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#med332 
Disco 
and 
dancing
Overview 
• Defining 
Disco 
• Key 
dates 
and 
figures 
• Highs 
and 
lows 
• Backlash
Revolu?onary 
disco
Defining 
disco 
Tim 
Lawrence: 
disco 
an 
‘overburdened’ 
term 
1. Spaces 
organised 
around 
the 
playback 
of 
recorde...
Seriously? 
15,000+ 
discos 
open 
across 
US
Abba 
– 
‘Gimme, 
Gimme, 
Gimme’ 
Madonna 
– 
‘Hung 
Up’
Aiming 
for 
the 
dance 
floor
Poli?cal 
target 
• American 
New 
Right
Developing 
a 
model 
of 
diversity 
and 
inclusivity, 
par?cipants 
established 
the 
prac?ce 
of 
dancing 
throughout 
t...
Stonewall 
Riots 
1969
David 
Mancuso 
The 
Loc 
647 
Broadway 
& 
Bleeker 
Lower 
East 
Side 
‘Love 
Saves 
The 
Day’ 
Invite-­‐only 
Audiophile
The 
Loc 
1970+
Loc 
classics: 
1970-­‐73 
• Manu 
Dibango 
‘Soul 
Makossa’ 
• Barrabas 
‘Woman’ 
• Beginning 
Of 
The 
End 
‘Funky 
Nassa...
Nicky 
Siano, 
The 
Gallery 
1972-­‐1977
Philly 
Sound 
• MFSB 
• Harold 
Melvin 
and 
the 
Blue 
Notes 
• Teddy 
Pendergrass 
• The 
O’Jays 
• The 
Jacksons 
(co-...
Philadelphia 
Interna?onal 
Records
George 
McRae 
– 
‘Rock 
Your 
Baby’ 
(1974)
The 
dancefloor 
as 
a 
cultural 
space 
where 
the 
usual 
hierarchies 
of 
society 
are 
inverted 
-­‐ 
Paul 
Gilroy, 
1...
The 
disco 
phenomena 
of 
the 
late 
1970s 
thrust 
dance 
music 
forcibly 
into 
discussions 
of 
popular 
music, 
but 
...
Casablanca 
Records 
(L.A.) 
• Donna 
Summer 
• Giorgio 
Moroder 
• ‘Love 
to 
Love 
You 
Baby’
Female/sexual 
libera?on 
LaBelle 
-­‐ 
‘Lady 
Marmalade’ 
(1975)
Female/sexual 
libera?on? 
Andrea 
True 
Connec?on 
-­‐ 
‘More, 
More, 
More’ 
[Tom 
Moulton 
mix] 
(1976)
Yet…
Success 
without 
industry 
support
Highs 
and 
lows 
• 1977 
• Saturday 
Night 
Fever 
• Studio 
54
Notable 
aaendees: 
• Grace 
Jones 
• Mick 
Jagger 
• Michael 
Jackson 
• Grace 
Jones 
• John 
Travolta 
• Calvin 
Klein ...
Excess
Saturday 
Night 
Fever 
and 
the 
hyper-­‐heterosexual 
moves 
of 
John 
Travolta
Backlash 
Such 
a 
violent 
reac?on 
must 
seem 
impossibly 
dispropor?onate 
to 
its 
object, 
if 
that 
object 
is 
take...
Comiskey 
Park 
1979
Diana 
Ross 
‘I’m 
Coming 
Out’ 
(1980)
HIV 
Of 
course 
it 
was 
AIDS, 
rather 
than 
the 
histrionic 
gestures 
of 
Steve 
Dahl, 
that 
killed, 
or 
at 
least 
...
Summary 
• Pivotal 
in 
expressions 
of 
non-­‐heteronorma?ve 
sexuali?es 
• Largely 
inclusive 
cultural 
iden?ty 
• With...
Images 
• Brian 
Talbot 
(2005) 
Disco 
Balls 
• Sebas?an 
Niedlich 
(2001) 
Disco 
• Jovino 
(2010) 
disco 
neon 
• PTGre...
Med332 disco and dancing
Med332 disco and dancing
Med332 disco and dancing
Med332 disco and dancing
Med332 disco and dancing
Med332 disco and dancing
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Med332 disco and dancing

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Med332 disco and dancing

  1. 1. #med332 Disco and dancing
  2. 2. Overview • Defining Disco • Key dates and figures • Highs and lows • Backlash
  3. 3. Revolu?onary disco
  4. 4. Defining disco Tim Lawrence: disco an ‘overburdened’ term 1. Spaces organised around the playback of recorded music by a DJ – the discotheque 2. The social prac?ce of individual freeform dancing that was established within this context 3. The music genre that crystallised within this social seNng 1969-­‐1979
  5. 5. Seriously? 15,000+ discos open across US
  6. 6. Abba – ‘Gimme, Gimme, Gimme’ Madonna – ‘Hung Up’
  7. 7. Aiming for the dance floor
  8. 8. Poli?cal target • American New Right
  9. 9. Developing a model of diversity and inclusivity, par?cipants established the prac?ce of dancing throughout the night to the disorien?ng strains of heavily percussive music in the amorphous spaces of the darkened dance floor. While the non-­‐linguis?c prac?ces of these partygoers differed from the direct ac?on of their counterpart street ac?vists, they were similarly commiaed to the libera?on of the dispossessed, and a number of faces could be spoaed shuffling between the club and the street -­‐ Lawrence , 2006: 129
  10. 10. Stonewall Riots 1969
  11. 11. David Mancuso The Loc 647 Broadway & Bleeker Lower East Side ‘Love Saves The Day’ Invite-­‐only Audiophile
  12. 12. The Loc 1970+
  13. 13. Loc classics: 1970-­‐73 • Manu Dibango ‘Soul Makossa’ • Barrabas ‘Woman’ • Beginning Of The End ‘Funky Nassau’ • The Equals ‘Black Skin Blue Eyed Boys’ • Eddie Kendricks ‘Girl You Need A Change Of Mind’ • War ‘City, Country, City’
  14. 14. Nicky Siano, The Gallery 1972-­‐1977
  15. 15. Philly Sound • MFSB • Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes • Teddy Pendergrass • The O’Jays • The Jacksons (co-­‐prod w/ CBS) • Jones Girls • Dexter Wansel
  16. 16. Philadelphia Interna?onal Records
  17. 17. George McRae – ‘Rock Your Baby’ (1974)
  18. 18. The dancefloor as a cultural space where the usual hierarchies of society are inverted -­‐ Paul Gilroy, 1991
  19. 19. The disco phenomena of the late 1970s thrust dance music forcibly into discussions of popular music, but dancing was most ocen portrayed nega?vely as a feminised (or demasculinised) ac?vity associated with women and heterosexual courtship rituals, or homosexual display -­‐ Wall, 2013: 264
  20. 20. Casablanca Records (L.A.) • Donna Summer • Giorgio Moroder • ‘Love to Love You Baby’
  21. 21. Female/sexual libera?on LaBelle -­‐ ‘Lady Marmalade’ (1975)
  22. 22. Female/sexual libera?on? Andrea True Connec?on -­‐ ‘More, More, More’ [Tom Moulton mix] (1976)
  23. 23. Yet…
  24. 24. Success without industry support
  25. 25. Highs and lows • 1977 • Saturday Night Fever • Studio 54
  26. 26. Notable aaendees: • Grace Jones • Mick Jagger • Michael Jackson • Grace Jones • John Travolta • Calvin Klein • Andy Warhol • Truman Capote • Diana Ross
  27. 27. Excess
  28. 28. Saturday Night Fever and the hyper-­‐heterosexual moves of John Travolta
  29. 29. Backlash Such a violent reac?on must seem impossibly dispropor?onate to its object, if that object is taken to be nothing more than a style of popular music. But there was more at work and at stake than such a surface-­‐bound reading can admit. The cultural crusaders of Comiskey were defending not just themselves but society from the encroachment of the racial other, of ‘foreign’ values, and of ‘disco fags’ -­‐ Hubbs, 2007: 231
  30. 30. Comiskey Park 1979
  31. 31. Diana Ross ‘I’m Coming Out’ (1980)
  32. 32. HIV Of course it was AIDS, rather than the histrionic gestures of Steve Dahl, that killed, or at least came close to killing, disco. So rampant was AIDS within the city’s gay clubbing popula?on that the virus was ini?ally dubbed ‘Saint’s disease’, acer the Saint, the biggest, most renowned white gay venue of the 1980s, where dancers were dropping in dispropor?onate numbers. -­‐ Lawrence, 2006: 137
  33. 33. Summary • Pivotal in expressions of non-­‐heteronorma?ve sexuali?es • Largely inclusive cultural iden?ty • Without disco, no house music
  34. 34. Images • Brian Talbot (2005) Disco Balls • Sebas?an Niedlich (2001) Disco • Jovino (2010) disco neon • PTGreg (2007) Disco • Juska Wendland (2013) Disco sucks.

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