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El Baile's dancership has landed at Pacha on Thursdays

An immersive party that embraces the future, whilst nodding respectfully to the past.

One of the most iconic discos in the world, Pacha Ibiza saw a new party land last Thursday: El Baile. Brought to you by The Storytellers collective, El Baile is the natural evolution of Pacha, taking creativity to futuristic heights.

Take some hippies, put them in a spaceship, stop at Tulum to pick up some clothes, detour via a trip to the year 2222, then travel back to the '80s and voilá you have the basis for what El Baile is all about.

Pacha is completely transformed on Thursdays into a time tunnel. The club with a warren-like layout presents a different adventure around every corner.

Exploring mothership Pacha

Our journey began on the roof terrace a little after midnight. Renamed Calle de la Virgin for the occasion, the rebrand is a direct nod to the notorious thoroughfare in Ibiza Town.

The hippy chic hangout was reimagined as a bustling marketplace, not dissimilar to those previously seen at Acid Sundays or, more currently, Woomoon. Full of worldly clothes, handmade jewellery stalls, vegan street food vendors and even a chai tea stand, it had been transformed into a completely different world.

You could even flick through some retro Pacha posters, dating back as far as 1989. Pretty cool.

Carpets and bean bags lined the floor with magical fairy lights draped above. A place where attendees could visit to sit, chill and take in all of the sights.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by a wonderfully intense live performance by Huaira. It was only the piano and her warm voice, blowing directly to our soul through the headphones that were handed out to extenuate her performance.

Elsewhere, a documentary on Pacha founder Ricardo Urgell was projected onto a wall.

Deeper into the time tunnel

After time spent perusing the market, we decided to continue with our exploration, moving downstairs to the mysterious X Room by Xtra. A room which you might otherwise know as the Funky Room.

In great contrast to the one before, this room was dark, with black and red lights, luxurious curtains and even a made-up bed. The music was banging and ladies dressed in latex put on sadomasochist performances with noticeable LGBTQI presence - a very bohemian experience.

After we had soaked enough of this transgressive atmosphere, we moved on again to the mothership - the main dancefloor.

Here the atmosphere changed radically once again. Star ships hung overhead and strange alien statues with gawping faces and cheeky smiles surrounded the DJ booth. The decor had shades of the interior of the cafeteria in Back To The Future 2.

Acrobats spun inside a giant Pacha emblem and the go-go dancers were dressed like robotic femmes fatal from 1970's B-movies. They were toying with a giant teddy bear, which happened to be wearing a pair of speedos. The words absurdity and marvel sprung to mind.

You can clearly see the influence of Flower Power, but El Baile is like Flower Power on DMT! As well as Flower Power, there's touches of Cirque du Soleil as well as the LunArts parties.

Music of the past, present & future

The selections of Sarah Main alongside the powerful and emotional voice of Amberay greeted us to the dancefloor. Blissful music filled the air while the performers put on an amazing show in the middle of, and sometimes hovering above, the dancefloor.

Next it was time for Kiddy Smile to shine - and light up the room he did. The gay icon, with his big cowboy hat, threw down a jumpy mix of Jackin' Chicago House and modern Disco.

The music was spot on, and the volume of people inside was ever growing. Everyone was dancing with everyone; there were no strangers, just companions sharing the moment. We were all in this funky spaceship together, destination unknown.

Special mention is reserved for the lighting rig above the main DJ booth.

By manipulating the moving panels unlike any party previously, the production team created a UFO above the dancefloor. Our eyes were filled by far and fascinating corners of the universe while the music provided a jet stream that shot us into space.

Later on, headliner Erykah Badu under her moniker DJ Low Down Loretta Brown changed the pace completely, playing the type of music she became a household name under. After her, Zakes Bandwini shook things up again, launching into his anthemic Osama right from the start, before continuing on the same path. The crowd lapped up every second.

Summing up, El Baile is a night that celebrates Pacha in all its different incarnations, past, present and future. It's also an example of a modern party that we think Ricardo Urgell, so often critical of electronic music culture, would approve of.

Central to the theme, is the party's commitment to diversity. Pledging at least 50/50 gender splits on line-ups, but endeavouring to go further still.

Equally diverse was the music on offer. We heard everything from Disco to Soul, R&B to Hip-Hop, Jackin' House to Afro House.

The dancership has landed.

El Baile is a vessel of many elements that can stimulate your imagination; an anarchy of ideas working together like layers of a wonderful cake. A cake with two cherries on top, naturally.

This week, El Baile takes a stance for World Peace 2022, inviting Ukrainian DJ Nastia to play. If you want to be beamed up by The Storytellers, head below to see dates and check those starry tickets.

IMAGES | by Raul Sanchez

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