Monday, February 8, 2010

Just Dance

Yesterday, I had a chance to participate in a what-I-know-to-be-a-first-in-Yerevan event called Yerevan Online Party. Organized by Deem Communications and DJ Tsomak, the idea behind the party was that anyone, anywhere could request songs to be played at the party and join in on the fun. 

A couple of days before and even during the event, you could send your requests (including YouTube video link) by email or SMS, or post them on the event Facebook page. Then, during the party, Tsomak played the songs (in the order she received them), projected the videos on the wall, and had a webcam going so that those who wanted to join in on the fun could see the event via webcam, connected through Skype.

Can you imagine the technology and coordinating involved in pulling off an event such as this in a country where internet connection isn’t always reliable? To be honest, I thought there would be more technical glitches than there actually was. The only downfall with Skype is that only one user at any one time could actually view the event through webcam (since, if I’m not mistaken, you can’t have video calls with more than one user at a time).

So Tsomak had to not only DJ the event, keep track of the songs coming in (with Raffi’s help, of course!), but also juggle between various Skype callers. There was constantly an incoming call and we just couldn’t answer them all at the same time. So if you were one of those people who called, you might’ve gotten through, maybe even saw some precious webcam footage, only to be cut off a few seconds or minutes later. That was probably because we answered another video call and had to put you either on hold or cut the video (in which case you would’ve heard the music but lost the image).

In any case, it was totally fun and the 2,000 AMD entrance fee was worth if you consider that it included a drink ticket and a performance at the Hamazgayin Theatre (tickets for theatre productions at Hamazgayin normally cost 1,000 AMD).

A couple of drinks, some amazing tunes, a handful of great friends and dance partners, and videos projected on the wall (including the occasional view of a Skype caller) made for an amazing, memorable, and pretty innovative evening in downtown Yerevan on a Sunday night.

And most important of all for me was that it gave me an opportunity to reconnect with this city and with my place here.

It had been a long time since I went out dancing and let loose. In a way, the space and, as Paulo pointed out, the plastic cups of alcoholic drinks with “yerevan online party” written on them, reminded me of highschool parties, but so what? Last night, for me, was more about reliving those brief periods when nothing else mattered except dancing.

And that is why, the soundtrack to this blog post, without a doubt, is Lady Gaga’s Just Dance.

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