe, but then she started dancing too, and I knew the fix was in.
posted by StickyCarpet at 4:03 PM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I saw a Riverdance production years ago, and the dancing was damn good. A friend of mine was taking Irish dance around the same time, and tried to teach me some, but I have neither the coordination nor the stamina. I would have loved this if I'd been in the train station at the time.

Not as much as I would love penguins on a plane, though.
posted by rtha at 4:04 PM on March 17, 2011


I was hoping Casey Heynes would run in & slam the guy in black onto the ground - he was clearly the ringleader.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:05 PM on March 17, 2011


Well, those youngsters seem to be pretty good dancers. It was one of the most contrived, least flash-mobby of these things I've seen, but the kids did a nice job.
posted by marxchivist at 4:12 PM on March 17, 2011


and are these the same guys responsible for the samba (?) music in North Sydney Station this morning? thanks for noting...

Saw this at Wynyard this morning. Not sure what was going on, but it didn't look like a flash mob.
posted by vidur at 4:13 PM on March 17, 2011


I really enjoyed that. Enjoy not being a killjoy, as well.
posted by GriffX at 4:13 PM on March 17, 2011


God, I loathe St Patrick's day. Tonight I am staying indoors and I shall get drunk on SCOTCH.

I'm in New York right now, which is nice. But today I saw a bar advertising a drink called an "Irish Car Bomb". WHAT? That's cool, is it? Fuck. I wonder how they'd like it if they came to London and saw a drink called a "9/11 Hijacker" or maybe an "Afghan IED". Think that'd seem so fucking funny?

Gah. I'm sorry, enjoy your once-a-year Guinness and absurd dead-armed dancing...
posted by Decani at 4:14 PM on March 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm in New York right now, which is nice. But today I saw a bar advertising a drink called an "Irish Car Bomb". WHAT? That's cool, is it? Fuck. I wonder how they'd like it if they came to London and saw a drink called a "9/11 Hijacker" or maybe an "Afghan IED". Think that'd seem so fucking funny?

Indeed, there's also apparently a drink called a Black and Tan which I also find rather abhorrent.
posted by knapah at 4:19 PM on March 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Loved the kid dancing in AF1s ;-)

Thanks for reminding me it's time to put down the homework and go forth to buy Guinness!
posted by toodleydoodley at 4:19 PM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


oh, and I drink Guinness all the time, sort of. that is, anytime I'm someplace where they don't let it spoil in the sun.
posted by toodleydoodley at 4:20 PM on March 17, 2011


At first I was shocked, because what was his promoting? How could something not be being promoted? Was Glee behind this? Chevy? Some sort of bank? And then, of course, the answer was Ireland's tourism board, because nothing can ever just be fun anymore. Sigh.
posted by jenlovesponies at 4:21 PM on March 17, 2011


It is physically impossible for me to think of anything other than this anytime Riverdance is mentioned:

Michael Nelson IS Lord of the Dance!
posted by Horace Rumpole at 4:21 PM on March 17, 2011


It was so contrived and so expected that all the parents waiting with video cameras actually form a circle at the start so they can perform in the middle. It's not really a flash mob then, is it? (Yes, I am a killjoy, why do you ask?)
posted by Jubey at 4:23 PM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Black and Tan as a drink predates the Royal Irish Constabulary Reserve Force by a few decades. I agree on Irish Car Bombs though.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:25 PM on March 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yeah, and as somebody opposed to the cruelty of hunting, I also refuse to drink Jagermeister.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:40 PM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


It was organised by Tourism Ireland. It was never going to be a) authentic, b) good. But it is doing the job... it has nearly 100,000 views on YouTube, it's getting passed around Twitter and it made the front page of MeFi, so I'm happy with the spending of my tax euros, thanks very much.

PS: Come to Ireland! It's a great tourism destination! (We don't really dance in train stations, though; sorry.)
posted by DarlingBri at 4:55 PM on March 17, 2011


FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUU
posted by basicchannel at 3:44 PM on March 17 [+] [!]


That's one too many U's. The correct spelling is: FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUU
posted by sideshow at 5:06 PM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


anyone unable to enjoy this sort of thing really needs to drop to their knees and beg for help.
posted by kitchenrat at 5:09 PM on March 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I thought it was fun. I did Irish dancing as a kid and would have loved to be part of something like this. There's enough stuff in the world to be cynical and angry about; people dancing in a train station is not one of them.
posted by OolooKitty at 5:19 PM on March 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


Well other than some unfortunate wardrobe coices... I liked it.
Irish dance is indeed a test of endurance. You don't want to marry someone too weak to dance, they wouldn't be able to do a day's work. Farm work, the usual work back in the day in particular. Riverdance isn't Real Irish dance though.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 5:22 PM on March 17, 2011


They didn't show any emotion. It was hardly improv.
posted by parmanparman at 5:24 PM on March 17, 2011


And then, of course, the answer was Ireland's tourism board, because nothing can ever just be fun anymore.

Pepsi Green!
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:31 PM on March 17, 2011


I much prefer an arm-liberated Sean-nós and bugger hiding behind the hedge.
posted by unliteral at 5:31 PM on March 17, 2011


Just got off work. Some people in Irish dancing costumes walked by earlier, they didn't spontaneously or tourism board planned start dancing in the store. I was sad.

Now I'm drinking a Black and Tan in honor of Metafilter. The English Bass Ale and Irish Guinness are getting along fine.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:38 PM on March 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I for one got a kick out it and feel no need to make smart aleck remarks or put down those having fun ...go forth and sin no more

They weren't doing it for fun. They were doing it for money. Snark away, I say.

As annoying and embarrassing as flash mobs always are, the sponsored ones are especially obnoxious.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:43 PM on March 17, 2011


You want a St Patrick's day downer? tonight's Pogues show in New York may be the last one in a long time
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:44 PM on March 17, 2011


Well, I liked it. I actually used to dream about this sort of thing as a child: crowds of (apparent) strangers all emerging from large assemblages of people, dancing rhythmically for a minute or two, and then dispersing.

And if nothing else, it reminded me of one of the few things ever to happen on Whose Line that really caught the performers off guard.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:05 PM on March 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


I much prefer an arm-liberated Sean-nós and bugger hiding behind the hedge

Hey you Irish! Keep those hands where I can see 'em!

Signed,

The Opressors.
posted by Catch at 6:05 PM on March 17, 2011


Hey you Irish! Keep those hands where I can see 'em!

Don't shoot sir! I am a British object!
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:06 PM on March 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


We were miles ahead of our Celtic cousins with a big clog dance in Newcastle earlier in the year.
posted by Abiezer at 6:43 PM on March 17, 2011


I just got home from teaching an Irish dance class.

The dance they are performing in the video is a traditional set dance called St. Patrick's Day. It is usually one of the first sets that dancers learn and it's nice to see members of Riverdance and young novice dancers performing something so "basic." I have many complaints with the contemporary state of Irish dance (i.e. wigs, sock glue, tanning legs, $5000 costumes), so the simplicity of the costumes, the traditional music, and the set makes me a happy camper.

Also, the professionalization of Irish dance since the 1990s has completely changed the nature of Irish dance. My fellow dancers and I that came of age in what we call the pre-Riverdance days have clear memories of keeping it a secret the fact that we did traditional folk dancing. Then, all of sudden, BAM! Everyone was interested after Riverdance. Our schools numbers more than quadrupled in one year. Anyone, I still appreciate that this contrived flash mob celebrates that Irish dance went mainstream and everyone knows what it is!

absurd dead-armed dancing
Yes, tradition holds that the arms down at the sides is a sign of protest against British rule. The alternative in so called progressive Irish dance is "cheerleader" style arm movements which, I assure you, is obnoxious. It's also difficult (and a bit unnatural) to keep arms down, elbows straight, hands in loose fists when engaging in all muscles in your lower body, feet, stomach, and back. Trust me.
posted by Hop123 at 7:03 PM on March 17, 2011 [13 favorites]


"anyone unable to enjoy this sort of thing really needs to drop to their knees and beg for help."
I can enjoy this sort of thing just fine, it just has to be done well. This particular effort was bloodless crap.
posted by bricoleur at 7:12 PM on March 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't give a shit, fuck the haters - I'm Irish, raised Catholic, from Boston, in fucking Alaska today for work, gave up beer for Lent so am drinking vodka in my hotel room, and this made me cry like a fookin' baybeh so happy fookin' St Patrick's day to ya, and god bless the little dancin' ones.

Slainte!
posted by tristeza at 7:35 PM on March 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'd love to see a flash mob of Irish desk dancers.
posted by maudlin at 8:36 PM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why is it called a flashmob? Isn't it just a performance in a public area. This is NOT a flashmob.
posted by hal_c_on at 9:52 PM on March 17, 2011


I keep my jigs to the gay disco dance-floors where they belong.
posted by The Whelk at 10:16 PM on March 17, 2011


(Also, with the dancing and the accent and the anti- Queen Elizabeth iconography, was anyone kinda surprised that the latest Alice In Wonderland had, uh, very strong Irish Nationalist overtones or was that just me?)
posted by The Whelk at 10:20 PM on March 17, 2011


I'd love to see a flash mob of Irish desk dancers.

They recently appeared in a McDonald's commercial. Yay?
posted by Sys Rq at 2:51 AM on March 18, 2011


I much prefer an arm-liberated Sean-nós yt and bugger hiding behind the hedge.

Bobby, bobby, don't take me,
Take that feller behind the tree,
He belongs to Popery
And I belong to King Billy...
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:55 AM on March 18, 2011


Black and Tan as a drink predates the Royal Irish Constabulary Reserve Force by a few decades. I agree on Irish Car Bombs though.

It's the association with Irishness that bugs me.

(and to Godwinize, the swastika predates the Nazis, but Carlsberg don't use it to denote their beer's purity anymore...)
posted by knapah at 3:44 AM on March 18, 2011


Not to take anything away from the original post, but holy shit, bricoleur's link is amazing. If I was in the crowd watching that I'd be thinking - Who's next? Who else is on this? Am I in on this? Maybe I just haven't been activated yet ...
posted by zanni at 3:46 AM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


But today I saw a bar advertising a drink called an "Irish Car Bomb". WHAT? That's cool, is it? Fuck.

Irish Car Bombs have been in existence since the 90s. It's not "cool", it's just a drink - a very tasty drink. They are tasty even though I'm uncomfortable with the name, so I just call them "Car Bombs." Of course, "Bomb" is a pretty wide-spread name for any drink which involveds dropping a shot into a beer or another beverage, and is probably offensive to people who have actually been bombed.

Of course, drinking Car Bombs on St. Patty's Day doesn't make any sense - they were developed in the US.
posted by muddgirl at 7:10 AM on March 18, 2011


Knapah, I'm not sure there IS any particular association with Irishness. It's popular around St. Patrick's day for the same reason any drink that includes Guinness is, but the most popular combination is with an English pale ale so it's not exactly nationalist.

There was a Ben and Jerry's controversy over a Black and Tan ice cream released for St. Patrick's day with planning for marketing in Europe, which would be more of an issue.

The most popular bottled version in America is from a brewery founded by immigrants from Germany which markets itself as quintessentially American.

If anything Americans lean towards supporting Irish nationalism too much in their ignorance, there is no way there would be a popular St. Patrick's Day drink honoring a violent anti-Irish militia on purpose. It's just something outside of cultural context, which has happened with swastikas as well.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:04 AM on March 18, 2011


This is neat enough, but can we stop calling non-spontaneous events "flash mobs"? The term was originally supposed to describe spontaneous or at least quickly-organized events, not stuff that people agreed to do at least days in advance, possibly rehearsed, and are using at least in part to promote a product (e.g. Riverdance).

There's got to be a better term than "flash mob" for this. I don't say this as an unqualified fan of spontaneous organizing principles of teh new medias a la howard rheingold, but the people who coined the term and popularized it were trying to describe something emergent, not something planned and frequently exploitative of people's misapprehensions about the nature of the event.

There are niche marketing firms out there now who specialize in organizing "flash mobs" as a promotional gimmick. (I know this because my company has looked into hiring some of them. I do not like this, but it's not something it's fruitful for me to say anything about.)
posted by lodurr at 9:19 AM on March 18, 2011


Irish Car Bombs .... a very tasty drink

I've always found the idea kind of repulsive on a knee-jerk basis. but I suppose people make guiness punch, and it's basically just a more alcoholic, more ad hoc version of that. I suppose.
posted by lodurr at 9:21 AM on March 18, 2011


I've always found the idea kind of repulsive on a knee-jerk basis.

It is extremely repulsive if it's left to curdle - that's why it can really only be delivered in "bomb" form (unlike something like a jaegerbomb, which is just an excuse to chug some red bull) (not that a car bomb isn't just an excuse to chug some baileys-flavored guinness).
posted by muddgirl at 1:18 PM on March 18, 2011


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