07.31.10: The Lost Circus
Littlefield, 622 Degraw, Gowanus, BK | Event on Facebook
The Circus is said to have started in ancient Egypt when the court entertainers of an immortal Pharaoh escaped their slavery under a midnight moon. They have traveled the globe for centuries, gathering talent from every great empire as the empire itself begins to crumble: Istanbul, Saint Petersburg, London, Berlin...and now they have made it across the sea.
At the stroke of midnight, discover a circus long lost. With music from times gone by or times that never were: dark string fusion by Brooklyn's own Copal and bohemian cabaret in 13 languages by Vagabond Opera - our special guests from Portland, OR. And announcing our secret guest: circus composer Sxip Shirey, on his last night before he leaves NYC.
The circus unfolds to the bands and in between: mind-bending contortion by Jonathan Nosan, aerial dance by Madeline Hoak; tribal fusion bellydance by Lauren Robbiani and special guest Rio; fire & gorgeousness by Ali Luminescent; gypsy fortunetelling by Kai Altair; an original installation & performance by artist (and Minsky Sister) Kristen Rhea van Liew. Kinetically sculptural poem of bondage, beauty, and light by The Baroness. Beautiful costumed creatures perform feats of fire in the courtyard. Dusty circus visuals set the mood. DJ sophybot fascinates your ears with a renegade circus tent soundtrack. With your ever-dapper host, steampunk author G.D. Falksen. Fanciful body artistry by AMBodyArt. Photo-op custom art installation with works by Molly Crabapple and Kathleen Green.
Dress code: dark cabaret, traveling circus, steampunk Victorian, Edward Gorey, Tim Burton, Mad Max, City of Lost Children.
See below for detailed info on all performers.
More on our artists:
Dark string fusion: Copal
Copal blends the haunting sounds of violin and cello with world rhythms, electronic-scapes, and original melodies rooted in global traditions. NYC-based band, lead by violinist Hannah Thiem and a cast of talented collaborators, weaves soundscapes inspired by Middle Eastern rhythms, dark Nordic melodies, Hungarian riffs, Spanish-flavored cadences and harmonies to paint pictures and landscapes. Their sound ranges from ambient and textural moods, to dynamic string and rhythmic dialogs, to upbeat ethnic-flavored dance music. Like lucid dreams, the sounds of Copal will carry your spirit away.
Bohemian cabaret: Vagabond Opera Company
Paris hot jazz, gut bucket swing, tangos, Ukrainian folk-punk ballads, klezmer and vigorous originals meet a world of riverboat gambling queens, Turkish belly dancers, and the enigmatic Marlene Dietrich. Weaving elements of Kurt Weil, Duke Ellington and Edith Piaf with absurdist flair, theatrics and an old world mood, Vagabond Opera presents the new wave of opera: lusty voices singing in 13 languages and presenting a cabaret of rich musical phrasing, sparkling lyrics and indomitable stage presence, all played with exuberance, skill and a gritty Vagabond edge. "A band of ceaseless charisma, boundless energy, impeccable musicianship and more than a little touch of both the naughty and exotic" - The Washington Post.
Curious objects and impossible sounds: Sxip Shirey
Sxip Shirey is a real life circus composer and maestro of Bindlestiff Family Cirkus, The Daredevil Opera Company & gypsy punk ensemble Luminescent Orchestrii. "Haunting" - The New York Times (2008). "Sxip conjures a world of infernal calliopes and cotton candy machetes wielded by Gypsy crones with angel feet" - SF Weekly. "Compelling...ominous original music" - The New York Times (2009).
Mind-bending conortion: Jonathan Nosan
Born in Mt. Pleasant Michigan, bred in San Diego, schooled at UC Berkeley in Japanese Studies and Geography. Fulbright to Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto in Design of Sacred Space, where he fell into Butoh with Katsura Kan, then Physical Theater with Philippe Gaulier in London, Contortion with Lu Yi in San Francisco and now over a decade in Gotham. He's been in movies, on tv, in commercials, on broadway, but mostly likes being with Joe, Clover and mud.
Aerial silks: Madeline Hoak
Madeline Hoak's choreography has been described as, "simply genius, every nuance was so natural..." - Julian Bushman-Copp. An aerialist and dancer, Madeline blends the fierceness of the grounded and the sultry of the vertical worlds in her work. She has been seen performing aerial at STREB, South Street Sea Port, the Edison Ballroom, Manhattan Movement Arts Center, The Flea Theater, Embody Studio, La Mama, and Triskelion Arts.
Tribal bellydance fusion: Lauren Robbiani
Darling of sideshow marvels, Lola is the opiate of her audience. A serpentine siren, she shocks and awes with her rapid-fire hips. Slinking like molasses, Lola is a bohemian beauty. She intoxicates with the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus, and is reminiscent of vintage bordello bombshells with the Bleeding Hearts Bellydance Co.
Tribal bellydance fusion: Rio
A born Virginian, an adopted Hungarian, and a wannabe Canadian, a snake charmer and a flame tamer, dancing through 15 years of performing life in an immersion of gypsy culture and music that reverberates within her southern Seminole heritage, reflecting back the strength and vitality of a people who are uncontrollably moved to move. See music visually embodied, sultry, serpentine, and exquisitely tortuous, find her dancing along the east coast with the performance group MAHARAL of Richmond, VA.
Custom installation/performance: Kristen van Liew
Kristen Rhea van Liew received her BFA in studio art with a focus on performance studies from NYU in 2007. Since then, she has shown both installations and performances in New York and abroad and worked at PERFORMA, for RoseLee Goldberg. Additionally, she is in a tap act called The Minsky Sisters with Jen Zakrzewski, akin to the avant garde cabaret acts of the early 20th Century, and performs regularly as Kristen Minsky. She currently splits her time between New York and Providence, Rhode Island, where she is working on her MFA in Sculpture. She has shown work and performed in the following spaces: PS122 (New York), The Gelman Gallery (Providence), English Kills Art Gallery (New York), The Feminist Art Project and College Art Association Conference (LA), Theater for The New City (New York), ABC No Rio (New York), Art in Odd Places (New York).
Fire & gorgeousness: Ali Luminescent
Ali Luminescent is a multi-media artist based in NYC. Coy characters and charming skills pour from her tendrils right into your lap.
Fascinating your ears: DJ Sophybot
Blending Cambodian psychedelic and Yugoslavian new wave with gypsy swing and classic oldies, DJ sophybot throws down a massive concoction that harmonizes into an inexplicable hip-shaking madness. It's the sound of a good time, vibing across cultures and diving through languages, exploring eras in time and space with just one aim in mind: having a blast. A steadily growing 50,000-track collection keeps the mix fresh and the beats tight, whatever the country and whatever the style. Brace yourself for the refreshingly eccentric sounds of a music lover gone wild.
Your dapper MC: G.D. Falksen
G. D. Falksen is an author, lecturer, public speaker and MC. While his repertoire spans a range of topics, he is currently most noted for his steampunk work and is one of the most recognizable figures in the steampunk literary genre and the related subculture. His fiction includes "The Strange Case of Mr. Salad Monday", and the serials "An Unfortunate Engagement" and "The Mask of Tezcatlipoca", among others. He has made appearances as a guest at various events, including Dragoncon and the World Steam Expo, and has appeared in "The New York Times", "The San Francisco Chronicle", the Hartford Courant, Marie Claire Italia, Time Out New York, New York Magazine, and Bizarre Magazine. He has also appeared on MTV, NHK and VBS.tv. He is a regular MC at the monthly Dorian's Parlor event in Philadelphia.
Gypsy fortunetelling: Kai Altair
Often seen bellydancing barefoot on stage, Kai creates music that is a timeless tale of primordial magic. Her heartfelt songs lead us happily into temptation, while exuding the strength of femininity. With her siren's song and hypnotic videos already spanning the seven seas, Kai's ethereal, spellbinding voice and mystical lyrics are building a devoted international fan base. From Norway to Egypt, Oklahoma to the UK, Kai is weaving a spell that few can resist. What will this sea-eyed gypsy predict for YOU?
Fanciful body artistry: AMBody Art
AMBodyArt invites you to celebrate the body you live in by turning it into a living work of art. Intricate face painting can conceal, reveal, or create your identity; ornate body art vignettes might just inspire you to run away with the circus. It all washes off in the morning; so let us unveil your wild side!
Custom artwork: Molly Crabapple
Molly Crabapple is an artist and the founder of Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School. Molly is known for her elaborately inked meditations on sex, ambition and artifice. Remember, the devil is in the details. Called a "Downtown phenomenon" by the New York Times, Molly has spoken at the Museum of Modern Art, and for audiences from Helisinki to Sao Paulo.