HIGHLIGHT | TOKYO GEGEGAY turns creepy into cool #www
January 2016, Tokyo. I attend the All Japan Super Kids Dance Contest event and during the judges demo, I was attracted by Mikey’s performance : the character, her universe, her dance style, her gothic look… all those were giving her a lugubrious, dark queen, voodoo witch, exorcist – you name it – aspect which I was struck by. However, as much as I liked it, I didn’t try to explore deeper after that.
TOKYO GEGEGAY, #wonderful #wild #women
November 2016, Wakayama. short moment of depression. Lying on my bed doing nothing, the image of Mikey the gothic queen crosses my mind. Is it in connection with my dreary state of mind or is it a coincidence? I nevertheless deepen my investigation and discover that she is the leader of a group,「東京ゲゲゲイ」Tokyo Gegegay.
With a mysterious name that evokes celebration or stuttering and in an LGBT spirit, a meticulously beautiful website, millions of views on Youtube… I’m sure they’re not the “small group”.
# WILD : a peculiar style
I choose a random video,「連合」because of the thumbnail which invites to watching : 4 persons with a zombie schoolgirls look, but not dirty, dusty, crappy zombies like those in Resident Evil, no… I’m talking about japanese-style zombies, The Grudge-style.
* rengō : alliance
The first seconds show a parody of asian sentimental comedies (1). It’s nice but not crazy, the make-up isn’t neat (deliberately?), tired and dusty wigs have me doubting… I’m harsh, that’s true, but I’m just describing my first impression
At 45 seconds, the magic operates. Not so much dance ou rather yes, sitted, with only the top half of the body (head, face, neck, arms, shoulders, torso…) ; that’s all the beauty and ingenuity of the scene. These gestures in music that come from nowhere – but surprisingly well placed – give a musical aspects, without the glitter and the corniness.
At 2 min 25 seconds, things take a dramatical change. For the best or the worst, I couldn’t really choose. It’s striking, creative and generates a mishmash of emotions : embarrassment or disgust, attraction, laughter… It’s creepy and extraordinary at the same time, these two aspects collide and complement each other permanently. It’s the harmony of the beautiful and the bizarre.
(1) : I didn’t know the first time I watched it but this video is indeed a parody of the comedy duo 日本エレキテル連合 (Nippon elekiteru rengo) sketch : dame yo, dame dame!
# WONDERFUL : blending genres
A solid base of voguing, a dash of tutting, popping and animation on the fly, a pinch of newstyle and finally, the x-factor.
Each video, each choreography has this surprising side, it’s not necessarily a well determined dance style but a way to approach the creation, an angle of view related to the theme.
For example,「さよならダーリン」, the x-factor would be the bike choreo and all the creativity it implies.
* sayōnara darling : good bye, darling
Other example,「葬儀」. We’re in an atmosphere of mourning and funerals but in parallel, we have the bubbly Uptown funk from Mark Ronson… Don’t believe me just watch.
* sōgi : funerals service
# WOMEN : who are they?
The group formed in 2013, around the leader Mikey. On the occasion of the 5th season of DANCE HERO, broadcast on Telebi Tokyo, Mikey chooses 4 people among her own students and together they participate in the contest. The work they present「キテレツメンタルワールド」is created from Mikey’s world views. They get the highest score in recent years and a shower of praises from the jury.
* kiteretsu mentaru warudo : a very bizarre mental world
Tokyo Gegegay is composed of five members :
- Mikey, the pillar, the matriarch, if I may say so. She is at the root of this little strange universe that characterizes the group. Apart from that, she likes to drink, smoke as well as feminine wrestling.
- Bow, from Saitama, fan of reading. She can cook rice like nobody’s business.
- Marie, pronounced Marié, whose special skill is to keep balance.
- Yuyu, from Gunma, loves to sing, dance and calligraphy. Princess Mononoke is one of her favourite movies.
- Miku, the youngest, who loves to sleep, eat and who collect stationnery. She’s a Beyoncé admirer. Hell, she could be me…
That’s it for today’s highlight. On that, mata ne