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Viva Latina!



High energy dance with the Mad Hatter

What: Wonderland, featuring DJs Lando and X-tra Large

Where: Maxx Fish

When: April 30

Come jump down the rabbit hole to wonderland, as promoter Leah Turner and Trinity Productions bring you Wonderland, a locals appreciation event.

The gathering offers "a friendly environment with a silly atmosphere, that includes big fuzzy mushrooms," says Turner, promoter of the house music experience for returning and new visitors.

"We want to recreate feelings for the older set from those raver days," she adds.

Turner, who has been attending events in both Vancouver and Whistler clubs since her days as a freeskier, says the majority of night clubs in Vancouver have moved away from the original house dance floor vibe and towards a more dressy, poser atmosphere. A "look at my outfit" versus a "let’s dance" attitude has altered the feeling.

Trinity’s events are not geared to that vibe.

"I mean these women show up in stilettos, they can’t even dance in those!" says Turner.

With progressive house, tech house, and techno the musical style, Wonderland is a high energy dance event, complete with costumes.

The Mad Hatter, Queen of Hearts and the Rabbit, all spring to life from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland story, part of the "dress to amuse" theme.

Base Energy drink sponsors Wonderland, and the opportunity to promote Canadian music and additional lifestyle products is part of the music event tour in the works for this fall.

"The (smart drinks) are popular because a lot of dance events are demanding as far as energy goes, and not everyone wants to get drunk," says Eric Blouin, Whistler rep for the drink.

A combination of the usual ingredients in smart drinks – echinacea, guarana, a Brazilian plant extract, Siberian ginseng, and gingko bilboa are topped with sodium and potassium, to improve the taste for thirsty dancers at the events.

And the events are all about energy, a theme threading through dance events of the late ’80s and early ’90s for generation Xers.

Akin to the energy theme, the "smart drink" phenomena was made popular not only at sporting events, but in large consumer dance markets in countries like the U.K.

"Leah approached us and showed us some video footage of what they did down in Santiago, and the owners wanted to sponsor the event for Wonderland," adds Blouin.

The footage included dance floors on Santiago’s Electric Avenue, revelry at the Boomerang club, and an outdoor fashion show featuring notorious Brazilian bikinis – which even made the afternoon bartender crew at the Brew House stop and take notice.

The proceeds from the Maxx Fish show will help support Turner’s next trip to Chile, where she will touch base with contacts for a music event this fall.

The series of travelling events took place in Santiago, Chile from October to November 2002. Local residents featured at the shows included DJ Shandy Rae, Heather Gilis and Nathan Wild (dancers for the fetes), Crystal Carson (as show assistant), Ross Gledseale (on security), and DJ Andy Wright, now based in Vancouver.

Milton Currrie, another local DJ, has also been closely involved with the music events.

One outdoor event, the Connect Rave, featured music against the backdrop of the Andes Mountains.

And how did the link from one mountain paradise to another come about?

When a job at the Canadian Embassy in Santiago exposed the underground and mainstream dance music scene, the wheels were turning to promote her favourite styles of music.

"Everyone needs a creative outlet, and this is mine," says Turner, whose role is to co-ordinate DJs, assistants, and look after promotions and security at each event.

"A lot of people have this individuality complex, but music is one thing that unites everybody. The name Trinity refers to mind, body, and soul, and I’m really into energies and feelings."

The opportunity to promote Canadian products, in addition to music itself, is made possible through the free trade policy established between the Chilean and Canadian governments.

Turner hopes a trip to Toronto and Montreal next month will add to the list of product promotions.

Redbull, is another product Turner would like to promote at parties in Chile. Now being served in Canadian bars, customers here can sample one recipe. A second, alternate recipe, includes the ingredient turine. That recipe is still illegal here, although available in the U.K.

To picture the energy quotient of this jitterbug perfume, imagine sipping a double Torrefazione espresso while skiing the Saudan Couloir and you get the idea.

Turner plans to hold additional fund-raisers over the summer in Whistler, to help fund the fall event.

Turner heads to Santiago in May to keep the ball rolling.

"We create an entire environment for people – it’s a real energy release!"