Clubs: Honey Soundsystem looks to ‘Dancer from the Dance’

Pub date March 27, 2008

Honey! All photos by Joshua Rotter.

By Joshua Rotter

It’s a story as old as disco. Attractive “straight” Midwesterner moves to the big city to find himself, only to get blindsided by a barrage of drugs, sex, and tea dances. True, dancing became a major component of gay life in the post-Stonewall ’70s, when the dance floor served as both a place of expression and escape for many gay men. It’s this defining period in gay history that novelist Andrew Holleran highlighted in his 1978 novel, Dancer from the Dance.


Taking his title from poet William Butler Yeats’s 50 year-old line, “How can we know the dancer from the dance?” Holleran attempted to examine this brain-twister in his chronicle of gays looking for companionship and understanding in pre-AIDS New York City and Fire Island, by focusing on the misadventures of his beautiful yet provincial protagonist Anthony Malone, who loses himself in the shuffle and shag club scene.

Thirty years later, the Honey Soundsystem collective – DJs Pee Play, KenVulsion, Robot Hustle, Jason Kendig, and Josh Cheon – took cues from this groundbreaking work for their most recent theme party.