Friday, July 27, 2007

Dance Dance Revolution

Kronstadt is creepy. The island is located a rickety 30-minute bus ride away from St. Petersburg and is best-known for being the site of a bloody sailor's rebellion against the Bolsheviks called, in fact, the Kronstadt Rebellion. Today, Kronstadt hangs in an eerie, Stephen King-movie state of neglect, despite being inhabited by 45,000 people. Like everyone just dropped what they were doing, and walked away. Multiple times. Prisons, churches, arsenals — all falling apart. Once, some shifty townies broke us into an abandoned morgue, and there were still scalpels on the autopsy table, and body parts in jars of formaldehyde. Yoohoo, you forgot your pickles!

My artist friend Lara lived in a house there in order to take full advantage of Kronstadt's creepiness. Her summer culminated in a final art installation with girls hanging in white cocoons and a bald man playing the cello. For reals, it was so creepy.

The whole upside to Kronstadt's Andrei Tarkovskian, post-apocalyptic barrenness is that you can occupy whatever space you want, without anyone yelling at you. Even a fort. Fortdance is an annual open-air summer dance festival held in the cracked and peeling Fort Alexander, commissioned in 1845 by Tsar Nikolai. It never saw battle while operant and had a brief stint as a plague laboratory at the end of 19th century. During that time, barely anyone was let in, and the people who did had to pass through a special "Microbe" tunnel. Now it's rented out for parties, like teeth-grinding, pacifier-sucking Fortdance.

Dancing? In a fort?! Let me just get my spaceship.

I was going to post lots of photos from the excitement last weekend, because honestly Geometria dedicated hundreds of pages to Fortdance. But they all look the same. Like this:

Writing captions for photos sucks, but everyone fucking loves Vice so I'll do a few.

Kronstadt's rich naval tradition.

You write it.

A modern Russian club has a fairly good chance of caving in at any second. Fortdance ups that thrill factor mega.

Walking out into the blinding post-club sun sucks. Especially when its only 3 AM and now you have to swim home.


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