Time Warp

From Academic Kids

The Time Warp is a dance featured in the cult film The Rocky Horror Picture Show, performed during the chorus of the song of the same name. The song is both an example and a parody of the dance song genre in which much of the content of the song is given over to dance step instructions. Participation in the dance is one of the major audience-participation activities during screenings of the film. It has become a popular song beyond the reaches of the cult film, and is often played at dances and weddings. Cover versions have been recorded by artists such as the Groovie Ghoulies, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, and Sebastian Bach, a 1980's "hair-metaller".

The basic dance step is described in the chorus of the song:

It's just a jump to the left.
And then a step to the right.
With your hands on your hips.
You bring your knees in tight.
But it's the pelvic thrust
(three pelvic thrusts forward)
That really drives you insane.
Let's do the time-warp again.

After which the dancers turn around and repeat the same motions.

A tap dance often appears in the middle of the song, but recent versions have replaced it with such diverse substitutes as a Dance Dance Revolution pattern, an air guitar solo, and a rally-like chant.

The song, fourth in the film (after "Science Fiction/Double Feature," "Dammit Janet," and "Over at the Frankenstein Place") or the fifth song in the play (Sweet Transvestite precedes Time Warp in the stage version), consists of verses sung by alternating characters, serving as the introduction to two of them, and choruses sung by the chorus of "Transylvanians" and the Criminologist (played by Charles Gray). The characters that sing the verses are, in order, Riff-Raff (Richard O'Brien), Magenta (Patricia Quinn), and Columbia (Little Nell Campbell). After the second full chorus, Columbia launches into her tap dance (see above).

As well, the song is reprised/revisited briefly at the end of the film, in flashback.


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