Described by The New York Times as one of the most musical, witty, and inventive choreographers of his generation, Doug Elkins returns to Lafayette where the audience will be among the first to see his newest work, Hapless Bizarre, a cheeky mash-up of physical comedy, dance, and romance at 8 p.m on Wednesday, March 12 at the Williams Center for the Arts.
A pre-concert talk by Doug Elkins will be given at 7 p.m. in the Williams Center, room 108. It is free and open to the public.
Elkins’ 2008 presentation of Fräulein Maria, his choreographic take on the songs and story line of Sound of Music, was one of the most imaginative and clever dance events in recent Williams Center memory. He returns with the same wit, style, and gleeful sense of fun in Hapless Bizarre, juried by the National Dance Project for exemplary merit.
Elkins has gathered a multi-talented cast with backgrounds in dance, theater, music, and circus to make a full-length work teetering along the brink of high and low art. Guided by the politics and histories of early performers like Chaplin, Tati, Keaton, and The Marx Brothers—all of whom pursued a populist aesthetic with serious intentions—the project will explore the fault lines that separate choreography and physical comedy to ask, “Where does slapstick end and dance begin?”
Also on the program is his wildly engaging Mo(or)town/Redux, which explores Shakespearean themes of power, love, jealousy, and betrayal to a Motown-inspired soundtrack.
Elkins is a two-time New York Dance and Performance (BESSIE) Award-winning choreographer and 2012 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Creative Arts Fellow. He began his dance career as a B-Boy, touring the world with break dance groups New York Dance Express and Magnificent Force, among others. He is a recipient of significant choreographic commissions and awards.
Hapless Bizarre is supported by a touring grant from the National Dance Project, administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts, with funds from the Doris Duke Charitable Trust. Outreach activities are supported by a grant from the Dexter and Dorothy Baker Foundation.