...I got "weird" for one night... ~ SouthSide
Now, performing next for your music pleasure, blogpot readers, please welcome to the stage ...SouthSide! On Friday evening, this reviewer had the chance to view life from the other side of the stage as a member of Sid Yiddish's Candystore Henchmen. Before mentioning the instruments she played with her fellow Henchmen, you need to understand first that this debut didn't happen on any ordinary "stage" or performance featuring dance and music. Well, blogspot readers, you could say everyone (the audience, musicians and dancers) were part of an innovative experiment in which anyone can expect a spontaneous unexpected occurrence to happen during the show known as Produce.
This unique experimental production combing music with dance and vice versa pit the artists (dancers and musicians - collectively as a whole or individually) "...into peformance situations they might not ordinarily choose..." in front of the audience. In other words, our producers Timothy Russell and Lauren Warnecke, for example could ask a pair of dancers to perform part of their piece to the music of a band and see how both could interpret each other's creative process artistically. That's basically what SouthSide's experience as part of the Henchmen while performing the second out of four series of Produce. "...This dance and music experiment [would] take you inside the creative process and introduce you to seven Midwestern contemporary artists like you've never seen [or heard] them before..." And the amazing thing about this one of a kind production, you actaully didn't know beforehand where it (music, dance or both together) might lead the audience. Everything was spontaneously planned on the producers' end even though most artists had the Produce sets rehearsed.
Tonight's edition of Produce, though a brief early performance, featured dance by Chloe of Fayth Caruso as well as dancers from Jenna Dillon and Drop Shift Dance while on the music side, Existential Pilot, Sam Hertz, The Exponential and Sid Yiddish & His Candystore Henchmen. SouthSide as honorary Henchmen (the first Henchwoman), performed (and sang - a little) with the band on small percussions (shaker bells, maraca) and windshield wipers (yes, actual windshield wipers as drumsticks against the metal bench). What really made this contemporary art experience very different and special from others this reviewer has seen was the audience discussion in between each segments to share thoughts/opinions about the performances. For example after a mini Sid Yiddish hand movement demonstration with the audience and a taste of the music incorporated with the movements, the producers asked the audience for feedback about the music and why some didn't participate. In another example, after the combined dance performance Jenna Dillon's dancers with music featuring Claire DiVizio of Existential Pilot (reading the lyrics written for Jenna's dancers) and Existential Pilot and SouthSide (on windshield wipers), the audience was asked for their opinions about the performance then and prior.
SouthSide (when not performing) thoroughly enjoyed the entire Produce production. She liked the fine examples of modern yet contemporary dance piences by Chloe (though liking the Billie Holliday original track for her dance than The Venetian Snares track used originially) and Jenna Dillon's piece which delved into the emotional side of angst and frustration vividly expressed through the dance movements. Plus the music quite unique in itself featured different vocal tones (vibrato soprano by Claire), rhythms (percussive instruments of all kinds) and melodies that filled the small auditorium-like venue, blogspot readers. What a rush felt when Producer Timothy had all of us (musicians and dancers) performing at the same time truly upping the audience experience to the next level as they traveled an incredible journey via sight and sound for a few minutes.
SouthSide highly recommends spending part of your Friday night this July enjoying the unusually eclectic performances of contemporary music and dance. Produce will run until July 29th at The Drucker Center (1535 N. Dayton) - showtime is at 8p. Admission is between $6 to $8. For more information, visit http://www.producedanceandmusic.tumblr.com. It's a fun way to introduce youself to the unique side of the contemporary arts, blogspot readers.
Final thoughts - personally SouthSide had a profound experience being on the other of the stage. Participating with Candystore Henchmen was exhilerating while performing solo was somewhat nerve-wrecking at first (since she had to follow the music played while interpreting the dance movements) yet fun. You're probably wondering if SouthSide would perform live again ...perhaps even though performing in front of people (first time in MANY years) isn't easy as it looks...
Until next time, support your local scene,