Monday, March 30, 2009

An Extremely Drastic Case of Déjà Vu: Karole Armitage and Rhys Chatham Revive Underground Dance Classic in NY

People who view the New York No Wave scene as one of the last truly exciting chapters in the city’s cultural history can buy as many compilations and artist’s monographs as they like, but nothing beats an opportunity to time-travel. Earlier this month at The Kitchen, New Yorkers jumped at a chance to spend two hours back in the early ’80s — a time when drive-by shootings and burning cars were daily staples of downtown life, but also when a late-night walk down 19th street just might land you in the middle of a dialogue between a professional ballet dancer and an army of electric guitars. Think Punk!, an evening of music and physical performance by choreographer Karole Armitage, cast a younger generation of New York Noise-makers in a recreation of Drastic Classicism, an explosive collision of classical ballet and No Wave punk...

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Words: Emilie Friedlander

Culled from interviews with Rhys Chatham, Karole Armitage, John King, Sarah Lipstate, Steve Gunn, Tom Gerke, Kevin Shea, and Matthew Mottel, March 2009.

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