Human Interest

Australia pays tribute to Tina Turner with virtual Nutbush Dance

By Rocio Otoya

Sydney, Australia, May 26 (EFE).- Tributes to late rockstar Tina Turner reached the heart of the Australian desert, where thousands of fans are called in July to dance to the rhythm of “Nutbush City Limits,” a song many consider to be an unofficial national dance that flooded social media with videos.

Since the news of Turner’s death broke Wednesday in Switzerland, students, athletes and even state officials honored the queen of rock by teaching her steps in this choreography, popular among all ages, also known as the “Australian Macarena.”

The finishing touch to these spontaneous tributes will be provided by thousands of fans who will gather in the heart of the desert to try to break the record for the largest number of people dancing the emblematic song simultaneously.

The remote Big Red Bash festival in Birdsville, the gateway to the mythical Munga-Thirri Simpson desert, launched a call to surpass the previous record of 4,084 people dancing to the tune.

“Let’s all unite in what will be one of Australia’s biggest tributes to legendary Nutbush City Limits singer Tina Turner,” the festival’s message read.

“Nutbush City Limits,” a song in which the artist talks about her native town Nutbush in Tennessee, United States, was released in 1973 and quickly conquered Australians, especially in rural areas, where it is common for people to line up kicking their feet to the rhythm of the melody.

Turner never danced these moves to the song but inexplicably, the Nutbush dance has become a national fever in Australia.

The love Australia has for its “Nutbush” is not limited to this dance by Turner but also to others such as “Proud Mary,” another of her emblematic songs also danced in Zumba classes in tribute to the star, a frenetic dancer and an overwhelming presence on stage.

The relationship between the American singer, whose real name was Anna Mae Bullock, and Australia dates back to the late 1970s, when Turner’s career came to be managed by Australian Roger Davis, who also managed Olivia Newton-John.

It was Davis who convinced the rocker – who had fled an abusive relationship with her husband Ike Turner – that the song “What’s Love Got to Do with It” was going to be a worldwide success, although it was not entirely convincing to the artist herself.

But the single written by Scotsman Graham Lyley and Australian-British Terry Britten has become the best-selling single of her long musical career.

Australia’s love for Tina Turner was also captured in the post-apocalyptic film “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” (1985), by Australian director George Miller, where the singer plays “Aunty Entity” and sings the opening and closing songs “One of the living” and “We don’t need another hero (Thunderdome.)”

Turner was also the star of the “golden age” of the Australian rugby league, starring in a video clip to promote the sport among young generations and performed the song “The Best” in the final of the tournament in 1993 EFE


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