Tonight at 10:30 we head into the fourth installment of our collaboration with Salonathon by featuring LADY/WATCH, the performance-duo spawn of Kieran Kredell and Tien Tran. Enjoy this correspondence between them and Neo-Futurist Kurt Chiang. Can’t wait to see you deep down and all up with INFILTRATION.
Hello Tien and Kieran. Can you please begin by describing the relationship that is being established in the following picture?:
Great question. This is LADY/WATCH in a nicely wallpapered nutshell: two devastatingly awkward individuals doing their best to appear confident and self-assured. For each of our pieces we like to begin by selecting/considering a subject, defining our own personal relationships––as LADY/WATCH––to that subject, and using that information to inform the direction of the piece. This photo was taken before our Pride Weekend performance at Berlin. In devising the piece, we began by asking “Who would LADY/WATCH be if we put them back in the closet? Probably, miserable.”
My idea of quintessential Chicago art is when people take genres/forms/things and fuse them together. You describe yourselves (on your Facebook page, at least) as a “Chicago-based queer performance art dancejoker duo.” I’m curious how you define “performance art” as well as “dancejoker.” Can you elaborate?
When we use “performance art” to refer to ourselves, we are describing a style of storytelling that simultaneously draws on multiple mediums and techniques. We come from a collective background of hip hop and modern dance, clowning, sketch comedy, and improv. And sometimes puppetry. There didn’t seem to be a single word that aptly described the perspective with which we told these stories, and so we made one up––”Dancejoker”. We wanted to emphasize the dance parts and the joking parts of our work. Those were the parts that brought us together in the first place––our mutual desire to make people laugh through movement. We also wanted to further confuse our parents when asked, “So, what is LADY/WATCH?” Mom, Dad, we’re dancejokers.
Tell me what the audience should expect from you guys this weekend.
This weekend, audiences can expect us to get real weird with them. Expect to enter a David Lynch-ian bizarro world full of movement, paper folding, and wigs.
And can you tell me what is happening here?:
This was from the end of a piece we did at Salonathon a couple years ago. In it, one of us (Tien) played a bloodthirsty unicorn hunter, and the other (Kieran) a unicorn. The twist–after all these centuries of myth and legend, no one stopped to tell that unicorn hunter one important fact: unicorns are, in fact, vampires. So the unicorn kills the hunter and they both become unicorn-vampires. The End!
What is your favorite way to move?
This is a tough question. In truth, any movement is good movement. We’ve had pieces consisting of tiny, controlled movements, even one in almost pitch darkness. To actually answer your question, though: we love to entertain ourselves. Often we’ll stand in front of Photobooth moving our bodies around until somebody says, “Wait. Do that again.” Then we know we’ve got something to work with.
Once Infiltration is done, there’s the idea to create some guerrilla theater works in collaboration with Neo-Futurist ensemble members. Any ideas yet?
We’re still waiting for this first phase of Infiltration to take place before we get into more detailed conversations with the Neos about the guerrilla portion, but we’re definitely excited to get the proverbial ball rolling. Oh man, once that ball gets rolling it’s going to get so weird. It’s going to be the weirdest, rollingest ball ever.