Electronic music meets post modern dance head on at the Yacht Club

Brendan Hanks / RIP Fitness / Philip Rabalais / with dancers

Iowa City Yacht Club — Saturday, Aug. 12 at 9 p.m.

Dancers rehearse for the Yacht Club performance. — photo courtesy of Angelia Mahaney

Tonight at the Yacht Club, two unlikely concepts will intertwine. Choreographer Angelia Mahaney (you may have seen her work as the grad student coordinator on Mission Creek Festival’s SciFi CoLab) has brought together a slate of electronic musicians and a team of dancers from the University of Iowa for an evening of performance. The show, which features Brendan Hanks, RIP Fitness and Philip Rabalais along with dancers Kaitlin Craven, Hannah Gross and Adelaide Zwick, kicks off at 9 p.m. tonight. Tickets are $6.

“This show was driven by this idea of organizing a totally ‘normal’ music show/event, with a typical structure,” Mahaney said in an email. Dance is an “extra element” superimposed. “Because I come from a purely dance background,” she said, “I wanted to see what it would look like if I were able to orchestrate an event outside of the settings that dancers typically work within. My underlying concept behind the show itself is that the dancers are participating audience members, and to a certain extent, although they are performers and part of the show as well, they are observers of the music alongside all the other audience members.”

The dance will be in the contemporary/post modern vein. However, the dancers, though costumed, will be wearing what Mahaney “would envision someone would wear going to a electronic music show like this.” It’s an amalgam of formal dance and club music that has the potential to engage and challenge dancers, musicians and audience members alike.

“I have never done anything like this before so I am intrigued to see if this will feel more like an electronic music event or more like a dance event,” Mahaney said. “The vibes of these two things are so different. My hopes are to create a new energy that is somewhere in-between these two atmospheres.”

Mahaney’s design for the show is of dance pieces broken up by stretches of time with just music, allowing the dancers “to interact with others and act as regular audience members.” The show itself was choreographed without music, so the dancers need to be flexible and open to improvisation. Mahaney sees the process first and foremost as one of collaboration, with the musicians as well.

“I still see the whole process as a collaboration because other than the actual production aspects of the music itself, we all worked on this show together, all had input into the end product,” she said.

She chose the musicians for the show with this in mind, as well as choosing creators she found inspirational. “I love electronic music and wanted to work with people that made music that I loved,” she said.

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