Warholalia and dance specterama
Friday night at the Live Arts Philly Fringe festival for ’13 Most Beautiful…Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests’ at the Arts Bank and ‘Mortal Engine’ at the Wilma. Both sold out, because I can’t read a simple schedule, overlapping for me. Both crowds were charged for good reason.
Nick Stuccio who directs the festival is to be congratulated for managing a strong international collective in the toughest of economic times.
Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips, composers, guitarists and vocalist were backed up by Lee Waters on percussion & bass; Matt Sumrow on guitar and keyboards. The song cycle underscored Warhol’s infamous screentests, projected in back of the band, of factory stars circa 1964. The songs and images conjure vistas of Warhol milleau- the Chelsea, heroin chic, hustler arcadia, and factory verite.
Lou Reed stares at the camera and practically felates a bottle of Coke, as the turns an art song into elegant acid rock. Phillips vocals evoke her persona with sparrow tremolo as Nico the superstar herself is as luminous as Garbo onscreen. The screen test of a dancer who killed himself on speed, dancing out a window naked to Mozart’s Coronation Mass, is a drivingly concussive instrumental elegy. The musician ship is a stellar electrical acoustic mix and transcendentally VU. (tbc)
Maybe it was the Warhol head, but this cranium was completely blow out by the Australian dance troupe Chunky Move. The Wilma stage was a hydrolicked dance arena. CM’s mind-blowing effects are created by real time generated graphics field that responds to the movement of the dancer, visually and aurally. Infra red video cameras “watch” the dancer and convert the movement. Photosynthetic (or alga) organisms cue generates image afterburns, spiderly group crawls and illustrated trails.
Dancers dive on the ramp and there are after- image bleeds of their movements. There are also sections of 3-D lasar light shows that the integrate into the dances. One solo has a man execute tumbling yogic extensions and when he freezes a light mandala immediately forms around his body. tbc pugilistic and erotic duets, and ‘outer limits’ couplings.
Gideon Obarzanek, choreographic designer. the field also synthesizes the sounds the dancers make on the floor with their bodies.