Of all the curios I’ve come across the internet since beginning this blog, the kinetic wonder that is Sara Carlson is indubitably a personal favorite. For the camp aficionado, watching her dance is a transcendental, yet enigmatic, experience. She moves in ways that are positively superhuman, her facial expressions are like tractor beams determined to pull you into her orbit of fabulousness, and those costumes are simply out of control. At the same time, there’s so little information about Sara Carlson that she’s practically like the Loch Ness Monster of camp pleasure. We have document occurrences but little substantial information to support or explain her existence.
How did she find herself in Italy, and where did she go after her stint on Al Paradise? What’s she been up to in the past two-and-a-half decades, and where is she now? While many of these questions demand answers, I’m quite pleased to say that I can at least vouch for Sara Carlson’s existence. We’ve made contact, and she walks among us! Seriously, check it out:
And not only has she found us, but we can now find her whenever we want thanks to the wonders of MySpace. Thanks, outdated social network of the early aughts!
Even better, though, is that her MySpace has several more videos posted, and–dare I say it? Yes, I do dare!–they’re even more incredible than the last round. I hope you like your paradigms shifted, because that’s what these videos will do.
First up is the music video for Sara Carlson’s song “New Day.” The dancing is the patented brand of Sara Carlson brilliance we’ve all come to know and love, but her costumes are what really send this video into a whole new stratosphere. They’re part Madonna, part street wear, a splash of Copacabana showgirl, and all ridiculous; or, in shorthand, “deeply 80s.” There’s also her hat. Really, just watch it for her hat:
I covet that hat! And I didn’t mention that she raps or that she’s LAUNCHED INTO SPACE AT THE END, did I? We all need surprises, and those little details are just too good to spoil. No need to thank me. You’re already welcome.
Next is an Ms. Carlson’s interpretive dance to a performance by jazz violinist Stefan Grappelli. She doesn’t show up ’til the :40 mark, but you get the singular joy of watching Sara Carlson dance with a chair once she does. Dance props are the new black, y’all:
Did they really need to keep cutting back to the happy old man and his violin? I get that he’s talented in his own right, but why aren’t the cameras focused on their real star of this performance? Whatever, beggars can’t be blahblahblahs, and watching the particular pleasure of this Sara Carlson chair dance is a veritable feast in its own right.
Still, the winner of the Pièce de Résistance award has to go to Sara Carlson’s “Surreal Strong Edgey [sic] Warrior Dance.” To call this performance “surreal” is like me claiming I’m just in my “bicurious experimental phase.” Seriously, there just aren’t words to accurately express this one:
On one hand, from the dance moves to the costumes to the weird barbed-wire-fenced set to the music to the extended slow-motion battle sequence, this absolutely takes the entire batshit crazy (in the best ways possible, natch) cake in terms of available Sara Carlson performance footage. On the other hand, there’s something about this number that makes me feel like this is less just profoundly inspired lunacy but more profoundly inspired brilliance. Everything else we’ve seen at least is explainable as it’s-just-a-product-of-the-80s ridiculousness, but this feels straight-up avant garde. This isn’t just camp genius, y’all; its bonafide sublime. Agreed?
Update (Nov. 16, 2009): Light a candle and shed a tear. Sara Carlson’s “New Day” seems to have disappeared from the interwebs. Fortunately we’ve still got the shorter version, “Celebration,” for our viewing pleasure. There may be no Sara Carlson rap, but it’s still hattastic and space-boundalicious: