If you’ve ever wanted to see a dancing dog — and not just any dog, but one of William Wegman‘s Weimaraners — you’re about to get your chance. Choreographer Karole Armitage has teamed up with a handful of visual artists, including Wegman, Will Cotton, Kalup Linzy and Aïda Ruilova, for a dance-cum-performance-art show at the Abrons Arts Center titled “Werk! The Armitage Gone Variety Show.”
Armitage, the force behind Madonna’s “Vogue” video, founded her own company, Armitage Gone! Dance, in 2004, but she’s been dancing and choreographing since the 1980s. Along the way she earned the nickname “punk ballerina” for her tendency to mash up ballet with other dance and music styles. She’s also worked with visual artists for the entirety of her career, starting with her first-ever piece, “Ne,” in 1978, for which Christian Marclay designed the set and costumes. Since then she’s enlisted the help of Charles Atlas, David Salle, Jeff Koons, Karen Kilimnik and others.
“I always loved painting, but probably the big push was when I danced with Cunningham,” Armitage told Hyperallergic in a discussion of how she began working with artists. “Jasper Johns was there all the time, and I got to be good friends with him, and Rauschenberg was there some. It made me think, it’s so much more interesting the way artists think about a stage than a traditional set designer.”
“They’re kind of like the antenna,” she continued, “they’re the forefront of new ideas. And I want to be in the forefront.”
The centerpiece of “Werk!” is Armitage’s new piece, “Rave,” which the press release bills as “a celebratory happening mixing dance, capoeira, voguing, the Chinese martial art wushu and catwalk,” with dancers painted head to toe in bright colors. In addition, Armitage has brought on visual artists for “Werk!” in a new way — not just as designers but as choreographers and performers.
Linzy will contribute a filmed chapter in one of his ongoing soap operas, Cotton has created a piece that pairs a burlesque dancer and ballerinas, and Wegman is bringing … well, a dog dressed in a dance costume. According to Armitage, “The dog is, like, juggling, and there’s this eerie music, and then all of a sudden a tap dancer steals a ball and the dog and the dancer do a routine together.” Then, accompanied by a series of lighting changes, the dog and fellow dancers will apparently cycle through a variety of styles, including ballet, voguing and krumping.
“This dog is in the maelstrom of identity confusion,” Armitage said. But so talented!
“Werk!” will run May 2–5 at the Abrons Arts Center (466 Grand Street, Lower East Side). Tickets are $30 and can be purchased online.
Ceramic fried eggs, critiques of real estate, and a whole booth dedicated to female-identifying saints caught my eye at Untitled, NADA, and Art Miami.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s office recovered 23 looted objects from Shelby White’s home over the last year and a half.
The award-winning Canadian artist explores notions of power through the imagery of science fiction in portraits, sculpture, and objects.
An egregious “anti-woke” billboard erected in Los Angeles attempts to sow division among Latino/a/x communities.
This week, missed signs of previous life on Mars, the appeal of forged art, and why are blue whales singing in lower octaves?
This affordable, interdisciplinary program with excellent facilities and private studios offers in-person instruction for 2023.
All the Beauty and the Bloodshed forcefully posits multiple parallels between the world Nan Goldin grew up in and the one she fights in today.
Your list of must-see, fun, insightful, and very Los Angeles art events this month, including Bob Thompson, Aimee Goguen, Uta Barth, the Transcendental Painting Group, and more.
The latest episode of this documentary series on PBS explores the meaning of home through handmade objects, hand built homes, and the artists who create them.
There is the singular artist and then there is the more exclusive club that has only one member. Harvey belongs to the latter.
The artists say the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma must sever ties with Poju Zabludowicz, whose wealth comes in part from Israeli defense contracting.
Rhode Island School of Design opens registration for its residential summer Pre-College program and year-round online intensive Advanced Program Online.
Vanessa Albury, whose eco-friendly ceramic sculptures help revive filter-feeder populations, is raising funds to complete her first film about the project.
An archeological exploration of the amphitheater’s sewers and water systems uncovered remnants of meat, vegetables, olives, nuts, and yes, pizza.