With a lead singer who sings like Björk, a penchant for the quirky and light overtones of Pina Bauch — inspired dance theater, Degenerate Art Ensemble could be grouped in a genre I call 'whimsically disturbing performance art.'
—David Levitz, TimeOut, New York
Degenerate Art Ensemble is a performance company that creates original and adventurous productions using live music, physical theater and the visceral language of Butoh dance. Audio elements include live foley art, orchestras/ chamber ensembles, bands, newly invented instruments, and electronics. Aesthetically extreme, influenced by punk, protest, cartoons, nightmares and fairy tales, DAE takes the viewer into otherworldly landscapes — full of compelling characters and music that doesn't just accompany the action, but defines the mental state and reveals secrets to the audience that the characters will never know. Their recent production of Red Shoes Project is a contemporary fairytale in five chapters exploring the struggle to follow one's creative path. This sonic and visual theater invites you to re-imagine Hans Christian Andersen's The Red Shoes, the tale of a girl who is cursed to dance herself to death as a punishment for following her desires. It was developed through a residency at Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center and premiered as a series of public indoor/outdoor events at the Frye Art Museum (Seattle, WA) in May 2011, and is currently available for touring.
DAE will premiere Underbelly: The Predator’s Songstress as part of the Seattle Center Foundation’s Next 50 celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair during the fall of 2012. The site-specific project is being developed in collaboration with Seattle’s renowned Olson Kundig Architects (OKA), who are creating modular sets and large-scale puppets to augment DAE’s signature blend of dance, music, costumes and videography.
The group has released 9 albums of their music including their last release on Tellous Records that reached #62 on national college radio charts. DAE has been presented by On The Boards (Seattle), Baryshnikov Arts Center (N.Y.) REDCAT (L.A.), New Museum (N.Y.), Festival Alternativa (Prague), and many others in ten countries of Europe and North America.