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Rave Scout Diaries

             featuring interviews, reviews, and editorials covering a wide range of cultural and creative matters in dance music             

30 April, 2020

Maddening Solidarity:

The Economy of Dance and the Body as a Free Form Tool in the Structure of Time and Doom

Bossa Nova Civic Club in Brooklyn | Courtesy of Bossa Nova Civic Club

Clubs and sanctuaries where we find comfort and refuge throughout the globe are shut down due to COVID-19, also known as coronavirus or as we like to call it “Miss Rona.” Why have we adopted that name? It’s because we are trying to make light out of a dark situation.

As we know, NYC attracts people for all different reasons, nightlife chief among them. Whether you’re going out to dance and party or you’re working in nightlife, you’d see that artists within the underground techno queer nightlife like to take themselves very seriously and for good reason. We are putting our bodies on the line for people to see. We show up, dress up, and speak up to express reason, not just in nightlife, but in the creases of the everyday connection.

There is some kind of coven in the rave that raises light in differences as to say: I accept you no matter how you dress, how you speak or how you dance. There is no judgment other than to raise humility and awareness to take care of our bodies and our limitations on how we set them free in any place we can modulate, musicians expressing our passion to release that distance people want to close.

How do I explain that today is the International Transgender Day of Visibility and all I hear is silence in the streets, where we usually celebrate the beauty and facets of our differences in our appearance and demeanor? Mainstream culture rejects us, so we made a culture all our own, and with that, this is all owed to transqueer artists. They are paving the way for people all around the world to listen and create an alternative form of releasing distance and territory that many don’t get to express during the day and during this cold winter/spring Covid adaption. It’s in the spaces that we share in our clubs in NYC, Berlin and all the way to Taipei that make us ravers feel free to be ourselves and feel paid attention to.

Everyone that I know in nightlife is kind of going crazy right now because we can’t celebrate with each other. I may have seen you before, and I might not even remember you the next night, because that’s how many we are. It’s not your face I remember, but your vibe and what you are emitting with your body for you and us to sink our pleasure into an environment so all who come should feel safe.

Wilde Renate in Berlin | Courtesy of AP Photo, Markus Schreiber

With the clubs closed, we’ve turned to social media, podcasts and live streams. They have become the only way we can reach each other. I party in my bedroom and living room now, trying to make sense of what’s missing and it’s a night club and how we are constantly breaking conventions to set our ideals for the daytime world as well. We release we talk and create, aiming at defusing any uncomfortable feelings you may or may not have within.

Dance is any and everywhere. There is a privilege because I’ve trained myself in movement as a science and kinesthetic. For the dark-lit bass-breathing body-heating dance warehouse is where many like myself go to lose the inhibition of everyday scrutiny and judgment, to forget having to be a worker on top of an artist on top being looked at differently because of our personal particularités; none of which will ever stop us because there is space for many to express on and through their bodies what happens in nightlife. This is a perception in territory and where in our architecture we crave to be underground. Closer to the core maybe?

Nowadays in Brooklyn | Courtesy of Nowadays

Shaping space in dedication to art and performance and just internal releases, I want to understand how a virus we didn’t expect to become such a global tragedy is shaping us and making us realize how unprepared the world was to stay inside and to stay away from each other — exactly the opposite goal of what nightlife is supposed to achieve. Partying is all about the body, romance, sensuality, sexuality and now there is no space to reinvent our tragedy but to only watch it pass right by through our windows.

But I find myself in solidarity with my friends, family and fellow artists around me in NYC through live streaming performance; Now the body is at home and there is much to invent. We all have the chance to show the world how together we truly are by pushing through our doom and our imperfection to call out to our neighbors in a different way. Bodies are coming together through forced separation. We are showing each other that we know how to listen and how to work together by staying so far apart.

Within dance, there is the idea of vanity. One that pushes an angst to ideas of freedom. There is particularity the motion that sets freedom to limitations of mind. The air I breathe is the movement I set free. I am the obstacle. We are divulging into the rhythm. Once the movement is set free there is limitation to what one can do with the body. Ideas at large say to create form, a linear beginning and ending with the body’s motions as a story. The idea is the framework for form and identity. What does our story consist of? Happiness, burden, freedom, laugher, vanity, the solution is the comedy.

The story is henceforth a majestical enterprise of a technicality that lies on the spectrum of the illusion — the illusion we are truly alive during the dance. The body is laughing at itself in creating an idea of the story because we are barred and set by the limitations of our own lives that the only gift to give is atonement for even starting the motion for this particularity of the body’s story in motion is selfish. We cannot truly see outside of ourselves, although it seems as such in the verbalization of the context or content of the movement, the communication with the outside world is still in context to ourselves. That is the darker side we must laugh at. We applaud because we recognize the story we are able to identify within our lives. We are in awe because we see “Yes! That is me,” I understand that body. But in the humility of our lives, if we cannot laugh at our doom, we will be terrified into a throat wrenching fear of misunderstanding for our own demise.

The body launches the ideas of freedom of movement unparalleled to none. We applaud because we are laughing in hysteria for the brevity in the body and knowledge of the performer to be able to communicate an acquired gluttonous action for the summation of the ideas of life and its feats and perils. The action of movement requires a close study of the ideas of peculiarity and the justice that comes with the cessation of the end of the performance and the resolution for the climax of story communicated.

At large dance is a summation of the territory and that which blocks the heart from happiness. Even in the joyous spring-filled dance, there is an idea of location and territory within the idea that states — where is the joy emerging? In one’s head? Bedroom? Studio? Street? Club? Underwater? The idea of territory is set large as a phenomenon of pathos. And lack of space.

Berlin | Courtesy of AP Photo, Markus Schreiber

The body is hence set free inside the limitations that come with despair within the first movement. Freedom here is death and the immobilization of the breath and body temperature of heating it up or coming alive in the spirit, bringing us closer to the end. The end of the story and end of our lives. Dance is comedy. Because, as we bring alive these movements, we are strengthening and weakening our bodies to live longer for what? To dance again and get rid of the pain of the heart the music sets free in our bodies. We are at one with our ending laughing at it in each movement the rhythm of the heart and breath allow. In the midst of our understanding, we are then asked to analyze the ideas of gender and class, ableism, economy and social structure with each movement. There is our voice. Unable to be silenced because outside internal, external notions of freedom.
The body is launching itself to study a case. The case of humanity and why we are here. And it may be one of the compromises for the ideas of brevity in informal settings. Laughter is launched in the spectacle. We have a mission of transmitting the disdain of the mind in a total mass setting. We are free-forme instruments of ideas in this solidarity. How do we perform the lack thereof? We are movement in unison with time structure. Even standing still within the structure of time, there is movement. What ails the aching pains of the heart? Are we ever truly satisfied? Once the body is at rest, we dream. We constantly are in movement. This is why the language we use in the formality of our totality is important in the justification of means. We laugh one after the other to free all our ailments. We reflect madding universal solidarity. For the ideas of life are in the cessation of a free form tool. Us.


Rave Scout Cookies compiled a list of their favorite local NYC venues and platforms with their direct funding channels;

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Rave Scout Diaries

DIARY series chronicling a diverse roster of marginalized voices through interviews, reviews, and editorial columns on various cultural and creative MATTERS in dance music.