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Music Fans Topic Challenge #2 - Dancing


Michael Jackson's Thriller music video was arguably the most influential music video ever, and its iconic zombie dance has been widely imitated in popular culture. But the trope of the dancing dead ("Danse Macabre") is far older.

I know of several subsequent (mainstream) music videos featuring the dancing dead --My Chemical Romance's "Helena", the Dixie Chicks' "Goodbye Earl" and Flying Lotus' "Never Catch Me," to name a few of the best. But were there any before "Thriller"? If so, what was the first music video to feature the dancing dead?

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I can't say with certainty, but an early candidate is from Disney's "Silly Symphonies" cartoons from 1929. In the example below, we have a Iwerks, Clark & Jackson cartoon devoted to a dance of the skeletons. Music is by Carl Stalling and adapts Edvard Grieg's "March of the Dwarfs".

Silly Symphony #1 - The Skeleton Dance (1929)

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