Southern Exposure presents HATORADE RETROGRADE: THE MUSICAL, a dance performance by Danish artist Lise Haller Baggesen presented in John McLaren Park in San Francisco on October 12-13, 2019.

Set in a San Francisco of 2069, HATORADE RETROGRADE: THE MUSICAL looks to San Francisco’s countercultures of the late 60s, science fiction, and camp, to imagine resistance to a future dystopia impacted by climate change and an oppressive technocracy. 

The speculative narrative performed by seven local dancers evolved in collaboration with Southern Exposure’s Youth Advisory Board teen artists who shared their hopes and fears for the future with Lise Haller Baggesen, inspiring the development of a cast of characters who might inhabit stark, waterlogged landscapes, where technological advancements segregate the “innies” from the “outies”. Set in the toxic outskirts of a domed city, the characters of HATORADE RETROGRADE: THE MUSICAL struggle to survive and understand the world they live in.

HATORADE RETROGRADE: THE MUSICAL features a score by composer avery r. young (with assistance from Jonathan Ross) that draws heavily on funk and psychedelic music of the late 1960s, and will be broadcast over “silent disco” headphone systems. Bay Area dancer Stephanie Hewett choreographed and dances this public performance, along with six other dancers, working in collaboration with local theater director Jackie Katz to stage the movement within San Francisco’s McLaren Park. The cast also includes Annie Aguilar, Valerie Mendez, Hannah Oliver, Sonia Pinto-Scherstuhl, Christan Thompson, and Yao Wang.   

Performances of HATORADE RETROGRADE: THE MUSICAL will take place at the Wilde Overlook in McLaren Park in San Francisco, a brutalist 35’ high tower with a viewing platform built from an old reservoir tank. With this history, set within an idyllic grove of redwoods, with sweeping vistas of the Bay and the south-eastern parts of the city, it’s an ideal location to imagine the future of San Francisco. 

Photos are credit of Lise Haller Baggesen, Karen Cheung, and Minoosh Zomorodinia



Museums of Futures Past Times Present: Hatorade Retrograde The Musical

February 5 - March 26, 2021

Museums of Future Past Times Present: Hatorade Retrograde The Musical centers on an eco-feminist science fiction narrative of life in the year 2069. At the exhibition’s heart is a video documenting the 2019 premiere performance of HATORADE RETROGRADE: THE MUSICAL. The central story chronicles resistance to a future dystopia impacted by cataclysmic climate change and an oppressive technocracy, an allegory made more poignant in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The exhibition features the artist’s handmade costumes, fabric banners, and props, introducing the central characters through their distinctive attire and lightbox portraits. Haller Baggesen’s inventive ensembles feature bold patterns and silhouettes, combine disparate fashion and cultural idioms, and transmute everyday objects into sartorial hallmarks. Materials that unfold Haller Baggesen’s conceptualization process are also presented.

In the world of Haller Baggesen’s HATORADE RETROGRADE: THE MUSICAL, a crisis arises inside a high-tech domed city and spills out onto its toxic hinterland, pushing the characters to recognize their inter-dependence and re-imagine societal structures.

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