Na Nach-ing on (rave) heaven's door


In this week's Super Ego nightlife column, I get all excited about the Na Nach subsect of Hasidic Jewish followers of the Rebbe Nachman of Breslov. The Na Nach embrace an endearing philosophy of ecstatic dancing in the streets (via their brightly colored vans) as a form of worship, equal parts Sufi whirling dervish and 1990s trance party. They also have a very active Web presence.

In the past couple of months, everyone from the Jewish Daily Forward to Vice Magazine has taken notice. Since dancing around crazily as a form of spiritual practice is basically my life, I'm less interested in the not-so-unexpected intersection of Jewish mysticism and raving in the streets. Over-the-top Orthodox Jewish men's wedding dancing is, after all, one of those wonderfully bizarre and irresistible human cultural treasures, no matter what you may think of conservative religious practices. (Needless to say, there are no female Na Nach dancers in evidence.)

No, what mostly interests me is the charming -- and sometimes really well-produced -- homemade trance and electro music that accompanies the Na Nach dancers. And of course the inevitable gay parody. 

Below are some videos featuring Na Nach that give you some flavor of the dancing and the music. At the end, there's a special treat from the great Tel Aviv gay club Arisa, whose slickly produced, hilariously parodic video flyers have been causing a sensation on the homo Web. Enjoy, and let these remind you to get outside and dance around a bit in this beautiful weather!

Na Nach renegades

Cosmic Na Nach groove

Dubbed out Na Nach psy-trance

Funky Na Nach

The comedy TV parody

The gay party parody from Arisa


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