Don't Blame Dance Culture

Darragh McCausland, in the Irish Times, refutes a recent article by Brian Boyd, in which the author appeared to blame dance music culture violence behaviour, in particular at a Swedish House Mafia concert in Dublin’s Phoenix Park last weekend. McCausland writes:

It is understandable that the thousands of Irish clubbers, producers, and promoters involved with the scene on a weekly basis might take offence at Boyd’s fast- and-loose use of terms like ‘underground’.

Indeed, in what might be an uncomfortable irony for the author and his argument, it can be argued that these particular acts slot snugly into a template associated with touring rock and pop bands. They do not play clubs, rather outdoor gigs and festival slots, and globe-hop around the exact same circuit as the likes of Coldplay, Snow Patrol and the rest.

While an entire feature could be written on what actually constitutes ‘dance culture’, a few short lines will have to suffice here on why Boyd’s misreading of it has offended so many. The dance community, while as prone to problems of its own as any musical subculture, still nurtures a certain set of ideals that are completely at odds with the antisocial events that occurred on Saturday.

Much of modern dance has its roots in the future-utopian projects of Chicago house and Detroit techno that kindled among the marginalised communities of North American blacks and gays in the 1980s. As it has evolved and diversified ever since, the culture associated with it has always prided itself on its community spirit and inclusivity, especially around matters of multiculturalism and sexuality.

Read the rest here.

Published on 13 July 2012

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