Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006

You Can Dance If You Want To


I owe the Germans an apology. Last week I suggested that at parties they just stand around, wallflowering, while South Africans, despite the restraining force of bad techno, give it their all unashamedly on the dancefloor. Sorry, Germans. I was wrong. It appears that all you need for a really good party is really good music. And one litre glasses of beer.

The Burg, where I live, came to sparkling life this weekend with two live open-air concerts at the meadow on the river. The first was a Night at the Proms affair – complete with little Union Jacks to wave – featuring the Neuen Philharmonie Frankfurt and the soprano Anna Maria Kaufmann. If we were lulled into thinking that it would be a mild evening we were soon re-appraised by this young and vibrant orchestra – the evening may have begun with God Save the Queen, but it arrived at Deep Purple via Elton John, Mel C, Elgar, Mendelssohn, Andrew Lloyd Webber, The Who and the Beatles. It was a great evening, and by the end all the Burg pensioners were up on their feet, waving their Union Jacks and yelling “Smoag on the Va – ter” along with us.

Let it also be said that the oddness of fluttering British flags with a crowd of Germans while singing Jerusalem and Land of Hope and Glory did not escape us. Neither did the Sekt.

Last night, in a bid to get to the bottom of what really rocks the Germans, your intrepid correspondent joined 15 000 people (who managed to double the population of the Burg in one evening) at the Rosenstolz concert. Born in the cool centre of the planet, Berlin, this pop duo of singer AnNa R. and songwriter, keyboardist and singer Peter Plate have been together for fifteen years and they are extremely popular. Imagine a group that combined Michael Stipes with the love-child of Grace Jones and Madonna, plus extremely hot back-up musicians, and you would get Rosenstolz. They belt out fantastic dance songs, ballads, a bit of erotica and are not scared of humour. The Germans LOVE them. And, after a couple of litre glasses of beer, so did we. We sang, we danced, we lit metaphorical cigarette lighters and swayed. It was a really good party. And thousands upon thousands of Germans danced.

I was wrong. The Germans CAN dance. But only if they want to.


Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

10 thoughts on “You Can Dance If You Want To

  1. Gee thanks Charlotte, now that it’s almost bedtime, tonight’s lullaby will be brought to me by Men Without Hats. “Safety Dance” always sticks with me for days!

  2. Oh what fun!! Your prom night shows the Germans can be eccentric when they want to. And you went to Rosenstolz? Wow, I’m impressed.

  3. Hi Charlotte, thanks for the update! Glad to hear the Burgers have it in them, even if they’re back to their lace curtains and immaculate lawns the next day.

    Seems like your wish has come true, if you can’t go to Berlin, Berlin comes to you!

  4. Rosenstolz sounds fabulous.

  5. Henitserk, if it’s any comfort I’ve been Safety Dancing all day today to the point that I want to strangle myself.

    Emma C, glad you’re impressed with my jolling prowess. I am too!

    Well exactly, Bindi. Berlin came to the Burg and it was fabulous.

    Emily, they are a great band, whose followers range from 10-year-olds to ancient people like my friends and me.

  6. What a relief – I hate to think of you in a nation full of non-dancers!

  7. Hi Charlotte,

    thanks for your lovely note on my blog. I’ll let you know how it all goes on Wednesday

  8. Hi charlotte – the Germans are odd like that – my experience was often dependent on the ‘type’ of party – weddings always seem to be an opportunity for couples to show off their dance moves – and the weird thing that I often noticed was how EVERYBODY always knows the words to ALL the songs! – and EVERYBODY sings! LOL – glad you found some boogie nights… sounds like it was a blast.

    thanks for the comments on my blog – ‘an ode to the art of cooking’ was a lovely way to put it.

  9. What a set of images! I’ve always found that the recipe for dancing Germans is simply “Add alcohol!” And stand well back!

  10. ehm, yes, they can, very rarely. most germans don’t really look very good dancing, i have no idea if we’re all lacking musicality or just self confidence.
    there’s some truth in that “add alcohol” recipe, too.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s