EuroReview 3. 60 Minute Dance Party
TENDANCES: 60 Minute Dance Party
Recently, while going through my things in preparation for moving across the country, I uncovered a small series of performance reviews I wrote while in Europe in 2015. Being that somehow I happened to pair my timing perfectly with the end of summer/early fall season - when all of the slumbering arts were beginning to wake with a fury - I stumbled upon some of the most interesting installations, spoken word and theater nights, interactive gallery events and just plain ridiculous talent and complete openness to expression through the arts. This is the third of 10 stories which I will call reviews.
Vienna, Austria. September 2015.
The 60 Minute Dance Party was an interactive part of a feminist exhibition called “Tendances,” and was located in an adjacent room.
While “Tendances” very nicely curated in a local downtown gallery, the exhibit itself I found to be a bit blatant (think rows and rows of dirty pads lined up almost scientifically over top porn and pinned to the wall) and even a bit abrasive rather than facilitating a space for the spirit of the Divine Feminine to roll through and expand. I’m not discounting the many colors and forms Feminism (or being a woman) take. But rather than displaying the variety, the curator seemed to focus mostly the very aggressive sort of pieces that YELL at you rather than truly invite you to consider them.
There was one piece that stood out to me as being different. It was a paper installation taped to the wall and overtaking a good corner of the room- unframed photos, pieces of torn diary entries and other handwritten bits of personal poetry, all revolving around what it is to be a woman. Aside from this installation, the majority of the pieces functioned just to shock (love you Vienna), and as a whole, the various installations seemed to compete with rather than complement each other.
The dance party, however, was a wonderful social experiment. The Administrators wore extremely colorful and sparkly, outrageous 80’s party dresses and handed out over-sized plastic sunglasses, glow sticks and streamers to the Participants. The dance room was filled with dozens – even hundreds – of balloons and video projections of lucid bright lights which flashed on every wall and streamed across the posts and columns that held the high ceiling. On one of the walls was a huge count down that began at 60 minutes. The space was set. The Administrators were eager. The Participants were hesitant.
At first, it was like fitting a new pair of shoes; not many dancing. By the end, sweaters and shirts were coming off, balloons were being stomped, thrown and popped, and regardless of how many people there were at any given time (for about five minutes, it was only us) the dance floor was completely alive! I danced nearly the entire time with lovely Carola, Mike’s tall and slender model friend who was also a really great dancer. It was a beautiful exchange of energy, and being a timed experience – an incredibly fascinating rise and fall of a Thing. In and Out. Like a breath. The energy of the space transformed as people let their guards down and began to relax, to play. The Administrators did a excellent job at facilitating a space for Play and in the end proved that the longer you stay in an environment you can’t help but adapt to it – especially when so many of your senses are being stimulated. Your inner child cannot help but wake up! (And some of ours never go to sleep, am I right?)
My grand conclusion is that the 60 Minute Dance Party saved the Feminist Exhibit “Tendances”. By simply creating a space and allowing what will be to be, the Administrators truly demonstrated the incredible magic of the Divine Feminine- the ability to flow and adapt, to give and receive.
Venus is known as the goddess and planet of beauty and romance, but the most important element that she rules is that of Exchange. It’s not to prove who is right or who is wrong or who comes out on top, but a higher sense of balance within the self and between the self and the outside world. That is what Venus is to me, and that is what the 60 Minute Dance Party was to me. It created a situation which allowed for you to feel a connection to your inner child, and in turn to connect to the inner child of all the others as your barriers soften and you allowed yourself to be joyful. I think that knowing it was a timed experience also allowed people to feel better about opening up and engaging without the anxiety of wondering where the interaction will go. Not to mention – it was an absolute perfect example of Dada!! The simple art of Play and creation of scenario through which play can unfold. It is brilliant, and it is Vienna.
I couldn’t stop falling in love with that city. I wish I could have captured all of the exhibits, all of the bizarre performances, all of the raw passion. It was invigorating, and something I wish to live by every day. I’m forever grateful for my experience traveling solo in 2015 and I recommend it to ANYONE trying to figure shit out. Which is everyone.