How do you party without putting people at risk – but without killing the reason for partying in the first place? Here’s Slovakia with a novel concept.
It’s not that we haven’t had ideas for nightlife in the era of social distancing. It’s that a lot of those take something crucial away. Here in Berlin, open-air venues at the moment are not allowed to have dance floors – a chilling thought to some of us who came here from NYC’s notorious anti-dancing laws. Other solutions seem to be exclusive rather than egalitarian. So you get drive-in raves with lots of cars (which seems suburban, anti-environmentalist, and requires auto ownership). Or there are limited-capacity clubs with high ticket prices. It’s all something, and the new experiments are fascinating performance art.
But the approach here from Slovakia over the weekend is a bit more optimistic – and underground party compatible. Selector reports that a party has taped-off squares to define space.
The funny thing to me is, for all the solutions and mobilizing we’ve heard around “club culture” and the “scene” in dance music, there’s been something left out. You know, like… dancing.
And maybe techno culture has been preparing for this since the beginning, albeit unwittingly.
A welcoming place to those who are shy, techno dancing hardly requires you to violate personal space. On the contrary, this is a culture that celebrated safety and protecting personal space from the beginning.
To illustrate, here are two how-to videos – first from Berlin, second from Chicago – which I’d remind you were made before the pandemic. These moves are clearly calibrated to let you dance at home to a stream, or with 2 meters or 6 feet between you and another person. And this is not some dystopian “new normal”; these are par-for-the-course techno dancer videos.
Heck, I think that bunny costume works as a mask.
So no excuses. You better be dancing at the other end of that stream – and let’s get a PA and hand sanitizer, check our local ordinance, don masks, and tape off a nice open-air space. See you in health!
Thanks to Zuz Friday for this one!
Okay, listen to the lyrics here. It alarms me that now I watch this video and think “ah only when they’re walking through the grass does that really work as social distancing… then they’re way too close… oh no definitely don’t sing into someone’s face, especially everyone needs masks…”
This account nicely follows the transformation of space (thanks Jessika):
And here’s Berliner Ensemble showing its audience space: