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Showing posts from August, 2017

Policoro in Swing 2017/08 Italy

Someone was mocked in the Shag class for complaining of being 'solo.' “Que vida triste! (what a sad life)“ said the teacher. We all laughed. It was funny because this 'solo' loneliness would only last a few minutes... until the next dance rotation. Also dancing solo is its own pleasure... but we know dancing can be more fun with a good partner, like life. Or worse with a bad one... There were moments when I had the blues. It was difficult to recover from the long days and nights of dancing, when our bed was not 50m from the dance floor. But blues music kept me company. "Nobody loves me, nobody cares Every day I've got the blues" "Ain't it lonesome ain't it blue when the one you love is not with you (is loving someone else) " There was not enough social blues at Policoro, so Mike from Cork took over the sound system on the last night, when the lindy crowd was away dancing in town. I helped him out by DJing an hour of this gravey

Lyon: a library of African diaspora culture chez Cyril

Cyril is a well of knowledge with a passion for African diaspora culture, and he kindly hosted me for a few days Lyon. I scratched the surface of his wonderful library – always a source of inspiration. I'm looking forward to his forthcoming book, Voices of the Diaspora. Cyril remarked on how I helped him to discover new things in his own city. I marvelled at the serenity of his apartment and of Lyon in general. The quiet of Lyon after the roar, the bustle of Bali, was astonishing. Structurally Lyon is my ideal city: bike friendly, walkable urban planning, elegant tree-top apartment blocks, shady courtyards, turquoise rivers, steep hills and lookouts. There are also many beautiful Afro-French ppl, most notably the gorgeous diva of Trio Aliado who we heard at the Opera terrace. This lady almost made me cry with her beauty, her powerful stage presence. I was moved to tears with empathy for a younger me... otherworldly, head-turning and for all I knew, utterly unique. Of course

Mountaintop DJing & Dancing 2017/08 Ardeche, France

"You were a smile with a person attached." When he saw me arriving at camp, Dan Nash said he knew something had changed in my life. Dan has also made big changes... after a near death experience at a gig in Berlin, he's moved from the UK to Spain. This dance camp is so beautiful. Between drinking, eating and sleeping, everyone is dancing, playing music or singing, in a lush, peaceful mountain retreat. Dramatic peaks wreathed in cloud, fragrant lavender, kissed by bees and butterflies, kittens playing ... ahhh. Tonight I felt really connected. I spent about 2.5 or three hours preparing my 1hr DJ set. I checked in with Mr Nash about my idea of warming up with calypso, reggae and hip hop, because the blues scene has a lot of purists and I haven't heard these styles aired much. Annette had been a bit skeptical /cautious about my idea. Dan reassured me 'if you won't dance to reggae, you don't deserve to have legs'. He advised that I steer clear