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It’s a hot August night at ‘The GARDEN OF ART’ event at Kalypso Beach Club, Croatia (Zrce Beach in Novalja), the oldest beach club in south-east Europe and trendsetter for beach-clubbing tradition. This summer the space is transformed into a unique magic forest filled with spectacular dance/live performances accompanied by top international DJs.
Dozen of blinding firefalls light up the stage where three bald-headed enigmas appear. Surrounded by cryogenic fog, the performers grab the attention of the audience by their look-at-me hypnotic body movements. Tonight, their characters are gothic heroines that combine threatening mystery and romanticism. They wear full-face medieval silver masks, black-and-white costumes with geometrical ornaments, cuirasses made of metallic fabric and Jeanne d’Arc-style garments. They are called D-Queens, a Moscow-based dance show stemmed from the passion of its producers for fantasy, science fiction and fashion.
The fearless dance trio D-Queens has been hired as a go-go dance performance for ‘The GARDEN OF ART’ event to bring their special ‘Siberian solar energy’ to this Balkan electronic music happening. “It’s all about living on stage, something more than just dancing,” says one of the three extraterrestrial Russian muses Elvira. “If I’m a gothic Lady Knight, that’s my character for the upcoming 24 hours.”
“Nowadays, dance shows have become a substantial part of the electronic music culture, despite the fact that every now and then they are treated as a background material,” confesses the producer of the three extravagant shaved heads D-Queens, Mario Mitkov. “The girls are hired to hype up a crowd at dance music festivals, parties and special events. Moreover, they engage the audience better than some of the DJs do; they visualize the music and direct the mood of the audience. They are ready to break the rules and perform something different, avoiding the standard ‘four-to-six-shows, 15-minutes-each’ schedule,” explains Mario.
If we compare the history of house music and go-go dance, we immediately realize how unfair it is to approach go-go dance performance as a backdrop to a DJ show. The phenomenon of ‘go-go dancers’ appeared in the early 1960s in New York and LA in order to entertain the club-goers of rock music locations, while house music, a style of electronic dance music that was developed by dance club DJs in Chicago, originated only 20 years later, in the early 1980s. Therefore, go-go dancers truly deserve to be treated not just as a supplement to a DJ but as an equal, an important part of any serious electronic music event.
Except when traveling around the world, the D-Queens perform every weekend during the autumn-winter season at the Icon club (Moscow), which gives them a chance to regularly showcase their new props, choreographies and unique costumes. Their outfits are created by famous European costume designers known for their productions for Cafe Ole, SuperMartXé, Matinée, La Leche, etc. “A crucial part of each dance performance is, of course, a themed haute couture wardrobe,” says Mario Mitkov. “The final outcome of the show depends a lot on how each costume fits the dancers, how comfortable it is and how it reflects the character. It’s very important for the girls to be confident on stage. In this case, they successfully entertain the guests all night long.”
Answering a tricky question “What makes a successful electronic music event?” the producers of D-Queens put emphasis on the fact that event promoters should be more thoughtful and selective when choosing artistic content for their parties. A line-up of top or talented DJs is a keystone, but only if those impressive names are accompanied by a professional group of entertainers: dance shows, live acts, custom-oriented animation, scripted and choreographed theatrical and dance performance. “Technologies evolve, so should the approach to creating the party entertainment. People are bored with standard ‘warm-up, prime-time afterparty’ performance scheme of the clubs,” concludes Mitkov.
In the upcoming year, bald-headed D-Queens plan to fire up at least one nationally recognized festival (somewhere in Europe and the USA), plus smaller, but much more cozy, electronic music events in China, Japan, the Balkans, the Canary Islands and the Caribbean.