Soundscapes: Les Guinguettes

Guignettes
Les Guingettes

Les guinguettes – traditional Sunday afternoon dances held along the riverbanks outside Paris – are still swinging, despite the withering August heat this year. I can’t dance to save my life, but Perrine and I were nonetheless curious when we saw an advertisement for a floating dance floor that has slowly been making its way down the Canal de l’Ourcq.

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Navigating the sway of the boat in step with the beat proved to be particularly, well, tricky, but those who knew their box step from their cha-cha-cha had no problems spinning gracefully away. But even if you can’t dance, watching the spectacle of Parisians waltzing to old-time accordion music is a great way to while away a Sunday afternoon.

Where:  Les bals barges have been moving steadily closer to Paris with each week, and will arrive at parc de la Villette in the 19th arrondissement on August 23.

When:  3:30-7:30, Aug 23 & Aug 30

How Much: Free! Ferries run along the canal de l’Ourcq and out into the suburbs for €1.

Music courtesy of the fantastic group, Le Balluche de la Saugrenue.