The Meyer Dancers are London’s finest specialist 1960s Go Go Dance Company. The Meyer Dancers are made up of professionally trained dancers and choreographers. TMD are assisted by professional make up artists and costume designers to create a truly authentic experience. The Meyer dancers have been performing Go Go for 3 years & are well established with support slots to names such as Geno Washington & The Sonics.
01. How did the The Meyer Dancers originally get going?
Treacle and Cherry founded TMD when they met at dance school and discovered a mutual passion for all things 60’s and 70’s. Treacle was spinning records regularly at club nights around north London and Soho, with Cherry being one of the regular attendees at her nights. The duo had an admiration for 60’s movies and in particular cult legend Russ Meyer. This was where the Meyer Dancers were born and took inspiration from. Swerving a far left from the burlesque movement The Meyer Dancers recreate authentic Go-Go dancing from the podiums reminiscent from ‘Whisky A Go-Go’, shindigs and soul trains!
02. How long have you been interested in this type of dancing?
All our dancers have been dancing since they were nippers but as a company we’ve been Go-Going for 6 years and we are still the first cats on the dance floor! We love to perform our routines but we also like getting up to freestyle. We are trying to get the ‘Go-Go’ word around town teaching a great cardio 60’s workout and learning some of the classic moves! We are currently holding classes twice a month at Haunt in Dalston.
03. What was it like to go from an Idea to your actual first early bookings?
We started off by learning many of the ‘classic’ moves, watching hours of YouTube videos, original film footage, and studying the whole look and vibe. We started out performing with a northern soul cover band in east London every month and it progressed from there into different kinds of bookings from music videos, to dancing for some of our idols!
04. How did you research the types of moves and the sounds and styles and set-ups?
We went out to as many clubs as possible, you learn so much from chatting to people and the dance floors. We also watched endless soul train and Shindig plus loads of Ike and Tina Turner footage!
05. Tell us about your usual preparation behind the scenes for a show?
It usually consists of an overflowing suitcase full of costumes, hairspray and pins. We come dressed in our ’60’s day wear’ ; we get a lot of stuff from charity shops, Paperdress vintage and E-Bay! We also have a constant supply of fake eyelashes! Pre performance you’ll find us backstage warming up and wiggling into costumes, plus some extra backcombing never goes a miss!
06. Where have you appeared over the years?
We have been booked for such a variety! We’ve performed at most of the festivals, Glastonbury, Lattitude, Wilderness, Isle of Wight. Lots of fabulous clubs in London, the North of England and Spain! We have also danced for dome seriously groovy parties one we loved recently was in a disused building on the south bank it was lovingly recreated as Andy Warhols factory and we had pride of place – shakin and shimmying next to the DJ! Not forgetting one of our favourite annual performances at Le Beat Bespoke where we have supported The Sonics, danced our socks off for The Pretty Things and even done ‘the bird’ with The Trashmen!
07. Tell us about your involvement with the New Untouchables?
The New Untouchables make so many people happy – it’s just a pleasure working with them! We started by coming to the nights as punters and Rob Bailey asked The Meyers to perform at Le Beat Bespoke about five years ago and I think we have performed every year since making more glamorous friends every time
08. What are some of the best and worst memories from your performances?
The worst was probably the back stage glamour being told to head to your dressing room and then arriving to find they’ve whacked a sign up on a random door and the reality is that 5 of us have to get changed in a disabled toilet, then opening the door to a northern man having a piss!
The best bit is we get to do what we love! We love a great crowd who vibe off us and get dancing and we love performing with bands and DJs who are just as passionate as us! We love to keep the authenticity as much as we can to the go-go girls of the era.
09. How do you keep the performances so fresh and vibrant?
Within the paradigm of 60’s go-go we like to go into the sub genres such as psychedelia, mod, French ye-ye and surf so we make routines which suit these vibes and always make a new costume for each of them! We often have clients ask us to perform specific styles within Go-Go so its good to have some variation. We love shopping trips to record shops to find new songs to dance to!
10. Who are your big inspirations in the world of dance and performance?
We love love love Pans People but the original line up to around ’73, they had to put their heads together every week and make magic happen to whatever was the latest hit and sometimes we get given themes or tracks that bring a whole new approach to how we choreograph or style ourselves so it is exciting, exhilarating and also a bit of a giggle! We also love The Hullaballoo dancers and The Gazzarri girls off Hollywood A-Go-Go but inspiration can come from everywhere! The buxom babes of Russ Meyers films of course and party scenes in cult classics like Riot On The Sunset Strip or The Trip Out. Last but definitely not least those Ikettes sure could shake a tail feather too!
11. What are some of your favourite soundtracks to your favourite routines?
Oh we have had so many! We have danced to everything from The Clapping Song by Shirley Ellis, to Henry Mancini’s corker Experiment in Terror (Twist) to Coz I Luv You by Slade! But one of our favourites is probably our routine to Liar Liar by The Castaways.
12. How do people tend to re-act when they see you live on stage?
We get them dancing, some people don’t know what to expect, but then they see what a good time we’re having and they want in on the party you see the feet
13. Who makes your outfits and stage-wear?
We buy original pieces where possible but we also make a fair bit ourselves we love collaboration any fashionistas of costume designers do get in contact! We have been styled by Lucy In disguise and more recently we has costumes made by HUZZAR HUZZAR vintage.
14. What have you got planned for the future?
2016 is going to be an exciting year for us as we have lots of new projects to delve into, we have a project with a fashion designer coming up soon and bookings for the major festivals in the UK and Europe. Watch this space groovy people!
Le Beat Bespoké 12 – London (Easter 2017) – see all the details HERE!
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