Written by Nalisha Rangel
From the moment one entered the theatre and heard PotatoFinger’s beats it became clear that his rhythm was intoxicating. In Amy O/tinyrage’s performance, The Lowdown, at the Moore Theater on February 11, the popular DJ set the tone of the evening with atmospheric, chest-thumping tracks between all three performances.
The Lowdown featured two opening acts: a talented hip-hop group and some of Seattle’s best burlesque. Enter the first performance group: Soulshifters. Lateef Saleem and crew bounced powerfully in and out of an overhead spotlight accompanied by live jazz musicians. Their casual attire brought the street to the stage and as the lighting changed, their dynamic freezes and fast footwork left the audience wanting more—which the company delivered.
The Can Can Castaways, always ready for a helping of saucy splendor, performed a work packed with strength and jaw-dropping movement. Shirtless and intense, Jonny Boy, Benihana, and Faggedy Randy commanded the stage as they marched in black pants and red, transparent masks. Performances like Fiona Minx’s fun, flirty jazz, the sleek, masculine presence of Jonny Boy balancing upside-down while wrapped around a crawling Benihana, and Rainbow’s exquisite extension and control took this burlesque to a whole new level.
Last but not least, AmyO/tinyrage’s ninja spectacle, Again, No Excuses, was exuberant. PotatoFinger’s pulsating beats accompanied Amy O’Neal’s vigorous choreography on a stage filled with dancing lights. Masked with hoods and dressed in black, each dancer executed beautiful lines and strength as they move from the tips of their toes to the floor in a fraction of second—all in perfect unison. The handheld lights first hid, then exposed, sharp turns and jumps, each movement building excitement for the next. As more ninjas took to the stage there were daring lifts, difficult freezes by Devin McDermott and Dufon Smith, and intricate footwork, leaving one breathless and inspired.
It’s hard to sit still and watch these performances. All three presenting groups of the evening inspired viewers to get up out of their chairs and shake it. And after the show Amy O’Neal invited everyone to do just that with a dance party DJ’ed by WD4D.
The sad news: The Lowdown was a one-night-only performance.