The Vocaloid Dance Contest at the J-Pop Summit Festival featured fourteen contestants. All the contestants ended up choosing one of three
Vocaloid songs, First Kiss!, Luka Luka * Night Fever or
Strobo Nights. Their first step was to submit a YouTube video of their dancing. For the actual contest,
they dressed up and danced live in front of the audience and the
The contest judges were two members of Danceroid, Ikura and Kozue. Danceroid became well known for their
Odottemita videos on Nico Nico Douga of dances to Vocaloid songs. As
their fame grew, they started releasing DVDs and performing at live
events. This festival was their first appearance in Northern
California. In addition to being judges, they performed on stage, led
a dance workshop and were part of the contest's grand prize. Their
role in the prize was to dance with the contest winner.
Tiffany won the grand prize. Our impression is that she understood
the ramifications of Danceroid choosing who would dance with them and
that her key point for winning was to be respectful to Danceroid and
Danceroid fans. Tiffany's costume might not have been recognizable to
everyone in the audience, but Ikura commented that it matched the
outfit she wore for Danceroid's first DVD. Tiffany danced to Strobo
Nights, the longest of the three songs. The judges recognized that
Tiffany's dancing matched Danceroid's dancing. When all three danced
together at the contest
finale, it was amazing to see how in sync they were without ever
having rehearsed together.
Cherry, who wore a very cute yellow maid outfit and danced to
First Kiss!, won as runner up. Simon, who dressed as male
Vocaloid Kaito and also danced to First Kiss!, impressed one of
judges as being like Kaito come to life and received an honorable
mention for being the only male brave enough to compete. All the
contestants danced well and the judges had something nice to say to
each of them.
In addition to Danceroid's presence on Nico Nico Douga, they have a
Youtube page which
has a video for DANCEROID 1st DVD showing Ikura wearing the white with pink
Kozue blogged about the contest (in Japanese, of course).
Want to be credited, or have a correction for us or don't want your picture on-line?
Email us with subject "jpsf2011 pics" at
One way to look at the Vocaloid phenomenon is as genre that exemplifies
how to use computers and the internet for music and dance.
The name "Vocaloid" comes from Yamaha's
Vocaloid computer software. This software synthesizes vocals for
songs as an alternative to a human singer. It complements the
keyboards/synthesizers and drum machines or their software-only
equivalents that were available to computer music hobbyists since the
late 1980's. As Vocaloid software started to become available in the
mid 2000's, hobbyists had all the tools required to make songs in a
wide range of styles.
Future Media brought Vocaloid products to market taking advantage
of the internet. Software was associated with anime-style fictional
characters such as cute, cyan-haired Hatsune Miku. The company
encouraged a community to form around both the software and the
characters by creating a web site for sharing Vocaloid based media for
non-commercial purposes with a license similar to a Creative Commons
license. Hatsune Miku grew from humble beginnings as box art to staring
in Toyota Corolla ads.
Internet video sharing sites, Nico Nico Douga from Japan and
YouTube from America, were ideal for song length videos, whether CG
animated or live action. Videos of song covers, Utattemita
($B2N$C$F$_$?(B, "I sang"/"I tried singing it") and
videos of dancing to songs, Odottemita
($BMY$C$F$_$?(B, "I danced"/"I tried dancing it")
became popular. Vocaloid's flood of new songs took advantage of this,
allowing outstanding songs to find an audience. Songs that were highly
viewed could become hits themselves, be recorded by professional
artists, be performed at live events or be used in
more. Vocaloid artists grew to become a mix of hobbyists, indie
artists and professionals.
Increasing use computers/internet/electronics for entertainment
and rising worldwide interest in anime, manga and other Japanese pop
culture benefited Vocaloid. There is no way to know if decades from
now Vocaloid will still be cool and have a vibrant community. If leeks
(a recurring element of the genre's videos and images) still appear at
rock concerts and in commercials, then it will be a sign of that this