PERTH FESTIVAL REVIEW: Dance Mania — A Manifesto for Queer Nightlife
madison moore’s Dance Mania: A Manifesto for Queer Nightlife was exactly as its title suggests. Part lecture, part DJ set, moore expertly delivered his goals for transforming existing spaces of queer nightlife through presenting histories, meanings and experiences of those spaces.
Author of Fabulous: the Rise of the Beautiful Eccentric, sparkly, cat-suited, and leather booted moore warmed up the crowd within minutes of arrival downstairs at the State Theatre Centre with his commentary on fashion, music and the queer experience.
madison moore worked combined extremes of colloquial and academic reference, making the lecture sections of the event informative, engaging and relevant. The audience was very receptive to the presentation if the constant titters, yaaaaaasses, and slow head nods are anything to go by. The very informative lecture brought to light new aspects and perspectives I had not considered before, the focus being ‘the devil’s house’, as moore’s aunt referred to them.
Jarring bursts of DJ set spliced the lecture, which for me, disrupted the flow slightly. moore’s mixes, seemingly effortless and 100% fabulous,feature hits of the last 20 years got the audience up and grooving onstage with him. Audience participation became a part of the show for the half of us that stayed bopping in our seats, and those who were up and dancing slunk back to their seats or sat down on the floor as the volume decreased and moore delivered another lecture portion. Throughout the show, his mix became darker as it approached heavy techno, and reached a climax accompanied by backup dancers (enthusiastic audience) and flashing artworks on the screen above.
As his techno mixes became filthier, the conversation honed in on how communities can make queer nightlife spaces more accessible. madison moore’s focus on ‘the deviant, the dissident and the different’ was a powerful, eye-opening and evidently important conversation to initiate. Dance Mania: A Manifesto for Queer Nightlife left me feeling uplifted (in a non-cheesy way), included in the community, and ready to head to the nearest club for some serious late night bopping.