Ryan Heffington of RuPaul's Drag Race Talks KURT and Chez Deep Drag Sisterhood
|Photo by Kevin Scanlon|
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."
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."