Remember when swine flu happened and we all thought DF was going to be taken over by zombies? I got a glimpse into the Apocalypse that never was this Saturday when I went to check out “Yo si Bailo Thriller” at the Monumento de la Revolución on Saturday. El Universal reports that more than 50,000 people showed up for the event and of those, 11,628 were registered dancers who helped to break the Guiness World Record for most people dancing to Thriller in one place.
When I first read all the hype around the “Yo si Bailo Thriller” event, I thought it was kind of random that the organizers would choose that song to bring together the masses. I’ve always been more of a fan of Billy Jean or Smooth Criminal. But looking out at the rain-soaked women in bloodied wedding dresses, grown men with their heads wrapped in surgical tape and little kids dressed as the dead pop star, it suddenly all made sense. It was so… Mexico. In a place where car accidents, decapitations, and point blank shootings are fodder for the front page of metro tabloids, anything with a tinge of the macabre is a guaranteed hit for the masses. Celebrating the life of a long-cold pop star by recreating a video where said pop star turns into a date-ruining zombie in a graveyard? Sure, why not? Bring the kids too.
The swelling crowd began to grow anxious around 4 pm so the organizers attempted to fend off a zombie attack by playing “Heal the World.” The be-wigged revelers were really into it, but most of them only knew a few choice words and attempted to improv the rest. Then it was time to weirdly wish Ghost Michael a happy 51st birthday.
It was eerie enough hearing the pulsing crowd sing “Las Mañanitas,” the traditional Mexican birthday anthem, but some of the lines were downright creepy, like this one: “Despierta, Michael, Despierta” or, “Wake up, Michael, wake up.”
Then, it was finally time to practice for the main event. An organizer/ voice of God gave the dancers some last minute tips. “Ok, todos somos Zombies,” he said, “Todos somos ZOMBIES!” We’re all zombies here. The practice run went along well, as many of the dancers had been practicing around the city for weeks. But the sense of anticipation was palpable.
What or who was everyone waiting for?
The answer came around 5:30 pm in a glittering white jacket and a taped-up nose – Hector Jackson. The famed Mexican MJ impersonator choreographed the event and showed up just in time to lead the masses in breaking the record.
I had a great vantage point and even fought off a Televisa reporter to get some great footage of HJ’s performance. Unfortunately, something entirely apropos happened to the video. Instead of uploading with the rest of the 87 files I captured, my perfect Thriller video is lurking somewhere in the limbo of my camera’s internal memory. It’s like it’s too awesome to live, but refuses to die.
Instead of Hector Jackson, I leave you with a video that almost sums up the event. Skeletor really wants to heal the world.