VIDEO: Maneuver at Middlesex

We’ve been to Gucci-splattered parties at packed clubs. We’ve been to themed ragers in renovated churches. But even at half capacity, no one's danced harder than the kids at Maneuver, the new iteration of the madly popular Revival series. Taking over Revival’s monthly Monday slot at Middlesex, Maneuver’s a new night with new DJs, but this shit’s got more lineage than your friends at Harvard.

Maneuver precursor Revival began as anti-DJ Brandon Andrew’s social experiment. He compiled community-based playlists from friends’ Facebook pages, hoping to create intimacy from a medium that “diffused people’s level of engagement.” And so people came, and they heard what they wanted. “I have no skills,” says Andrew. “I just play songs back-to-back. If anything, I’d call myself an iTunes playlist ... maybe a Genius mix.”

Maneuver is thrown by Andrew, VJ Coco Segaller, and new addition Branden Paillant, who lends a more beat-heavy vibe to the typically indie fare. Killer tunes aside, the night’s real hook lies in Segaller’s scattered samplings of YouTube clips and cult horror movies: macabre murder shots from ’70s Italian freak-fest Suspiria mixed with Valentine’s Day pawn shop commercials set to Major Lazer’s “Pon De Floor” and the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams.” It’s a cultural clusterfuck akin to the aversion-therapy scene from A Clockwork Orange, and it probably wreaks nearly the same level of havoc on your brain. It’s a good kind of havoc, though, one largely concerned with dancing obscenely in small packs on weeknights.

Despite the odd synchronicity between song and video (like when a clip of old-school cartoon skeletons playing each other’s spines matched perfectly with some decaying keyboard blips), nothing is scripted. For that, our patrons of dance turn to the party gods. “Maybe we’ll have some weird, super-super-tight mixes where everything will come together,” says Segaller. “But we don’t do it intentionally.”

Segaller speaks to the karmic disorder inherent to many dance nights, where crowds come together in moments of perfect harmony -- if only for a second. Maneuver hit it several times, spread across different mediums: video mirrored movement, which imitated a beat, which segued to another song, which déjà vu’d all over again. Intended or not, these kids know how to throw a party.

“America is obese, and the one thing I want to do is make people sweat so hard that they lose that pound,” says Andrew. “Eat that Ana’s burrito, but sweat it out – don’t stand in the corner at some shitty downtown club with your arms crossed being manorexic.”

--P. Nick Curran and Addison Post

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