Art is typically thought of as a static activity. One goes to a gallery, calmly scans paintings, sculptures or pottery, and moves on.
New Mexico-based Artrageous will turn that model on its head Friday night when it brings is audacious mix of art, song, dance and audience interaction to Longview’s Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts.
The group of 11 performers was founded in 1984 in Vancouver, British Columbia, as a group of street performers. After evolving through names and performance styles, the group was reborn as Artrageous in 2014 and have toured around the world since.
Singer/painter/dancer Lauri Francis, who has been with the group for 25 years, said Artrageous “tries to involve all of the arts on one stage,” including puppetry and comedy.
She also said audience involvement is a crucial to the experience.
“There’s no rules,” said Francis, 44. “It’s not like a theater show where you have to sit and watch: You can get up and dance and participate as much as you want to.”
One of the components of Artrageous’ show is asking the audience to name the subject of a portrait a group member is painting to live music and dance.
“As an artist is painting, there is live music playing. What comes out of that music is the image,” Francis said. “Whatever they create is inspired by the music.”
At the end of the show, the stage becomes a gallery for audience member to examine works created during the performance and paint their own, on blank cavases provided by the show.
According to Francis, Artrageous has performed in India, Thailand, China and Tanzania as well as global metropolises such as Paris and Dubai.
The group has never performed in Longview before, but they had shows in Friday Harbor and Bothell earlier in April.
Francis also emphasized that for audience members to truly immerse themselves in the show, it is important to participate in the fun themselves.
“Be prepared to have a really great time and get involved, because that’s the most fun part of it.”