Saturday, June 29, 2013

La Mia Danza

After sketching a rehearsal at The Venue, I decided to stay and sketch La Mia Danza. This improvisational dance performance featured Michelina Wingerter along with live music by Tacatantán Record's Abdias Ernesto Garcia. Various lamps were set up on stage. Michelina wished she had a lounge chair so the set would feel like the comfy intimate room she improve dances in at home. Helen, the tech said there was a lounge chair up in the tech booth. The trouble was the only way up there was via a wooden ladder. Several techs and dancers gathered around the ladder. The chair was huge. As several people lowered it from above, the people below reached up. I got up and went over just in case it toppled and more hands were needed.

With the chair onstage, Michelina immediately did a headstand on it. She walked on it's arms and found creative ways to slither out of it. She loved the chair because it was so stable. She could do anything on it and it wouldn't topple over. There was a full house for the performance. Abdias began playing his mix of music. Michelina's performance began as she sat still in the chair. Her movement gained momentum as she danced on stage. She turned lights on or off as needed.

At times she jumped off the stage moving into the audience. She even sat in the front row for a moment to catch her breath. She moved with wild abandon. Movements became more angular and angry. She began to shout as she danced. She looked at me and shouted, "You want to draw me? Why?!"  She eventually removed her top with a flourish and black pasties covered her nipples. It was hard not to watch those twin black holes as they moved on the universe of the stage. She later put on a loose flannel shirt that flowed around her petite frame as she danced. She danced on the razor's edge shouting in anger and rage. The loud brash performance expressed existential doubts while hinting that the Phoenix could still rise from the ashes.

At the end, Michelina sat center stage completely spent and in tears. The whole audience stood and the applause was thunderous. Michelina bowed with tears still falling. Abdias joined her on stage and they both raised their hands to the tech's upstairs. Blue Star addressed the audience, inviting them to get their party on after that one of a kind performance.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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