Kabinet Theatre: The Wandering Marionettes Usher In LA's Burner Wave
Shannon Cottrell The Wandering Marionettes Present Kabinet Theatre
Out on the courtyard of Hollywood nightclub Boardner's, a crowd circled the central pond, chatting as wax from the large, white candles slowly dripped and hardened to form organic designs. Scattered between the party-goers were the dolls, haunted ones, dressed in black and white, their faces covered by masks so smooth they appeared to be porcelain. There were about thirty dolls total, each coming with a story, oftentimes involving the tragic death or a curse, but none spoke. They wandered to the beat of the music streaming through the PA, approached the onlookers with hesitation. Sometimes they would curiously exam a drink or a cigarette before moving onward. Other times, they would climb onto a seat and freeze like statues. And when the moment hit, a handful would climb the stage and perform a choreographed, hip-hop influenced dance routine.
Last night's Kabinet Theatre was the first of what will likely become a monthly party this fall, hosted by The Wandering Marionettes. A performance art troupe that combines dance and circus arts with striking costumes and avant-garde electronic music. Over the past few years, The Wandering Marionettes have become one of the most sought-after entertainment groups in Los Angeles. If you hit the town with some sort of frequency, you've probably caught them at Cirque Berzerk, Labyrinth of Jareth or nightclubs like Ruin Hollywood and Porcelain. If you head out to the desert at the end of every summer, you may have seen The Wandering Marionettes at Burning Man.
The troupe's roots formed out at the annual desert art gathering in 2005, when founder Krystal Bell dressed in black and passed out animal crackers after a Cirque Berzerk performance.