Last week, I posted part 1 of a conversation I had with caller Will Mentor about calling techno contras. The conversation evolved into a discussion of Contrashock in New York City and Contrastock at Glen Echo last May, two events in which Will's role was pivotal and featured Perpetual e-Motion, Giant Robot Dance, Swallowtail, and was co-called by Nils Fredland. Will is planning to repeat that role when Contrashock II and Contrastock II occur in September, with Elixir, Perpetual e-Motion, and Wild Asparagus.
One of the recurring discussions in the contra world is community -- how to build and keep the bonds between people. Contra dancers in general tend to be a pretty friendly lot and we also tend to be a bit quirky, which makes for some pretty awesome road stories, both at crossover contras and regular ones. I know there are a few times that I've looked back on something and thought to myself, That would only happen on a contra floor.
For example: a couple of days after Contrastock last May, there was a Contra Sonic installment. Some people were able to stay the couple of days into the week who weren't locals, so I got to meet new people and dance with them as well (yay!). A guy I didn't previously know who had been my shadow for a dance asked me for the following dance, and I accepted. We had a really fun dance, and when everyone was getting ready to leave, he motions me over to where he and his beloved are putting on their street shoes.
He then says, "My fiancée and I getting married in Massachusetts in a couple of weeks and are having a contra dance as the reception. You should totally come, it'll be a really awesome dance!" (I was honored to be invited, but I already had other plans that day, or I totally would have gone -- it sounded like an amazing dance.) I can't say that I'd ever been invited to anything related to anyone's nuptials after knowing them for less than half an hour before.
I know there are other stories like that out there. Please share your strange and funny stories in the comments....
Speaking of stories, in a few hours, Steve and I will be hopping in the car and heading north to Contra Evolution in Greenfield, MA -- it promises to be amazing with Double Apex, Perpetual e-Motion, Nils Fredland, Will Mentor, and Contra Sonic's own dJ improper all in one spot! Hopefully we'll get there before it sells out! (Fingers are definitely crossed.) To those who will be there, we're looking forward to saying hello and dancing with you!
This video was shot last Sunday at Contrastock near Washington, DC. The band was billed as "Giant Swallow Motion" -- Giant Robot Dance, Perpetual e-Motion, and Swallowtail all took the stage at once for the final set to rock the house. This one was shot by YouTube user joyceyens and the next one by klmabon:
One more: this one was shot of two "chaos lines" (i.e., voluntary partner and gender-role swapping, flourishes galore) at ContraShock in New York, NY (which featured Perpetual e-Motion and Giant Robot Dance on May 20-21):
This project has concluded as of mid-2013 (with an epilogue posted mid-2016) but we hope to see you soon on a contra dance floor! Meanwhile, head over to our Facebook page for upcoming techno contra events and other items of interest.
The 100+ Friday Flourish videos can still be found on YouTube.
I dance with abandon. I play with glowsticks. I look for music that is conducive to one or both. I play behind cameras. I write about all of the above. I'm based in Glen Echo's contra dance community outside of Washington, D.C., but I'm happy to go dance afield when I can. Lather, rinse, repeat. Always repeat.
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