WM’s Feel Good Film is an Internet Hit

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A BBC WM short film that got the people of Birmingham dancing in the streets to a mash-up of some of the city's most celebrated music has become an internet hit.

The six minute video - in which professional and amateur dancers perform to a soundtrack featuring everyone from Elgar to ELO - has been watched by hundreds of thousands of people either online or on BBC One's Midlands Today, prompting an outpouring of public pride.

On the night it was launched, #Brummoves became the biggest trending hashtag in Birmingham, with the likes of UB40 and Apache Indian joining in the enthusiastic Twitter chat it sparked.

Duran Duran - one of Birmingham's most successful ever bands - gave it another boost when they retweeted a link to the video, bringing it to the attention of their 124,000 followers with the word 'Chuffed'.

'We'd been talking for a while about creating the ultimate West Midlands sountrack to play on BBC WM,' explains Gareth Roberts, editor of BBC WM. 'This is the city that has brought the world some of Britain's most amazing music, from Elgar and ELO to Duran Duran, Laura Mvula and The Streets.

'Initially our plan was simply to create a track we could play on the radio but we soon realised we had the opportunity to make something bigger than that, something our listeners could keep, share and get involved with.'

The station called on its connections with the International Dance Festival Birmingham to help create the film for which choreographer Rosie Kay provided routines.

'She had experience in getting large groups of people to move and, importantly, making them look good,' says Roberts.

As well as training three professional dancers, Kay also choreographed dozens of community groups and created short dance sequences for the public. These were posted online for people to learn at home, so they could simply turn up and join in for the filming on the streets of Birmingham.

'In one week of frantic filming at locations across Birmingham and the Black Country we prayed for good weather and roped in as many people as possible, including a few of the more agile staff and presenters at BBC WM and Midlands Today,' says Roberts. 'I'm devastated to say that my dancing didn't make the final cut.

'As well as creating a very special piece of radio and a great dance film this was also a chance to show off our city and those who live here.'

Dance students, Jamaican and Bhangra groups, acrobats and an over fifties troupe were among those to perform before some iconic Birmingham and Black Country backdrops.

'Too often people get a little sniffy about Birmingham,' reflects Roberts. 'I believe #Brummoves will make people think again - it shows the city as it really is - a fun, young, vibrant and ambitious place that is and always has been a cornerstone in Britain's musical scene.'

Courtesy BBC