If you’ve seen the viral video Thought of You, by BYU professor Ryan Woodward, there was something familiar about Google’s home page Wednesday, May 11.
A 12-second “Google Doodle” celebrating the 117th birthday of influential dancer and choregrapher Martha Graham was created by none other than Woodward.
"It's kind of fun because a lot of people are reaching out to me and saying, 'I saw the Google thing and thought, hey, they ripped off Ryan Woodward,’" said Woodward. “Then they see it was actually me and they are excited."
Woodward said email is now flowing into his accounts like a constant digital river. Both of his websites have also crashed today. (They’re back up now.)
Woodward said the way the whole thing went down was quite the coincidence. Google reached out to Woodward in March, a couple weeks before the Martha Graham Dance Company was slated to visit BYU for a performance.
When Woodward agreed to do the animation, Google offered to fly him out to New York to meet with the dance company. Then Woodward realized the company was going to be at BYU.
“The Google guys were like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,’” Woodward said.
So, instead, the Google people came to BYU and Woodward was able to work with the Martha Graham Dance Company dancers and choreographers in BYU’s Harris Fine Arts Center to create the animation.
Woodward said the animation includes just less than 300 frames, or 24 frames for each of the 12 seconds of the piece.
Founded in 1926 by dancer and choreographer Graham, The Martha Graham Dance Company is the oldest and most celebrated contemporary dance company in America.