In April, the two hottest tickets in New York City were getting to the top of the TurboVax queue and, for a non-vaccine art kick, Social! The Social Distance Dance Club, which was the closest thing we had to boogying down at a “club” for a year and half. (This writer went and can confirm it was a transcendent, albeit sweaty, experience.) Created by David Byrne, Christine Jones, and Steven Hoggett for a limited run at the Park Avenue Armory, the show sold out in a matter of hours; however, behind-the-scenes footage is forever, and Vulture is pleased to share this short documentary about how Social! was made, right down to Byrne workshopping his groovy moves.
“I want to draw from everyday movement. I try to remind people that when they’re riding the subway in New York, if you’re not holding the poles, you’re subway surfing,” he explains in the video. “You have to do a kind of dance. Same thing when you’re walking on the street in New York. We’re kind of dancing through a lot of our lives.” The show, Jones told us at the time, was conceived specifically for the in-between moment of spring 2021, when people were beginning to feel safe indoors with others “but not ready to be in a Broadway theater next to a thousand other people.” Every participant got their own contactless kaleidoscopic orb of light to dance in, while a DJ spun a mix of hits from the ’60s to the early aughts — which were often interwoven with Byrne’s voice of God so he could tell us how exactly we should (try to) be dancing. Watch and try it at home with an oversize suit.