The peculiarities of Azerbaijani mass events
“Dance, fun and fresh air lovers! Bakuvians and guests of the capital! We would like to invite you to the First Mass Dance Open-Air in Baku.
The venue – a wonderful dance floor at the Seaside Boulevard, behind the Puppet Theatre. Every Saturday at 7 p.m. Follow the sounds of the music and your ears will guide you!
It was something totally new. Usually there are only three places where one can dance in Azerbaijan: at a wedding party, in a nightclub or in a dance class. The discos disappeared in the late 90s. Our people have never been known for their free behavior during mass events, and nothing changed today. However, events such as dance flashmobs, for instance, are things that are staged in advance, carefully rehearsed and approved by the authorities.
Badi Kuba dance club, which is the organizer of the event, is expected to hold Mass Dance Open-Airs on Saturdays. Different styles will be represented. The first Saturday it was Salsa.
There were a few pairs that danced during the event – the dance club students. It would be strange to expect that Bakuvians would take up the initiative and dance Salsa en masse – our people still need to be taught salsa. The only hope for them is if a simpler style is chosen next time, and then it would become a real mass gathering.
However, only the number of spectators increased the next Saturday. In additon to salsa it was also possible to dance the lezginka, but the spectators were neither willing nor able to join the dance club collective in their performance which was accompanied by national music. Only kids from the audience joined in. In short, those who wanted to see the people dancing had a blast.
Later in the evening, the number of those enthusiastic about dancing increased and the dance school’s students were joined by a few ‘mere mortals’. However, it was still far from being a mass event: With only a few dancers and not many people in the audience, it resembled an amateur performance.
That still has not prevented news portals from describing the event as ‘a dance celebration that dominated the entire boulevard.”
The organizers promise to start conducting master-classes and increase the amount of the music ‘assortment’ in the future. Well, let’s hope that hip-hop will make the Azerbaijani public stop feeling embarrassed and step out on the dance floor.