The Dance Cartel Brings “Wet Clutch” to Southampton Arts Center

WET CLUTCH @ Seaport Music Festival Teaser from Ani Taj on Vimeo.

Summer is winding down, and the leaves will soon be dancing off their branches and into the wind. The Southampton Arts Center (SAC) is hosting a rare, fully immersive experience in celebration of this seasonal dance. The SAC premiere of Wet Clutch, performed by contemporary group The Dance Cartel, will take place on August 25.

This drive-in dance experience, choreographed by The Dance Cartel founder and native New Yorker Ani Taj, reimagines movie heroines, remixing characters from the past four decades of American film using richly-layered video design, an explosive soundtrack and high-endurance dance numbers. The backdrop will be a drive-in movie screen attended by two Cartel vehicles. The soundtrack, performed by long-time collaborator DJ Average Jo, will be mixed live from inside one of the automobiles. The audience is encouraged to dance to the sick, nasty beats blasting throughout the West Lawn.

SAC’s Executive Director Tom Dunn says, “Wet Clutch will be a thrilling experience for all, and we are delighted to share this vibrant one-of-a-kind experience with the Southampton community as a celebration of the end of our sixth summer season.”

The development of Wet Clutch has been supported by a residency at New York Live Arts since 2015, beginning with an in-progress Studio Series. The residency continued to evolve through the LaMaMa Moves! Festival in New York City, an outdoor showing at the Jane Bailey Memorial Garden and a performance at the Seaport Music Festival.

The Dance Cartel, first launched in 2012, strives to reinterpret the art form, creating a fresh dance vocabulary that anyone can understand without sacrificing their rigorous artistic approach. SAC Artistic Director Amy Kirwin confirms that the group “pushes boundaries and defies expectations of traditional dance performance.” She adds, “The immersive, participatory performance will be something entirely new for SAC, activating our grounds in an exciting and cutting-edge way.”

Wet Clutch is on Saturday, August 25 at 8:30 p.m. on the West Lawn of SAC. Admission is free, and all ages are welcomed to attend. For more info, visit

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