A video of almost 200 people taking over Antwerpen's Centraal Station in Belgium and doing a carefully choreographed dance to the Do Re Mi song (aka Maria's Dance aka Maria's Song) from "Sound of Music" has garnered almost a million views on YouTube, and continues to grow, sprouting a new round of google trends today.
People like viral videos, they like flash mobs, and they like weird junk on the Internet, but this video has struck an especially emotional chord with those who've watched it. The folks at Shallow Nation called it a "sheer joy to watch"; Dancer Universe blog chirped, "How could you not smile for hours? I'm smiling now just typing this!"; and Salon.com's Table Talk offered this to the discussion:
"The dancers are presenting the purest form of art imaginable: art simply and truly for the sake of art...They managed to punch right through my cynicism and show me that good things are still out there and there are good people in the world...In a small way, I have a deeper understanding of what it is to be human because of the actions of 200 fellow humans in a train station in Belgium."
It's a publicity stunt for a reality show, but that doesn't seem to bother anyone, they just like it for what it is: a really cool, well shot video, that lets average people express their joy and talent and make those around them happy for a brief period. The producers chose the exact right song: one that harkens back to our childhoods, but also recalls Maria's unabashed upbeatness in the face of evil. We're in a global economic crisis, America's fighting two wars, there's genocide in Darfur, AIDs running rampant, and a pretty good shot that we could all be killed by bird flu in a year or two. We need this video.