WORDS: Little D
We knew it was going to be an evening to remember: tickets were sold out for both screenings of the long-awaited documentary and the afterparty at Capital Ballroom featuring two of the film’s stars, CloZee and AppleCat, with support from SHRKY. For those that were aware of the project’s message and themes, it was a particularly special brand of excitement we felt throughout the evening: the thrill of being part of a paradigm-shifting, radical movement for equality and empowerment.
Photo via Amplify Her
Things were in full swing when we arrived at the Vic Theatre for the 6 o’clock screening. There was palpable excitement in the air. Ten One Films is a local production company, so a lot of folks at the Victoria screenings are members of the same community as the filmmakers. Before the show, co-directors Ian Mackenzie and Nicole Sorochan thanked many of the crowd members (including Blondtron’s mama, who was there — so cute!) for their participation and support. They announced that late on Thursday night the project had received the final contribution needed to reach the crowdfunding campaign goal.
The documentary itself is fantastic. You can read B+K’s film review, here! It was not your average movie-going experience because we were invited to participate. The crowd cheered when the women in the film experienced success or shared powerful messages, and it was hard to stay still in your seat with the amazing soundtrack’s danceable beats.
Photo via Amplify Her
The screening ended to a standing ovation, and it was off to Capital Ballroom to celebrate by getting our boogie on at the official afterparty.
SHRKY set the mood for the evening with a chilled-out warm-up set that was dark, sensual, and full of low-tempo treats. I was really impressed; there were a couple of familiar tracks (Phaeleh’s ‘The Cold in You’ is a favorite of mine), but most of her selections were new to my ears, which gave the set a really fresh feel. Grimier tracks like UZ’s ‘Million Dollar Bills’ were blended seamlessly with chill-step, trap and ambient sounds. She was also liberal with the ethereal female vocals, which seemed to underscore the focus of the evening’s celebrations and proved that SHRKY is skilled at curating a sound to satisfy her audience. SHRKY, you’ve got a new fan over here at B+K!
Then Miss AppleCat took the stage. A favorite in the Victoria underground bass music scene, AppleCat saw a packed dance floor of revelers getting down and dirty to her signature low-end, body-buzzing, genre-bending sound. AppleCat’s music — which I think of as a blend of mystic trap and sexy-but-also-perfectly-grimy dubstep and — never fails to leave you feeling primal and sexy.
Photo via Dodd’s Eye Media
With Capital Ballroom’s dancefloors and balconies full to bursting, CloZee began her set to a raucous round of applause and cheering from the crowd. After watching the Amplify Her documentary, you get the impression that CloZee is down-to-earth, talented, and a true music lover. Her sense of humor shines when she tells a story of being accused of having her boyfriend ghost-produce her music. She laughs as she tells the camera she’s only ever had girlfriends, so she had to learn herself. Her personality shines from the stage, too: she smiles, dances along to the music, and constantly expresses gratitude to the crowd. It’s clear she’s having a great time and feels at home on the stage.
Photo via Betty and Kora
Maybe it was the sweat, maybe it was the soul-crushing bass, but every one in Capital Ballroom seemed to be sparkling from the inside out. While not everyone in the venue had seen the Amplify Her film or knew that they were at the afterparty for the screening, there’s no doubt that the party itself was influenced by the message behind the project: “Imagine what we would do as women, if we felt free & safe to express ourselves.” Clearly, the 3 women who performed that night would blow all of our minds with killer tunes.
Photo via: Amplify Her
But it doesn’t stop there, and it’s not just about women. Imagine what our society, our culture, our community, ourselves as individuals, could accomplish if we felt empowered to embrace all aspects of ourselves: the dark and light, the masculine, the feminine, and everything in between. What would happen if we refused to adhere to scripted gender roles and societal conventions and were allowed to express ourselves freely? I think we came one step closer to finding out on Friday night. Like AppleCat often reminds us, “A revolution without dancing is not a revolution worth having.”
Photo via Amplify Her