Nothing says summer quite like a good old-fashioned sweaty dance party. And when it comes to dance music, the roots of Chicago house run deep, building bridges across culture and time. Such is the inspiration for “Juke Cry Hand Clap,” a “love letter to the Chicago House scene” and work-in-progress by Honey Pot Performance. This preview will be showing May 23 and 24 as part of the Chicago Home Theater Festival. The full performance will take place in October at High Concept Laboratories.
The upcoming performance—a mixture of dance, poetic text and music provided by DJ Jo de Presser—seeks to recreate the vibe of an impromptu house dance party. It is a joyful, soulful celebration: a statement of the basic human need for expression through movement and sound. This is a scrapbook of memories collected through the ages in the various stages of evolution of house music. The group has been hosting monthly dance parties where participants can document their memories and experiences—the venues, the fashions, the DJs, the music. Material will be collected in a digital map and be available online.
The project is also educational, tracing the roots of house back to music emerging from the great migration. It is an exploration of the music’s foundation in disco, funk and gospel music. Viewers and participants unfamiliar with house may be able to find parallels with their own experiences of other scenes and other genres of music. In keeping with aims promoting social justice and diversity, the project also sheds light on the experiences of marginalized communities such as the LGBTQ community, minority populations and those living in poverty. Come get your dance on and witness this inspirational work of four gifted, soulful women. (Lauren Nelson)
At Rogers Park Solarium, Friday, May 23 at 6:30pm and at the Pilsen home of Christopher Knowlton and Katie Graves Saturday, May 24 at 6:30pm. $10 in advance online ChicagoHTF.org, or $15 at the door. Exact locations will be disclosed upon purchase of ticket.