Oct 29, 2009

GLBT arts at Sleepless Nights - South Florida Blade

GLBT arts at Sleepless Nights
Featuring Betty, band from ‘The L Word’ 

OCT. 29, 2009

At the Sleepless Night 2009 event in Miami Beach, festival participants will have the choice to attend the first-ever contemporary GLBT performing arts showcase.

“A Taste of Out in the Tropics” will feature performances designed to appeal to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered audiences, including live music, male and female drag artists, and “multimedia” art installations.

The headlining act at “Taste” is the “women-led” pop/rock band Betty, who performed the theme song to Showtime’s lesbian drama “The L Word.” Also appearing during the evening will include Drag It Out, a female-to-male drag king show; Juan Carlos Zaldivar, a mixed-media artist who blends video and live performance; and an abbreviated program of songs by Miami Gay Men’s Chorus.  The evening will be hosted by South Florida drag impresario Adora.

“A Taste of Out in the Tropics” is produced by South Florida arts pioneer Robbie Rosenberg, in association with not-for-profit arts organization FUNDarte, as a preview of the upcoming “Out in the Tropics” GLBT contemporary arts festival.  Rosenberg said he is helping launch the “Out in the Tropics” series to diversify the cultural landscape among the local community.

“‘Out in the Tropics’ will bring contemporary, edgy performance work to South Florida,” Rosenberg said.  “It will be more like the New York, San Francisco, London axis of performing arts—the kind of stuff that doesn’t get here at all.  For some reason we don’t get these kinds of artists in South Florida.”

Rosenberg said “Out in the Tropics” will change the image of what “GLBT culture” means to South Florida.

“People think gay culture is just drag shows, and someone singing with a piano,” he said.

“You have to crack through the idea that all gay culture is like that.  [Out in the Tropics] is not a cabaret show. A ‘contemporary arts showcase’ is something different.”

Explaining the role of a showcase specifically for GLBT artists, Rosenberg acknowledged the performing arts already receive widespread support from the GLBT community, but programming that reflects the lives of GLBT people is rare.

“You may go see a production of  ‘Wicked,’ and lots of the guys performing are gay, but the work doesn’t reference gay identity directly,” Rosenberg said.  “It may be campy, it may appeal to gay audiences, but it does not reflect the GLBT experience. “Out in the Tropics” will be performing artists who specifically address queer issues and gender identify, in a way that most performing arts doesn’t show.”

Rosenberg is well known in arts circles as the founder of the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, where he served as Executive Director for fice years.  He developed “Out in the Tropics” after helping to present the 2008 performance art performance “Becoming A Man in 127 Easy Steps,” by female-to-male transgendered artist Scott Turner Schofield.  More than a typical “drag king” performance, Schofield’s show included a combination of monologues and acrobatics amidst video installations; according to his personal website (www.undergroundtransit.com), he created the show to “explore the drama and hilarity of living a new life in the ‘opposite gender.’” The show’s synopsis appears to be somewhat academic; but after his performance Schofield was widely praised for his energy and humor, and audiences embraced “127 Easy Steps,” selling out its run at the Arsht Center’s studio theater.

“It was really exciting,” Rosenberg said of “127 Easy Steps.”  “It was really high-quality work. I know many leaders in the community who went to the show, who didn’t know what to expect—they thought it would be political diatribe, which can be hard to stomach.  Yet it turned out to be something they could really enjoy.”

Rosenberg said for his “Taste” preview, audiences will get a taste of “contemporary art” with Juan Carlos Zaldivar’s mixed-media performance. But Rosenberg said he chose to include traditional “gay” acts like drag performers, a rock band, and the gay chorus to keep the event informal; the featured act, Betty, plays pop/rock music and should appeal to wide variety of participants, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender.

“It’s designed to be lighter, it’s not a theater event you sit down and watch for an hour and a half, people can come and go,” he said. 

Original article at: http://roohit.com/90583

No comments: