This Summer, Australian DJ Monski Mouse is once more setting up residence on London’s Southbank. As part of the Underbelly Festival, she’ll be playing at her Baby Disco Dance Hall every Sunday (and some Mondays) until the end of September.
Monski Mouse Baby Disco Dance Hall takes place in the 1920s-style Spiegelent. There’s a sprung circular floor, dancers to help the little-uns get into the swing, and a range of cracking, adult- and kid-friendly tunes like ’99 Luftballoons’, ‘Happy’ and ‘I’ve had the time of my life’. Whne you step through the velvet curtains into the tent’s spangly, low-lit interior, it’s difficult not to be infected by DJ Monica Corduff Gonzalez’s energy. Her perky, mouse ‘ear-buns’ alone are enough to make you smile.
This is the fifth year that the disco for the under-5s has hit London, and it’s the sort of show you can easily return to, year after year. Bar 2016, my daughter (now 5) has bopped away to the Baby Disco beat every summer. As well as London, UK-based Monica is playing at Brighton Fringe, The Great Yorkshire Fringe and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Monica herself is a Mum. Her two young daughters, as well as her magician husband, Tony Roberts, were at her show on Sunday. If you want to read about the Baby Disco you can find out more in one of our previous reviews, here or here. This year, I wanted to ask Monica a few questions about life as a talented performer with two young children.
What gave you the idea for Monski Mouse Baby Disco Dance Hall?
I had been DJ-ing as Monski Mouse for about 10 years before I created the Baby Disco Dance Hall, very much in the same places that I now perform the show, at arts and comedy fringe festivals. When I became a Mum in 2010, the late night starts and being a full-time mum wasn’t really working as a combo. Drawing on my experience in early childhood theatre and my playful DJ style, I set about creating the Disco as an event that would work for both new parents AND their little ones, being a chance to enjoy quality music, exposing kids to different styles and having a chance to glam and boogie.
I see that you’re a pretty groovy family, with a magician Dad, Disco mum and dancing little ‘uns. What do your family make of the Disco?My family are a huge support to me performing the Disco. Both the kids love it and my partner magician, Tony Roberts always gets a tear in the eye at the Disco. I’m so lucky to have made this show, it really is such a blast for me to be able to make a space for families to connect with each other, and I love seeing my two confidently dancing around the disco, and meeting a greeting other kids.
You’re taking the Disco to a few places around the world this year. How do you balance this with family life? Do your girls go to school in the countries you’re touring?
This year we are mainly in the UK. Since my older daughter started school I have minimised overseas touring to school holidays. How I balance work and parenting is that I am atrocious at housework, and have far too many piles of laundry to do at any given time. I am lucky that the kids can come wth me most of the time and I have childminders to look after them during the show while mummy is on stage.
What’s next for Monski Mouse Baby Disco Dance Hall? Where do you see your act, and the family, in five years‘ time?I am excited to continue performing the Disco. As the years have gone on it’s become more refined and complete as an offering and while audiences are clearly enjoying it so much, it would be a shame to stop, plus there are new audience members being born every year. As long as the body can hold up, I hope to still be dancing in five years. I am also working on developing another early childhood show to run alongside the Disco, which will be more live music, singing and puppetry based. Hoping to announce more about that one soon!