My day in Space

By Neil, Disconaut AAA

"I wanted to dance as I had never yet danced: I wanted to dance beyond all heavens" (Nietzche, Thus Spake Zarathustra)

In the summer of 1995 I had the pleasure of spending a day in Space. Thousands of people from all over the world have journeyed to Space in recent years. This legendary dance club in Ibiza provides an excellent illustration of the possibilities and limitations of dance cultures as a means of leaving this world behind.

Clubs in Britain tend to be confined indoors at night. Space turns this on its head, opening in the day and with an outside dancefloor. We turned up at about 11 am after a very pleasant breakfast of coffee, croissants and speed. Some people had come straight from a hard nightís dancing elsewhere, many of them crashed out on cushions in the corner or on whicker chairs on the outside terrace. Much of Ibiza is Brit-dominated, but here there was a better mix of nationalities and sexualities than on the Starship Enterprise.

The ceiling inside the dark interior of the club is decorated with stars - a map of our destination? Further evidence of the clubís potential is found on the edge of the outside dancefloor, where there are several giant propellors. People danced in front of them to keep cool, but there is little doubt that as well functioning as air conditioning fans these machines could be used as starting motors to help propel Space into space.

The music was wall to wall anthems, like Todd Terryís Weekend and, the Hardfloor remix of Mory Kanteís Yeke Yeke. The atmosphere never reached fever pitch, but there was an intimation of that feeling - the disordering of the senses, waves of noise and light flowing over and through the body... That feeling in the centre of the floor, where the outside world has already been left behind and it is easy to believe that the whole place could take off and never come back.

In view of this potential it is not surprizing that the state takes various measures to contain dancing and prevent us reaching the stars.

In many countries only approved businessmen get permission to run clubs. The high prices they charge - some clubs in Ibiza charge £30 a ticket, with small bottles of water costing £3 a bottle in Space - effectively rations dancing, limiting the amount of time people spend dancing, and the amount of people dancing at any one time. The hours people can dance are confined, by rules which state that clubs have to shut at particular times. Within the clubs enemy agents patrol to sabotage preparations for flight - in Space the security wore police style uniforms and patrolled with truncheons.

Above all great efforts have been expended to prevent people dancing under the stars themselves, the ideal conditions for spaceflight. In the UK It is virtually impossible to get official permission to dance outside at night, and non-commercial parties have been targeted by legislation such as the Criminal Justice Act.

Ibiza is different to Britain in that people can and do dance all day and all night (if they can afford it) , and the normal relations of night, day, work and play are suspended. But this is confined as a temporary holiday experience, which most people only experience for a week or two. All this prevents the energy generated on the dancefloor from reaching the critical mass necessary for space flight, as well as preventing a terminal drain of the energy needed to sustain the global system of profit, production and domination.

It was for this reason that on this occasion Space failed to take off and on leaving the club we found ourselves wandering down a beautiful beach in the sun rather than walking on the moon. Still it definitely beat the Holloway Road at 4 am...


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