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In Performance

In Performance: KID KOALA/Nufonia Must Fall

Nufonia Must Fall
Kid Koala
Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN, USA)

Nufonia Must Fall is more than your average “robot falls in love” story. DJ, producer, and artist Kid Koala  has adapted his 340-page graphic novel into a live experience that combines music, puppetry, and over a dozen miniature stages to craft a feature-length film. Under the direction of  K.K. Barrett (the celebrated production designer of Her and Where the Wild Things Are),  a silent film is created live at each performance.  There’s no chance of catching everything that’s going on, whether one focuses on the Charlie Chaplin-esque film unfolding on the big screen, the puppeteers and camera operators efficiently moving between the stages to create each scene, the performances of the accompanying string ensemble (at this performance, the Toronto-based Cecilia Quartet), or the impressively complex execution of Kid Koala himself, scoring the live movie on a variety of high-tech and low-fi devices.  The virtuosic melding of these elements on the screen paired with the display of the extensive apparatus creating the images and sounds in real time feels like watching a story-making machine at work.

The Nufonia Must Fall tour continues April 22nd in Eugene, OR.

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Margo Gray is a performance maker and curator based in Minneapolis. Her practice centers around interactive and participatory performance, Current research includes emerging techniques in interactive theatre and performance-adjacent disciplines such as alternate reality gaming (ARGs) and Nordic live-action role-playing. She is currently the Producing Artistic Director of Playable Artworks (a sponsored project of Springboard for the Arts), a Twin Cities-based performance engine. Margo is a former Fulbright Fellow at the Moscow Art Theatre School. She holds a BA in Russian from Grinnell College and an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University. For more information, visit margogray.com and playableartworks.org.

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