Among the many calamities of the pandemic, one of the under-reported ones is the sweeping obliteration of social dance, particularly in its most popular form: dancing to the selections of a DJ.
Yes, it’s the ever-groovy Guardian. Specifically, a piece by Tim Lawrence, a professor of Cultural Studies at the University of East London:
Party culture exists on a continuum alongside other activities whose communally based, psycho-acoustic underpinnings provide participants with a dose of natural serotonin, among them music concerts, theatrical performances, sporting events, religious gatherings, choirs and walks in the park.
In terms of “party culture,” I’m not entirely convinced that natural serotonin has been doing the heavy lifting.
Party culture’s kaleidoscopic, connecting potential arguably outstrips these other experiences in terms of immersion, duration and joy.
With the apparently kaleidoscopic joy-inducing effects of natural serotonin, it’s a wonder anyone bothered with ecstasy, cocaine, and nitrous oxide balloons. A few sentences later, Dr Lawrence links to this piece, also from the Guardian, on unauthorised lockdown-era raves - a source of “transformational meaning,” Dr Lawrence informs us - and in which we’re told about “saucer-eyed teenage girls,” who are also doubtless invigorated by that natural serotonin.
David Mancuso, pioneering host of the Loft in New York, even believed that communal dancing amounted to humankind’s best attempt to tune into the underlying essence of the universe, which was born out of sound and amounted to one big party of constantly, intensely vibrating atoms.
Cosmologists take heed.