Music + dance = helluva good time
Dance, like rock ‘n’ roll, is a primal, sweaty ritual that keeps the heart young, the soul cleansed, and the mind a little dirty.
In the case of Bay Area dance crew HOTTUB, the members wanted to talk dirty and clean the floors of 1078 Gallery. It was a tricky feat, but through their energetic performance the three Spandex-clad frontwomen managed to endear the crowd as they called out for a “M.A.N.B.I.T.C.H.” (an alternative to the delicious Manwich?), simulated fellatio on more than one audience member, formed B-girl dog-piles, and Swiffered the cement floor with each other’s asses.
All this disorder and not one single piece of art on the wall disturbed.
Amazingly, HOTTUB didn’t steal the entire show. They were good, but the local talent was just as engaging—sweaty performances by Bear Hunter and Mute Witness were accompanied by graceful contemporary dance routines. Sort of a modern version of Solid Gold (if you haven’t heard of the show, try YouTube).
The members of Floss Anonymous went with a less theatrical approach to kick off the show. The music was no less effective, however, lubing the creaky joints of those who showed up on time. Kirt Lind and Ron Barker swiveled behind their synthesizers, trading off low-rumbling basslines and spacey squeals, while Landon Moblad quietly went about his beeswax on a live drum kit. If Floss hadn’t already warmed things up, they had to go and pull out Eddie Murphy’s “Party All the Time.” Nothing gets people dancing like a little feel-good nostalgia, and the trio pulled it off brilliantly.
The event was the brainchild of local dancer and choreographer Maria Houar, who fittingly performed the evening’s first dance routine, solo, to Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m on Fire.” Accompanied only by local singer-songwriter Michael Lee and a keyboard, the performance provided the only break from the rambunctious energy that filled the gallery, and the song truly became something new that night.
In fact, combining dance with live local music upped the energy level. The crowd fed off of it. So did the bands. And Mute Witness and Bear Hunter both proved to be worthy choices to provide the score to Houar and her troupe.
Mute Witness takes more of a doo-wop approach to rock—three- and four-part harmonies coated the songs’ pop hooks, while Tino Marufo attempted to splinter his drum set. The dancers joined in for Mute Witness’ final song “When It’s Over,” dressed in silky black outfits, a departure from the gym-class chic they went with during Bear Hunter’s dancey “Action Reaction.”
There were three distinct dance routines that night, unless you count the audience and the members of HOTTUB—I don’t think those women know how to hold still.