Identity and aesthetics have been on my mind lately, largely because of dancing. A lot of my dance is wrapped up in imagining how I’m perceived, finding ways to experience the music through movement in a way that emits my personality. As I’ve explored, I find this ends up being inseparable from choices in clothing, hairstyle, jewelry.
I keep seeing people that have really mastered their presentation. Not specifically in terms of fashion per se – though for some people being dressed sharply and creatively is a core part of their aesthetic. But I’m more fascinated by people that have one style, one presentation that perfectly fits their body and accurately represents their identity.
I watched this bio on Hieroglyphic Being a while back, and besides having an incredible story of surviving abject poverty and homelessness, this dude just has the coolest aesthetic. He could wear that same outfit – all black, loose-fitting, sleeveless hoodie/cloak, wristbands, chains – and I don’t think it would ever look boring or uncreative. Because it’s just such an excellent composition of the identity that he wants to emit that matches his body and stature perfectly.
To this end, having dyed hair has really been a huge leap forward in this direction for me. I actually like what I see when I look in the mirror. The person I see looks more like me than ever before. There’s so much less disconnect. I feel more complete.
It’s also been such a joy to see how much it’s altered my interactions with everyone I encounter. I look and feel friendlier, so people are way more willing to spontaneously engage and interact. I’ve had more positive, random encounters with strangers in the last 3 weeks than in the last year combined. I feel less forgettable, less anonymous. That feels wonderful.
I’m certain there’s still much more to do before I’ve found the rest of my aesthetic. But this is definitely progress.
Unsorted thoughts on dancing:
I remember when i turned 21, i was so desperate for a place to dance. I think the first time i danced at a bar (the Haunt) I was out with some coworkers, and that song with the apple-bottom jeans came on and i got up on this stage by myself to shake my ass. Then I went to this one place up the street from my house (Level B) a dozen times because that was the only place to go. It was terrible and the music sucked but at least they had a spot that was meant for dancing.
The first real taste i got was an Infected Mushroom concert. I never broke it down so hard in my life, there was this trance opener that i couldn’t get enough of, i sweat straight through all my clothes by the end.
I sweat a lot. It’s just a thing i have. When i dance it’s absurd, i have no idea why it’s so excessive, but i will admit i get embarrassed about it. There are these moments where some cute lady smiles at me and then does this weird look of confused horror when she notices i’m sweating like nuts. I have come to accept it…mostly.
I love watching how the crowd relates to the music. There’s an ephemeral but totally real relationship between the DJ and the crowd. A great DJ has immense control; they can make the crowd bust it out at a moment’s notice and it’s a beautiful thing.
The scene is getting more progressive, and it’s awesome. The good places are banning phones, getting tough on harassment, seeking out ways to make it safe and comfortable for everyone. It makes a world of difference.
When you get to the end of the night – 4, 5, 7am – it’s amazing. Everyone is just exhausted and ecstatic. The whole thing is a series of pure moments; great music, the satisfaction of moving your body to the beat, the glee of seeing nothing but happy faces around you. The trip home makes for great moments of reflection and synthesis.
It’s hard to put these things into writing; it’s all nebulous stuff. But i’m so excited to be diving deeper into the dance community the last year.
I went to my first electronica concert a few weeks ago – but to describe it properly, I have to start from the beginning. The beginning of my love for electronic music, that is.
The first time I put a track on repeat was when I was 10 years-old. My dad had bought an album after hearing a song in a commercial; the album was from the electric quarter Bond, the album was their first – Born – and the track was Alexander the Great. It was arguably the closest thing to electronic music that I’d yet encountered, and it promptly crawled through my ears and into my soul. I was utterly smitten. I loved the whole album, actually, but I played that one track well beyond 10,000 times over the course of the following years. It had certain features that, as it turns out, are hallmarks of the music I love most today:
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