Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Mobile Clubbing? Me?

I’ve hooked up with a duo that operates under the name Foolish Operations. They are the mobile clubbing scene in Vancouver. And what is my interest you ask? Well my interest is two-fold. First, I have always been disappointed in the lack of community and political engagement found in the citizens of Vancouver. I suppose it is easier to get a couple hundred people to show up to something, or even nothing at all, in London, a city with the population of about 10 million compared to our puny 2 million (both numbers include the greater area). But still, as long as I remember, it has been tricky to get Vancouverites to buy into anything that might be construed as fun, silly, or not cool. They will aloofly await another city to try something out and then proclaim that thing over. And although mobile dancing, or flash mobbing, as it, and similar spontaneous group actions, have been theorized through their politics, I have been giving it a second look through a narcissistic lens. My personal interest is not in its politic. Rather, I am interested in it phenomenology. How does it work on my body? How does it work on me when I act abnormally in public space, space where others, people not in the know, are going to see me acting silly and un-cool? So I decide to meet Robyn Campbell’s challenge and join her and her collaborator Julie Lebel for a half an hour a day of mobile dancing over the course of 2 weeks and see what I can see.

1 comment:

  1. Of course, YOU.

    If you can walk then you can dance. Does it matter that no one knows what you are moving too? Should it?

    I have danced several times in past few years at Robson Square summertime series of Ballroom dancing. I have also danced with my portable music or listening to car radio at Sunset Beach while rollerblading. I am addicted to movement so the transition to dancing to my music in non-traditional dance spaces was easy.

    I am not a dancer by trade, or serious study. I like to move. I have taken ballroom dancing in high school (gym class), break dancing in CEGEGP (80's), jazz dancing in university (great way to recover from ankle injury in flag football), more ballroom dancing in university (preparing for Plubmber's Ball) and East Coast Swing out in Vancouver in 1997 or so.

    I have participated in large ensemble performance of dance/pageant for the Pope John Paul II in 1984 during his first Canadian trip. This was an amazing experience to perform with audience of 70 000 people at Montreal's Olympic Stadium. As the performance started with Celine Dion's Une Columbe with dancers forming a Dove, I saw the size of the crowd and got a jolt of stage aniexty (stomach dropped to feet feeling). Soon it was showtime, and my group entered chasing away the bad (we carried aluminum shields that was meant to symbolize light chasing away the evil on the field). It was over before I knew it and the speaking part of the evening began. The event was an incredible experience that I would recommend to anyone to participate in.

    More tomorrow.