Cecilia Bengolea crabwalking in a flesh-colored bodysuit and red stiletto heels. François Chaignaud, in a feather headpiece, fake plastic breasts, and very little else, presenting the ancient Greek athlete as a Playboy pinup. Marlene Monteiro Freitas, in black gloves, tights, boots, and nothing else, tying her hair into a babushka and playing Rachmaninoff’s C-sharp-minor Prelude. And Trajal Harrell, in ordinary street clothes, being Trajal Harrell. Those were the creators and performers of “(M)imosa/Twenty Looks or Paris Is Burning at the Judson Church (M)” Thursday at the Institute of Contemporary Art. Not your ordinary dance evening.
It all started with Harrell’s question, “What would have happened in 1963 if someone from the voguing ball scene in Harlem had come downtown to perform at the Judson Church with the early postmodern choreographers?” His answer is the multi-part work “Twenty Looks or Paris Is Burning at the Judson Church,” which so far has appeared in sizes XS, S, M, M2M (for “made to measure”), and L. Harrell brought the solo S version to the ICA in 2010; he debuted XS and M in 2011 and M2M (in which the Judson dancers go uptown to Harlem) and L (a riff on Sophocles’s “Antigone”) last year.