Cherie Dre is a solo performance about the showgirl alter ego of Yanow’s grandmother who suffered from bipolar disorder before the invention of modern treatments. Set in the 1950’s, the performance unfolds in two places simultaneously: her grandmother’s bedroom in the Bronx and a ballroom at the Concord resort hotel in the Catskills. The artist embodies her own imagining of Cherie Dre through covers of the Yiddish pop songs by the Barry Sisters, dance routines, monologues, and “dialogues.” As with Yanow’s previous work, this piece weaves together personal experience with broader social histories through physical storytelling and queer embodying. Specifically, Cherie Dre excavates the artist’s relationship to gender and femininity, magical thinking, gambling, and performing, alongside the history of the Borscht Belt and Jewish entertainers.
Q&A with the artist Sacha Yanow and a reception will follow this work-in-progress being developed through the artist residency program at Denniston Hill.
This project is made possible in part with funding from a Sullivan County Arts & Heritage Grant funded by the Sullivan County Legislature and administered by Delaware Valley Arts Alliance.
Additional Development support for Cherie Dre was provided by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Process Space Residency (March, 2016), and by a residency-based exhibition at the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College (September 9–October 9, 2016), curated by Stephanie Snyder.