Roof Dance (20 min)

Premiered April 9-10, 16-17, 23-25, 1999 at Dixon Place, NYC
Performed by: Scott Heron

 

Roof Dance was first presented as a site-specific piece at the old Dixon Place on the Bowery. As the house lights go out, a video projection comes up on the back wall.  The black and white video recalls the silent movies of the 1920s. A Russian phonograph is cranked up and amplified.

In the movie, Scott Heron dances like a prima ballerina amongst the potted plants and air vents on a New York City rooftop. He wears a long skirt made of cans that quietly clank as he moves. He slowly approaches a window and what was presumed to be a prerecorded video comes to life as the real Heron clamors through a window behind the audience. Instantly the tin can skirt is shockingly loud as Heron appears in full color and in life.

 

Performance history:
 
Dixon Place, NYC (1999 – premiere)
The Painted Bride, Philadelphia, PA (1999)
Scripps College, CA (2001)
Temple University, PA (2001)