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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Chance: Gay Moscow's Splash Hit




For a city as traditionally homophobic as Moscow, Chance comes as a pleasant surprise. The night spot has been dubbed Moscow's best gay club, and from the moment you step over the threshold of the Hammer and Sickle House of Culture, converted every evening into a pumping night club, you won't be disappointed.


As you queue up for the cloakroom, tall, beautiful men fix their mascara in front of the full-length mirrors or adjust their lycra boob-tubes. Nearby, a man in a silver sequin dress with matching purse leans seductively across the bar. But the club doesn't just cater to leggy transvestites and their padded extra parts. Oleg, a gay history student at Moscow State University, has been coming to Chance for over a year. "I come here for the great music, the cheap beer and to meet people like me," he said.


The music is indeed one of Chance's most salient features. Downstairs is a mix of mainstream dance and happy house, while on the smaller dance floor upstairs they play Abba remixes and other spiced-up favorites from the '70s and '80s. If you like flares and Gary Glitter-style platforms, you'll be in your element.


But what makes Chance different from other night clubs in Moscow is not just its clientele. Aside from great people-watching, Chance offers the most original entertainment of any club in Moscow. Downstairs, the floor show goes on for most of the night. The acts vary from week to week, but all are variations on the gay theme. Regulars include two Africans who strip down to their Calvin Kleins as they sway and gyrate on the stage.


The crescendo comes when they skillfully remove their underpants, swing them around their heads with one hand, clutching what was inside them moments before with the other, and with one last pelvic thrust shuffle off into the dressing room.


The sleek black muscles of the dancers downstairs are just a foretaste of what is to come. For more, make your way upstairs to a second bar and dance floor.


The room is dimly lit, the only light coming from the aquariums that line the walls. The pi?ce de r?sistance begins at 2 a.m., although for prime viewing you are advised to secure standing space at least quarter of an hour before then.


As the Boney M track fades and the strains of a Tchaikovsky concerto start up, the largest fish tank lights up and two minimally-clad men clad appear in the water. For the next half an hour they tumble and glide among the fish to the admiring sighs of the audience.


For alternative fun in Moscow, Chance is the capital's hippest locale. Just leave your inhibitions behind.