Naima Morelli

Silent dancers

Apparently there’s nothing new with it.
Apparently it’s something going on since 2003 or something.
Apparently it’s just me, a country-mouse from Italy not informed about the new trends.
All right, I get that, but still it’s difficult to me to be impassible whit this bunch of people stirring awkwardly on the crowded sidewalk for no reason.
If I were back in my Campania countryside, I would mistake the whole thing for a collective exorcism. But of course, the square in front of Flinder Street Station has very little in common with the Campania countryside.

So, these people are dancing with no music but with a lot of concentration in their absurd outfits.
With a more accurate observation I notice that they all wear headphones, so what is happening is that everyone is dancing with their own playlist.
The obvious consequence is that everyone is doing his own moves charmly out of sync.

The first time I read about this “Silent Disco” was in the brochure of the Moomba festival.
Moomba is one of these events based on nothing that the City of Melbourne loves to organize every two weeks or so.
In that occasion a DJ was playing two different tunes in the dancers’ headphones. One night some dancers were shaking on the sound electric Brutal Metal guitars and the others were lost in dancehall moves. The next day was Korean pop vs Techno, the day after Gamelan vs LadyGaga and so on.

Probably these guys in front on Fliders Street Station enjoyed the thing at the Moomba Festival and this afternoon they have took their own initiative.
The passersby here are used to the Melbournian youngster oddities, so they don’t even notice that cluster of colourful, crazy-dressed people go wild straight in front of them.
“Bunch of hipsters.” hiss my bespectacled boyfriend sit on the stairs of Flinders station.
“Do we want to join them?” I suggest, while my scepticism has slowly giving room to curiosity.
“For Hegel’s sake, no!”
“Why not? Maybe is fun! You would be funny for sure there, you’re so awkward when you dance!”
“That is not encouraging. You go, I will not hold you back.” reply dryly my boyfriend dipping his small oriental nose in “The God Delusion”.
“Come on…”
“Leave me alone, I’m arrived to a very thrilling point of the book and… anyways I don’t have headphones! What a shame! Well.. you can go if you want, I will wait for you here.”
I hesitate on the stairs for a little.
Well, the situation is enough Nouvelle Vague for me, I have to admit. I don’t completely dislike it.
I slowly start skimming the playlist in the music folder of my phone.
Eddie Money: “Shakin’”
Here we go…

silentdisco