THE MEYER DANCERS
ANDI EDWARDS shares a G&T with TREACLE HOLASZ.
Within this hipster enclave against a backdrop of crushed red velvet drapery, a whiplash guitar cut's througth the exalted gathering. Freakbeat rythems begin to rise as the stage is suddenly awash with an exotica display of sensual reverie and explosive slinkiness. Tail feathers a shaking and bodies writhing to the propulsive beats, all attention is held in rapture by the sassy femmes leading this psychotropic parade tonight. We all flasback in unison to a world beyond the valley of the dolls and deep down within the go-go canyon.
Ladies and gentlemen be upstanding and please welcome the fabulous Meyer Dancers.
The Meyer Dancers are the UK's premier Go Go Girl dance troupe. Appearing at all hip and happening shindigs within the capital and beyond, they transform every event they appear at into a blaze of ecstatic glamour and earth shaking swagger. Previously known as the DRA Dance collective they have recently expanded to a five piece. I caugtht up with lead Meyer Treacle Holalsz over a few gin and tonics and easy chatter at a favoured local batcave.
Treacle: "For me the biggest influence and reason I started the troupe was the opening trailer of Russ Meyer's Faster Pussycat... kill kill kill. It was the passion, strength, stamina and femininity of the women in the scene. What I had previously encountered in Go Go Dancing had been this very sweet interpretation, for example The Supremes which I personally don't see as Go Go dancing. It's very nice but it's basically a motown 2 step. Our whole thing was to bring back the proper Go go dancing. Our influences were the dancers at The Whiskey A Go Go in the ’60s, Tura Santana and The Ikettes. We just wanted to display that raw energy and I personally wanted to start a dance troupe that expressed that love, fire and passion we have for the music. Which I hadn't seen expressed since the ’60s."
Funny you should mention that, as within my own events I've always felt the need to have a Go Go dance troupe to accentuate the musical and visual impact. "When you are performing with a band from the ’60s or ’70s, I feel it really helps them as it's a way of really taking them back. I feel it helps to get that original passion from them again. Which may not happen if they were performing to just another unknowlegable crowd."
So how did the girls all come to find each other originally?
"We all met througth out mutual dance degree with the tacher Lee Bryson. We studied together on a B.A course in dance chereography, and bonded over morning ballet classes. Eventually we all found out we shared a mutual interest in Gin & Tonic's and record collections. And from there we all came to a descision that there was no one else out there performing any dance we wanted to see and that we should get out there and have a go. I had a friend that was running a ’60s night and he gave us the oppurtunity to cherograph a few numbers and get up and perform. And really it's all grown from there.
In term's of the new members, one of the girls applied to us througth our website and she is a Bollywood dancer, and the other is a fashion make up artist and designer. One of our original dancers Cherry met the latter on a fashion shoot, and she is this amazing 6ft 5 Amazonian goddess and Cherry was like "Oh hello... by the way do you like dancing by any chance?" (laugths)"
Going back to your early perfomances, are there any memories that particularly stand out?
"Well all of my memories are generally good, but the girls did ask to point out one particular incident. We had a misbooking at this members club in Mayfair, London. We began to wonder where the stage was and the owner's reply was "No.. no stage, two of you can go on the Bar and one can go on the amplifier..." and i was like 'Whaat?! This sounds faintly ugly.' But we stuck it out and the next thing we know this firebreather walks in, stinking of vodka and boasting about how she had burnt her mouth the night before. And the final straw came when a lady whom was a snake charmer came out dressed as Lara Croft and we decided Ok, regardless of the money, this is definatly not for us and promptly left."
On a more posistive and apropiate note, the girls have made a number of memorable appearances at Le Spoke Boutique..
"I only have good memories. And we'd definatly like to say a massive thank you to Rob Bailey, as he was one of the first people to gave us an oppurtunity to perform. But our favourite memory that we've all agreed upon is when we performed with The Sonics.....Firstly the crowd that night were so up for dancing. And that was the first night we did our routine 'Liar Liar' by The Castaways and it just seemed that everyone in that room had the same anticipation and raw energy. We then came off the stage to find we were sharing a dressing room with The Sonics, which I think would be any girls dream. We are all huge Sonics fans and to go in there and find they were literally some of the nicest people you could ever meet... they couldn't share enougth of their Corona Beer and cheese...! They were lovely."
Within your performances what is your dream music to dance to?
"We all love northern soul. It just lends itself dancing, you just hear it and want to move. And not only that a lot of the lyrics of the songs are telling you what dance moves to do. It's a cherographers dream. It's so good to hear music that is so upbeat and engaging, and it create's the energy we want. In terms of actual dance routines, it has to be 'Shake Your tail Feather'. For me I've been an Ike & Tina Turner fan for as long as I can remember. I had a record player given to me for my fifth birthday by a delusional godparent. And with it came a load of records, mainly classical and one record by Ike & Tina. So I used to do my ballet to the classical and then put the other record on and pretend to be Tina Turner. And when I met the other girls they were all Turner fan's, and there is this great night named 'Shake Your Tail Feather' and that was where we first premiered the dance.
"We had these shorts made that were black crushed velvet with these huge white feathers coming out of the back so it enabled us to be properly Tina Turner. And there is this wonderful clip of Tina from Soul Train back in the ’70s where she asked by an audience member. "What are your hobbies Tina?' and after a few replies she answers, "I think I like being a woman.And that just sums everything up for us. We just want to go out and celebrate being feminine and express that joy and fabulousness that The Ikettes were all about."
And the fabulous future of The Meyers...
"Well as far a i know we are going to be the first dance company to attempt a ’60s Bollywood Go-Go routine. There is some amazing ’60s Go Go in the Bollywood world, but so far no one contemporary has touched it. We also have dates lined up at a Spanish festival in November, and in that same month we'll be dancing with the legendary Geno Washington. It's a charity event at The Cross in Birmingham, which as a big Geno fan is pretty exciting to me."
And with that we down our G+T's, pick up our tail feathers and shimmy into the star crossed dawn...