Jonathan Pfeffer’s “Bodega”, featuring a cast of Philadelphia rappers and musicians, comes to ballet-dancing life in Atlanta this Friday

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Jonathan Pfeffer | photo via www.soundcloud.com/jpfeffer

Although The Key normally doesn’t publish the artistic goings-on of other cities, the use of local artists’ work in boundary-pushing art is certainly worth celebrating.

It has been roughly a year since former Capillary Action frontman and composer/multimedia artist Jonathan Pfeffer premiered “Bodega”, an avant-garde piece that employed a cavalcade of local musician collaborators including emcees Lushlife and Yikes the Zero, drummers Eric Slick (Dr. Dog) and Ricardo Lagomasino (Many Arms/Deleted Scenes) and Uniform Recordings’s Jeff Zeigler in the service of abrasive and entrancing aesthetics. On Friday, the piece will take on new life further south as the Atlanta Ballet features it in the new work showcase “Yours is Mine”.

Snippets of “Bodega” are visible in the video above, in which choreographer Robert Dekkers discusses his development of the performance piece. Dekkers, who also directs the acclaimed Post:Ballet dance company in San Francisco, describes his interactions with Pfeffer at the :36 mark and echoes many sentiments that Pfeffer described in an essay that accompanied the original musical work:

“The major thematic catalyst was an article by journalist Steven Volk about the long-term effects of post-traumatic stress disorder on children growing up in neighborhoods plagued by violence. My intention was to capture the vibrancy and anxiety of those landscapes.”

To that end, Pfeffer also encouraged Dekkers to incorporate elements of Brazilian capoeira and Chicago footwork into the choreography; the latter is especially important to Chicago Juke, an intense form of house music from which Pfeffer drew inspiration in conceiving “Bodega”.

Pfeffer, alongside Lushlife and Yikes the Zero, will perform the piece with the Ballet and Georgia Tech-based chamber music ensemble Sonic Generator. We encourage those of you who happen to be in Atlanta to check out the piece, part of an instillation at High Museum of Art. For the rest of you, take a listen to “Bodega” below and tell us what you think about its use in “Yours is Mine”.

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