Los Angeles-based composer and musician Julianna Barwick and New York-based choreographer Jodi Melnick premiered a new collaborative work as part of The Kitchen Follies, a multidisciplinary revue conceived by New York-based filmmaker and video artist Charles Atlas (May 3−5 & 10−12, 2018) in The Kitchen’s theater space. Other participants included musicians The Illustrious Blacks; choreographers Laurie Berg, Stanley Love, and Bessie McDonough-Thayer; and performance artists Johanna Constantine, DANCENOISE, IMMA, and Solo Termite. Described as the ultimate performance art variety show, the sold-out performances brought together Atlas’s long-time collaborators as well as new ones that represent the next generation of performers. The project garnered press attention, resulting in listings and reviews in The Brooklyn Rail, Garage, The New York Times, and New Yorker as well as artist interviews with Atlas in Interview and The New York Times.
The Kitchen Follies was hosted by New York-based drag performer Tyler Ashley, “The Dauphine of Bushwick,” who interacted with the audience, introduced each 10-minute act, and lip-synched various popular songs each night. Cameras filmed each successive performance live, and Atlas, seated to the side of the stage behind a laptop and mixing equipment, manipulated the footage in real time, projecting the films on three screens above the stage. Collaborating for the first time and presenting the new work on stage, Melnick performed a solo dance of nuanced and fluid movements that melded exquisitely with Julianna Barwick’s layered and luminous music of her own vocals and electronic loops, with Atlas joining Melnick toward the end for a special duet.
Check out the video of the performance and the audio track here.