INSPIRE ORLANDO

INSPIRE Orlando — The Artist Showcase Live Review & Photos | The Venue, Orlando, FL | August, 11, 2016

by • August 22, 2016

I’ll be the first one to admit it. When I wrote the preview for INSPIRE, I had no real idea what to expect and wasn’t even sure that an event like it would work. See, I’m not usually a big fan of casseroles — even if I like every ingredient involved. But there was something about INSPIRE organizer Kristin Porteous’s recipe that made this curated combination of dance, performance art, music, and comedy sit extremely well on my palate. And clearly, it was to the liking of many others too. The Venue was packed, rows upon rows facing the large, beautifully lit stage. They weren’t ready for the level of talent that was about to hit.   

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The man that anchored this night down — who tossed the proverbial talent salad — was host Rauce Padgett. As the man who opened the night up with hilarious bit after bit, introduced acts that he had never seen, and stalled when the bands were setting up, Rauce smoothed the bumps that can come up when hip hop dance happens right before avant-garde performance art. And Rauce, along with everyone else in the packed crowd, seemed completely blown away by every act that graced the stage.

Kristin Porteous has made her name with dance. So naturally, INSPIRE was going to have a huge, and diverse, dance component. Performing as a lone improviser, Michelina Wingerter threw herself around the stage in huge movements. Regan Reynolds was another one-woman body artist, whose medium involves the proud removal of her clothing. Even singer-songwriter Jesse Owens incorporated finely choreographed dancers into his set.

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Other musical performers appeared sans dancers and attempted to make others dance. Indie rock trio Likeways played their first show as a band and turned more than a few heads — s/o to the SIGT fam Chad and Mitch. Then, the looping lioness Tiger Fawn took the stage and won the crowd with her weird brand of art-folk. Loops of tribal drums, bells, whistles, beat-boxing, and her own voice rained down on their heads as she stood in the center of the dark stage, illuminated only by the strands of lights wrapped around her arms.

[ATTENTION INSPIRE PERFORMERS: Please email [email protected] for pictures. He has tons more. Also, please give him photo cred @thevinylwarhol and @showsigoto]

Rauce Padgett — Comedian/Host

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Michelina Wingerter — Improvisational Dance

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Jesse Owens — Singer/Songwriter

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Likeways — Chill Indie Rock

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Regan Reynolds — Burlesque

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Kara and Allie Mcguire — Contemporary dance

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Tiger Fawn — Electric Tribal Folk Star

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There you have it. Now, I can’t 100% confirm that there will be another INSPIRE Orlando (much less when it is), but if the success of this inaugural event is any mark, there is much more inspiration to be seen.

INSPIRE Orlando — The Artist Showcase Live Review & Photos by Matthew Weller.

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