Thursday, 13 October 2011

Shut Up & Dance - Melbourne Fringe Festival

Over the last few weeks, I have been volunteering at the Melbourne Fringe Festival. For those that don't know, Fringe is a festival that offers artists an opportunity to showcase their work to a wide audience. You can read more about it here.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to see many performances, because I was quite sick with Bronchitis for most of the festival. However, on my last volunteer shift I hung around for a while in the Fringe Club, a bar in the North Melbourne Town Hall that offered free entertainment every night of the festival. The event for that particular night was titled 'Shut up and Dance'. The name alone had me interested, but as I watched all of the performers arrived in their costumes, I knew I had to stay and watch!

And I was glad I did! The basic format of the night was a whole range of different dancers performing for the audience. There was Go Go dancing, Samba dancing, 'Punjabi' dancing, cheerleading and square dancing. After performing, some of the acts then taught the audience of few moves. The crowd was fantastic, and everyone joined in. Picture over a hundred people, dancing in sync. It looked amazing!

Anna's Go Go Academy was my favourite act of the night. They performed a 60's style 'go go' dance, and sported full 60's costumes. Complete with bee hive and tiny shift dresses. After their dance, Anna, the founder of the academy taught some basic steps to the crowd. I loved it, and am now definitely considering trying out a few classes!

In between the acts, they had some 'free dancing' time. This was almost as good as the acts themselves, because the atmosphere was incredible! Almost everyone in the room was on there feet and dancing. And not just an awkward shuffle from side to size, or people grinding up on each other like everyone does in night clubs. People where actually dancing. Proper dancing! Their was people ballroom dancing, people doing break dancing, some latin dancing, and people doing there own style! Safe to say I think a lot of the audience where dancers. What I loved though was how into it everyone was. No one cared what they looked like, they where just having fun. And the energy was infectious!

I was kicking myself that I hadn't found out about it earlier, because I knew so many people that would have loved it just as much as me. I hope they do it again next year! I will be there for sure!

Here is a clip I found of the Samba dancers on YouTube. It gives you a little idea of what the night was like. (p.s It's worth watching just for the gorgeous dancers!)

Did you go to the Melbourne Fringe Festival this year? Have you been in previous years? 

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