“The Bowie Project 3” is the third phase of a multi-year collaboration between the Strike Anywhere Performance Ensemble, Austin-based Andrea Ariel Dance Theatre (A.A.D.T.) and the Bowie tribute band The Super Creeps. The project began in 2013 and several incarnations of the piece have been performed in Austin, Texas in 2014 (Stateside at the Paramount), 2015 (Rollins Center) and 2017 (Ironwood Hall). The performance is a soundpainted mash-up of David Bowie’s music, interview quotes and original choreography inspired by the mercurial artist. The piece explores the man behind the mask. The show begins in 1977 and looks back over the years to 1969 plumbing the depths of his identity as he radically remakes his persona. We do not attempt to impersonate David Bowie. All the performers represent a facet of the performer. Rotating Soundpainters allow Bowie to reflect on his past in order to reshape his present. In this excerpt, Strike Anywhere’s Artistic Director, Leese Walker soundpaints the ensemble.
Each performance is improvised and different every night. Performers respond to the soundpainter’s gestures sculpting their improvisations as signed. Specific pieces of set music or choreography are called up by the Soundpainter and manipulated. The soundpainter can then disrupt, remix, or riff on the material. The lighting changes are also improvised.