Sound Diskothek

Vice magazine recently interviewed the Legendary Christiane F. of Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo fame. I hadn’t thought about the movie in years but I was happy to know that Christiane F. is still alive and had some wise things to say about addiction and fame and Berlin in the 70’s and 80’s. I was also reminded of how much I loved the fashions and discotheques in the movie! Christiane borrows her mother’s high heels and takes them with her on the subway to Sound. She puts her sneakers in a locker when she arrives since she can’t be seen carrying around a plastic bag with shoes in it. Yes, please for lockers at the night club!

sound night club christiane f

Sound Diskotheck in Berlin

Sound club Christiane F

The entrance to Sound

There are some variations of Christiane’s main look in the film, but the basics are, jeans, socks with high heels, a disco varsity jacket, and a button down with a black vest. Fierce! Her best chum Kessie is seen several times in an asymmetrical striped shirt with pumps and jeans as well.

outfits from Christiane F

Waiting for the train post discotheque. This is also right after Christiane aids and abets in her first crime!

Sound also has a cinema where old black and white films are shown! The soundtrack was written and performed by David Bowie, so you can’t really tell what type of music they are dancing to on the main floor. I’m sure it was a lot of Bowie and T-Rex and the like. Another feature of the club is the ‘H’ room:

sound night club

“Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”

All in all, I would love to go to Sound discotheque if I could go back in time to a night club in Berlin. And speaking of Berlin and T-Rex, Jessie Evans will be performing at the East End Sunday 12/15/13, tomorrow night! Ms. Evans is an American rocker, saxophone playing glitter doll, who currently lives in Berlin and we are lucky to have her here in Portland this weekend.

Jessie Evans

The new album from Jessie Evans!

I’m not very familiar with her new album yet, but this is one of my faves from Is It Fire?

Let Me On

And finally,I will let Jessie Evans speak for herself when describing a dream:

“In the dream I stepped out of this futuristic car as an old woman who was my chauffeur opened the door coming out the ceiling. In that moment it dawned on me that I wasn’t going to prom for the people but to celebrate T-rex’s album “The Slider”. It was like I was married to that album, and my dress, my desire to go, everything about it was simply to worship and celebrate the music.”

90 Days of Vogue

The Legendary Lady Sasa has committed to share her 90 days of voguing on Youtube! I will be going back to the beginning and watching them all, but I suggest you start with yesterday’s video:

What a beautiful dancer! Lady Sasa says that when she gets on the floor she starts out soft and cunt and then gets all dramatic. Ever since I first wrote about voguing, I’ve been wanting a better understanding of the different categories and vogue-cabulary. Thanks Lady Sasa for showing us these styles with your own particular interpretation!

I love when Lady Sasa is doing floor work and you hear “back in the day when we had a beef we took it out on the dance floor.” Can all battles take place on the dance floor, please? Spectre and I went to the two person elimination dance battle, Deep, at ADX a couple of weeks ago and we were too absolutely gobsmacked by the dancers to even write about it. If all kids were taught to dance it out from a young age we earthlings would be on our way to a peaceful future.

My favorite battlers were the dancers who had very unique styles. You could tell they knew how to pop and break dance etc., but that was layered with their own individual moves and it was captivating. We also saw some some young gals confront each other on the dance floor, not so much with technique but with their strong gestures and the power of their movements. This is where dance innovation comes from. When you see someone like Chocolate Milk dance, a local Portland street dancer who is also classically trained and just back from NYC, you will just about weep! Chocolate Milk was stunning and the only competitor at Deep who added vogue elements.

Back to Lady Sasa. Bring it, sister! I can’t wait for her offerings of fierceness to bring light into my life for 78 more days!

House Dancer

Underground culture is often times hard to document. Toes are stepped on, memories differ, and people are offended or forgotten. There is also the problem that dances, even the established and recognized forms like ballet, are notoriously hard to accurately archive.  The sooner people start writing, filming, and talking about their experiences and spreading the knowledge, the more likely we will be able safeguard our dance heritage for the generations to come.  This is especially true of a relatively new dance form like house dancing.

Byron Cox dancer

Byron Cox of housedancer.com

I was recently delighted to find a fantastic source for house dancing called housedancer.com. It seems like they are located in New York, but they have videos from dance workshops and festivals all over the world.  Fortunately for us, they are chipping away at providing information about the history of house dance, sub-categories of the genre, and prominent innovators of the dance form.  I’m still confused about exactly what lofting, jacking, and stomping are but at least people are starting the process of defining these styles.  This post lists significant contributors to house dance, and an interesting comment by someone who as an originator of lofting, is offended that he is left out! I hope this type of dialogue doesn’t deter the writers because now I want to find out more about the offendee and his history!

Chicago The Warehouse

The Warehouse in Chicago – the birth place of house music

I don’t think there will ever be definitive answers regarding the history of house dancing, after all there are differing opinions on where the term house music comes from in the first place.  The Warehouse night club in Chicago?  Music that you would play at your house?  I kind of think it’s more likely the first one, but it just goes to show that sometimes there is more than one meaning and maybe the truth is somewhere in the middle. Another thing about club and street styles of dancing that makes them hard to codify is that by nature they are free style and have to do with personal spontaneous expression. I’ve never seen two waackers waack the same way, that’s for sure!

To find out more about the dancers and choreographers contributing to housedancer.com, check out their House Dance Project page. You can also see videos of dancing and interviews and find out more about their mission as ambassadors of house dance. I truly believe that much of the innovation and breakthroughs in dance come from the streets and the discotheques. Thanks guys for all your hard work and gorgeous dancing and sharing it all with the world!