After a long spell of letting many-an-event pass without noting it here, I’ve returned to keep you, fair reader, up to date on my goings-on. Up next: The Kate Bush Dance Troupe performs not one but TWO numbers in a very special event on Saturday December 15th. Merry Christmas Mary Boom is a co-production of ESP TV and Dirty Looks NYC which takes as its inspiration many holiday specials that I myself hold dear, including those by Kate Bush and RuPaul. We will perform in front of a live audience against a green screen/psychedelic Christmas backdrop while ESP TV live mixes the footage. Prepare to be dazzled. Check out the teaser below and buy tickets here. Please also visit KBDT’s Facebook page and Vimeo page to stay apprised of our updates. And do tell Kate to tune in to MNN.org on December 25th and January 1st to check out the results of this holiday spectacular. Here is the Facebook page for the event with additional guests and details.
On my very last night in Basel I had the pleasure of performing at Kaskadenkondensator, a space for experimental performance, also known simply as Kasko for short (the full name translates to “cascade condensor”). I had met Axel Topfer, a German artist living in Basel who worked at Kasko, and together we mounted an installation for a one-night event. The performance combined my usual suspects of music, costume, video, miniature sets, singing, and dancing with a physical set that contained and defined the action within it and utilized many of the physical objects I made during my residency. Though packing and cleaning was an endless nightmare afterward, the event was a sweet ending to my stay, the best kind of farewell.
Read more about the performance and see images on the This is Not a Myth page on my site, including the one below.
I’m interviewed in the 6/2011 issue of Kunstbulletin, a Swiss art magazine, and the title – Auf der Suche nach dem goldenen Spandex – is fondly translated above. The article is by Andrina Jorg, and Cat Tuong Nguyen photographed me. Here’s a permanent link to the English translation courtesy of Google – In Search of the Golden Spandex. It can also be read in German HERE.
Cover of the June issue as well as the photo, which is not included on the website.
Below are some shots of my work in the group show of iaab residents at the organization’s new Dreispitz project room. I showed my new video Ode on a Terran Urn as well as a new installation piece featuring video, costume, and wall hangings called Costume-Object Workshop. The other artists in the show are Jan-Henri Booyens, Taro Shinoda, Georges Audet, and Sami Lukkarinen.
Lo and behold, the long-awaited sequel to An Opportunity for Social Engagement has arrived. Join our alien friends as they get down in the outer reaches of space. As always, the characters are played by myself and by Collin Cunningham.
Watch the video on my youtube channel, Mags to Riches.
View the growing Metalmags and Alien Ambassador playlist on my channel.
Two more Metalmags and the Alien Ambassador projects are in the works, so you’ll be seeing more of us! Look out for a preview of the upcoming long form project on my website.
The Kate Bush Dance Troupe performed at The Kitchen November 5, 6, and 7 as part of Chase Granoff’s piece The Art of Making Dances. Chase’s piece featured himself and Jennifer Sullivan as the main dancers as well as a group of dancers who performed during several segments. Our contribution fell at the end of the piece and we performed just one song – The Dreaming. I made an additional costume for Renata, as she rejoined the group for this performance. The evening also included i need more by Nancy Garcia and was curated by Matthew Lyons. Matthew also conducted an interview with me, Jennifer Sullivan, and Samara Davis about The Kate Bush Dance Troupe that is included in the book Chase produced as part of his piece. The book is also titled The Art of Making Dances.
We were really stoked to be included in this show, and it was funny, because we had earlier joked that KBDT was blowing up and that we’d be at The Kitchen before we knew it. It was an awesome opportunity and really cool to perform in that space, so “big time” compared to the loft/party type locations of our previous performances. Unfortunately I don’t yet have any photo or video of the performance to share save for a mobile phone pic and some photos of us before and after the show. Check out the review from the NY Times and check back for more documentation in the near future.
photo by Timothy Hull
See the full set on Flickr HERE.
Photos above by Brina Thurston. Below, video documentation (by Andrew Steinmetz) of our second performance on May 30th at 179 Canal, a temporary gallery and performance space hosted by Margaret Lee. The month of programming was called The Month of May – read an interview with Margaret on the Art:21 blog HERE. For this iteration, members Renata Espinoza and Margaret Lee bowed out and were replaced by Cassie Thornton and Kate Scherer. Jennifer Sullivan, Samara Davis, and myself remained. Check out the video footage in order of presentation with a brief explanation of each number below.
We began the evening with an encore presentation of Wuthering Heights, enhanced by a lovely red sleeve-and-sash accessory made by Samara Davis. Kate Scherer’s abstract video played on the wall to our right (you can’t see it here due to the angle at which the footage was recorded).
Hounds of Love
Samara Davis came up with the moves for this piece, combining ghoul-like hound movements with doo-wop style snapping and bouncing. She also made an eyepiece for each dancer, which, in tandem with black gloves scouted by Kate Scherer, contribute a gang/posse element. Cassie Thornton’s slideshow video plays offscreen.
Room for the Life
This song did not have a Kate Bush-choreographed dance to work from, so Jennifer Sullivan used a live performance video as a jumping-off point. In the video, Kate leans and rocks in a womb-like structure, so Jen created quilted pregnant bellies for us to wear. The dance moves are alternately sexy and maternal, climaxing in a birth sequence. Maya Erdelyi provided liquid light visuals for this womb-tastic number.
Source material was ample for this piece – in addition to the awesome sci-fi video Kate created for this song, there are a few great live television performance recordings as well. I faithfully transcribed the moves directly from these performances and crafted costumes that are simplified versions of those worn by Kate and her dancers. Add a smoke machine and we’re good to go!
Thanks to the DJs and those who helped out as stagehands!
I was searching the world wide web for pictures of Kate Bush the other day and stumbled into photos of this spacey lady:
To my surprise, it turned out to be Sarah Brightman, one of my dad’s fave divas. She played the lead role in Phantom of the Opera – her husband Andrew Lloyd Webber was the composer and creator, and the role was written specifically for her. These days she enjoys success as a soprano siren-diva blending classical and pop influences. I guess when you look into the range of styles she has experimented with in her career, it should come as no surprise that she first met with success as a disco dancer – still, it kinda made me chuckle.
Sarah debuted as a member of Hot Gossip, a British dance troupe that was led and choreographed by Arlene Phillips. Their performances were super glittery disco numbers with a sci-fi tilt that were bursting with sexual energy. Hot Gossip was showcased on the Kenny Everett Video Show in the late 70s and the troupe released a few singles with Sarah as their songstress – see I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper below. I’m also including their video for Supernature by Cerrone.
See early-sarah-brightman.com for more info about Hot Gossip.
I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper
Supernature (includes a bit of footage of Kenny Everett at the end)
I’m performing along with artist Shana Moulton this Thursday in Madison. In addition to some, er, classics, I’ll be performing a new piece, for which I made a new costume (see above). I have to admit – I’m pretty impressed with myself. My costumes are actually beginning to turn out as I had envisioned them!
Here are the deets:
Shana Moulton & Erica Magrey
a night of live performances
Thursday, March 26, 2009
8 pm – 915 pm
Memorian Union: Fredric March Play Circle
University of Wisconsin
nyc video and performance artists shana moulton & erica magrey will each
perform individual sets and then come together for a rare, starlight-only
surprise collaboration. this is sure to be an evening of full impact head-on
collision wizardry so don’t miss it!
shana moulton will perform a piece titled “body ÷ mind + 7 = spirit.” in
this performance, shana brings her alter ego, cynthia, and her strange world
to life through an innovative use of props, costumes, live-action and
projected video. the performance weaves an abstract narrative out of
exercise equipment, carpal-tunnel therapy, goddess worship, the new-age pop
music of enigma, angela lansbury, the thousand-hand bodhisattva dance and
brian de palma’s carrie.
erica magrey will appear as her alter ego, metalmags, in a performance
titled “window.” here, a collage of personas, reflections and realizations
emerges as stories of transformation and empowerment are told through
movement, light, and sound. using performance, video, and songs, she creates
a psychedelic journey of self-discovery, engaging themes such as self-doubt,
nostalgia and personal mythology.
p.s. this event is free
At long last – links to photos and video of our premiere performance as the Kate Bush Dance Troupe. The troupe was conceived and organized by Samara Davis and Jennifer Sullivan. Performeres are (L to R): Jennifer Sullivan, Margaret Lee, Erica Magrey, Samara Davis, and Renata Espinoza.
Giant Kate Bush painting on set by Jennifer Sullivan. Photos by Brina Thurston. Video by Collin.
The Man With the Child in His Eyes (Jennifer Sullivan on the mic; piano drawing by Margaret Lee)
Suspended in Gaffa