To TOLO and beyond

TOLO was far out. Like far, far out.

Michael Marquess, Co-Art Editor

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We’re one hour and 38 minutes into Tolo, and it feels like the party is yet to start.
To put it bluntly, there weren’t a lot of people at Tolo. Upon walking through the doors, we saw only handfuls of people staying awkwardly in place, doing their best to “have fun” while the lonely DJ thundered on. At its peak, I counted only 60 people. It was like a scalp of a balding man, where ragged patches of hair remained stubbornly rooted in place. “Just shave it off!” we say to those balding people. “You’d look better completely bald.” At least the latter is true. Mr. Price looked exceptional as always, with his slick suit and lustrous bald head.
The ASB got the theme right this time around. “Space Tolo” they said. And Space Tolo it is. They’ve gone far into the reaches of space. So far, that Earth is unrecognizable from here.
Remember that scene from “2001: A Spacetime Odyssey” where David Bowman finds himself in that weird, 4th dimensional room with his older self and the Monolith?  Remember it’s cold yet perplexing silence? That room is Tolo. We are dancing in that room. The gymnasium has transformed into a strange purgatory. A limbo between heaven and the netherworld. And right now, we can’t tell which way is up.
No one in the room feels human. Hips moving, hair streaking past my face. Body parts are flailing, succumbing to the wail of the SRM450 speakers. For four straight hours, this purgatory seems to break through the barriers of time. he awkwardness in the air has somehow activated the sexual vigor of the crowd. This is hedonism at its finest. There is no future or past. Here, we are in the constant state of now. The frivolous dancers flirt not with the temptations of lusting men and women, but with themselves. After all, in a world where the abyss has completely consumed the dance floor, we have only ourselves to dance with.
But why aren’t there any people at Tolo? Perhaps it has something to do with its underlying gender politics. Tolo is supposedly the “women’s” dance. The women choose their partners. Tonight they are in control, and maybe the world isn’t ready for that night. Maybe, it threatens the deeply rooted gender hierarchy that remains forever present amongst our subconscious student body, like an ugly tattoo. But in the midst of the crowd, that all seems irrelevant… for now.
The ASB has done something incredible. The dance committee has created the first truly introspective school dance in history. It begs us to study ourselves from the dark, empty spots on the dance floor. Why do we dance? Why do we put up with the scant and soulless nature of these things? Why, as humans, do we adapt to such a failure of a party? Hopefully, we never find the answer to these questions.

2019’s Tolo was one of ASB’s most intimate and unique dances in a long, long time.