What’s it like to step into another person’s fever dream…if that person has been obsessed with Andy Warhol since childhood? That’s the premise behind Raja Feather Kelly’s the feath3r theory, the first and only dance company devoted to the great Factory master of celebrity. For his new show presented by Danspace Project, Andy Warhol’s Tropico, Kelly was inspired by Lana Del Rey’s short film by the same name, which follows a kind of Adam and Eve/Bonnie and Clyde narrative from original sin to redemption, with John Wayne standing in for the God figure. Melded with Warholianism, it makes for a (two-hour plus) surreal ride through a strange new land, recycling pop culture themes and touching on the power of celebrity as well as Kelly’s own identity.
“Seeing Lana Del Rey’s Tropico made me think of Warhol and what he would do, and how ideas are connected and have lived on from now, and where that interacts with what I’m thinking about and my relationship to pop culture and my relationship to religion and to my identity and how that instructs and becomes an eternal story,” said Kelly. “I feel like Lana Del Rey and Andy Warhol sometimes get a bad a rap as sort of vapid, and I really think they are doing something larger than people will give them credit for.”