About the Performance
Blue Alice is a durational movement piece by dancer and choreographer Irene Hsiao. With a sculptural costume made of tarp and Mylar, Hsiao continuously shape-shifts throughout the performance. Often performed in gallery spaces, Hsiao crafts her performance in response to the artworks on view, often operating on a spectrum between human and object. Blue Alice’s expansive Mylar dress creates a sound similar to the ocean or a monsoon as it moves, drawing attention to the fragility of the materials, and the strenuous nature of durational work. Thinking of the costume as a shell, a shelter, or an armor though which viewers glimpse the shining creature hiding inside, Hsiao’s improvised performance plays with expected norms for how to interact with art and performance in a museum setting.
Blue Alice is performed by Irene Hsiao with costume design by Vin Reed.
Chicago Performs is organized by Tara Aisha Willis, former MCA Curator, with Laura Paige Kyber, Curatorial Associate.
This improvised performance occurs during museum hours and moves throughout our public spaces for roughly 60 – 90 minutes. If you require seating accommodations, please find a staff member to request a portable stool.
Throughout the work, the performer may invite voluntary interaction. Viewers may come and go as desired throughout.
About the Artists
Irene Hsiao creates performances in conversation with visual art in museums, galleries, and public spaces, a practice that includes site-specific interaction with visual artworks and experimental engagement with artists, institutions, and the public. Her work includes durational improvisation, interactive installations, dances for stage, video, and virtual performance. She is a 2022-23 Fellow at High Concept Labs, the first Artist in Residence at 21c Museum Hotel in 2022-23, inaugural Artist in Residence at the Smart Museum of Art in 2020 and 2021, and a 2020 Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist. She has received individual artist awards from the Illinois Arts Council Agency and City of Chicago Department of Culture & Special Events.
Vin Reed combines his skills in design, photography, and illustration in dance partnerships with companies including Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, DanceWorks Chicago, The Seldoms, Dance for Life, and Same Planet Performance Project. Reed’s costume and fashion work has been featured on the NBC Morning Show, and at the Museum of Contemporary Art retrospective Break Out. Recently he costumed Katie Kadan in season 17 of The Voice. He has photographed hundreds of Chicago choreographers and his photos of Chicago dancers have been exhibited internationally. Reed was a founding board member of DanceWorks Chicago and currently sits on their advisory board. In 2019 he received Hedwig Dances award for Dance Advocacy.
This project is supported by The New Works Initiative, which puts the creative process at the heart of the MCA’s relationship with Chicago by supporting the development of new performances and creative projects. Lead support for the New Works Initiative is provided by Elizabeth A. Liebman.