Anyone who has been on the internet since September knows about a mysterious video titled “Jian Sword Dancing”. Sans credit or description outside of the title and a brief “You probably can’t do it”, the video contained what looked like two siblings skillfully dancing with dangerous swords and knives in their backyard while their grandmother looked on. The bizarre combination of what’s been described as a “Napoleon Dynamite”-like setting and the skilled, choreographed dancing quickly became a hit. If readers can’t imagine why, here’s a quick look to refresh our collective memory:
For months, the Jian Sword Dancing video and its older sibling, the Balisong Dancing video remained mysteries. Viewers were left to their own devices to piece together the stories of everyone involved. What many assumed were the home videos of a laid back suburban family who just happened to have some pretty extreme weaponry skills was just revealed to be the work of Kyle Frere. The young photographer’s assistant is the one swinging the knife in the video, and the one behind creating it. His friend, a photographer named Erica, is the lady behind the sword. The old woman observing the two with a beer is actually Frere’s great-aunt, who is staying with him.
Their secret identities were revealed when they appeared again in a music video for Major Lazer’s “Original Don”. While it may seem like the original videos were created to tease the upcoming collaboration, it was Major Lazer, the dancehall act/art collaboration between DJs Diplo and Switch that approached Frere. Diplo and Ferry Gouw, the illustrator for Major Lazer’s covers were both impressed with what they saw and asked Frere to do an additional video to the tune of their song. Frere’s other uploads had just been for some bizarre fun up to that point, and his latest video doesn’t deviate much from their usual activity. Check it out below!
Mallory "Friday" Soto is the Editor of Cool Sh!t, Joonbug's source for internet culture, tech, charity, and the arts. A former Lit zine editor and comic book fan, she comes from a background of short stories and tales of masked vigilantes. She's a native New Yorker and avid video game fan.