‘Chaos Magick’ performance mystifies audience

 In an experimental mix of live piano, electronic sounds, animation, graphic design and dance, “Chaos Magick”, an Arts and Issues event, entranced audiences at its debut performance Thursday, January 30th in Dunham Hall. 

The performance originated as a trial video between pianist Angela Kim, graphic designer Michael Robert Boswell and motion designer Peter John Kearney, and after its success, the show was born.

“Chaos Magick” is a multimedia collaboration between the three, Dan VanHassel and Kevin Hockenberry. Directed by Kim, the assistant professor of Piano and Director of Keyboard Studies at SIUE, the five-movement concert breaks the boundaries of performance.

Hockenberry, assistant professor of dance at SIUE, choreographed the fourth movement of the concert. Hockenberry said it is important for artists to collaborate with each other — no matter how different their respective crafts are.

“It is so important that artists of all backgrounds are trying to find ways to push their field forward,” Hockenberry said. 

“This collaboration allows each artist to expand their experience, their knowledge and create something that’s innovative for them and expand what the process of creating work can be for them and it’s just fun,” Hockenberry said.

According to Hockenberry, the convergence of new mediums is becoming more possible in performance, something he credits to technology.

“The advancement of technology is allowing art to explore new territory and new collaboration,” Hockenberry said.

In addition to Thursday’s performance also featured the world premiere of the piece Aftershock, composed by VanHassel, specifically for Kim to use in “Chaos Magick.”

“For me music is something beyond,” Kim said. “It has so much more potential than just the musical part. So collaborating and then do something different to keep on challenging myself and challenging my working partners. I think that’s important for everybody because it’s a lot of fun and then we learn from each other.  We start a project having this one idea but we are getting out of project with like ten different ideas.”

This concert fosters a different experience for everyone who sees it. There is no blanket meaning of the piece itself because it is a collaboration of visions from many artists.

Senior dance major Tashira Chandler, of Glenwood, Illinois, tells us how the show was unlike any performance she had witnessed:

“This show is extremely trippy. It’s otherworldly and dynamic. Watching this show was a pleasant but strange experience,” Chandler said.

This Arts and Issues event also provided free tickets for students in hopes to bring in a large student audience. Like many of the other Arts and Issues events, “Chaos Magick” was created with hopes to inspire more innovation and collaboration, Kim said.

“For at least students or for the audience, bringing something different to the show, how art and music can merge, how dance can be all part of it, like having that whole experience of live music being the center but it’s not just about that person’s music or performance; it’s a whole lot more than that,” Kim said.

For those that missed last week’s performance Kim promises that this is not the end of her collaboration.

“We are going to keep on collaborating and take this project further. This is not just a one-time thing, there will be more of ‘Chaos Magick’ collaboration,” Kim said.

For more information on this Arts and Issues event you can visit their website.

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