Striking, subversive and gorgeous to behold, Ralph Escamillan’s dance spectacular has its creator decked out in “sequin skin”—a layer of shiny ornamentation that serves to mask and reveal all at once. The skin conceals identity but expresses intent: to create a walking, breathing signifier. Drag, ballroom and vogue are subcultures that have allowed queer men to express themselves through artifice, and they’re a key inspiration for Escamillan. The HINKYPUNK is a camp cipher for audiences to contemplate—a mystery figure of liberation.
The beguiling figure performs on a pedestal—an object for our delight and our study. Everything is up for analysis in this show: the gaze, the body and the artifice with which we create ourselves. This is a sexy, stimulating work—an intellectual swoon.