The LA-based music group OK Go, got together with Google Japan and Pilobolus to make a love letter music video to Japan using HTML 5. The music video for the song “All Is Not Lost” was posted on YouTube four days ago. The choreography might remind you of a Los Angeles native son: choreographer Busby Berkeley.
In the first week after the earthquake, Google Japan reached out to OK Go. It’s a message of positivity and hope–how we as a human race can rise to be the best possible community.
- OK Go and Pilobolus message to Japan
The video was directed by Trish Sie (choreographer) along with OK Go and Pilobolus. It works best on, what else? Google Chrome.
- All Is Not Lost website
- OK Go Website
OK Go is a rock band that formed in Chicago, but is now based in Los Angeles and composed of Damian Kulash on guitar and providing lead vocals, Tim Nordwind on bass guitar, Dan Konopka on drums and percussion and Andy Ross on guitar and keyboards.
They won a Grammy in 2007 for the best short form music video “Here It Goes Again.” The video also won a YouTube Most Creative Video award.
Pilobolus is a type of fungi that grows on herbivore dung, but in 1971 at Dartmouth College a dance class taught by Alison Becker Chase became the basis for a contemporary dance company called Pilobolus. You’re probably seen them perform their contortions. They use the bodies of the performers to interact and form things such as at the 2007 Academy Awards where their act was done behind a translucent white screen to form the Oscar statue, and logos or scenes for various movies such as “Happy Feet,” “Little Miss Sunshine,” “Snakes on a Plane” and “The Departed.”
Pilobolus has three companies: Pilobolus Dance Theatre which is the touring group, Pilobolus Institute which is their educational programming group and Pilobolus Creative Services which is the group for film, advertising and publishing. The theatre group is based in Washington Depot, Connecticut.
The performance video for “All Is Not Lost” might remind you of work by the Los Angeles-born Busby Berkeley (1895-1976). That Hollywood choreographer and director was well-known for his musical numbers that formed geometric shapes and patterns in a kaleidoscopic effect.
Berkeley choreographed the Warner Bros. musicals “42nd Street,” “Footlight Parade,” “Gold Diggers of 1933” and “Fashions of 1934.”
Although he was removed as director for the Judy Garland vehicle “Girl Crazy,” he choreographed and directed the number “I Got Rhythm.” Remember Carmen Miranda’s “Lady in the Tutti-Frutti Hat”? That was for the 1943 20th Century-Fox movie “The Gang’s All Here” and was choreographed by Berkeley.
Berkeley also choreographed numbers for Esther Williams films.
- Compare Busby Berkeley musical numbers to OK Go.
Berkeley looked from above but Pilobolus and OK Go look from below. Initially the perspective is disconcerting, but eventually you lose the sense that you’re looking at butts and see shapes. The worm’s eye view angle also at first obscures individual identities. In the end, it’s fun.