Roll over, Shakespeare, and tell poor old Van Gogh the news: Poets and artists have left drawing rooms, drafty garrets and posturing patrons behind. Now they're careening into one another, colliding, mingling and conjuring up wild, in-your-face ephemera. And everyone's invited.
Next Thursday night, Maui Slam Poetry will host its second annual Body Slam! at Casanova in Makawao. The cutting-edge event smudges every conceivable line-are you a spectator or are you part of the show? Is she an artist or is she art? Is he a rapper or a poet? Does it matter?
"Maui Slam events celebrate the mash-up," event coordinator Ellen Peterson said. "We combine the literary, performing and visual arts to create a fleeting, one-time-only experience."
Rachel Deboer photo
Artist Rachel Deboer will light your night with her black-light-illuminated, body-painted “robots”
Poets, competing for a $100 cash prize, will throw down "no rules" verse, and audience members will be invited to take the stage if and when the spirit moves them. It often does.
"Last month, we counted at least 20 different people onstage," Peterson said. "These events bring audiences and artists together . . . halfway through the show people get inspired. They want to perform."
The event will feature improvised art-bodies are used as canvases for visceral, on-the-spot illustrations of the poetry as the poets slam. Guests will receive 3-D glasses to view artist Rachel Deboer's technicolor, black-lit "robots." Deboer and her crew will use a ChromaDepth technique to give their live models eye-popping depth, while DJ Boomshot provides the requisite auditory dimension.Imagine an intergalactic, international, intertribal love-in . . . in Andromeda.
"We're going into the future with Rachel's tribal, black-light robots, but we're also paying homage to the ancient arts of body painting and tatau," Peterson explained. "We're blurring the line between past, present and future."
If at some point during the evening you start to feel a little like a photon caught in one of those crazy particulate shooters, you'll know you're in the Body Slam! groove. You'll want to hang there a while-suspended, vibrating and utterly inspired.
Maui Slam Poetry's second annual Body Slam! at Casanova Italian Restaurant and Deli, 1188 Makawao Ave., starts at 9:30 p.m. Thursday, July 29. Guests must be 21 or older. There is a $5 cover charge. For more info on Maui Slam Poetry, check www.mauislam.com, and for Deboer and her body-painting adventures, check out www.racheldeboer.com.
Don't miss Maui OnStage's totally tubular homage to the '80s: "The Wedding Singer." This hilarious, romantic, rocking romp through the era that brought us Mr. T., David Hasselhoff and The Brat Pack runs through Aug. 1at the Historic Iao Theater, with performances at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. on Sundays. For tickets and more information, call 242-6969.