Art is subjective… Continuously shape shifting and morphing through a multitude of forms. We are continuously being challenged (or intellectually insulted) to accept, believe in, support, and get into something new. Sometimes it is hard (but most of the time not) to decipher what is simply product to be sold and what is coming from the heart…
Well last night, I had the experience of seeing “Quizzically Quimisical” at the Gene Frankel Theater (24 Bond Street, NY, NY)… And honey, I have to say that it most definitely comes from the heart, soul, mind, and anything else personal you can think of.
G.J. Dowding writes, directs, and produces a wide spanning and very interestingly put together performance art piece.
Part art distillation: The set is very well thought out, crafted, and executed, almost as if you have stepped inside a mixture of Tina Turner’s “Private Dancer” video set and a Macy’s store front gone SOHO via vintage Hollywood glamour. The costuming is both stylized and statement making, while flexible and comfortable for the actors to move in… The light design ambitious, yet well befitting and beautiful.
Part prose/spoken word/poetry slam: The writing is elaborate and woven into many styles; literal, ethereal, and abstract.
Part play: There is narrative story telling.
Part movement: Movement is a MAJOR component: The chorographer is not consistently dance as much as physical narration for the shows center piece.
Part music: Music plays an integral part in the setting of moods and intentions.
When all is said and done “Quizzically Quimisical” is a hodge podge of both performance and visual arts; and for the most part all of the separate parts stand alone brilliantly as well as come together to compliment each other.
The piece explores the inner makings of the central characters queer identity by way of both the spiritual and childhood relationship he has with his glamorous mother and her demons… We see his gradual unraveling and acceptance of the mess that both needs and doesn’t need to be cleaned up that is his glitter filled, pain riddled, enlightened, and matured faggotry. (No shade… I am one of the kidz too)
My only warning is that the show is heavy, largely abstract (hence it being “Quizzical”), and that there is no intermission. None of these things are particularly bad, but be mentally prepared to keep an open mind, understand that you are not walking into a dialogue based show that will feed you much of its story line (much is left up to the perception of the viewer), and that by no means is this a comedic, stroll through the park… It takes you on some serious, heavy, and sometimes very sad paths.
All in all, I think that it is definitely worth checking out. There is a show TONITE Saturday 9/8/12 and 9/9/12 at the Gene Frankel Theater (24 Bond Street NY, NY) at 8pm. $15 at the door.
Written by: Dj StereOtype
Sometimes it feels like realism in art is over rated... They say that art imitates life, and indeed to an extent that may be true, but it is undeniable that art influences life. The media has a choke hold of power over humanity- thus productions often times set a precedence in peoples minds that in fact influences their view point of their reality.
Throughout recent history, almost any time that an African American production gets critical acclaim it has shown black people in a down trodden state of extremism: From "Precious" and "Monsters Ball", to "For Coloured Girls" (The original and Tyler Perry's), "The Colour Purple", "Good Times", "Boys In The Hood", etc... It is undeniable that many successful black shows disguise tragedy, misfortune, and similar sob story lines as important, progressive art.
Walking into the play "Seed" written by Radha Blank, I honestly did not know what to expect... From what I read of the piece it sounded promising... but potentially unoriginal and maybe a bit pretentious...
However, I was pleasantly surprised: I feel that the show is actually an extremely accurate, yet tasteful, and very artistic account of the realities of youth parenting youth in today's not only urban- but mainstream American society in general.
Well written, well casted, well acted, cleverly staged, intelligently directed, and impressively lit/sound designed... "Seed" successfully captures what many fail at: Exposing a societal issue without exploiting it, and still managing to be realistic WHILE being entertaining. I can also say that where many of these types of stories are easy to figure out because they have been done so much, "Seed" has an unpredictable sentiment that leaves the audience thinking.
It is the story of a young boy from Harlem who is born of young, selfish parents that do not finesse his talents. AS washed up social worker with her own imbalances comes into him and his families life and turns it upside down in ways good and bad...
It is more than worth checking out: Go to http://seedtheplay.com for more information
Written by: Kuale.
Turquoise Jeep... Silly, funny, effervescent, entertaining... A bunch of these words come to mind when I think of the camp performers who have become youtube sensations and heralded their independent movement into viable careers with legions of fans, sold out shows, and busy performance schedules; but one word unexpectedly dawned on me as watched their show last week in Brooklyn @ The Morgan in Bushwick- and it is, intelligent.
When I looked at the mixed crowd filled with people of different ages, races, nationalities, and styles it hit me that these guys have successfully on their own done something that many other artists, independent as well as mainstream have not done. CREATE THEIR OWN CATEGORY.
Nobody is dong what they do: Create original music and self iconic visuals that are camp, but still not an absolute, total, farce- that are funny enough to crack up to, but still catchy and have enough pop to un-embarrassed sing out loud. Not to mention, the choreography and dances that have become synonymous with many of their numbers.
Their branding techniques are genius, and I think the coolest thing of all, is that they have a mystery. You find yourself asking, "Are these guys serious"?
The artists they are, are at the same time characters- they have complete privacy and anonymity as individuals. Nobody knows who "Flynt Flossy" is when he takes off the mustache and glasses, yet he has a viable fame that makes him money.
I also love that this is a group of black men that do not take themselves so seriously and are not afraid to be fun, dance, and have a good time.
I love Turquoise Jeep. Check them out at: www.turquoisejeep.com. Special thanks to Charu that got us on the list per the great new Brooklyn based store Live Astro located at 552 Grand Street. BK NY... Check them out at http://www.facebook.com/liveastro and http://www.twitter.com/liveastrony... Look out for our special video segment on them coming soon.
The holidays are upon us: and trust me, as a single, hard working, careerist, 25 year old man living in a state that may as well be a million miles away from my family, NYC resident that isn’t an alcoholic, running the streets to fill the void of loneliness this time of year brings (weather and holidays included)- I am in no type of Christmas or holiday spirit.
I don’t particularly consider this to be a bad thing… I mean, when you grow up and life becomes about survival AND you are free to do as you please anytime you want, holidays do become a bit less pressing.
A random Wednesday could feel like Christmas and Christmas could be a ravishing disappointment.
Tis true… have become a bit jaded to mainstream celebrations, BUT I ALWAYS appreciate good art.
With this said, upon entering the AMAZINGLY beautiful Opera House of The Brooklyn Academy Of Music this past Saturday all by my lonesome, surrounded by children with doting parents, couples dressed in their most festive attire, and old people buzzing with Holiday cheer- I for a moment had to tuck away my fierce Grinch outlook and for the two hours of Mark Morris Dance Groups “The Hard Nut”- succumb to something that I have not felt in years…
I mean, granted- this show IS NOT your average Christmas pageant or dance recital- but it gave me something really endearing.
“The Hard Nut” is a more modern (dance and culturally) version of the Christmas classic “The Nut Cracker”.
What I love most about the show is that it hybrids a myriad of colours, ideas, cultural references (that are relevant to today’s pop culture that all generations can recognize and appreciate), with the techniques, structure and beauty of dance, while maintaining a fresh sense of humor that is dead on.
And dare I saw that with the campiness of the humor comes a brilliant sexuality that exudes from the core of the overall piece? The cast of dancers are a very endogenous and racially mixed bunch; you have both men and women of all shapes and sizes in the same costumes doing the same movement
The show has artistic integrity from all aspects. You get a little bit of drag (yes male to female transformation) and the makeup is well done- the transformation intriguing, yet convincing; the costumes are well crafted and very beautiful, the sets are brilliant, the dancers are great actors.
The whole thing was a masterfully fun experience that while keeping true to Holiday traditions, keeps a raw, unapologetic, artistic license.
CHECK IT OUT.
PLAYING AT BAM, 30 LAFAYETTE AVE, BK NY 11217 FROM 12-10 TO 12-19.
Written By: Dj StereOtype