Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Taking To The Dance Floor

Here's something that happened at a recent left wing MO/Conservadox wedding at a venue in a Chareidi 'hood.

During the first dance set, the caterer walked in and gave the leader of the Carlbachian-style jam band a "one minute" sign indicating that he should end the set in one minute. (Typically, the caterer gives more advance notice.) About twenty seconds later, he walked out of the room, giving him a "cut the music" sign. Ten seconds after that, the power goes off. Apparently, the caterer had seen that some family members were dancing together during "Keitzad Merakdin" and decided that he'd end the music due to the mixed dancing.

(Some venues in Chareidi hoods have "no mixed dancing" clauses in their contracts. From what I've been told, this venue did not. I've played a few events where the caterer has enforced that clause in their contract by asking the band to stop playing until the women return to their side of the mechitza, but I've never had the power turned off with no warning.)

Annoyed at the rudeness of the caterer's interaction with the band as well as the potential damage to the electronic equipment, the musicians immediately grabbed their instruments -- clarinet, violin, acoustic guitar, and melodica-- and completed the dance set from the center of the packed dance floor. The room was rocking!

The caterer turned the power on shortly thereafter, when he was told by the family that he would not get paid otherwise.

Viva la revolution!

(I just might have first-hand knowledge of this episode.)