I just learned about the “Strumphosentanz” (panty hose dance) through a neat, brief article by Robert Gonzalez on i09, and after being mesmerized by the video, learned that this optical illusion dance is relatively common. A YouTube search reveals numerous performances, but I like the fact that the one sampled above is also SHOT in black-and-white, echoing the uncanny way that photography and video are inherent re-presentations — doubles for reality — and capable of giving life to something that is inherently not there, not present, at all.
All film is uncanny by that logic. But in the Strumphosentanz, there is also a peculiar way in which the automation of the bodies, the subordination of the human to the inhuman, and the multiplicity of the dancers as a sort of “paper people chain” of identical doubles… all contribute to the uncanny effect of this folk dance.
The legs almost move of their own accord. But what’s more disturbing is that the interstitial body — the imaginary one between partners — is missing its head.