Sunday, 30th March '08
Michael is a Scientist!
Random youtube watching and surfing last night ultimately lead to this geeky lawyer discovering a certain patent filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office called "Method and Means for Creating Anti-Gravity Illusion".
I attach herewith the full text of US Patent No. 5255452, for your kind perusal.
I know it doesn't sound like very much right now, but you'd be surprised that you might know very well what it does. It explains something I've been wondering about for a few years now. I feel vaguely cheated, having now discovered what should have been a blindingly obvious answer, but I guess I was too eager to believe in His Eternal Dancing Genius, and what would have been impossibly flexible hamstrings.
My newfound respect for his genius, however, is in the ability to take science and make it into an art. I would never have thought to invent a whole new device simply to create a signature dance move, but here it is. As stated in the Description of Prior Art:
"Music entertainers and dancers are constantly searching for new and interesting elements which can be incorporated into their musical and dance performances. Interesting stage design, lighting, fog generators, laser light shows, and large video screens all enhance the appealability of live and recorded performances. Many popular music and dance entertainers expend great efforts in enhancing and choreographing their performances and dancing.
In the past, a professional entertainer, one of the inventors herein, has incorporated dance steps in his recorded video performances, wherein he and other dancers would lean forward beyond their center of gravity, thereby creating an impressive visual effect. This effect was accomplished by the use of cables connecting a harness around the dancer's waist with hooks on a stage, thereby allowing the dancer to lean forward at the required degree. However, since this requires stagehands to connect and then disconnect the cables, it has not been possible to use this system in live performances. Moreover, the cables obviously restricted arm and body movements.
There is disclosed in the prior art footwear which allow the wearer to engage his or her shoes with a stationary object. U.S. Pat. No. 5,042,173 to Blizzard, et al. discloses footwear which can be worn by astronauts and which can be detachably engaged with a rail fixed to a surface to aid astronauts in working in a zero gravity environment. U.S. Pat. No. 1,165,812 to Staubly discloses a rubber overshoe which has a hook on its sole which can be engaged with a plate fixed to a surface to assist in removing the overshoe without having to bending down and touching the overshoes.
However, to the best of our knowledge and belief the prior art does not disclose or suggest the specialized footwear permitting an entertainer to freely move about a stage, while at the same time, enabling engagement with a movable hitch or post, projectable through the stage floor, to enable the illusion to be performed."
And here is an illustration depicting the invention's Preferred Embodiment:
Wah. I'm still semi-reeling from the shock of suddenly being enlightened.
And if you still haven't figured out my gushing, it shall all be revealed:
Watch for 3:50.
[well, the pictures aren't going to take themselves!]