The staying power of ‘Gangnam Style’

The staying power of ‘Gangnam Style’

SEOUL - Agence France-Presse
The staying power of ‘Gangnam Style’

Dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei (front) dances with his friends. REUTERS Photo

President Obama, the mayor of London, China’s top dissident artist and Madonna, every time someone signals the death of “Gangnam Style” up pops another high-profile figure to keep the phenomenon alive.
While many believe Psy’s Gangnam Style will ultimately prove to be a one-hit wonder, the song has shown surprising staying power and an unlikely ability to penetrate international corridors of power.

British Prime Minister David Cameron and London Mayor Boris Johnson performed a joint Gangnam Style dance spectacular for their wives in September during a private gathering in the premier’s country retreat Chequers.

If politicians have appropriated the song in an effort to boost their populist credentials, others have used it to drive home an anti-establishment message most notably renowned Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei.

Banned from traveling abroad, Ai posted a Gangnam Style dance parody on YouTube, during which he brandished a set of handcuffs in a clear reference to Beijing’s efforts to silence his outspoken views.

If anything, Psy has since gone from strength to strength, gaining the ultimate showbiz accolade this week by performing a mash-up of Gangnam Style with pop icon Madonna during her concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden.