Talking Heads bassist Tina Weymouth once said, “When Talking Heads started, we called ourselves Thinking Man’s Dance Music.” Although the band may have since broken up, there is surely no better way to embody that Promethean ethos than to launch a scientifically safe, socially distanced, dance club during the pandemic.
David Byrne’s latest gift to dance music is a project that he has been working on with Broadway set designer Christine Jones and choreographer Steven Hoggett called Social!, which is a way to bring a gulp of socially distanced raving back to the parched New York masses.
The new experimental club is at the Park Avenue Armory and will be able to host 100 attendees at a time. For the shier dancers in attendance, there will be a choreography voiceover imparted by David Byrne himself.
The event will be soundtracked by a playlist curated by Byrne along with choice picks by Jones and Hoggett, all mixed together by DJ Natasha Diggs.
Rebecca Robertson, the Founding President and Executive Producer of Park Avenue Armory, announced: “The Armory’s commitment to supporting and partnering with artists in the creation of new works that are responsive to society is a foundational component of who we are as an organisation.
“The commissioned work that is part of Social Distance Hall exists, not despite of, but because of the pandemic that we have all been living through over the last year.”
“With Social!, we are delighted to invite New Yorkers to come together through a communal, safe, and multisensory experience that draws on the building’s acoustics and grand architecture, and the Armory’s cross-disciplinary programming mission.”
This novel approach to bringing dance music back is classic Byrne at his best. You can check out a clip of him having a flippy floppy great time himself below.