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Highlights: Prelude NYC 2010

PRELUDE.10 asks a blunt question that straddles funding, audience and disciplinary tensions pervasive in our contemporary performance sector: “Why Does Live Matter?” What is its purpose? How do we measure its value to individuals, to communities, and to that collector of the dead – History? Three themes over three days drive our investigation: Communication, Provocation, and Simulation.

Since live art is as much about the audience as it is about the artist, we start each day with participation.

Our afternoon “Activity Sessions” challenge you to question yourself and the world beyond, formulate answers, experience new tools, and create your own artworks with the curated artists leading the sessions.

The evening “Performances” return audience members to the contemporary habit of distanced observation. But don’t get too comfortable: these artists provoke us to consider how live performance can regain its relevance to society, unsettle perception and habits, and engage organically in the digital age.

During the nightly “Round Tables” you will witness the artists from each day’s sessions discuss and debate the practical & philosophical ramifications of each day’s theme, joined by selected peers. (from the Prelude.10 website)

Trajal Harrell
Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at the Judson Church (XS)
Wednesday, September 29 7.00PM | Segal Theater

What would have happened in 1963 if someone from the Voguing dance tradition in Harlem had come down to Judson Church to perform alongside the early postmoderns?” is the proposition for Trajal Harrell’s series of dances that comes in five sizes- Extra Small (XS), Small (S), Medium (M), Larger (L), and Extra Large (XL). The (XS) is a twenty-five minute solo danced by the choreographer and proposed when finished for a maximum audience of fifty seated on the floor of the theater stage, gallery floor, or in the corner of the room.

Trajal Harrell’s choreographic works have been seen at The New Museum, Danspace Project, Dance Theater Workshop, The Kitchen, PS122, Art Basel-Miami Beach, The Margulies Art Warehouse, and internationally in France, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, and Mexico. Since 2001, he has been developing a body of work which links the Voguing dance tradition and early Postmodern dance. In this direction, he has created four evening length works: Notes on Less than Zero (2004), Showpony (2007), Quartet for the End of Time (2008), and Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at The Judson Church (S) (2009).

Jim Findlay
Thursday, September 30 6:30pm | Elebash Hall

Two scientists perform experiments into the sentient life of plants even as their own sexual tension threatens to undermine their surprising results. Meanwhile, the janitor keeps sneaking into the lab at night to read pornographic literature to their plant subjects. A perverse futuristic exploration of hubris set in a human terrarium.

Jim Findlay works across specialties as a director, designer, performer and creator with a constellation of theater, performance and music artists including Collapsable Giraffe, Accinosco/Cynthia Hopkins, The Wooster Group, Ridge Theater, Bang on a Can, Ralph Lemon, Phil Soltanoff and Stew.

Ishmael Houston-Jones
Thursday, September 30 7pm | Elebash Hall

Ishmael Houston-Jones and his collaborators Chris Cocharne (music) and Dennis Cooper (text) sparked controversy in 1986 at Performance Space 122 with THEM. In the 1986 premier of the full-length version for six male dancers, Cooper read his own provocative words and Cochrane played cacophonous electric guitar live; frequently violent and exhausting dance sequences, culminated in a horrific duet between Houston-Jones and an animal carcass on a dusty mattress. The production almost got PS122 shut down. In 2010, Houston-Jones and his collaborators are revisiting the artistic impulses that propelled its original creation and reconstructing it for the contemporary moment.

Ishmael Houston-Jones is a choreographer, author, performer, teacher, and arts activist and has been a fixture of New York’s contemporary dance scene for over three decades. His intensely personal and physically exhausting improvisations helped to redefine the language of dance in the post-Judson Church 1980s and continue to set a standard for authenticity and vulnerability on stage. His work has been performed in New York City, across the United States, in Europe, Canada, Australia and Latin America. As a curator, teacher, and writer, Houston-Jones has nurtured the voices of many emerging choreographers, performance artists, and artists from other disciplines, several of whom have gone on to become

Kimon Keramidas
Flip-> Cut -> Post -> Press: A crashcourse in performance, digital media and the Internet
Friday, October 1 4.15-5.30pm | Segal Theater

It is undeniable that the nature of performance is changing in the twenty-first century. Just as an increasingly networked population is demanding that new kinds of media, alternative modes of spectacle, and participatory practices be incorporated in live events, the Internet has made it possible for performance artists and theatre companies to not only reach broader audiences through marketing and promotion, but to expand their creative breadth.

In a response to these new times, Kimon Keramidas will lead an activity session which displays some ways that theatre and performance artists can use affordable and accessible technologies to quickly, record, manipulate, and distribute digital media. Kimon will show how simple it can be to use inexpensive video and audio recorders and digital cameras in conjunction with simple digital editing software and publishing platforms to rapidly extend the presence of performance into the digital realm.

Kimon Keramidas is the Assistant Director for the Digital Media Lab at the Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture, where he is responsible for integrating digital media across the curriculum and for providing guidance for digital initiatives in academic publishing and exhibition design. Kimon holds a B.A. in Theatre from Swarthmore College and a Ph.D. in Theatre with a certificate in Interactive Technology and Pedagagoy from the CUNY Graduate Center, and has taught courses on theatre, performance, new media, and instructional technology and pedagogy at The Cooper Union, Marymount Manhattan College, the Bard Graduate Center, the CUNY Graduate Center, and in CUNY’s Online Baccalaureate Program. After completing his dissertation on intellectual property rights and contemporary American theatrical production, Kimon has continued to publish in academic journals and with research interests in place and play in video games, sociocultural impact of interface design, and the integration of technology in curricular development. Kimon also has a background in theatrical production, having worked as a designer and set builder for three years at regional theatres in Washingotn D.C. and New Jersey and with the Builders Association on Alladeen and Super Vision.

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Caden Manson is a director, media artist, and teacher. He is co-founder of the media ensemble and network, blog, and publisher, He has co-created, directed, video- and set designed 18 Big Art Group productions. Manson has shown video installations in Austria, Germany, NYC, and Portland; performed PAIN KILLER in Berlin, Singapore and Vietnam; Taught in Berlin, Rome, Paris, Montreal, NYC, and Bern; the ensemble has been co-produced by the Vienna Festival, Festival d’Automne a Paris, Hebbel Am Ufer, Rome’s La Vie de Festival, PS122, and Wexner Center for The Arts. Caden is a 2001 Foundation For Contemporary Art Fellow, is a 2002 Pew Fellow and a 2011 MacDowell Fellow. Writing has been published in PAJ, Theater Magazine, and Theater der Zeit. Caden is currently an associate professor and graduate directing option coordinator of The John Wells Directing Program at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama.

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