Scott Heron steps into the camera frame. He is wearing a green dress that hangs to his ankles and a long, brown wig. He starts dancing and twirling; the dress swirls around his knees. He thrusts his hips back and forth against a bag of dog food, and the camera shakes from the force of his feet pounding the hardwood floor. Heron continues to dance, completely lost in the movements of his body.
This is precisely the kind of dancing (watchable at scottheron.org) for which Heron has earned critical acclaim: an experimental blend of physical movements and unexpected props.
Heron, 45, began dancing at Colorado College in the early 80s before moving to New York to pursue a career in the field. It was there that he began to explore more experimental dance.
Heron's latest piece, "Smithsoniansmith," a collaboration with 1993 CC grads Arwen Wilder and Kristin Van Loon of Minneapolis-based HIJACK interprets stage directions pulled from famous plays.
"We are inspired by the dialogue and characters of the plays without having any interest in presenting the play," says Heron. "We want to step into [an actor's] world for a little bit."
Heron says he and HIJACK, whose past collaborations have included such oddly titled works as "3 Minutes of Pork and Shoving," were also inspired by the Unmonumental exhibition shown at New York's New Museum in 2008. This display showcased trash or found items arranged in freestanding sculptures.
Heron says he was intrigued by "the idea of putting things together to be seen that are essentially junk." In the performance, Heron and HIJACK will use props such as vacuum machine bags and beer cans.
The dance, the longest composed by Heron and HIJACK and still unfinished after a year, presents images of Wilder clucking like a chicken while Heron rides a horse around a pair of jeans along with radical portrayals of sex with flowers.
"We are resourceful. We bounce to the bouncy music. We smash beer cans on our foreheads ..." says Heron. "We are insects, drunk on nectar and having sex with plastic flowers."