INTERVIEW : REGGIE WATTS

Reggie Watts performs tonight at Ace Hotel New York with The Dance Cartel at On the Floor in Liberty Hall. He woke up early to do his hair and found a few moments to talk to us about life, love, luxury problems and Comedy Bang Bang.

How is your morning, er afternoon, going?

Uh, it’s going good. Not out of bed yet, but I’m getting there.

You’ve just been taking interviews from bed? That sounds pretty good.

It’s not bad, it’s fun.

You’re a busy man. Last week when we were having technical problems you were like “Okay you have ten minutes. I have another one in ten minutes, then ten minutes before that.” That doesn’t sound like very much fun for you. Or maybe it is.

Well sometimes it can be. It’s just a matter of it lining up or not. Sometimes people will not call or they will forget. Something like that. Then sometimes they will call a little bit later and then the whole thing is derailed. “I’ll call you ten minutes later, then ten minutes later.” That can be weird, but it’s fine. Literally almost everything is worse than that.

They are first world problems, it’s true. Have things been kind of blowing up since Comedy Bang Bang premiered?

Yeah. Yeah, I think so. I think I definitely noticed people a little bit more. I mean people notice me more is what I meant to say. Ha.

You and Alex (Calderwood) are old friends from Seattle.

Yeah, I’ve known him probably since, I’m going to guess like 1996 or something like that maybe. He was throwing parties at — I can’t remember the name of the club, it was right under the monorail. It was the only thing in town that really had any elegance or sophistication to it when it comes to parties. They were killin’ it. But yeah they were cool guys, I’ve known them forever. I love the Ace.

I interviewed Vijay Iyer recently when he was coming to Portland for the Jazz Festival. We were talking about jazz being this democratic wildland where anything can happen. And I was watching some videos of your work on YouTube and various places over the last week, and thinking that jazz and comedy feel kind of related. Especially the sort of performance you do — it’s pretty singular — you have peers in the comedy world and peers in the music world, but what you do with them is sort of unprecedented. I was wondering if you feel like there is some feedback loop with how you approach comedy and how you think about improvisational music, and if they feel related to you in any way?

Yeah, they are definitely related. I mean, if you can improvise in music and if you have a love of music you can just transpose that to being more lyrical. It’s the same technique, it just depends on what you understand. Improvisation is inherent in any art form.

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OntheFloor is a new kind of live dance experience — the pilot project of The Dance Cartel, it’s a fusion of the company’s rigorous artistic approach with the vibrant social nature of dance. The premiere of The Dance Cartel’s new repertory is supported by live musicians, video and DJ. Onthefloor goes down this Tuesday and next at Ace Hotel New York in Liberty Hall — you can get tickets here.

OntheFloor is a new kind of live dance experience — the pilot project of The Dance Cartel, it’s a fusion of the company’s rigorous artistic approach with the vibrant social nature of dance. The premiere of The Dance Cartel’s new repertory is supported by live musicians, video and DJ. Onthefloor goes down this Tuesday and next at Ace Hotel New York in Liberty Hall — you can get tickets here.


OntheFloor is the pilot project of The Dance Cartel — a fusion of the company’s rigorous artistic approach with the vibrant social nature of dance — and it goes down for the second of three in a series tonight in the basement at Ace Hotel New York. Choreographer Ani Taj Niemann draws on rhythmic influences from a recent trip to Brazil, spinning points of departure, body rhythms, breathing and heartbeat, rhythms in speech and gesture, and inspiration from the baterias of Carnaval. It’s a good show.
Show’s at 10pm, tickets are ten bucks. Come by if you’re in the neighborhood.

DANCE CARTEL - 212 teaser from Harrison Boyce on Vimeo.

OntheFloor is the pilot project of The Dance Cartel — a fusion of the company’s rigorous artistic approach with the vibrant social nature of dance — and it goes down for the second of three in a series tonight in the basement at Ace Hotel New York. Choreographer Ani Taj Niemann draws on rhythmic influences from a recent trip to Brazil, spinning points of departure, body rhythms, breathing and heartbeat, rhythms in speech and gesture, and inspiration from the baterias of Carnaval. It’s a good show.

Show’s at 10pm, tickets are ten bucks. Come by if you’re in the neighborhood.

DANCE CARTEL - 212 teaser from Harrison Boyce on Vimeo.


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