Sunday, June 24, 2007



Wunderkammer's relative Shentai has been stunning for a couple weeks now. I missed last summer's event, but had some idea of what I missed when I walked into Shentai. It's a carnival out of the post-apocalyptic future, but its members are people you've seen around town. The menagerie of playfulness consistently delights. A few of the performers stand out: spider girl wearing four stilts for much of the show is downright creepy, but at the end she takes part in the firedancing; Christian Breeden serves as circus barker and also the maker of bicycle contraptions; and the professional hoop dancer keeps things interesting. The atmosphere is truly overwhelming as the gypsy asthetic is supposed to be. I've never been to a Gogol Bordello show, but I imagine it is similar to this. Does this show also take cues from Burning Man?

In a bigger city (i.e. Williamsburg, Brooklyn), an event like this would have an immediate crowd, but it would be composed of the same sorts of people putting on the show. In C-ville all ages and stripes (whatever that means), including people that look like my parents, attended this event. I think this is what makes Charlottesville so great.

I could break down the structure of the show, and tell you about each of its parts, but that doesn't do it justice. If you haven't, go to shentai.

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