Coffee Rhetoric: Coffee Buzz: Arranka!

April 19, 2011

Coffee Buzz: Arranka!

Dani Arranka (center) w/ party revelers
Anytime I've asked friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and even my sister if they've any idea who local talent, Dani Arranka is, I'm generally met with the same incredulous answer: "You don't know who DANI ARRANKA is??? EVERYONE knows Dani!" to which I reply somewhat furtively and regretfully, "I don't. Perhaps I'm the only one..." I know and have worked with Dani's sister and at her suggestion, have watched his Polo Club performances via YouTube in the past, so I've heard of him and his work  but wasn't acquainted with him socially, but I still felt like I was amongst those in-the-know via osmosis but alas, this simply did not suffice. My one brief encounter involved my recognizing and stopping him at Dish in downtown Hartford last year, during which I was on a date and Lady Gaga just happened to be in town at the Excel Center. He was amongst the daring Little Monsters milling about, dressed in their Avant-Garde and fiercest finest, and I recall him being gracious and very receptive to me... a stranger... intercepting his flow, despite not having any idea who I was. Beyond that interlude, I was determined to find out more about Dani Arranka... and so I hopped on an opportunity to attend his Born Day Party/Music Video premiere at Real Artways this past Saturday... accompanying a friend and local socialite who'd gotten the Facebook invite to show up and look fierce and by extension I took this to mean I also got an invitation, so off I went!
Dani Arranka gets the crowd hyped
As expected, Dani's supporters, friends, family, and even Hartford Mayor, Pedro Segarra turned out to wish Dani Happy Birthday and view what was seemingly the long-awaited premiere of his music video to the infectious, electro-dance-pop song, Be Like Me. The tune is a manifesto for those who are "confident, driven, and fashion forward with that 'I don't care' attitude" Dani explained. Watching Dani float around the gallery in a stylish, flowy green dress ... Euro-kissing and greeting his guests appreciatively, it suddenly became clear just who Dani Arranka is... The quintessential, post-modern performance artist who's an amalgamation of Pete Burns  (pre-plastic surgery), Gaga, Lady Miss Kier, and just a dash of Madonna, mixed with a heaping helping of his own sound and method of style. He definitely lives up to Arrancar! Which loosely translates to"starting" in Spanish... or perhaps to "take off"... and he's definitely slated to take flight... particularly since the likes of RuPaul's Drag Race personalities are jamming to his tune during their performances. Definitely an illustration and true testament to just how dynamic and diverse Hartford's arts and entertainment community is. The Be Like Me music video is a visual tour de force co-directed and edited by Wameng Lor along with photography studio, The Terrible Child (who got their feet wet directing for the first time in this instance). "I thought to myself, it would be interesting to have the video be a 70's horror inspired video about a high fashion cult who kidnaps me, because they believe if they eat me, they will turn into me. Which happens at the end of the video with the main girl. Wameng Lor and The Terrible Child are amazing visionaries!" Dani Arranka explains.  Just see it for yourself and make sure to peruse YouTube for more of Dani Arranka's work!