BB Video: "Dance Dance Revolution. With Flamethrowers. Pointed At You."

(Download / YouTube)

In today's episode of Boing Boing Video, we experience the funky flaming glory that is DANCE DANCE IMMOLATION, a pyro-parody of the popular arcade game in which one jumps around on touch-sensitive pads underfoot in rhythm with music. With DDI, you do this inside a flame-retardant suit. Miss a step, you get torched with a giant flamethrower.

Dance Dance Immolation combines video games, music, and propane. You play DDR. A good performance wins you acclaim from flamethrowers. A missed step gets you a face full of fire! Yes, the fire is real. Put on a fireproof suit and give it a try!
The contraption was created by the clan of happy mutant makers known as Interpretive Arson. We shot this at "How to Destroy the Universe," a yearly Industrial culture event which this year honored Throbbing Gristle's reunion tour. Laughing Squid has a related blog post here.

We hear they're next performing at the "Smukfest" art confab in Denmark.

(Update): Nicole Aptekar of Interpretive Arson pops in with more on the upcoming .dk gig:
DDI next heads across the pond to burninate the Scandinavians, where we have been gleefully booked for the Smukfest music festival in Skanderborg, Denmark, August 5-9. It's a beautiful setting for our first European run, within a lush green forest. However, trees are flammable so DDI will run on a custom-constructed raft floating in the middle of a lake. We've had to skip our normal West Coast circuit to do it, but it might just be worth it if we get to shoot Kylie Minogue with fire.

CREW NOTE: About this episode's host, Aaron Muszalski (aka SFSlim): He's a Burning Man builder, visual effects artist and educator, and a wandering polyglamorous anarcho-Dada Buddhist biker punk. He's on Twitter. In this episode, you'll also see our delightful recurring guest host Charis Tobias, who is all of 18 years old if memory serves. And thanks to our SF-based shooter-producer Eddie Codel who did a fine job capturing the madness on this piece, yet again.

(Photo below by Kristen Ankiewicz, courtesty Interpretive Arson)

Sponsor shout-out: This Boing Boing Video episode is brought to you in part by, in partnership with Intel and Asus. is a site where users come together to "share ideas, images and inspiration about the ideal PC." Participants' designs, feature ideas and community feedback will be evaluated by ASUS and "will influence the blueprint for an actual notebook PC built by ASUS with Intel inside."


  1. @micah, oh come on. We frequently revisit subjects we might have covered in a fleeting, quick blog post for the show. I don’t know if you realize this, but a hell of a lot more preparation, production, time, and person-hours go into producing a typical episode of Boing Boing Video than a fast blog post, like the one i did back in 2005 which you reference here. Video is different. We’re exploring the story in a different way, with — well, video, for chrissakes! And besides, is there some Supreme Internet Commandment I don’t know about that says you’re not allowed to post twice about something you find interesting within the span of 5 years?

  2. I did this in 2007. It was completely awesome.

    And Kristen is fabulous as well! (Hi if you’re reading this)

  3. @xeni, like I said, it’s still completely awesome. I actually remember reading the original post and wanting to see some better video. But a little link back would be cool. And it’s particularly weird that Aaron Muszalski begins, “I’m here at the debut of Dance Dance Immolation, at How to Destroy the Universe Part 6.” The phrasing makes it sound like this is the original debut of DDI, not the first time it’s been at HTDTU (which is what I assume he actually meant).

    Keep up the good work. Fun police, over and out.

  4. @micah, Aaron was explaining that this was the first time DDI was presented at this particular annual event.

  5. If you’re in Denmark this summer, DDI is going to be running at Smukfest.

    I wonder if there is any other installation anywhere that shoots fire at untrained participants?

  6. @micah (7) and Xeni:

    Actually, you both misheard me. I didn’t say “debut”, but rather, “d’jibuu”, a Somali word meaning “beautiful disaster”.

  7. I sure hope all the songs are about fire!

    Burnin’ Down the House
    Burning up for your love

  8. I got to do this the first year they had it at Burning Man… it was basically visible from my camp, and I watched them set it up, tweak it, get it working, and then I saw a few people survive “playing” DDI.

    So I tried it out.

    I kinda think the experience of getting shot in the face with gallons of flaming propane is like Mancow getting waterboarded… “Bah! It’s just a little water! It’s so easy!”

    But when you are standing there and get shot in the face, you kinda stop for a second. H.o.l.y.s.h.i.t.

    Of course, then you miss the NEXT cue from DDI, so you get flamed AGAIN almost instantly!

    Would I do it again?

    Oh yeah! I’d do it again in a millisecond!

  9. lol I was one of the first beta testers(I think that I might have been the first one shot in the face with flames), and did a little bit of fabrication work on it as well. I haven’t talked to any of those kids in years though . . . I should really hit them up, thanks boingboing!

  10. I saw them my first year at BM in 05; I thought of signing up for a try but in the end didn’t go through with it as I couldn’t commit to an appointment when I had no way of keeping time. I’ll never forget my first encounter while biking across the darkened playa, two silver figures, like moonwalkers dancing to techno and sudden bursts of flame.. will definitely remain one of those unforgettable moments..

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