This week I present a highly subjective showcase of eight classic music videos where the dancing makes up a major part of the appeal:
8. “Uptown Funk” – Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars
The funky coolness of this monster hit tribute to classic seventies grooves is perfectly captured in the choreography.
7. “Never Catch Me” – Flying Lotus and Kendrick Lamar
6. Weapon of Choice – Fatboy Slim
The first of two Fatboy Slim / Spike Jones collaborations on this list, this video featured oddball cult favorite Christopher Walken indulging a previously unguessed-at passion for dance.
5. Tightrope – Janelle Monae
The Archandroid bursts out of a mental asylum in this playful and stylish video.
4. “Here It Goes Again” – OK Go (above)
The video that made OK Go famous, “Here It Goes Again” is a low-budget, high concept video that ushered in the YouTube era by showing how cleverness, creativity and plain old hard work and practice could produce magic.
3. Single Ladies – Beyonce
Unquestionably one of the most influential dance-oriented music videos ever, Beyonce’s statement of female empowerment is matched by a distinctive dance that is aggressively sensual without a single hint of vulnerability or compromise.
2. “Praise You” – Fatboy Slim
Voted best video of all time by MTV viewers in 2001, this odd, surreal piece of mockumentary filmmaking features director Spike Jonze deeply in character as the head of a dauntless amateur dance troupe. Perhaps best appreciated as an ode to self-expression.
1. Smooth Criminal – Michael Jackson
Any rundown of best dance music videos could be filled entirely with Michael Jackson tracks, but this is my personal favorite, because of the way the background choreography both compliments and elevates Michael’s inimitable brilliance.