Batusi /bæˈtsi/ is a 1960s style go-go dance invented for the Batman television series. The name is a pun on the then-popular dance the Watusi.

Performance

The Batusi is performed by making a horizontal V-sign with one's index and middle fingers of both hands, and drawing them across in front of the eyes, away from the center of the face simultaneously, with the eyes roughly between the fingers. This is performed in time with the music, and is improved upon by continuing to dance with the lower half of the body, simultaneously.

History

The Batusi first appeared in the premiere episode of the 1960s American television series based on the comic book character Batman. It appeared again in the episode "The Pharaoh's in a Rut" that aired three months later.

There are conflicting reports as to who invented the dance, which became a national craze on the dance scene. One account is that it was invented by dance instructor Arthur Murray for Batman, and was supposedly first performed at a cocktail party at a New York City discothèque, Harlow's.[1] But in a 2005 Wizard magazine interview, Adam West claims credit for creating the Batusi's unique moves.[2]

Versions of the dance have reappeared in many television shows, including two episodes of The Simpsons,[3][4] Xena: Warrior Princess,[5] Pinky and the Brain,[6] and Everybody Loves Raymond,[7] and Shaggy refers to the dance in an episode of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You![8] It has also been in movies such as Pulp Fiction, Antz, and Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt although John Travolta's Pulp Fiction character dances with palms facing out, while original Batusi had palms toward dancers face. In The Lego Batman Movie (2017), Alfred Pennyworth ends his recap of Batman film references by mentioning the Batusi, with footage of the dance from "The Pharaoh's in a Rut" playing. In Titans episode, "Bruce Wayne," Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites) hallucinates Bruce Wayne (Iain Glen) as the manifestation of Dick's guilty conscience. While searching a cabaret for info about Deathstroke's associate, Wintergreen, the hallucination of Bruce appears onstage and dances the Batusi while mocking Dick

References

  1. ^ "Dance & Dancing - The Batusi (Batman)". TV Acres. Archived from the original on 2012-09-14. Retrieved 2010-12-25.
  2. ^ "Wizard Entertainment". Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved 2011-11-16.
  3. ^ "Mr. Plow" (originally aired November 19, 1992)
  4. ^ "My Mother the Carjacker" (originally aired November 9, 2003)
  5. ^ "Lifeblood" (originally aired March 13, 2000)
  6. ^ "Brain Drained" (originally aired September 26, 1997)
  7. ^ "Robert's Wedding" (originally aired May 19, 2003)
  8. ^ "Decoy for a Dognapper" (originally aired October 11, 1969)

Further reading