When the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra plays classic hits, it usually means turning to centuries past. Next week, however, the orchestra and singers Annie Crummer, Laughton Kora and Esther Stephens take a trip to a more recent past, when boob tubes, hot pants and mirror balls ruled supreme.

It'll be a night of disco gold, playing hits by the Bee Gees, Donna Summer, KC and the Sunshine Band, The Jacksons and Earth, Wind & Fire. We asked some of those involved in the production what songs would get them up on the dance floor?

ESTHER STEPHENS, PERFORMER
What's your favourite disco track?
I'm Coming Out by Diana Ross is definitely a fave; it's impossible not to feel brave, empowered and liberated when that song comes on.
Where were you — and how old were you — when you first heard disco music?
Not my earliest memory but certainly most distinct: in 7th form, my high school chose Dancing Through The Ages as our Stage Challenge theme. Despite none of us being super-experienced dancers, some friends and I choreographed a disco number to Shake Your Groove Thing by Peaches & Herb. We tried to make sure our moves were as on-point as possible, and my dear parents even sewed some of the costumes. (Bright-coloured shiny shirts for the boys and soooo many sequins for the girls.)
Why do you think disco doesn't die?
It's fun, upbeat, and knows how to laugh at itself.

DAVID KAY, CONDUCTOR
What's your favourite disco track?
Stayin' Alive by the Bee Gees; it's such an iconic sound and look of the disco era. The Bee Gees encapsulate all that makes up the feeling, pulse, beat, style and enthusiasm that is disco. You can't help but move along to that groovy bass line and thumping dance beat.
Where were you — and how old were you — when you first heard disco music?
Disco music came through films like Saturday Night Fever, Grease and Dirty Dancing. Thinking about it now, it may be my inability to dance that made me watch them in hope that one day I might be able to move like Patrick Swayze or John Travolta.
Why do you think disco doesn't die?
It's such infectious music that continues to pull people onto the dance floor. As long as weddings, parties and gatherings continue, disco music will be there to get the party started.

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Annie Crummer is about to get her groove on with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.
Annie Crummer is about to get her groove on with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.

ANNIE CRUMMER, PERFORMER

What's your favourite disco track?

Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough

by Michael Jackson; it's perfection from start to the very end of the fade.

Why do you think disco doesn't die?

Because whether you like it or not, you can't help but wanna get up and dance.

JENNY RAVEN, PERCUSSION
What's your favourite disco track?
Brown Girl in the Ring was always a favourite at the school disco.
Where were you — and how old were you — when you first heard disco music?
On holidays with my family in Skegness, the music on the fairground bumper cars was always disco, so it's a memory of fun and family.
How different is playing disco music to playing a classical piece?
Fundamentally it's the same, but it's a short burst of high energy rather than sustained concentration for the 50-60 minutes of a symphony. The main difference for me is that I'll be able to move to the beat (discreetly dance and bop about) which would be too distracting in a symphony. I am looking forward to a great boogie night.

DAVID KELLY, REPETITEUR
What's your favourite disco track?
Le Freak by Chic — check out Nile Rodgers' guitar. I first heard disco may at my school disco — early 1990s? — but I didn't appreciate it at the time.
Why it doesn't die?
It's never gone away — sampled in hip-hop, showcased by Daft Punk in their last album, Random Access Memories (featuring Nile Rodgers)
How different is playing disco music to playing a classical piece?
In the upbeat numbers, the rhythms have to be absolutely precise for the music to work. In the slower numbers, I guess it's just a different kind of instinct.

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Lowdown
What: APO Does Disco
Where & when: ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre, Thursday