As part of WAVES, Florida-born, Brooklyn-based musician Helado Negro performs his blend of electronic compositions and live vocals with the dreamy movements of his “tinsel dancers” in this new choreographed production.
Helado Negro (Roberto Carlos Lange) presents a new performance with costuming and movement culminating from a year of choreography workshopped with local volunteers each night of his 42 city tour. This new performance will expand upon his initial experiments with a fully conceived choreography performed by Miami-based professional dancers: Marissa Alma Nick, Rudi Goblen, Katie Stirman, and Megan Holsinger.
Handmade, amorphous, full-bodied cloaks of metallic silver tinsel transform his collaborators into androgynous kinetic sculptures. Tinsel is often used to create a sense of wonder and magic, yet is also recognized as a cheap and artificial material. Lange plays with this paradox, creating uncanny forms that evoke furred textures of mammalian warmth while reflecting the light and color of their surroundings.
Dreamy, non-tempo, drone like movements float against the rhythms of Lange’s sonic compositions; rather than following the music as a map, the figures create a distinct layer with an emotional tenor that is both playful and melancholic. Inspired by science fictions (the work’s title sourced from the mixed up words of a robot wandering in circles, facing the choice of self-preservation or obeying orders, in Isaac Asimov’s story “Runaround,” set in 2015), and the choreographed geometries of Bauhaus artist Oskar Schlemmer’s Triadic Ballet (1922), Lange abstracts the figure, mechanizing the emotive human body into a modern form while conjuring a sense of mystery.
A South Florida native, born to Ecuadorian immigrants and based in Brooklyn, Roberto Carlos Lange’s upbringing provides essential elements to his songwriting, including his consistently bilingual – English and Spanish – lyrics. While citing the influence of electro and Miami-bass he heard on the radio in his youth, his diverse work as Helado Negro points to shades of kraut rock bathed in his mesmerizing rhythms, loops and hair-raising melodies. Known for his craftsmanship, Lange has cultured his identity, ideology and musical dexterity with constant artistic and introspective development, pouring his heart and full sincerity into his music. His fourth LP Double Youth released in 2014 garnered acclaim with Pitchfork naming it “the boldest and most intricate Helado Negro work to date.” With a degree in Computer Art and Animation, Lange, a multifaceted creator, has worked with mediums such as video, sculpture, sound and performance. While Helado Negro is in a sense a one man band for the digital age, a constant collaborator, Lange has worked on projects with numerous artists including Sufjan Stevens, Julianna Barwick (as Ombre), Mikael Jorgensen (of Wilco), Guillermo Scott Herren (of Prefuse 73), Mouse on Mars, and sculptor David Ellis.
Helado Negro tours extensively and has performed in diverse venues from clubs to cultural organizations including the Wexner Center, Columbus; Indianapolis Museum of Art; Mana Contemporary, Chicago; Museum of Natural History, L.A.; Mass MoCA, North Adams, Marguilies Warehouse, Miami, Festival Centro, Bogota and Vive Latino, Mexico City. In March of 2015 he premieres an orchestral commission as part of the Liquid Music series during the inaugural festivities of the Ordway Center for Performing Arts in Saint Paul.
- Pitchfork: "'Double Youth' album review" more
- FADER: Track feature." more
- Sound Check: "Helado Negro: Exploring Forgotten Memories on 'Double Youth'" more
- NPR: "Spanish for 'Black Ice Cream,' Helado Negro is one of a few musical projects led by Roberto Carlos Lange." more
- Washington Post: "The computer-crafted lullabies that Robero Carlos Lange records as Helado Negro feel refreshingly purposeful" more