Call Yoko Ono anything you like – that eccentric avant-garde artist who loudly chants nonsensical noises in museums; that controversial political activist who’s all about peace and dressing up in bags; or even harsher, call her the reason The Beatles broke up. We're not one to take sides, but call Yoko the scene’s newest dance sensation? Now that’s something that catches our attention! This time Yoko’s expressing herself once again (whether you like it or not) in her video for her new single “Bad Dancer”, and contrary to whatever apprehensions or fears you may have gathered from its title, we mean it when we say we’re proud to dance to this one.
We may be mildly sarcastic at times, but we’re not pulling any legs here; what Ono and her Plastic Ono Band have made is a legit piece of dancework that will get your insides tripping on its deep grooves and powerfully raw arrangements, combining calculated 808 beats and sparse live percussion with minimalist pop elements – all put into perspective with Yoko’s unruly vocal style that straddles the line between brilliance and insanity. As always, Mrs Lennon says what she says with a 110 per cent, and if she’s gonna tell us that “When your heart is dancing/ Your mind is bouncing” with the conviction of an innocent kid who believes in Santa, who are we to deny that that is true? We’ll happily take your word for it, madam.
Judging by her appropriately light-hearted video, it looks like we weren’t the only ones convinced by Ono's sincere embracing mentality. The video amusingly features guest appearances from Cibo Matto, Beastie Boys Mike D and Ad-Rock, ?uestlove from The Roots, and comedian Reggie Watts amongst other straight-faced personalities, dancing like there’s no tomorrow in front of an abstract painting that Yoko improvises on the spot. The end result, albeit awkward, is a communal celebration of expression through dance, and that’s exactly where Yoko hits you with the moral of her simple story. So what if you’re a bad dancer? Just do it with no regrets! Then you’ll have as much fun as everyone in this video. And if you don’t agree, then that just makes it one more reason why Yoko Ono is cooler than you.
Text Kevin Ho