"Dance of the Colonizers"

This video is a response to "In The Land Of The Head Hunters", a 1914 film by Edward S. Curtis.

Before watching the musical "On the Town" for the first time a few years ago (I can be a sucker for Hollywood musicals), I was unaware that this dance sequence existed. Its over-the-top portrayal of the deeply embedded myth of White superiority struck me as both comedic and brutal. It brought back memories of how a few White kids (and even a few non-White kids) would make fun of my Native heritage when I was in elementary and middle school. The dance sequence feels like some sort of training manual for bullies, inviting the movie audience to join in the fun of ridiculing non-Western cultures as backward and primitive.

Curtis' famous film immediately came to mind, so I did some quick video editing and inserted some "ethnic sounding" music that I wrote and voila!, political art!

Video footage from "On The Town" © 1949 Turner Entertainment Co., and used under terms of Fair Use.