Motorcycle and Brazilian dance mash-up revs into GOCA

Feb. 18, 2013

Alexander Nedd
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If motorcycles and two-step were to literally combine, someone may end up hurt. Figuratively combined, however, they create an educational experience.

That’s the idea behind ChitChat, a series that takes two unlike topics and joins them in a creative way that features audience participation.

Lead by the Galleries of Contemporary Art, ChitChat aims to stimulate beyond the literal meaning of subjects and create connections.

“ChitChat is now in its second season and is a series of mash-up talks that combine contemporary culture and DIY topics,” said GOCA Director Daisy McConnell.

“It’s the latest trend. Not only are you learning a lot, it’s geared to anybody that wants to learn outside the classroom.”

The series covers a range of topics. One mash-up last season included a link between goatees and comic books.

Each mash-up has two speakers present for 20 minutes before engaging with the audience for questions and comments.

All subject matters are not just lectures; many feature hands-on experience for the audience, allowing for a more intimate learning atmosphere.

Engines are firing up for this upcoming season of ChitChat, which will open with a mash-up of motorcycle culture and Brazilian dance.

Discussions will include motorcycle enthusiast K. Alex Ilyasova and dance performer Luciana da Silva. For Ilyasova, her fascination with motorcycles will fuel her talk.

“My [discussion] is going to focus on the gender issues of motorcycling,” said Ilyasova, who is also the director of professional and technical writing for the English department.

“I want to give people some ideas on motorcycles, emotional issues with masculinity and gender, and reconsider some of those gender norms,” she said.

Ilyasova said that her fascination for motorcycles started while in school.

“I started when I was a grad student. There was a trademark case out of San Francisco with Dykes on Bikes who wanted to trademark their name,” Ilyasova said.

“I did a paper on the group (who are now nationally and internationally recognized) and been following other topics since then.”

da Silva teaches Brazilian dance at Colorado College. “I came from Brazil, dancing. When I came to the United States and was invited into dancer shows there was a lot of dance but no Brazilian,” she said.

“Here, I became a performer and took some time to improve and study and become an instructor and performer.”

There will be no idle feet on the dance floor for de Silva. “I would like to share within the community the rhythm of Brazilian dance; I want to do more hands-on dance, have people understand its origins from Africa and get everybody up.”

Together, the two will approach the topics from a new angle for a new season of ChitChat, which will be every Wednesday until March 20.