Friday, July 24, 2009
"WHY WON'T YOU LET ME BE GREAT!!!": NYC Dancers to Perform Kanye West's Heartbreak
In the midst of the many Kanye West covers including “Heartless” and “Say You Will” a group of downtown New York artists will remaster West’s 808’s & Heartbreak album in a new way in a performance called “WHY WON’T YOU LET ME BE GREAT!!!” at Performance Space 122 in New York City July 30-Aug. 1.
The group performance was conceived by producer and MTV cameraman Brendan Kennedy and is co presented by Neal Medlyn and Catch, a series that showcases emerging and experimental dance and performances. “WHY WON’T YOU LET ME BE GREAT!!!” (the name of the show stems from a Jan. 22 outburst over false rumors on West's blog) will flow along continuously with the 808’s & Heartbreak album. Medlyn, who is performing “Welcome to Heartbreak” and “Pinocchio Story,” told Time Out New York magazine, “It’s a very hard album to imagine: how a high-energy person performs this cold, internal material, and how dance—somehow being so nonverbal and abstract—makes something weird and special happen.”
Kennedy, who hopes to convince West to attend, told Time Out New York how 808’s & Heartbreak inspired his idea.
“He was branching off to more singing,” Kennedy says. “I know he had done it in the past, but he’s really trying to be a full-blown artist as opposed to a rap star. Because of the solid beats I thought the music was really about movement. This album in particular doesn’t lend itself to booty-shaking girls in a music video. It’s more soundscapes, and I thought it would be really cool to watch performers live it. As far as dance goes, that album makes me want to dance in a way that’s not fit for a club.”
“WHY WON’T YOU LET ME BE GREAT!!!” will feature esteemed downtown New York improviser and choreographer Jennifer Monson (“Amazing”), avant garde performer Ann Liv Young (“Love Lockdown”) and new material from dance artists Justin Jones and Elliott Durko Lynch.
Overture (new material) Justin Jones and Elliott Durko Lynch
1. “Say You Will” Karinne Keithley
2. “Welcome to Heartbreak” Neal Medlyn
3. “Heartless” Christine Elmo
4. “Amazing” Jennifer Monson
5. “Love Lockdown” Ann Liv Young
6. “Paranoid” Myles Kane
7. “RoboCop” Varsity Interpretive Dance Squad
8. “Street Lights” Kenny Mellman
9. “Bad News” Dance Gang
10. “See You In My Nightmares” Asubtout (Katy Pyle and Eleanor Hullihan)
11. “Coldest Winter” Juliana F. May/May Dance
12. “Pinocchio Story” Neal Medlyn