Sunday, November 29, 2009

Dancing Questionnaire (18): Pete from London

Next up is Pete, a one man link connecting jazz, mod and techno rave scenes. He is currently involved in the Young Unknowns gallery project on the South Bank.

1. Can you remember your first experience of dancing?
When I was 8 my mother sent me to ballet lessons on Saturdays - in baggy football shorts because she couldn't afford tights. A mate saw me coming out of a lesson and grassed me up to other kids at school. It was all very Billy Elliot except I wasn't much taken by the music to bother fighting my corner.

2. What's the most interesting/significant thing that has happened to you while out dancing?
Dance has played a big part of my life since I was a kid in the 1950's, but I was in my 40's before the muse really took a hold. I'd become a world music fan in the late 80's then a guy came to share my flat who was big into techno, and for the first six months going to rave parties and clubs, my body just couldn't find a way to properly move with the sound. One night, seeing me struggling, a dancer whispered in my ear "Get between the beats". That tip stayed and the magic hasn't left me. I've since spoken to Africans who've said similar: "dance against the beat"

3. You. Dancing. The best of times…
It was Xmas 1991 in a club called The Alarm (in Strasbourg where my nephew lived) and there it all fell into place.They had to drag me out of the place.

4. You. Dancing. The worst of times…
An odd analogy springs to mind: In the same way a bad craftsman blames his tools, a good dancer can dance to any music. In my case there are limits - one is disco.

5. Can you give a quick tour of the different dancing scenes/times/places you've frequented?
At 64 I've known many: Rock and Roll but I was a bit too young. At 15 it was Trad jazz , Ken Colyers Jazz club in Great or was it Little Newport St? I was happier with Modern Jazz, Mingus was a hero. I saw & bopped to Kenny Clark in The Blue Note, Paris in '62. Then the mod scene in which I felt at home, going to The Scene, in Soho, and The Lyceum. The 70's during my breaks as barman in Dingwalls, there was the The Average White Band.

There's so many: Chaguaramas, but I'm bad remembering names and that same venue became a Punk place [The Roxy] where I pogoed to Johnny Moped. The 80s I remember House at The Brain, but African did it most for me then, and I went to WOMAD three years running. Then on after it was Techno everywhere!

6. When and where did you last dance?
Celebrating my 64th birthday in a Paris Bar called Rosa Bonheur, last August.

7. You're on your death bed. What piece of music would make your leap up for one final dance?
You must be kidding!

All questionnaires welcome - just answer the same questions in as much or as little detail as you like and send to (see previous questionnaires). Quick disclaimer: please note that people who complete the questionnaires do not necessarily share the wider views expressed at this blog on politics, sex, drugs or disco!

1 comment:

astrovix said...

I'm very happy you danced at Rosa Bonheur ! We created this place for people like you ! C Vix-Gras