When footwork producer and Teklife leader DJ Spinn takes the stage at Pitchfork Music Festival on Sunday he’ll be joined by a footwork dance crew called the Era. It’ll be the second time this week that Spinn and the Era will perform together in town; tonight the Era and Teklife are hosting a footworking event called Lab Sessions at High Concept Laboratories, which is part of the dance crew’s new residency at the Pilsen art gallery.
For 24-year-old Era leader Litebulb tonight’s Lab Sessions will help showcase all the aspects of footwork culture, not just the music. “People took in so much of the music—tracks were made for dancing, they were made for footworkers,” Litebulb says. “The greatest tracks that were made were made for us.” Anyone who’s fallen down a YouTube rabbit hole in search of footwork dance clips can get a taste of the symbiotic relationship between dancers and DJs, but it is just that—a sample of the whole. The tracks themselves have taken a precedence in the conversation around footwork as the sound has gone global, and while you can get music from a producer on vinyl it’s a little more difficult to access professional footwork dancing outside YouTube.
That’s part of what’s driving the Era and Teklife’s Lab Sessions—to bring all parts of footworking to a centrally located, easily accessible venue, and High Concept Laboratories fits the bill. Members of the Era will battle and show off their moves and Teklife’s DJ Spinn, DJ Earl, RP Boo, and DJ Taye will handle the music. Scene documentarian Wills Glasspiegel will provide visuals for the night—he tells me he’ll show footage he’s taken of this city’s footwork scene as well as archival material that stretches back more than a decade. Tonight’s Lab Sessions starts at 7 PM and costs $10.
High Concept Laboratories, 2233 South Throop, highconceptlaboratories.org