There is something innately satisfying about watching people who are more talented than I am do amazing things. Isn’t it life-affirming to know that all of that amazing ability is floating around in the universe, even if you don’t actually have it? No? You want some of that ability? OK, fine, that's fair. But I dare you to be grouchy about it as you watch this fantastic video, which pairs 1970s Afrobeat with contemporary dancing in a way that seems to defy the laws of both physics and human anatomy.
According to Okayafrica, Fela Flex is a short film intended to introduce new listeners to the music of Fela Kuti, the Nigerian musician and activist widely regarded as the founder of Afrobeat. In the video, five dancers gyrate, contort, slide, glide, and flow to the complex, pulsing rhythms of Kuti’s 1976 anti-military government song, “Zombie.” These remarkable Brooklyn-based dancers, who can also be found in the 2013 documentary Flex is Kings , practice a distinctive street dancing style is known as “flexing.” Okayafrica, which co-published the film, emphasizes Fela Flex’s interplay of classic music with contemporary dance, a pairing intended “to shed a modern light on the vintage Nigerian horns and drums of afrobeat.”
As wonderful as all of these dancers are, I have to say that the guy at the 53-second mark who can apparently dislocate his shoulder is making me kind of queasy. Sir, you are incredibly talented. Now please stop.
You can check out more information about Fela Kuti and these crazy-talented dancers at Okayafrica.