Sunday, February 03, 2008

Early Mardi Gras party in DC


Last night, Sat. Feb. 2, the new Town DC disco had its "Mardi Gras" ("Fat Tuesday") party. The dead-of-winter evening in Washington was unseasonably mild, with outdoor temperatures around freezing and the Metro system having single-tracking delays. Lent, with all its expected self-denials, starts on Feb 6 and Easter is early this year, March 30. The pagan derivation of the Easter date shows does not comport well with its spiritual significance.

The 11:00 PM drag show featured a golden throne, spinning on the lower level dance floor, with Miss whoever on her throne looking like Cate Blanchette from "Elizabeth: The Golden Age. But the highlight came with a pantomime of a major diva aria from Verdi's Aida, with an Egyptian costume, and some donkey heads that remind one of a scene from David Lynch's recent film "Inland Empire."

Upstairs, the dance party started as usual, and in general it was not shirtless (as advertised). But on both floors there were dancers. The music was hip-hop, a big variation from the 80s music that a lot of people like/

I wondered whether hip-hop and the hardest rock would sound like if orchestrated and developed with even more syncopation and strettos, with real motives and themes, so that it could be performed as a movement of a symphony as well as danced to. That would be the challenge for any modern composer. (See my "drama" blog.) But classical music (especially ballet) sometimes is used in discos. The closing coda of Stravinsky's "Firebird" works. Another idea is the frantic presto scherzo from the Shostakovich Tenth Symphony, that sometimes finds its way into horror movies ("The Beast with a Million Eyes"). I wonder how the patrons of a bar would react if some of Jonny Greenwood's sensational music score from "There Will Be Blood" were to be suddenly pumped on the disco floor.

I one looks out across a gay disco dance floor, it seems like a substantial percentage of men are tall, well over 6 feet. Somewhere, I read once that gay men are statistically taller than average. I don't know if this is an urban legend, or if there is really something to this, adding material to all of the theories about homosexuality and genetics.

Picture: Atlanta Pride, 2004

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