Another one bites the dust. After six years, the legendary Body & Soul, “the house party that got too big for somebody’s living room,” is going on a hiatus from the newly revamped Vinyl—now called ARC and promoted by Mike Bindra of Twilo fame.
The party’s promoters announced on www.bodyandsoul-nyc.com that they are taking “a break for the next few weeks,” but didn’t specify future plans.
DJ François Kevorkian, who co-owns Body & Soul NYC-LLC with promoter John Davis, refused to comment on specifics. “We are not prepared to discuss any of [the details] at this time,” said Kevorkian.
Speculation that ARC’s new management booted the party seems to be just that. “I am shocked and saddened to see Body & Soul go,” said Bindra, adding that the decision was made by Kevorkian.
Several inside sources told the Voice that the real reason for the departure is the deep rift between Kevorkian and his partner, Davis, and that the situation came to a head July 14, when Davis was thrown out of ARC. A reportedly inebriated Davis allegedly became upset with club management when the lights from an art show held in the back lounge interfered with his merchandising. Words were exchanged and Davis was told to leave the club after he insulted a female club employee. Three days later, the announcement to end the party was posted online.
Davis was conspicuously absent from the final Body & Soul on Sunday night, stating on the Body & Soul message board that he was “barred” from the club. He held his own separate after-party featuring Ron Trent at Discotèque later that night, which drew a couple hundred revelers. But according to two Discotèque employees, Kevorkian and fellow Body & Soul DJ Danny Krivit were no-shows. Davis could not be reached for comment.
Lesbolicious LoverGirlNYC has found a new home at Shelter. The party recently left the Flatiron club True when it shut for renovations a few weeks ago.
According to Abby Ehmann, promoter of True’s rock and fetish parties, Kitsch Inn and Gomorrah, and Megaboy Kate of LoverGirlNYC, True’s owners wanted to change their formatting. Co-owner Max King described the new venue—called Chetty Reds—as a blues and rock club that will feature TVs (“for important sporting events”), a stage area, and DJ booths. “It was a successful alternative club. Since it was time to change, we wanted to go back to a mainstream type of place,” he explained.
Ehmann said that the new owners “were never comfortable with the freaks,” while Kate tells a slightly different story: “Any problem we had was not gender-oriented.” While Chetty Reds isn’t going to have any gay- and lesbian-centric nights, King said that “if you’re gay and lesbian and you wanna come—come on in.”
The fight for your right to dance rages on. Last week, the folks from Legalize Dancing NYC and the Dance Liberation Front joined forces at the Slipper Room to benefit the anti-cabaret-law movement. Chi Chi Valenti hosted a gaggle of local artists, including the World Famous *BOB*, who did her world-famous boob-aerobics routine; Raqesat El Yaqoot, a foursome of fearless belly dancers; and DJ extraordinaire Jeannie Hopper.
Stand-up comedian Henry Faulkner turned in a whole routine dedicated to ruffling the feathers of the dance police. “I didn’t know about the cabaret laws. I thought it was about being anti-Cabaret, where you pay $100 to see Gina Gershon and instead you get Lea Thompson,” he cracked. Eric Demby and his LDNYC crew are working with politician Alan Gerson and civil rights lawyers Norman Siegel and Paul Chevigny to rewrite the law—which will be introduced to legislators in the fall—so that it “deregulates” dancing for venues with a 200-or-less capacity.
It’s a small step, but a step nevertheless. As Faulkner shouted, “Don’t make Greenwich Village into Greenwich, Connecticut. I’m sorry, but fuck you, we were here first!”
José Germosén is vacationing and will return in two weeks.