Promise to get Kiwis dancing

Comedian Barnie Duncan as his alter ego DJ Juan Vesuvius at a hotel foyer in China on a recent...
Comedian Barnie Duncan as his alter ego DJ Juan Vesuvius at a hotel foyer in China on a recent tour stop. Photo: Kirk Marsh.
After tour stops from Finland to South Korea, Venezuelan DJ Juan Vesuvius is in Dunedin for one night only and is promising to make you dance.

The "passionate Calypso" DJ from Venezuela’s capital city Caracas  is the alter ego of comedian Barnie Duncan.

Calypso is a style of Afro-Caribbean music including hits such as Harry Belafonte’s Banana Boat.

"I love it. It’s amazing music, the Caribbean is really rich in all sorts of musical genres. It is a bottomless pit of joy," he said.

On the stage of the  Playhouse Theatre tonight will be two turntables, a mixer, a microphone, maracas and some vinyl records.

Duncan (39) owned most of the records before he wrote the show.

"I am a DJ by trade and I was looking for a way to mix DJing with experimental comedy. This character Juan Vesuvius seemed a great vehicle for that."

Calypso music was not a guilty pleasure as it brought him  genuine joy.

"I’ve been trying to get Kiwis to dance to music from different countries for 16 years so it’s a natural extension on what I think is cool in music."

The secret to dancing to Calypso music was to listen to the maracas and "let the maraca guide your hips".

The audience should prepare to dance at his show tonight, he said.

"By the end of the show the entire audience is dancing and that’s what happens every time."

There was one exception.

At a recent show in South Korea, some "older folk" stayed seated.

On the same tour, the show stopped in Helsinki and in the Chinese city Shanghai.

The Finnish were "very reserved and took a lot of cajoling", the South Koreans were "up for anything" and the Chinese "were a lot more dancey than I thought they were going to be".

The Melbourne-based comedian had to "adapt"  the three shows to cater for language barriers and differing tastes in humour.

"I’m really looking forward to doing it in Dunedin, where I know what audiences are like ... I’m looking forward to doing the show how I like to do it."

Barnie Duncan: Calypso Nights is on at the Playhouse Theatre at 10pm tonight.

● Barnie Duncan is also performing in Live Live Cinema: Little Shop of Horrors at Kavanagh Auditorium at 8pm tomorrow and 4.30pm on Sunday.

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