Thursday, August 10, 2017

Artists Lisette Chávez and Audrya Flores Reimagine the Urban Legend of the Dancing Devil

Posted By on Thu, Aug 10, 2017 at 5:29 AM

click to enlarge IMAGES COURTESY OF LISETTE CHÁVEZ AND AUDRYA FLORES
  • Images courtesy of Lisette Chávez and Audrya Flores
Although not quite as famous as the Donkey Lady, the tale of the Dancing Devil is similarly embedded in the folklore of San Antonio. Once documented
click to enlarge angelbaby.jpg
 in the San Antonio Express-News and still up for discussion on sites and blogs like Haunted Places, Sine Logicum and Snopes, the urban legend goes down on Halloween circa 1975 at El Camaroncito — a Westside dance hall on Old Highway 90 that later became The Players Club. Armed with good looks and killer dance moves, a studly stranger struts into the club, charms the ladies and boogies the night away until his final dance partner glances down and notices his feet, which — depending on who’s telling the story — resemble large chicken claws, goat hooves or (better yet) one of each. After she lets out a scream and outs him as Satan himself, the handsome devil escapes through a bathroom window, leaving a thick stench of sulfur in the air. Bound by roots in the Rio Grande Valley and “a strong interest in the occult and the supernatural,” artists Lisette Chávez and Audrya Flores found this peculiar storyline to be ripe for a collaborative interpretation. Organized by Lady Base Gallery and hosted by AP Art Lab, the duo’s video installation “Angel Baby” — which comes to a close this Saturday — reimagines the story from a feminist perspective that places a strong woman in the leading role and challenges viewers to “consider the manner in which folklore reinforces societal expectations of women and gender-related social structures.”

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