If you ever drink with your friends at roadside places in Ho Chi Minh City at night, you must have seen several young men come to offer white candy sticks after entertaining you, with or without your attention, with pop songs or break-dancing. Nguyen Van Tram, 22, is among these people, but he uses a much more tactical sales pitch: the Michael Jackson-style moonwalk.
Choosing Michael Mac as his ‘stage name,’ Tram was once a member of a dance troupe which performed at local music stages, fairs, and clubs, before ending up selling candy for a living.
He himself formed a group of a dozen young men and taught them the classic dance technique the late King of Pop Michael Jackson used to stunningly execute when he was alive.
Many of the group members who were waiters at on-the-pavement drinking places where Tram frequents decided to quit their jobs to join him simply because they were fascinated by his execution of the MJ-style steps.
To these young men, the city streets are more than the sheer surfaces to walk on. They are their real stages.
Take a look at those MJ wannabes:
Two MJ-style derbies are placed on a loudspeaker Tram uses to provide music for his group’s dance.
Tram executes a moonwalk technique when he is teaching the dance to his group members.
Before setting off for a ‘business night,’ Tram’s group spends about an hour on dance practice and sound testing.
A group member imitates the classic steps once perfectly executed by the music legend Michael Jackson.
Another tries to mimic the American talent’s moves.
Thao, a physically impaired group member, dances on his only leg in front of a drinking place on Thanh Thai Street, District 10, Ho Chi Minh City.
Many candy-selling troupes in the city have switched to the moonwalk following Tram’s success. Some of them even include children in the dance to differentiate themselves from Tram’s group.