The Nick Cave experience


Photo by Allison White/PEM

In the suit… I made it. Little ol’ me rolling around on the floor in a Nick Cave suit in the back room while the boys get ready for their big performance. Inside the black and gold poof of raffia, it is hot and heavy and amazing. Seeing through the mesh “face hole” is a challenge, but one worth the effort and stumbles. One of the boys, who is of the right height requirement for tonight’s actual performance, teaches me a hip-hop move. They cheer me on yelling, “you’re hired!” For a moment, I’m a back-room superstar.

I am transported into our Nick Cave exhibition, as instant intrigue and energetic rumbling tremble through my body. I’m greeted with three Soundsuits exclusively made for PEM by the artist and  creatures that zip across a huge white screen fast, then slow, then fast again. There is constant activity and a vibrancy that demands attention. The music gets in the marrow of my bones. The dancer’s movements are so natural, it brings to question, is this choreographed or is this spontaneous? The mood is magical.

A crowd is mesmerized by the Muppet-like dancers in front of video installation in the Nick Cave exhibition.

A crowd is mesmerized by the Muppet-like dancers as they roll around in front of avideo installation in the Nick Cave exhibition. Photo by Kathy Tarantola/PEM.

The characters for each section are mysterious, silly, edgy and/or intriguing – some wear nameless masks and whisk by wearing feather-like suits with an intense and vibrant stare. Others pogo up and down and look like modern Muppets. They fall and roll. It doesn’t get old; it just gets better.

Nick Cave was gracious letting me play in one of his suits. With my dance background and dream to dance in one of his creations, he said, “Let’s make your dream come true.” He invited me to perform in Boston for his next show. This was a night I will never forget. Thank you, Nick, thank you, boys and most of all thank you, PEM.

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