I remember first discovering Lucent Dossier at one of the Coachella side stages in 2006. I was immediately captivated by their mysterious allure and freakishly magnetic and radiant energy. Now a world-renowned circus, performance art troupe, Lucent has come along way over the past decade. I recently had the honor and privilege to attend the Lucent Dossier Experience show at one of my personal favorite venues, The Fillmore in San Francisco, CA. The Fillmore show marked one of the last stops on Lucent’s first official west coast tour, which officially concluded at the legendary Shambhala Festival in Nelson, BC. The show featured nine performers including young starlet Chanel Pepper and incredibly talented singer, dancer and contortionist Sarah Llewellyn who stole the show. The Lucent Dossier Fillmore show also featured stellar musical sets from experimental producer Thriftworks and eastern-influenced producer ASADI.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Linda Borini, the Creative Director for Lucent Dossier who filled me in on the latest. Linda describes her role with Lucent Dossier as the “position of a lifetime” and her cast for this particular show as a “dream come true”.
Sylvie Barnett: What is your creative process for building a piece?
Linda Borini: The performers and pieces of music that I work with ultimately inspire me. I think about the theme of the show and how we will build it. I break down the song into sections and develop the whole act. I love empowering the dancers and choreographers. I choreograph the whole piece overall but I don’t necessarily choreograph all of the steps, allowing my dancers to choose some of their own steps.
SB: What does Lucent want their art to say to the world?
LB: It has changed over the years. This show had a very low budget. This was our first large tour on the west coast and we needed to be smart about how we did things. Once I started working with our composer Chris Adams about it, I realized that I had the opportunity to bring a little of what Lucent meant to me at the very beginning. I was originally a ballerina and then I was onstage with these freaks. I wanted to bring that back.
In this moment with everything that is going on politically, I feel like we need to get back to this very moment as the group of people who can see things further and pay attention to what is really going on behind the scenes. Let’s use this drama and reality to connect with people and remind them that they can go bigger and learn how to become more conscious. In learning to be more conscious, we can become more godlike. That is what art in general means to me but I think Lucent has a very fun and silly way of expressing it.
SB: What is the concept of this tour?
LB: This is our first venture with Live Nation and our first tour with our new agency United Talent Agency. We had to make it work in both the creative and business sense. We had to make it a great show that would sell tickets and also build a full show. It seems like Live Nation and UTA are very happy with the shows and relationships made from this tour. I did not know that the show was going to be this good and this fun. We want to tour more so we can continue expanding our fan base and keep spreading our love.
SB: How did you come up with the concept for this particular show?
LB: In recent years, we have been doing a lot of ethereal and avant-garde work but I was missing a lot of the silly and the dirty and the grunge. We have grown as a company and our skills are so much sharper. In this show in particular we couldn't do much aerial or fire, so in this show we had to do mostly dance and fill up an hour of entertainment. We just decided to go fun with this show and I think it really worked out. To me, what Lucent is from my last ten years of performing is giving a license to be freaky and be different. That can slowly change the face of entertainment. You don’t have to be the typical tiny girl to be sexy.
We decided it would be cool to make a show that walked us through the last 100 years of musical history so we start with the 1920’s and we take it to now and the future. We start from the very jazzy tunes and then move on to “Big Spender” and “Sweet Chariot” 1960’s and then we do a tribute to glam rock with Iggy Pop and The Mercuries and The Bowies. Sarah Llewellyn plays Dustin Diamond for that act and working with her was a dream. I pulled it out of her. The very last song I need to honor Kraddy who produced some of the last songs including a remix of “Big Spender” and “Enter The Labyrinth”.
SB: What was it like working with this cast?
LB: This is my favorite team ever. We all chipped in and choreographed together. I am so blessed and grateful. We love each other so much and it really shows on stage. It has been so incredible to tour with these people. We are all working way beyond the financial reward; we do it with a purpose. When everyone works together, you just want to chip in more.
SB: What can your fans expect from Lucent Dossier in 2017 and beyond?
LB: We will continue to entertain Los Angeles and beyond with more corporate and private events, as we now offer full service event design as well. As far as our mission on stage, we are now on break after the last tour, potentially we would like to extend the tour and take "reverie tunes" (the show we just produced and toured), to the southwest markets if our fans are interested and then perhaps even the east coast. We are also looking to develop a brand new big stage show, such productions unfortunately don’t fit in most standard music houses due to technical requirements but we are dreaming them up. For now, we are all going to take a rest after a full summer. We’ll see what this fall has in store for us.
Lucent Dossier Cast & Crew 2017 Summer Tour:
Linda Borini - Creative Director
Dana Clehouse - Operations Manager
Kelly Parker - Producer