David Bowie Variety Hour | Museum of Contemporary Art | Dance | Chicago Reader
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David Bowie Variety Hour 

When: Sept. 26-27 2014
Price: $20
Its title a punning reference to the multitudes David Bowie contains, this variety-hour showcase in conjunction with the MCA's retrospective of the artist features a lineup ranging from hip-hop and tap to burlesque and goofy commercial breaks. Jyl Fehrenkamp, host of the long-running Poonie's Cabaret, emcees, and Nick Davio and a house band provide live music. A few highlights: An ensemble piece for eight female dancers choreographed by Trae Turner of local hip-hop troupe Boom Crack! Dance Chicago, Live Part 2: TheScaryMcGeeDanceDustReview! sets Ziggy Stardust-era movement and glammy costumes to the commercial pop of 80s Bowie, with tracks including "Let's Dance." The songs alternate with other sounds, such as clips from a 70s BBC interview conducted by a sneering interlocutor whose questions for Bowie deal exclusively with religion, sexuality, and family values; as if in protest, when the interview plays, the dancers freeze."Queer electro fuck" performance group Baathhaus, whose use of narrative, choreography, costumes, and sheer outrageousness has drawn comparisons to Bowie, promise a fog machine to go with their covers of three songs from Bowie's 1980 album Scary Monsters, "Fashion" naturally among them. For the finale, Kasey Foster brings one of her dance tributes, an ongoing project of low-budget, large-scale evening-length narrative works performed to a playlist of songs by a favorite artist, this time Bowie, of course. Her dancers perform to a two-part medley of "Seven Years in Tibet," from the electronica-influenced 1997 record Earthling, and the 1975 single "Golden Years." In Foster's staging of the "hard and heavy" former, with its air of apocalyptic dread and aggressive drum tattoo, blank-faced ballerinas twirl starkly through a diaphanous labyrinth of white sheets to tell the story of a woman whose nihilism stems from deep sorrow and a loss of innocence. It's a good complement to the upbeat closer. —Jena Cutie



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