B:C:Clettes
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B:C:Clettes

Band Comedy

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Apr
12
B:C:Clettes @ Kerrisdale Arena

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Apr
07
B:C:Clettes @ UBC Robson Square

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


By Rowan Lipkovits

The natural world can be construed as a series of rythmically repeating patterns and cycles; rythms can describe and facilitate the understanding of the passage of the seasons and their effects on the growth of plants and the habits of humans and other animals. They rule the functions of our bodies, the circumference of our routines , and even the methods of our pleasure.

To many readers, the best example of a cyclical rhythm is the repeated rotation of a chain ring until they are satisfied with where it has brought them. And in March 2006, a satisfying destination was the BikeBikeBike Party at the PEDAL bike depot, where one could witness the debut performance of Vancouver’s premiere bike-dance squad, the B:C:Clettes, putting into action their slogan, “Co-operation is revolution.�

Bike-dance? Though the first ride on the first bicycle could be described as a kind of dance between the equal parties of rider and vehicle, more involved and nuanced types of bicycle performance have since been devised, running the gamut from aesthetic display to circus spectacle.

The B:C:Cettes originally drew inspiration from the Sprockettes, a bold pink and black ensemble of women from the bike freak Mecca of Portland, Oregon, who made a big splash at Seattle’s Dead Baby Downhill in 2005. Performing dance routines incorporating mini-bikes, they demonstrated hitherto unimagined possibilities to a visiting Vancouver contingent from the Margaret Charles Chopper Collective.

“Our jaws dropped,� said Cara Fisher, recounting the moment the LED headlamp lit up over their heads. “We had never seen any kind of bike dance performance before. It was a kind of performance and expression that was completely new to us.� Within a month they had brought home their discovery, inviting the Sprockettes to perform at PedalPlay’s Velomutation party.

Leaving the Sprockettes’ mini-bikes in favour of charting Terra incognita, the B:C:Clettes incorporate props and movements from all avenues of bicycle practice for their performances: wheel rims, flashing reflectors, helmets, maintenance tools, and hand turn signals all find their way out of intersections and workshops and into dance routines. The Clettes also draw upon the very best part of bike use: the positive, self-empowered bearing and perspective bicycles eventually engender in their regular users.

Despite the group’s superficial appearance of having a single, two-wheeled premise, they engage in a number of serious issues, albeit in a fun fashion. Celebrating the bicycle in daily life is deceptively straightforward, but in fact it is but one facet of the colossal urban transportation and environmental bugaboo that will dominate world politics in the coming century. Gender issues also spin behind the scenes: the Clettes embrace the domain of dance while rejecting its frequent stereotypically sexy movements that appeal to the male gaze. Also, in keeping with the axiom that you have to create the world you want to see, the internal workings of the collective are resolutely nonhierarchical.

Lao Tzu remarked that it’s the space at the centre of the wheel that makes it useful, and that may be the case with the whirling women here: there is no chief, chair, or even first among equals. Though the roster includes long-established fixtures of the Vancouver bicycle community, when membership recently doubled, these grease-smeared titans did not settle naturally into positions of authority over bright-eyed, fresh-faced bike novices. Instead, individual members contribute with their strengths as an ad hoc meritocracy where each member provides according to their ability, and every other member learns by example.

The B:C:Clettes boast a set of skills broad and diverse: some will plunder their music collections for suitable backing tracks while scheduling whizzes handle bookings and mark rehearsals on calendars, coaxing out the times and dates most good for the most members. Still others from a dance background may suggest snazzy moves or pragmatic warm up tips.

Perhaps if high school physical education curricula had incorporated more vigorous, goofy fun such as these co-operative, collaborative dance presentations, we would be a nation united more by ParticipACTION* than by Tim Horton’s. While none of the Clettes ever aspired to become a bicycle dancer, a common thread among them tapped into hazy memories of bygone times, ones of air bands and lip-synch silliness with friends at slumber parties, before the cliquishness of adolescence brought awkwardness and alienation - qualities some still feel emanating from the outwardly affluent, white, straight, jockish, male, and generally hetero-normative commercial cyclist culture of North America that installs bike racks atop SUVs.

Dance also is an activity that, though coming naturally to every child, eventually estranges most of us from the movements of our own bodies, and is foolishly le - Momentum Magazine


By Rowan Lipkovits

The natural world can be construed as a series of rythmically repeating patterns and cycles; rythms can describe and facilitate the understanding of the passage of the seasons and their effects on the growth of plants and the habits of humans and other animals. They rule the functions of our bodies, the circumference of our routines , and even the methods of our pleasure.

To many readers, the best example of a cyclical rhythm is the repeated rotation of a chain ring until they are satisfied with where it has brought them. And in March 2006, a satisfying destination was the BikeBikeBike Party at the PEDAL bike depot, where one could witness the debut performance of Vancouver’s premiere bike-dance squad, the B:C:Clettes, putting into action their slogan, “Co-operation is revolution.�

Bike-dance? Though the first ride on the first bicycle could be described as a kind of dance between the equal parties of rider and vehicle, more involved and nuanced types of bicycle performance have since been devised, running the gamut from aesthetic display to circus spectacle.

The B:C:Cettes originally drew inspiration from the Sprockettes, a bold pink and black ensemble of women from the bike freak Mecca of Portland, Oregon, who made a big splash at Seattle’s Dead Baby Downhill in 2005. Performing dance routines incorporating mini-bikes, they demonstrated hitherto unimagined possibilities to a visiting Vancouver contingent from the Margaret Charles Chopper Collective.

“Our jaws dropped,� said Cara Fisher, recounting the moment the LED headlamp lit up over their heads. “We had never seen any kind of bike dance performance before. It was a kind of performance and expression that was completely new to us.� Within a month they had brought home their discovery, inviting the Sprockettes to perform at PedalPlay’s Velomutation party.

Leaving the Sprockettes’ mini-bikes in favour of charting Terra incognita, the B:C:Clettes incorporate props and movements from all avenues of bicycle practice for their performances: wheel rims, flashing reflectors, helmets, maintenance tools, and hand turn signals all find their way out of intersections and workshops and into dance routines. The Clettes also draw upon the very best part of bike use: the positive, self-empowered bearing and perspective bicycles eventually engender in their regular users.

Despite the group’s superficial appearance of having a single, two-wheeled premise, they engage in a number of serious issues, albeit in a fun fashion. Celebrating the bicycle in daily life is deceptively straightforward, but in fact it is but one facet of the colossal urban transportation and environmental bugaboo that will dominate world politics in the coming century. Gender issues also spin behind the scenes: the Clettes embrace the domain of dance while rejecting its frequent stereotypically sexy movements that appeal to the male gaze. Also, in keeping with the axiom that you have to create the world you want to see, the internal workings of the collective are resolutely nonhierarchical.

Lao Tzu remarked that it’s the space at the centre of the wheel that makes it useful, and that may be the case with the whirling women here: there is no chief, chair, or even first among equals. Though the roster includes long-established fixtures of the Vancouver bicycle community, when membership recently doubled, these grease-smeared titans did not settle naturally into positions of authority over bright-eyed, fresh-faced bike novices. Instead, individual members contribute with their strengths as an ad hoc meritocracy where each member provides according to their ability, and every other member learns by example.

The B:C:Clettes boast a set of skills broad and diverse: some will plunder their music collections for suitable backing tracks while scheduling whizzes handle bookings and mark rehearsals on calendars, coaxing out the times and dates most good for the most members. Still others from a dance background may suggest snazzy moves or pragmatic warm up tips.

Perhaps if high school physical education curricula had incorporated more vigorous, goofy fun such as these co-operative, collaborative dance presentations, we would be a nation united more by ParticipACTION* than by Tim Horton’s. While none of the Clettes ever aspired to become a bicycle dancer, a common thread among them tapped into hazy memories of bygone times, ones of air bands and lip-synch silliness with friends at slumber parties, before the cliquishness of adolescence brought awkwardness and alienation - qualities some still feel emanating from the outwardly affluent, white, straight, jockish, male, and generally hetero-normative commercial cyclist culture of North America that installs bike racks atop SUVs.

Dance also is an activity that, though coming naturally to every child, eventually estranges most of us from the movements of our own bodies, and is foolishly le - Momentum Magazine


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

The B:C:Clettes are a bicycle-inspired dance troupe. Their performances are a celebration of bikes and those who like to ride them. They don't always dance with bikes. Bike lyrics, props, and groovy bike-moves inspire all ages! All-female troupe travels by bicycle promoting sustainability.

The B:C:Clettes incorporate props and movements from all avenues of bicycle practice for their performances: wheel rims, flashing reflectors, helmets, maintenance tools, and hand turn signals all find their way out of intersections and workshops and into dance routines. The Clettes also draw upon the very best part of bike use: the positive, self-empowered bearing and perspective bicycles eventually engender in their regular users.

Whether you are a cyclist or not, you can't help but be moved and entertained by their infectious enthusiasm and pure love of dance and bikes. You will leave their show knowing that you CAN DO ANYTHING you want in this life... ride a bike to work every day, or make up dance routines in your basement like you may have in grade four!
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The Clette-a-festo
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The B:C:Clettes are a
Biker
Collective,
Creating
Love,
Equality, and
Toughness
Through
Engaging
Spectacle!

We will not be defined by words alone; instead you will find us perpetually in motion, taking back the streets for revolutionary use as bicycle ways and dance floors. We're revolutionary, yes, like our wheels.

Hot, tough, and shiny like the sexy steeds we tame and ride. Pedal, pump, coast and fly: we ride in all weather. Swing, shimmy, strut, and jive: we dance in all weather. We weather all storms as a collective, together.

This is a lifestyle of agility, sustainability, of respecting all ability. We are artists, mechanics, scientists, students, designers, teachers, and writers, and baristas; jokers, inventors, leaders, neighbours, family, friends, and lovers, and sistas.

Our bodies don't end where our bikes begin. We're beauty, we're pride; we dance hard, roll fast, and tread lightly, loving life. We take risks; we're a little different.

We are a spectacle, a show, a delight. We are that giddy feeling you get riding pedal-powered for the first time: Exhilarated with newfound fun, you can't wait to share your amazing secret with the world. We want to ride and dance and share our secret with you.

And one last thing: we won't technically be able to be part of your dance-dance-party revolution, if there's no bike parking available. So get on it!