Diaries Magazine

Dance My Blues Away.

By Ellacoquine @ellacoquine

Dance My Blues Away. Illustration by Fifi Flowers
Last Wednesday, I received a text message from Séb saying that we were going out on a Friday night date. Or his exact words: une soirée surprise super sympa!  Oooh, how mysterious. Like any yenta would do, I completely ignored the surprise bit and responded with "Wait, where are we going?". I love surprises especially when I'm in on them, so I just had to know. Séb wasn't budging on this one and cryptically responded with, "It's a surprise that you will love. We need a night out on the town!". Well if that's not the truth. A night out would do us some good.
Séb who likes to taunt me when he has a secret activity planned, put on a little show by dramatically putting something in his bag while dancing and singing that he wasn't going to let me in on the surprise. I actually did get a glimpse of what it was; it was an envelope of some sort with an image of joyous nuns and cheerful red letters that I was unable to make out. Joyous nuns? Joyous Nuns. And then it hit me.
He bought tickets to see Sister Act. The Musical. In French.
Kill me now.
Despite my own musical tourette syndrome where I break into song at several moments in a day, I really do hate musicals. And translated in French? I doubt that would offer much improvement. The only musical I'll accept is The Rocky Horror Picture Show. As for the others, as far as I'm concerned, they don't exist. I would sooner stand in line at the prefecture with expired paperwork during a snowstorm than go see a musical. I really do not like them. And yes, this includes Glee.
Séb really is so sweet though. He just wants to cheer me up during all of this wedding nonsense, and thought that taking me to dinner and a musical would do the trick. I love his effort. It's not the gift, it's the thought, and like he said, we so needed a night out.
As planned, on Friday night I met him at work where even his boss was in on the surprise. She gave me a little wink and a thumbs up before wishing us a bon week-end. The suspense was pure torture. Where in brouhaha were we going? 

We stopped for a quick bite at Sushi Shop where we feasted on a sashimi platter, edamame and for dessert - wait for it - foie gras sushi (only in France, I tell you) before heading to the play. I had mentally prepared myself for a night of Whoopi who would be there in spirit, singing nuns and 1950's pop music. When we didn't descend down to the metro that we had passed, my Sister Act: The Musical speculation was beginning to falter on me.

Hmmmm, perhaps my investigation skills aren't as sharp as they once were.
In the same neighborhood as his office, I followed Séb into a place called the Bus Palladium...
Dance My Blues Away.
Well this isn't Sister Act: The Musical en français, I thought. There were way too many French hipsters smoking and looking bored on the sidewalk, and dance music coming from inside. If it wasn't the play, what were we doing? Séb then handed me my ticket that he pulled out of the Sister Act: The Musical envelope, and I squealed with total excitement when I discovered what the surprise was!  
We were going to Bertrand Bergulat; the jazzy, French 60s-inspired chanteur that I have been obsessed with since I saw him perform at Paris Fashion Night Out at Roger Vivier! Séb strategically let me have a glimpse of the envelope to throw me off, hoping that I'd think we were going to see the play. Bien joué. Dance My Blues Away.
This was an evening that I needed more than ever. I don't remember the last time I had danced so much. In my heels that were slicing my pinky toes, I literally danced my blues away in this 1960s euro-discotheque setting. Bertrand has quite a big following with the underground French music scenesters who have a propensity for kitch. His fans range from in-the-know young music connoisseurs to us; aging (dancing!) hipsters. On this Friday night in Paris, being older or younger, Anglo or French, we all had one thing in common; we were there to dance. Perhaps other people were there to shake some blues away as well.
The venue itself was intimate, cleverly decorated with faded vintage swan wallpaper, and well-designed light fixtures giving the space a warm glow. My only complaint was the bar. They don't serve wine (in Paris this seems ludicrous), watered down beer cost 5 euros, and you should have seen my look of absolute horror when the bartender told me that mojitos cost 14 euros. Well Halloween is coming so I guess everyone is entitled to one scare, eh? Or perhaps I'm being a bit of a Stingy Mindy here, but 14 euros is a little steep for one drink. Since I don't drink beer, for the first time in about ten years I went dry and ordered nothing. I let the music be my cocktail for the evening.
It felt good to let loose, forget about our unfortunate current events, and enjoyed a night out tous les deux for an exceptional date night. Honestly, even if we had gone to Sister Act: The Musical (do you like how I keep including "The Musical" part?) we would have had just as much fun - just less dancing. It really is the company that makes an evening special...and of course having a good dance partner always helps!
Dance My Blues Away.  
To discover the magic that is Bertrand Burgulat,  click here for my homemade Spotify BB playlist.

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