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Sunday, April 28, 2019

SPOTLIGHT ON SPIRITS IN MOTION AND THE KACHINA THEATER – Josh (Thomas1 Bellic) Reporting.


SecondLife is arguably the most advanced and perhaps engaging of the virtual worlds out there. Not just a land of phenomenal beauty and creativity, it also hosts an incredibly talented and diversified community of artists.  A relative newcomer to the performing arts community is the Kachina Theater and their performing dance troupe, Spirits in Motion.



I recently had the very real pleasure of visiting the Kachina Theater as they were preparing for their upcoming performance of “Blast from the Past”.   This show was written by Jilly Lonewolf (leannburt), with assistance from Ciarra (kayceb), and choreographed by Mrs. Starlena Lonewolf (starlena.hansen) and in some cases even the dancers themselves.  Most of the sets were designed by Starlena. This musical extravaganza will be preformed one time only on Sunday, May 19 at 2:00 PM SLT. Their newest production will feature numerous pieces of music from the Roaring 20s to the Rocking 60's.  With Muse Wolf (musicgal9026) as the DJ, Ciarra as the announcer/moderator will serve as a sort of time traveling musical guide as cast and audience waltz through the ages.

I caught up with Starlena one night recently, and she was gracious enough to give me a tour of their facilities.



As you enter Kachina Theater by way of swinging double doors, you are greeted by a tastefully appointed lobby with grand staircases at either end leading to the upper lobby.  From here you enter the theater proper, with ample seating available in either single person chairs, or two-person love seats lined up about the room. The stage with the proscenium arch is the focal point of the room.  Elaborate in both planning and execution, Blast from the Past will involve multiple scene changes and an equal number of costume changes by the dancers.


The sets and the musical numbers selected for this show are guaranteed to have you leaving the theater humming a favorite tune.  On a Wizard of Oz set, you will hear the Scarecrow lament “If I only had a Brain”.  Whisked away to a USO stage at a WWII base camp, you will be entertained along with the troops to the dulcimer harmonies of the Andrew Sisters as they sing “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B”.  And what else would you expect to hear in a 50’s style Malt Shop but “Rock Around the Clock”.  Don’t forget to catch that quintessential favorite at night clubs in the 30’s, Benny Goodman’s “Sing Sing Sing”.  And you certainly do not want to miss when that crooner of crooners, D'Artagnan Michaels (raybartleson) wows the  audience with “Jailhouse Rock”.

Later, I caught up with Jilly Lonewolf, deep in the midst of her own show preparations, and I was able to ask her some questions about the theater and production,

Josh (thomas1.bellic):  What a great name… “Blast from the Past”.  Tell me, Jilly, where did you get the dialogue and dance routines for this show?

Jilly Lonewolf (leannburt): We are one of SL's newer venues.  This show is totally original. We started from scratch, so to speak.  I came up with the concept and the title. The theater and land is closed prior to the day of the performance as many of us also live on the sim.  

J.B:  how many shows will you be doing?  How many performance times?

J.L.: This show right now is one performance only.....we have been talking about doing an encore performance but some of our dancers work weekends etc. so our schedule is limited at present.  Starlena, our primary set builder, works full time so her available hours to build are short. She is amazingly creative and her set designs are fantastic! We schedule our shows approximately five weeks apart. Our actual schedule depends on when Starlena has time to work on the sets and I get the script written.  We do plan to put on our version of Phantom of the Opera late this summer/fall.

J.B.:  So tell me, Jilly.  How did you and Starlena meet?  And how did you decide on a partnership in the performing arts?

J.L: Starlena and I go way back.....we worked together first at Magnifique Weddings....I was an officiant/planner and she was the main photographer.  Later we both worked at Paramount Playhouse, which is another performance venue here. We have always wanted to have our own theater and the timing was right for us to make our vision a reality

J.B.:   How long has your Dance Troupe been together?

J.L.: We formed our troupe in January and held our debut performance February 17th, 2019. Our dance troupe normally has a cast of 13 dancers and various support crew.  This show will have a few extras on board that don't dance but do some add ons, playing instruments etc.  Some of our dancers are extremely talented. Many of them even do their own choreography.

J.B.:  A quick search turns up dozens and dozens of Dance Troupes in SecondLife, involving hundreds, if not thousands of dancers.   What is it that makes Kachina Theater special, given the large number of options available to people in SL today?

J.L.: Hmmmm.....not sure the proper way to phrase this so perhaps you can help me out.  We pride ourselves in the fact that unlike many theaters, our shows are more PG, as in no nudity or suggestive language.  Our show is more along the lines of what you would see on Broadway, It’s something you would be comfortable bringing your parents to.  We feel you don't have to take your clothes off to be sexy :) There are plenty of places in SL that folks can go to see naked avatars and hot and heavy emotes.  We focus on strictly entertainment.

So, there you have it folks.  I don’t know what your plans are for Sunday, May 19, but if you DON’T make it a point to attend Kachina Theater’s “Blast from the Past”, starting at 2:00PM SLT, you are gonna kick yourself later.  There is ONE performance only, and I guarantee this is one show you do NOT want to miss.  The Spirits in Motion dancers and Kachina Theater present “Blast from the Past”  A musical review of your favorite songs from the Roaring 20’s through the Rocking 60’s,  brought to life through song, dance, and the magic of SecondLife!

Be there.  Aloha! - J.B.



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