After Christopher Guest’s Best In Show, it seemed like every dog show eccentricity had been captured and heightened to such an extent that the actual thing just wouldn’t be funny anymore. But, as always, even the most ridiculous fiction is no match for the endless absurdity of reality. Consider, for example, a woman and her dog performing a choreographed dance routine to Evanescence’s “Bring Me To Life” at the 2020 Crufts dog show.
Thanks to a recent tweet from @qDot that excerpts this remarkable instance of canine-human performance art, we now know that the UK dog show hosts a competitive event called the International Freestyle Heelwork To Music. As the above clip shows, this contest inspires people to do things like spend hours working with their pet until their canine brains have wrapped around the structure of Evanescence singles and their owner’s strange human body cues well enough to dance around in time to music.
Look at this performance! Imagine the training regimen that went into teaching this dog how to weave between its owner’s legs and that, most importantly, it should do a little barrel roll or running jump when the chorus kicks in. Imagine the long days spent listening to “Bring Me To Life,” pockets filled with kibble, until the dog had learned to sit up on its back legs or hold hands during the song’s bridge. Reflect on the emotional intensity of two species coming together as one to create art.
If you want more where this came from—and we suspect you do—we’re happy to say that Crufts has made the entire 2020 International Freestyle Heelwork To Music competition available online. In the first part alone, we see not only the Swiss team’s Evanescence dance, but also a Hungarian duo performing to music from Beauty And The Beast, a team from Denmark where a human dressed in a witch costume and her companion dance to the Hocus Pocus theme song, and a Norwegian woman in a fox costume frolicking around a fake Christmas tree with her border collie.
The next Crufts dog show is set to begin on July 15th, which is good since, if 2020's installment of the Freestyle Heelwork competition is anything to go by, we now have something to look forward to this year.
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