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How Video Games Allow Everyone to Be John Travolta?

Ever since the release of Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) in United States in 1998, the way people dance has changed drastically. What use to be years of training can now be achieved through a daily dose of DDR. Rhythm and timing in dance moves are some of the most difficult things to learn in dance. It takes years of practice in a traditional studio, studying under a strict and veteran master teacher to learn moves. It takes a lot of dedication from a young age and some children learn how to stretch correctly fro years before they are allowed to move to advance moves. Of course this is mostly in ballet and the more "serious" disciplines of dance. But with the advent of video games like DDR, most anyone can learn to groove and find there rhythm, in the comfort of the home.

With a little dedication to practice each day, anyone can become the dance king or queen of the home and maybe even the neighborhood. A lot of trained dancers love dancing video games, because it allows them to just have fun and the music is usually something the would not normally be allowed to dance to in theatrical or professional venues. A lot of people have the desire to dance but are too embarrassed to go to club or take classes at a dance studio because of weight or feeling as if they can not do good enough moves. Now these people can dance in the privacy of their home and lose weight and feel better about going out to dance in public.

As a person gets more into the dance games, they will be able to pick harder songs and harder moves to learn, where eventually that person could become quite a good dancer. Some elderly people love it, and in some cases retirement homes have pulled DDR into their facilities for the residents to have a fun game to play. It promotes health of body as well as brain. A huge bonus, besides the obvious health benefits, is it builds coordination and self-esteem in many of the residents. This is also true in very young children. Dancing in general promotes coordination, which is why most health professionals and psychologist believe dancing is great for developing body.

Further studies state that dancing the same amount of time as walking burns even more calories, allowing for quicker weight loss. The benefits are greater than the risk when it comes to dancing, and having a dancing video game, such as Dance Dance Revolution in your home adds more benefit. Another benefit of having a dancing game is at parties. When lots of people are involved it creates a fun atmosphere where everyone can join in no matter their experience level. Even if you are a beginner you can learn, because the video game teaches you how to dance and in what sequence to step. The technology of Dance Dance Revolution has itself revolutionized how people feel about themselves while dancing to their favorite beats.

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Songs I Love To Hate - My Humps

If my husband really wants to tick me off, all he has to do is ask me what I'm going to do with all that junk in my trunk. I hear those few words and I'm off and running. I can literally rant for hours. That is how much this song gets under my skin.

When I first heard it, I had to laugh. Lady lumps? Really? I figured it was a joke. But it wasn't. The Black Eyed Peas' song My Humps was a dance hit in 2005. The song was catchy and is a popular ringtone. It has also spawned a wonderful parody by Alanis Morissette. It was also the beginning of a horrible trend among female singers: objectifying themselves and other women.

This song annoys me in so many ways it's hard to know where to start. Obviously the lyrics are my number one annoyance. Demeaning and vulgar it pains me to listen to them. I don't want young girls thinking it's okay to use their lady lumps and bumps to get guys to buy them stuff. Isn't that technically a form of prostitution? At the very least it has the potential to create gold diggers everywhere.

And that sing song not really singing but sort of singing voice Fergie uses drives me nuts. And it's everywhere now. Even Madonna gives it a go on her new album. I think maybe it's supposed to be seductive but to me it sounds like a hop scotch tune.

Perhaps the most annoying thing for me about this song is that it's catchy. It was a huge hit and people of all ages listen to it. Young 'tweens listen to it. And end up thinking that the only way to succeed and get what you want is by using your body. And once you get what you want? Simply move on to the next victim, shake your humps at him and he's all yours.

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Do Something Different for Your First Dance

The first dance at a wedding has traditionally been a slow dance, usually a waltz or something similar. But what if you and your fianc aren't the waltz type? What if you want something more fun and energetic? You've probably thought about this quite a bit and are wondering if it would be too odd to do something different. Would it be better to just go ahead and do a waltz and forget about it?

Absolutely not. If you want to do something different for your first dance, then you should. Your family and friends know you, and they love you. They want to see you dance in a style that reflects your love for each other, to a song that you love. Odd would be watching a lively, energentic couple waltzing their way through a song they don't like very much just to get to the rest of the music and have some real fun.

If you come out and do a Cha Cha for your first dance, on the other hand, not only will the whole room cheer, but it will be a first dance that nobody, especially you and your new spouse, will ever forget. You'll have a fantastic time doing it and your friends and family will be absolutely entranced.

Nearly any style of dance can be customized to fit into your wedding. If you want to do a classic dance, a Foxtrot or Quickstep can be adjusted so that your dress doesn't get in the way. If you want to perform a dance that's more passionate, but aren't sure if it's appropriate for your wedding, that's nothing to worry about. Even a passionate dance such as a Tango or a Rumba can be toned down a bit if you like.

When you and your fianc come in for your wedding dance lessons, remember that this dance is being customized just for you. If there is a step you are having difficulty with, we can work on it until you've got it or we can change things a bit to make it easier. If there is something that you don't like or aren't comfortable with in the original choreography, that can be modified as well.

If you would like to do a different style of dance for your wedding dance, but want your family to join you as well, consider choosing two songs for your first dance. You and your new spouse can perform your first dance on your own during the first song, then the DJ can invite your friends and family to join you on the dance floor for a more traditional dance style when the second song begins.

When you're at your wedding, remember that more than anything your family and friends are there to celebrate with you. They want to see you and your new spouse enjoy yourselves and have a wonderful time on your special day. Nothing could be more lovely and more memorable than sharing a bit of your hearts with the people you love by performing a dance that truly reflects the love you feel for each other.

Learning to dance is the same as any new skill. It takes patience and practice. Unlike other skills though, dance lessons are fun at every stage. Yes, it becomes more fun the better you get, but all beginners in my lessons have fun right away.

So if you are having fun right away, imagine how much fun you have when you can move your body confidently on the dance floor. Dancing really is a great way to get fit, meet people, improve your confidence and have fun. For private or wedding dance lessons visit my site:

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Bangkok - Overwhelming Nightlife

Thailand truly is a tourist's dream, with Bangkoks overwhelming nightlife and just so much to do. The citys nightlife was just amazing and had so much to offer to its visitors. Bangkok alone is home to a few dozen discos, almost 100 GoGo bars, hundreds of karaoke bars, and literally thousands of pubs and cafes.

Bangkok has so much more to offer tourists and travelers than its reputation for girls and the bars of Patpong, Soi Cowboy, and Nana "Entertainment" Plaza. The experience was enjoyable and fun. The city is unrivaled for its variety of nightlife. Throbbing clubs like Lucifers and The Talisman, live music, bowling, ice skating, dinner shows featuring Thai classical dance and sword play, dinner cruises on the Chao Phya River in an old teak rice barge, and Thai boxing bouts at Lumpini Stadium

The city's bars, pubs and clubs runs range from sidewalk stalls overflowing with cheap beer and whiskey, to California-chic clubs like the Q bar and ultra-packed nightclubs full of bouncing, middle class Thai university students and expats. Royal City Avenue is a whole street of huge clubs the size of aeroplane hangars, packed with teenagers, jumping around to dance versions of Thai pop.

Bangkok nightlife has a reputation for being wild and rowdy. But at the same time it's relaxed, safe, enjoyable and great fun to be part of it. The city is fast trying to established itself as Asia's capital of cool. Bangkok's diverse nightlife scene features everything from excellent live music and good jazz clubs to ultra cool bars, trendy clubs and great restaurants

Author is an associate editor of

The website offers exclusive information of Thailand and Bankok Nightlife We also provide online hotel reservation of hotels in Bankok.

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Mr Jer-Z Fresh Or King DAD - Artist Review

How could this be? I've been turned off by hip hop lately because of all the "kill yo momma" talk and these idiotic dance songs. I can't superman. I makes me exhausted! Actually, I couldn't even stomach the song long enough to listen. What I miss is a good artist that says exactly what they mean and you don't have to chase around metaphors to find out what heck they're trying to say. Maybe I am just old school. I don't know. But I have discovered an artist on MySpace and I think he is the next major recording artist with record sales out of this world.

He calls himself King D.A.D, but also goes by Jer-Z Fresh. I don't quite understand why he has two names, but I didn't care after listening to his songs on MySpace. The first song I heard was called "Welcome." This is the song that plays first when you open the page. The way it was constructed, the song was telling me welcome to the website and filling me in on the artist. It did have a few vulgarities in it, but the overall feel and wordiness of the song captured me. Something about how he matches words and syllables with great beats.

The second song "Sex With A Rapper" had a fantastic chorus, but upset me at first because the use of the word "bitch." Also, he seemed to be taunting the women in the first verse by saying her nickname and mentioning her friend. If his bio is truthful, he is really talking about a relationship that he was in. Now the reason why I wasn't upset in the end is because... Actually, I'm not going to tell you because there is a major twist on the last verse and I ended up feeling bad for him. I can relate to both of those relationships and what he says is actually how I felt in those instances.

At King D.A.D's skill level, I am really surprised that this lyricist isn't signed to a major label yet. Why? I am putting both of my thumbs up in approval! I'm not sure if he's on tour, but I hope he goes all the way!

You can find his site at

Junior writer extraordinaire.

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The Psychology Behind Dancing - Is It A Gender Issue?

Have you ever been at a party where all of your friends were dancing, or perhaps you saw one or more adults dancing? If you removed yourself from the picture entirely, the whole thing might look utterly ridiculous to you. However, there is something- some appeal when it comes to dancing that makes us want more. If you watch any of these music videos that are out nowadays, there is usually some form of dancing taking place. It makes you wonder how exactly music is tied into dancing. Does one need the other? What is the psychology of someone who loves to dance? And why is it that it only really seems acceptable (in certain situations) for females to dance over males.

For instance, you never hear of males getting together and talking about going to the dance clubs so that they can hang out and dance; and if males are having this conversation, then they are usually perceived by others as being gay. The same can be said of those males who choose to go to school to major in dance. It seems that in a lot of cases, dancing has been reserved as a strictly female-only sport. There are some situations, however, where it may be socially acceptable for heterosexual males to dance. For example, if a group of heterosexual males get together and want to go to a dance club, they would then have to qualify that statement by saying that they wanted to go to the dance club to "pick up girls" or to "grab a bite to eat and throw back a couple drinks". If they did not qualify the statement that they wanted to go to the dance club, then it would be interpreted by others (and perhaps misconstrued) that the males did, in fact, want to go to the dance club to dance.

Therein would lie the question about their sexuality. Perhaps, the whole dance craze has gotten out of control with the recent release of several dance shows on television. Perhaps there are parents out there who are getting nervous about their sons going out to clubs and getting into trouble. Whatever the reason, dancing nowadays has taken on greater significance when speaking about social norms and what is socially acceptable. There are plenty of reasons that we dance. Young people and old people alike are getting into the dancing groove. For some people, dancing is a form of comfort while for others, it can be a form of exercise or self expression. When you watch a male and female figure skater skating together, for example, it is a form of self-expression that is both athletic and artistic.

There is also scientific proof, which has informed us that dancing is beneficial to our health because it raises the level of our endorphins (those things that make us feel really good). So, the next time you're at a party, whether you're young or old, a guy or a girl, feel free to get up and get out there on the dance floor because it's good for you!

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Organizing String Quartet Wedding Music

More than most factors, music can shape the mood of your wedding service and reception in a really big way. This is particularly so with string quartet and instrumental ensemble music.

The beauty of hiring a string quartet is the versatility of what they can play. Literally, any music classical or popular, (within reason), can be adapted for use by a string quartet. Moreover, string ensemble music provides the perfect backdrop for such a special occasion.

Do you want to relax your guests as they arrive? Complement the conversations during your wedding meal? Don't forget that string quartet music can also accompany an organist or other musicians during the wedding ceremony itself.

If your venue is small or your budget is tight, consider a string quintet or trio in lieu of a string quartet. The difference is only a violin player - plus or minus!

It's imaginative to involve quite different styles of music over the duration of your ceremony and reception. For example, you may want to start the church service with guests being met by a piper, (if it's a Scottish wedding), or a classical rendition from a string quartet just prior to the proceedings commencing. Also what about a jazz band for a bit of gusto after the speeches?

During the reception itself, string quartet instrumental music is a wonderful accompaniment during the meal, when guests want to have a conversation along with the soothing backdrop of great instrumental music

From experience, we recommend that you select a wedding band, jazz band, swing band or an entertainment group that you've personally chosen to start the proceedings proper during the all important, dancing phase of the reception. Alternatively, if your budget is limited you may want to select a string quartet plus disco.

What will you need for wedding day music?

For the most part, this question will be answered by six factors:

The size of your budget.

Do you want a lot of special requests?

The availability of good local bands, string quartets and musicians.

The logistics of your venue and the size of your wedding party.

Your desire to have a live vocalist present.

The amount of dancing that you'll want during your wedding.

If you are planning to have live music at your wedding - consider the following:

Does your chosen band or string quartet have recordings of tracks that you can listen to?

Do they have testimonials that can be seen and if necessary, can you have the opportunity to speak to people who have hired the band previously?

Is there enough space for the string quartet or band at the venue? Is the venue big enough and are the acoustics suited to the sounds of your band?

Will extra PA and sound systems be required to be hired - where they are not being provided by the band or quartet?

What will the band be wearing? For example, if you've hired a string quartet, will the players be in black or white tuxedos.

Are back up musicians available in case one of the band or string quartet has to drop out at short notice?

Is the bandleader, or dance caller, willing and able to act as M.C. and organise the evening's entertainment, direct guests and convey announcements etc?

Who is the leader of the band - and can they be contacted easily prior to the event?

Who will be the responsible person for the band or string quartet at the reception?

What is the total charge? What is the deposit? When and in what payment form is the final balance due?

If you can afford it, wouldn't it be great to have a band and string quartet playing in an alternating fashion or in different parts of the venue?

Will you or the band want a break whilst an evening buffet is being served, for example?

To conclude, music is frequently the last service to be booked for a wedding. Yet it is so important to the ambiance and atmosphere of such a special occasion. At the very least you should consider the possibility of string quartet music alongside a function band or disco. The beauty of string quartet instrumental music is that it can be provided in popular, contemporary or classical styles.

A quartet can play during the ceremony itself - in tandem with a church organist. Whilst, during the welcoming and wedding meal stages of the reception, string quartet music can provide a wonderful romantic backdrop to the occasion.

If your guests are staying overnight at your hotel venue - what about surprising them with beautiful string quartet instrumentals first thing in the morning as they eat their breakfast. Soothing classical music is a sure way to relieve the effects of a wedding hangover.

Finally, don't be afraid to negotiate with a band leader. It's important that you get what you require at a price that's acceptable to you. However, remember that good bands and string quartets cost money and often a cut in costs can only be done when cheaper alternatives are considered.

Good luck with planning your wedding day.

Anthony Coogan

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Dancing with the Stars

The Professor was mad at me. We had agreed to meet at 8 pm to sign an important agreement. My delay led to postponement of the meeting.

"What in heaven's name happened to you?"

It was a mild reproach that nevertheless made me feel bad and reconfirmed my reluctance to have dinner with my TV producer friend who insisted on having the infernal screen on during the meal. Instead of serving dinner at a decent hour as he and his wife usually do, this time they had an important guest other than me. It was the usual mogul whose generous pockets would shortly finance one of my friend's TV ventures.

The meal was not bad except that the screen showed in all its misery that popular program "Dancing with the Stars"! I could not think of an excuse drastic enough to get up off the table and rush into the evening traffic. I suffered in silence.

"What was so terrible about having the program Dancing with the Stars as dinner background? " Asked the Professor.

"Well, for one thing, dancing is the wrong term. When you have a couple of great athletes that seemingly have been starched inside and out ,that move in spasms, gyrations, stiff turns and sequences with a minimum of grace and beauty, no great meal is going to reduce the pain and revulsion."

"Tell me more' he urged.

"Dance is or should be a blend of rhythm, beauty and music, not a gymnastic exhibition performed by dummies who believe that keeping a robot attitude, a stiff back and an artificial sense of coordinated motion, they are performing a dance!"

I paused for a moment and then declared:

"Our next president would do well to forbid these spectacles to take place. They are anti-American, attempt against the laws of inertial navigation, erode the sense of naturalness, equilibrium and grace of our youth and gives the US the image of a country that encourages its people to defy gravity and wear uncomfortable shoes!"

Chemical engineer by training, international executive by merit and writer by addiction. Former syndicated columnist of Technology columns, has written for television and movies. His humorous articles contain fine satire and have been published in 4 languages. Quote: "Love and smiles teach tolerance; days without either are days wasted"

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Do You Wish You Knew How to Sing Better?

Do you want to learn how to sing or just how to sing better? You may not be aware of it but its likely a case of learning how to sing better for most of us. Its not that absolutely everyone can sing, but most of us can if we take a sensible approach to trying.

There is a wealth of information available on the internet offering lessons and scales and claiming to reveal the Five least known Singing Secrets. Well heres something to ponder, there are no secrets. The ability to be a good singer is nothing more than learning how to listen to yourself, being able to correct you pitch if its off, breathing for a continuous supply of breath, and muscle control in your throat and body to produce the best tones, not to mention, tons of practice. Proper practice that is, not practicing mistakes.

Singing lessons will certainly help guide you to being able to recognize how all of these things go together but the reality is that you can quite likely do it yourself with only a little help.

Have you ever seen advertising that claims you can increase your range by an octave? That to me is a very big claim. Personally I would have to see it to believe it. Im not saying that its impossible but its not as possible as some would have you believe. The only real way to increase your range is to practice properly, without hurting yourself, and building your range up over a period of time. Thats the only way to do it safely and still keep a rich tone about your voice. My sense is that anything else would be falsetto singing and in my world, theres no real room for that.

This practice is where scales and such come in handy. You sing ascending scales and descending scales in a variety of phonetic phrases. Its a controlled environment and you can make improvements in your range for sure, but it will take time if you do it properly. Naturally the more you practice, the greater your improvement.

You may need to consider that range is not the be all and end all of being a great singer. When you listen to your favorite songs it becomes apparent that at least most of the song stick to a certain range and doesnt go too much higher or lower than that. Most of those notes are quite reachable by the average human so dont kill yourself trying to do something super-human when it comes to increasing range.

Instead of range, worry about pitch. It really doesnt matter how high or low you can sing if you cant hit the right notes in between. Stick to the easy stuff you know you can do and work up from there. Use your ears. If you sound like youre off, correct it and dont be shy about it. Youll be surprised at how quickly you stop singing wrong notes. Your ears are the greatest aid you have to being a great singer, you should learn how to use them first, then decide if you need lessons.

Ian Kurz is a singer/guitarist that has been performing for many years. He has played in front of thousands of people and has performed as an opening act for various recording artists. He uses the principles of singing found at

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The Rhythmic Tribal Belly Dance

Tribal belly dance recreates what might have been as far as different tribes and the interaction between them. There is no real evidence as to what really existed but it is understood that tribal belly dance has its roots in folkloric and traditional dance. It has really taken off within the last ten to twenty years.

Tribal Belly Dance is a Western style of Belly Dance derived/fused primarily from the dance/troupe style of Jamila Salimpour in the 70's. This style of dance fuses various folklore and contemporary dance movements, from various countries such as the Middle East. In addition it uses a mix of music, often preferring acoustic instruments, authentic tribal songs or tribal sounding songs. However, recently it has been incorporating a lot of the world trance and beat music.

This intriguing dance is characterized by an improvisational style, with dancers learning sets of steps and moves rather than choreographing entire dances. The dance is also very stress relieving and women often confess that belly dance class is the highlight of their week and that they feel so good when they leave class, not only physically, but mentally as well. Tribal belly dance is a powerful and fun way to express yourself, and share in something truly uplifting with other women.

Its roots are in folkloric and the traditional belly dance. That being said it is considered a recent innovation. It's really taken off within the last ten to twenty years because of the exciting nature of the dance. The visual display of several dancers all performing at once is very compelling and exciting to watch.

Performances are seldom choreographed but rather cued from a vocabulary of movement by a designated lead dancer. This encourages a spirit of team work, awareness and cooperation, all parts of being a "tribe". Performances of this style are quite energetic and exciting to watch. However, a side effect is that dancers who only study this style of dance could potentially be unable to dance without the lead of other tribal improvisational dancers.

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For Your Next Fundraiser, Take Advantage of the Hottest Craze Since Saturday Night Fever

I spent my Sunday afternoon in the presence of some of the best ballroom dancers I have ever seen. What an inspiration - what a party!

The occasion was a fundraiser for a children's charity. For those who simply like to watch great dancing, it was a bonanza. For any who enjoy venturing onto the dance floor themselves, it was hour after hour of an almost endless variety of dancing styles.

And for those who may have never personally tried ballroom, every hour brought a different instructor, ready and superbly able to teach the fundamentals of the Fox Trot, Cha Cha, and Hustle (yes, disco divas, it's baack!!)

It was great exercise for those who participated, a fabulous floor show for those who watched, and a wonderful way to raise a bunch of money for a good cause.

If you are planning a fundraiser, now would be a very good time to consider something similar. Not since John Travolta infected us with "Saturday Night Fever" in the 70s has dancing (and dance instruction) been so popular. Entire families of our acquaintance are participating. And the beauty of it is that each and every person who walks in the door has the opportunity to participate (or not) at their own level. Today's event had seniors, boomers, Gen-Xers, and a few from Gen Y (which in "earth language" means that we had everything from 70-somethings to 20-somethings.) We had competitive ballroom dancers (like the pros on Dancing With The Stars) and rank amateurs. But ALL had fun.

How long this fascination with the terpsichorean arts will last is unknown and un-knowable. But - for now - I recommend that anybody with a good cause and a need for funds look into planning an event which combines dance exhibition and dance instruction with loads of good dance music.

And when you do, be sure I find out about it. I'll put my dancing shoes on!

For more information about this and other articles related to Corporate Events or Fundraising, visit

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Staying Power - The Bars And Restaurants That Stand The Test Of Time

Here today, gone tomorrow, bars have a reputation for short-term success. But a few have the ability to ride the times and keep on top of the game.

Ten years ago, I was sitting in The Groucho Club one late summers evening discussing with a now well known haute couture designer, the new wave of drinking culture that was enveloping the capital, arguing that London really had never been so exciting. Up until that point, drinks were very much a secondary element of the overall experience wine was simply white or red, beer came only in a pint glass and vodka was whatever paint-stripper the barman chose to pour. But in the nineties, we were on the cusp of a cocktail movement. New-world wines were making the Chardonnay and Shiraz as commonplace as the Bordeaux, while new conceptual drinks like Red Bull were seriously shaking up the market, broadening peoples drinking landscape and challenging us to think about drinking as more of a lifestyle. Slowly, what was behind the bar appeared to be taking over the focus of the night. People were whispering rumours of late night bars that were open into the wee hours, where glamourous glitterati rubbed hips with the international jet-set over Manhattans and Martinis. They, along with The Groucho, were the places everyone wanted to be seen and their popularity seemed untouchable to all but the most cynical.

Of course, everything has a lifespan, we cynically agreed: fashion is dead in a season, and a fashionable bar well you wouldnt want to bet the house on it would you? We both concluded that fashions simply cant last and those bars, which today were the subject of snaking queues, would quickly turn to yesterdays news as would the drinks that were being quaffed within. Of course, in most cases we werent far wrong. Mondo, Saint, Titanic, Riki Tik... all have fallen by the wayside having once been celebrity favourites of their day. Many others have turned from exclusive A-list excellence to godawful tourist tat. The Gin Sling became the Sea Breeze became the Bramble became the Vanilla Mojito

But its not all doom and gloom. Today, another ten years hence, I am back in the same leather couch of the same Groucho, and ordering from the menu a Red Bull, a drink whose ability to transcend fads and trends seems to symbolise the aspirations of nightlife culture. It has history and heritage and has attained almost timeless appeal. Fashionable works for a while, but every owner, manager and promoter hopes and strives for one thing ultimately and that is to be the next classic. Because the classics, while small in number, exist on a plain far superior to fashion. Dotted amongst the sprawling community of one-off wonders that populate the bar world, a few classics really have stood the test of time, riding the cyclical waves to achieve immortal credibility. The Groucho is one of those timeless classics. Through the years it has always been at the top of its game, its members list comprising the same names that populate the pages of the celebrity press together with the successful and powerful in the world of media.

Nowadays, octogenarian founder members sit comfortably alongside young achievers and its long-term future would appear to be set in stone. Embassy is another long-time winner or more to the point, its ever-present Rock n Roll proprietor, Mark Fuller, who ran the original Embassy twenty years ago with equal success. This most recent incarnation of one of Londons most famous clubs, now with a fine dining restaurant that counts among the capitals very best, and glitzy nightclub in the basement, is a rare constant in the oscillating world of the fashionable. Another face that has always been associated with bar and club supremacy is Jake Panayiotou who ran original celebrity hot-spot, Browns for a decade before moving on in its hay-day. His last few years at the helm of the Wellington Club in Knightsbridge have seen the age-old members club climb to yet new heights. But its not only members clubs that can battle through the ages unscathed. Music-led venues such as Medicine Bar in Islington, Bar Rumba, The Cross, Bar Vinyl and The End have all proved their mettle, while the likes of Hanover Grand, The Gardening Club and Iceni have collapsed into the annuls of hip history.

So, what is it that sets the one-hit-wonders apart from the immortals? What makes a classic? Three characteristics seem to pump through the veins of all the long-term winners.

Quality, choice and adaptability, says Cas, The Grouchos pre-eminent bar manager, as he deftly shakes up cocktails from behind the bar. You have to offer a quality experience in the drinks, the music, the food and the people. You must give customers what they want and you have to adapt to the times. Subtly underlining the point, my Red Bull silently arrives at the table on its own tray, dressed with a single, perfectly folded napkin.

Can staying power really be so simple to achieve? With twenty years of success behind The Groucho, the club is quite an authority on the subject, but it was Darwin who concluded that the fittest win out at the expense of their rivals because they succeed in adapting to their environment. Sounds pretty familiar to me and, lets face it, you cant argue with Darwin.


Our selection of bars that we think will still be doing it in ten years time

MAYFAIR: Embassy

An all-round club for the all-round socialite, Embassy offers food on a par with Michelin starred restaurants, drinks that are as good as any great cocktail bar, a basement club and a guestlist that could double as a whos who of London.


One of the capitals most respected dance music venues, with Mr C behind its success. Music is always ahead of its time and drinks are a world away from most dance music venues.

KNIGHTSBRIDGE: Wellington Club

With over 100 years of history, The Wellington has been reborn as an exclusive hangout for the citys hippest. Lounge bar and club rolled into one and popular with the paps and the press alike.

WEST: Woodys

On the banks of Londons longest canal, Woodys has become accepted as the members bar for the music industry. Three floors of food drink and dance with a collection of the best music and cocktail mixologists in the country.

ISLINGTON: Medicine Bar

It was the bar that put Islington on the credible map. One of the original DJ bars that has been made a home to the clubbing community of the 1990s.

CAMDEN: Bar Vinyl

Reputedly the first DJ bar in London, Bar Vinyl combines a record shop with the only bar in Camden really worth its salt. The bar is minuscule, but the offering is enormous and the future is vast.


One of the originators of the Shoreditch movement, Home made its mark before all of the others and continues to hold its own. It has moved from a scraggly basement bar to a slick, but funky cocktail bar and restaurant and continues to define the times.

SOHO: The Groucho

A favourite media hangout, The Groucho is like a party in your own front room with the kind of people that anybody would eat their own right arm to have turn up at their party. Now with a more modern bar on the first floor to complement the leather and wood ground floor classic, it is a members bar that suits all and bound to see in another twenty year term.

HOXTON: Zigfrid

A newcomer to the Hoxton set, Zigfrid is most likely to be here in ten years. Brainchild of leading bar designer, Paul Daly, it appeals to the more creative Hoxtonians and since the district is a hotbed of creativity, its proving pretty popular.


A collaboration between bar gurus The Breakfast Group and music gurus, Heavenly Social, this backstreet concrete bunker of a bar offers some of the best DJ-led and live music about. Now with sister venues in Islington and Nottingham, Social is destined for a big future.

Jeremy Mascarenhas has been editorial director of the seminal London Bar Guide magazine for 10 years. He is also global editor of The World Bar Guide, an online guide to the best bars in the world, publisher of The Big Directory (a bar industry bible) and a freelance drinks marketing consultant. He has worked with most of the leading drinks groups including Red Bull, Mot Hennessy, Diageo, Brown Foreman, Budweiser, Asahi, Tiger Beer and Grand Marnier. Through his publishing company Scene It, as well as the London Bar Guide, he has published guides to Sherry, UK nightlife, cocktails, Japanese restaurants, the much lauded London Restaurant Guide and much more besides.

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On Cinema

What does this word, "Cinema" mean for each of us? Surely this word, with all its connotations including the images and sounds it evokes in one's memory has different meaning for each one of us. However, the approach towards it is more or less similar amongst most of us, that is, as a form of entertainment, pastime, escape, etc. The original meaning of the word was: "moving images", however as this medium evolved, sound was also introduced into it. Therefore, perhaps we can now give this meaning to the word - "moving images and sounds".

Suppose I've completely negated all my experience of cinema and have no memory with which to compare - what then do I see it as? I see it as nothing but images and sounds. Everything that is done and would be done would be done with mixtures, different qualities, proportions, of images and sounds. The story, the plot, the dialogs, song, dance, actors, locations, are all secondary - they are a part of this movement. Then every part is equally important and has its own place in the whole movement. What else do I see? I see that for the first time in the history of mankind, human beings can see themselves - they can watch themselves! This, if one ponders upon it, opens limitless possibilities for the human consciousness. Humans can take giant leaps towards breaking the barriers of consciousness and watch themselves, observe themselves - for cinema reveals.

It is an art of revelation, not of hiding - It shows things as they are, though one may translate the seen into one's own image.

Though all art forms have declined and mediocrity has taken over, the decline of Cinema has been instantaneous. It has not even existed for a hundred years and has been totally and ruthlessly strangled. This is the more serious because the degradation of cinema reflects the degradation of human mind. Cinema, as an art form can far surpass all the other art forms, though the others will still have their place. Cinema can use everything - images, sounds, written words - all music, all painting, all literature can be contained in it.

Cinema can have a profound influence on the human consciousness. The trouble is, the mind that goes to see cinema and the mind that creates cinema usually get what they want out of it - that is, providing a form of escape, quick entertainment, wherein for some time the mind can be pt to sleep and one can forget the self with all its problems and worries. In India, it started badly, as a form of dramatized "nautanki", and it still suffers terribly from tradition and people's lack of ability to break away from it. Most practitioners of cinema use it for mercenary purposes. Obviously, anything that is created for making money, fame, and for personal ambition, will be mediocre. Furthermore, it is also to be popular - that is more and more people should like it, that it should have mass appeal. Art, be it music, literature, paintings, was never meant for the masses. It can never be for the masses. Therefore, since the reason and approach towards a thing reflect most on the final product, the state of present cinema, since it is approached from the point of view of popularity and commercialism, has declined beyond measure.

Cinema, not only in India, but the world over has suffered premature death.

Ashutosh Ghildiyal is a salaried professional based in Mumbai, India. He was born in Lucknow in 1984, where he completed his schooling. He completed his graduate studies in New Delhi and his post-graduate education in Mumbai. He is the author of "To Think or Not to Think and Other stories" (Book), various blogs, articles, and short stories.


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