Stories indexed with the term ‘performance art’

Column: Naked Comfort

Harvey and Pavlina

Standing outside Starbucks at the corner of East Liberty and South State, Harvey Drouillard and Pavlina Salzeider strategize about their photo shoot. (Photo by the writer.)

This is a story about feeling uncomfortable.

Nudity tends to do that – make people, especially Americans, feel uncomfortable – and public nudity even more so. Not for everybody, though. Not for Harvey Drouillard.

Harvey has achieved a certain notoriety for taking black-and-white photos of nude men and women in public settings – walking down the street, standing in front of movie theaters, mingling with crowds. He uses the photos to make postcards and greeting cards and calendars, and has published a book as well, titled “The Spirit of Lady Godiva.” The shots are taken in Seattle, Chicago and other cities, but mainly in Ann Arbor.

I’d heard of Harvey, of course, but when he called The Chronicle to see if we wanted to tag along while he did his thing at this year’s art fairs, my first thought, frankly, was “Ick.” But I learned long ago that some of the most memorable, transformative experiences are ones that start out in an uncomfortable place, so on Thursday evening I headed over to Harvey’s staging ground – Antelope Antiques on East Liberty. [Full Story]

Hard Times for Street Performer

Brian Woolridge

Brian Woolridge, performing in the alley next to the Michigan Theater.

Since 1995, Brian Woolridge has been dancing in downtown Ann Arbor. But soon, he might pack up his boom box and bags of Michael Jackson CDs and leave the town and the state after 14 years of regularly performing his King-of-Pop moves here.

Ann Arbor residents might know Woolridge as “the Michael Jackson guy.” He’s the one moonwalking in the alley on Liberty Street near the Michigan Theater on weekends. People strolling by wave to him as he spins and slides, Jackson’s vocals echoing against the alley’s graffiti-splashed walls and out onto the street.

But his life isn’t all dance. Woolridge lost his job in September, and he says he hasn’t had much luck looking for work. He’s not sure about his plans for the future, but they may involve leaving Michigan. [Full Story]

Wrestling Fear and Poetry

Jeff Kass

Jeff Kass, rehearsing his poem "Build" at the Liberty Athletic Club.

When Jeff Kass contacted The Chronicle about his upcoming one-man show, “Wrestle the Great Fear: A Performance Poetica,” we were particularly intrigued by this statement in his email: “The piece includes a lot of physicality in the performance, including a great deal of wrestling.”

A one-man poetry performance with a great deal of wrestling? Yep, we were hooked. So we met with Kass recently at the Liberty Athletic Club, where he showed us exactly what he meant.

Kass has been a leader in local poetry circles – he teaches creative writing at Pioneer High and works with the Volume poetry program at the Neutral Zone, where he serves as literary arts director. But this is the first time he’s attempted a full-length, continuous narrative, complete with music, video, directors and intricate choreography. This ain’t no three-minute poetry slam. [Full Story]