Ryan Heffington of RuPaul's Drag Race Talks KURT and Chez Deep Drag Sisterhood

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Photo by Kevin Scanlon
The Chez Deep drag showcase at Villa 221 last night demonstrated that shaven eyebrows are actually a good fashion move.

The small back room -- where ambiguously gendered performers threw themselves on the floor, climbed speakers, spit out fake blood, and smooched those in the front row -- was packed with gays and girls, some of whom made even that questionable a style-statement look like the right thing to do.

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Among those in attendance was Ryan Heffington. He's the choreographer made pop famous by RuPaul's Drag Race, and whose dance dedicated to Nirvana-frontman Kurt Cobain will be performed tonight at Kurt, a multi-discipline exhibition with Thurston Moore and Adarsha Benjamin. In from Los Angeles, Heffington explained that he choreographed moves for five dancers to accompany a piece composed from recordings of people's breath by The Entrance's Guy Blakeslee. He called it an "abstract, beautiful, surreal musical piece. It's really fucking intense, cause it's so visceral."

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The night's performances at Villa were also totally human and stimulating. Hosted by No Name, a monthly night dedicated to electronic music, the New York-based Chez Deep brought heart and skin to the stage.

Heffington knows the boys of Chez Deep through friends. "I'm a big supporter of the queer community and performance art," he said. The dances last night didn't bear many similarities to traditional notions of what drag is.

"It's the evolution of a culture." Heffington observed. "Simply, the aesthetic of drag is changing. What we deem important is changing. Like any culture. The freaks are shining these days! It's a sign of the time. Individuality is shining. It's not so classic, but it's progressive."

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Villa 221

221 NE 17th St., Miami, FL

Category: Music

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