MUSIC: Body & Soul’s Cause for Celebration
On their own, Body & Soul‘s statesmen _ François K., Joaquin “Joe” Claussell and Danny Krivit _ can bring a crowd to its knees at a moment’s notice. Together, the veteran DJs and longtime friends are capable of causing out-of-body experiences recounted years later as part of NYC’s clubland lore. Since 1996, the Sunday afternoon party which began modestly at a Tribeca warehouse space has gained an international following and continues to inspire people from all walks of life with annual events across the U.S. and in Japan, Brazil, Canada and Europe. In May, Body & Soul brings the vibe back to the U.K., headlining the grand Sunday finale for Southport Weekender 49, which celebrates its 25th anniversary.
“What makes Body & Soul special all these years is the passion and commitment that everyone has for House music and special moments that happen at a Body & Soul party,” says Sheeba the Diva, who thoroughly enjoyed this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. weekend event at XL Nightclub. “Most of all, the connection of the three amazing DJs who radiate the energy toward the crowd. Then it’s like magic and the music illuminates through our body and souls. It’s like an oasis.” Can’t deny firsthand experience _ Body & Soul delivers on demand whether you’re looking for uplifting disco classics, spiritual and tribal rhythms or some abstract dub-tinged vibes. Sheeba continues, “I’ve been going to Body & Soul since 1998 every Sunday at club Vinyl … which was an amazing dance space!! Thereafter, Body and Soul began to tour international … I tour with them as a dancer, give the clubgoers a similar vibe from Club Vinyl (realness).
Regardless of a change of venue or a new generation being introduced to the party, Body & Soul upholds the pure celebration of House music and dance (evident upon entry amid a room filled with brightly colored balloons and spectacular lights by Ariel). Louis “Loose” Kee, another Body & Soul supporter from the early days, appreciates this sense of tradition, timelessness and camaraderie maintained over the years.
“It became a classic, it became its own entity,” explains Kee, who traveled to Japan three times as a Body & Soul dancer and cherishes every memory shared with everyone in the crowd. “It carved its own space in an underground way. Gay, straight, black, white and it’s not an age party, there’s no set age … it’s all good. As long as you have a big venue you can get lost and find your energy in all parts of the room … Together with people all night long.”
He also applauds the level of showmanship between all three DJs and promoter John Davis (who originally founded the event with François K). “These guys showcase each other as gentlemen, no one fights for the attention,” Kee reflected. “A DJ should be heard not seen. If a DJ has to be seen, they’re not doing their job. It has become more about seeing than dancing and celebrating _ we miss out on that. Watch it like a concert and you’ll never have the experience and celebration … House music is a release, it’s about feeling.”
Body & Soul: http://bodyandsoul-nyc.com/
Body & Soul MLK event photo gallery by Tania Fuentez Media: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ajournalist/sets/72157632590233996/with/8407088254/