Miss Dinky | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Miss Dinky 

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Good DJs know that the key to manipulating an audience is to work around a record, not straight through it. Alejandra Iglesias (aka Miss Dinky) eliminates the flash and sometimes spine of a track, extracts secondary melodies or bits of background noise and catapults them through the speakers, unexpectedly capturing the heart of a song in its tiniest elements. Born in Chile in 1975, Iglesias has studied ballet, modern dance, and music theory since she was a child; as a teenager she once danced onstage professionally with Peter Gabriel. Around this time, in the mid-90s, a big sister living in Berlin turned her on to electronic music, and Iglesias started putting on dance recitals in Chilean discos. Soon she was DJing, and in '97, having moved to New York to attend the Martha Graham School of Dance, she began throwing huge parties at underground clubs all over the city. Iglesias combines her love for "world music" percussion with the don't-give-a-damn attitude of the jet set: on a mix CD created to promote this tour, she cleverly fades what sounds like the harsh hiccuping beat from Cajmere's "Coffee Pot (It's Time for the Percolator)" into banging bongos. She distills techno and deep house tracks to their almost tedious essence--repetition, after all, is a dance floor's best friend. Splintering breakbeats into nearly arrhythmic shards, Iglesias forgoes flow for the beauty of temporary chaos. You might end up standing there wondering, "Now how the hell am I supposed to dance to this?" but that's because Iglesias is shedding light instead of pushing people's buttons. She opens for Electric Indigo and Miss Kittin, both of whom are doing DJ sets only. Friday, September 27, 10 PM, Crobar, 1543 N. Kingsbury; 312-413-7000.

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