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80,000 Log-on for virtual dance party in Argentina

By Jose Manuel Rodriguez

Buenos Aires, May 25 (efe-epa).- Argentina’s dance floors have been off-limits for the last two months thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, but that isn’t stopping devotees of “La Bresh,” a rolling party launched in 2016, from coming together virtually on Saturday nights to show off their moves.

As many as 80,000 “Breshites” are regular participants in the Instagram sessions, which begin around 11.00 pm and go on well past midnight.

DJ Bröder told Efe that ahead of the first edition of “La Bresh at Home,” he would have been happy if even a thousand people tuned in.

The response has far exceeded expectations, as one recent session garnered 850,000 views, and Bröder, whose real name is Alejandro Saporiti, celebrated the “monstrous growth” for Bresh.

Ahead of the quarantine, Bresh events were taking place weekly in Buenos Aires and several other Argentine cities, and the phenomenon had even found its way to other Latin American countries, such as Uruguay and Ecuador.

Bresh, DJ Bröder said, is about creating an atmosphere where everyone is welcome by excluding the “excesses,” violence and machismo associated with discotheques.

Though the online parties are limited to Saturdays, many fans spend the rest of their days reminiscing about the previous session or looking forward to the next one, posting video clips and GIFs and submitting song requests to Bröder.

The Bresh hashtag on social media opens an array of images of people – some in their pajamas or sweats, others dressed to the nines – dancing to the same song.

Bröder has collated some of the more notable video submissions.

One features a couple who met in the chat room of a Saturday night Bresh party went on to get better acquainted via WhatsApp. In another clip, two teenagers walk into a room to follow the session and find their father dressed-up as a security guard and mom ready to serve up soft drinks.

That family vignette shows the digital format is bringing Bresh to the kind of people who don’t go to discos or nightclubs, DJ Bröder said.

And while “the mini-blender of genres” that is part of the Bresh creed remains a constant, Bröder acknowledged making other changes to adjust to the switch from an in-person gathering to a virtual one.

The usual musical progression during an event at a discotheque is from light to heavy in order to create an ambiance before working the dancers into a frenzy.

But “in the Instagram Live sessions, it works the opposite way,” DJ Bröder said. “And the heaviest dose of intensity, hit songs, moments – you have to load everything in the first two hours.”

He likens the experience to doing a live television broadcast with the ability to know exactly how many people are watching at any given moment.

Because what counts online is immediacy, the DJ now opens the session with chart-toppers from Karol G, Bad Bunny and other stars of the moment.

Participants eager to get down to the sounds of Britney Spears or Black Eyed Peas, or even traditional Latin American genres such as cumbia, must wait till the wee hours to hear their favorites.

Bröder himself is uncertain whether the Instagram Live sessions will continue in parallel with in-person events once the quarantine ends.

Either way, Bresh will be there every Saturday night for the duration of the lockdown to ensure that the beat never stops. EFE jmr/dr

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