Singing, dancing, contortionist/acrobat sibling sensations of stage and screen, The Ross Sisters, Aggie and Maggie and Elmira Ross (real names: Veda, Betsy Ann and Dixie), have been internet legends for years, thanks to gunked up, third generation bootlegs of their astonishing act from the 1944 Technicolor musical, Broadway Rhythm, circulating on YouTube. But here, at last, is a crisp, clear, DVD quality upload of the girls in all of their wildly contorted, three-part-harmonized-and-grinning-all-the-while glory:
Via E. Stephen, who says, “Their facial expressions are priceless… even before they all exhibit unnervingly inhuman capabilities.”
Oof. The world continues to feel like an extra brutal place this week. We’re all finding it a bit difficult to concentrate over here, for many reasons. Also, by now, many of you will have noticed that Coilhouse is experiencing technical difficulties due to some sort of EPIC HOSTING FAIL that’s not in our immediate control. Big thanks to those of you who have kindly told us “psst… your slip is showing, honey!” Queries have been logged. Hopefully it will get fixed soon.
Meantime, I’m gonna go ahead and live vicariously through this guy:
Set against a stark, hazy black background, the dreamlike characters in these images appear to evoke haunted forests, chrome spaceships, traveling circus shows, and early ’90s NYC club culture. In almost every image, you can find a spray of brightly-colored wildflowers decorating the otherwise synthetic-looking subject, recalling these images of the Surma and Mursi tribes of East Africa by Hans Sylvester. Many more images, after the jump.
Beloveds Rachel Brice, Mardi Love and Zoe Jakes –known collectively as The Indigo Belly Dance Company– are back on tour with their phenomenally lovely, lively, singularly delightful show Le Serpent Rouge. “The Indigo has created and defined a new style of belly dance, embracing the roots of middle eastern dance while incorporating an aesthetic reminiscent of early twentieth century cabarets and world’s fairs.”
They’ve got the fantabulous Crow Quill Night Owls with them again, as well as those rambunctious Gallus Brothers. (Several video clips of all the players are embedded in the playlist below.)
(With apologies to our Northwesternmost US readers) the tour actually kicked off yesterday in Seattle, but several more Le Serpent Rouge shows will be happening across the country this month. If you like timeless beauty, raucous laughter, joy and dance and song, this outfit ain’t to be missed.
More information via Bricey’s site after the jump.
Our darling Jessica‘s been keeping busy! She’ll be exhibiting an array of gorgeous new work at the La Luz de Jesus Gallery in Hollywood, November 5 – 28, 2010.
Jessica Joslin’s Hybrids show is a circus of oddities, a mixed-media menagerie of unexpected creatures. A whimsical cat in a red leather harness harness pulls a polycephalic partner on a wooden cart. An exquisite two headed tropical bird with lush brass plumage preens on it’s perch and a troupe of monkey-cat hybrids engage in mysterious shenanigans. Hybrids is a menagerie of distinctive creations, its frolicsome fauna beckon you to come see the show!
The reception’s being held on Friday, Nov 5th, from 8-11pm. Book signing to precede from 7-8pm. LA conclave, be sure to go and cuddle Jessica and blow some air kisses her critters’ way! (Especially Clio & Loci. Yours truly met ‘em in Arizona earlier this year, and fell hopelessly in lurrrrve.)
“Helios” by Jessica Joslin (front and side views).
Hot on the heels of Mer’s discovery of Jordan Catalan… Oh, the clip below features aerial performers Leo Hedman and Yam Doyev (performing as Leo and Yam) in a steamy duet inspired by 20′s/30s silent films. Hedman’s femme fatale and Doyev’s pinstriped gentleman take on the comic side of sexual traditions while putting on a fluid, athletic, physically rigorous performance. In their own words, the flirtatious exchange “takes a wry, satirical look at the ways we conform to the gender roles assigned to us… and what happens when the mask drops and we find that our identities are a little less straightforward than we imagined.” This November, lucky Coilhouse readers living in London can witness the premiere of Leo and Yam’s first full-length show, titled Panoramic. Check their site for details.
Hedman’s other solo performances – inspired by Nosferatu, Psycho and more – are not to be missed. More images and clips, after the cut.
The Lifesize Mousetrap is exactly what it sounds like: an astoundingly cool, “big kid” version of the classic board game. Created by Mark Perez, constructed from leftover metal/nuts/bolts/spare wood over the course of thirteen years, and operated and maintained by a small, scrappy collective of bay-area based engineers, artists and performers, it’s “a colorful assemblage of kinetic sculptures fantastically handcrafted into a giant, 25 TON Rube Goldberg machine.”
The mechanical spectacle is enhanced by a vaudevillian style road show featuring tap-dancing mouse women, live music, and several dapper “clown engineers” who endeavor to “achieve a chain reaction using Newtonian physics and bowling balls! The action culminates with the spectacular dropping of a 2 TON bank safe from a 30-foot crane.”
This 50,000 pound contraption and its stage show must be seen to be believed. Preferably in person, not on a computer screen– which is why they need our help getting to Maker Faire Detroit and Maker Faire World in New York City. They’ve setup a Kickstarter project to help raise funds for the labor-intensive, rather expensive cross-country trip. There are 10 days left on the clock, and they’ve still got a ways to go before they reach their goal of $6,600 — a buck for every mile they travel. If you’re inspired by small, indie, gloriously strange community art and outreach, here’s a chance to express it. You guys know how this works: a buck here, a fiver there, and spread the word. It adds up so quickly.
Tulane University’s LOUISiana Digital Library hosts a vast collection of imagery related to the Mistick Krewe of Comus, a Louisiana Carnival krewe which helped to popularize the ornate pageantry now associated with Mardi Gras. Part of their collection is an entire catalog of designs by Charles Briton, 101 in all, described thus:
This collection is the complete set of costume design drawings for the 1873 Mistick Krewe of Comus “Missing Links” parade. It was an important event in New Orleans’ Mardi Gras history, becoming one of the first major parades to use satire and political commentary. Many of the images depict figures related to the Civil War and Reconstruction, such as Ulysses S. Grant, Benjamin Butler, and Louisiana Governor Henry Warmoth. Also depicted are notable figures such as Charles Darwin, and Algernon Badger (head of the Metropolitan Police).
Their blog also points out that the 1873 parade — the full title of which was “The Missing Links to Darwin’s Origin of Species” — featured no floats as well as a distinct lack of crowd control on the part of a uncooperative, and apparently, unpopular police force.
It’s a menagerie worthy of Bosch himself, a creative and colorful collection of depictions, many of which bring with them just a bit of period appropriate racial bias, shall we say (take a look at, say, the Snail, the Leech, or the African Elephant after the jump). Regardless, they are a wildly imaginative piece of history and worthy of a look. Just keep in mind that some of them may leave you feeling a little uncomfortable.