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Gris Gris Strut is back with a made-for-New Orleans fable

Gris Gris Strut Dance Troupe will perform at Fringe Fest (Photo by Paul Punzo)

Gris Gris Strut Dance Troupe will perform at Fringe Fest (Photo by Paul Punzo)

Jitterbugging raccoons, krumping squirrels and African-Dancing roosters are just a few of the adorable characters who spring to life to lead a starving artist through City Park. Set to the soundtrack of more than 17 years of Quintron and Miss Pussycat recordings, Gris Gris Strut’s “City Park” is rock-n-roll dance theater about amnesia, mistaken identity and redemption.

While attending Quintron and Miss Pussycat’s listening party for the album “Sucre du Sauvage” at NOMA’s sculpture garden, Choreographer/Writer/Director Cherie Pitre was inspired by the music. Characters emerged embodying the environment in which they were created. Cherie presents an extended theatrical tale designed for the ADD generation.

“City Park” is an endearing fable performed by Gris Gris Strut, a trailblazing local dance troupe known for incorporating ballet leaps, jumps, high kicks and gymnastics into their high-powered routines along such Mardi Gras parades as Krewe d’Etat, Druids, Muses and Thoth. They are the embodiment of relentless entertainment in both their parade routines and their live theater shows.

The story is told through the eyes of a Morning Call Barista suffering with amnesia and her encounters with a whimsical cast of characters in costumes designed by local fashion icon Howlpop. Emcee and producer of Fleur de Tease and City Park art director, Chris Lane says, “Cherie has created a beautiful secret world inside City Park and is inviting New Orleans to witness it.”

Once a circus performer, Cherie Pitre’s choreography juxtaposes dance styles, which fuse music and emotion to build and release tension, creating an in your face production inviting the audience in. From it multi-media use of HD video from filmmaker Paul Punzo to its wax and wane of dance genres, “City Park” is like a precisely mixed tape. With setting, music and style that is uniquely New Orleans, “City Park provides a full interactive experience for all ages that will make you laugh, cry and get down! .

Tickets are $8 with a $3 Fringe Fest button available at the door or at www.nofringe.org. Rhythmic Arts Center 2358 St. Claude Ave, New Orleans, November 20 at 9 pm, November 22 at 9 pm, 11 pm, November 23 at 7 pm, 9 pm and November 24 at 5 pm.

Brian Friedman writes about New Orleans for NolaVie.