Lost Password

Featured – Movement Research Festival Spring 2012: PUSH IT. REAL. GOOD. (NYC)

Movement Research Festival Spring 2012: PUSH IT. REAL. GOOD.
May 29 – June 3, 2012
Curatorial Team: Eleanor Hullihan, Neal Medlyn, Marissa Perel, and Enrico Wey

Bring on 2012 with its four horsemen and cult sacrifices. If this is the last of the great mortality myths, let’s push it to a real scorched earth explosion. We bring you a new spin on an old-school anthem: Push it. Real. Good. Reckoning with the end of the world-as-we-know-it, we are faced with the competing impulses of fight or flight.

It’s time to push it past the limits of what we know and challenge our bodies and minds to test the boundaries of form and action. We’re in genre-bending terrain. Performance is happening everywhere, and as a result critical questions are emerging about the future of live work. What is the measurement of discipline and energy that is necessary for our work? How do we measure value in the midst of economic ruin? We have to keep pushing with and against these questions to keep going and keep making it happen.

Listen up! We’re talking about aesthetic polyamory. We present dance, sound, writing, visual art, installation and video as autonomous forms with tendencies toward intermingling. Not just intermingling, but gettin’ up in it. Not just gettin’ up in it, but going hog wild. Push it. Real. Good.

All PUSH IT updates will be posted at:

Questions for the curatorial team? Contact them at [email protected]

In the depths of the MR Festival Spring 2012 curatorial scramble lies a long rant dated 1:52am, February 3rd, 2012

“remember when we talked about the punk movement and the fuck you attitude? i think “push it” is exactly what the punk movement was. Not, “fuck you, we don’t care what you think” but “fuck you, we care so much it hurts.” i feel like as we close in on a festival setting (and hopefully it’s west park) i’d like to think of the festival as a festival, as a carnival, not just have events that are a big dance party, but the whole festival being a party. a way for the community to come together to celebrate what is unique. what is laborious, what is valued, what is performance. talks and discussions and performances are great but what i would love to think about is returning to the notion of a playground. low low key, low low tech, a breeding ground of ideas. chewed up and spit out. ground up and grassroots. a place where we can drink cheap beer/wine, feel inspired, entertained, overwhelmed. heckle and be heckled. feel accosted and held up.
we don’t really have a playground these days, a place where we experiment, where we fail, where we laugh, where we fall and bleed and dust off the sand and keep on running – away, from, with, towards each other, still laughing.
this, of course, i think, lives in the idea that we have one central venue, an immersive environment, riddled with ringleaders, community organizers”

We want to bring this to publication – PUSH: THE ZINE – a central venue where any and all of you submit your own thoughts, rants, questions, and research about/surrounding/pertaining to performance, to art, to value, to body, to devotion, to labor.

PUSH: THE ZINE, in the tradition, will be photocopied, stapled, laid out on the table, splayed in front of you for your consumption. Unedited and unadorned.

Come to the festival, grab a copy, see some stuff, do some stuff, leave, and definitely come again.

[email protected]

Festival Events

Tuesday, May 29
Notebook Exhibition and Opening Reception
6-7:30PM, FREE
A diverse collection of notebooks, pages, epistles from the processes and reflections of choreographers, dancers and performers across a spectrum of approaches and forms. Join us for drinks and a viewing of the installation. Performance Event: Miguel Gutierrez, Katy Pyle, and Bridget Everett & the Tender Moments

8PM, $5
Miguel Gutierrez, Superhump

photo: Miguel Gutierrez by Miguel Gutierrez

Superhump is a new, momentary piece by Miguel Gutierrez which has been performed a thousand times. Superhump is a celebration of the end of ideas and a post-conceptual world. Superhump says “It’s raining, might as well smoke.”

Katy Pyle, The Firebird

The Firebird is a re-imagining of Stravinsky and Fokine’s original ballet as a Ballez–a queered theatrical with non-heteronormative characters and partnering. A lesbian princess and a tranimal (part boy, part bird) encounter a dominating Sorceress and a garden of genderf***ing Princes on the road to their liberation.

Bridget Everett & the Tender Moments

Bridget Everett is a singing tour de force known for her funny yet gut-wrenching, outrageous and unpredictable performance work. She and her band, The Tender Moments, look forward to spending an intimate evening with you. Anything can and will happen.

Wednesday, May 30

C.A. Conrad (Soma)tic Poetry Workshop
2-4PM, $10
Location: CENTRAL PARK. Meet at the entrance on W. 81st Street and Central Park West.
The aim of (Soma)tic poetry and poetics is the realization of two basic ideas: (1) Everything around us has a creative viability with the potential to spur new modes of thought and imaginative output. (2) The most vital ingredient to bringing sustainable, human changes to our world is creativity. Among other things, we will build a Human Hibernaculum, a place for our poems to THRIVE by the very community of our workshop! (Soma)tic samples can be found at this link:
Pre-register online at

Body Language (READING) followed by Yvonne Meier (PERFORMANCE)
7PM, $5 ($4 with Day Pass)

photo: Yvonne Meier by Ian Douglas
READING: Not just about the words but the body delivering them. Language as it comes to bear on what we touch, feel, need, want, do. A poetry reading of self-help, translation, scores, somatics, and letters to absent others, hits you where you need it most.
Andrew Blackley, C.A. Conrad, H.R. Hegnauer, Yvonne Meier, Eileen Myles, Kristen Prevallet
Hosted by: Jamie Townsend

PERFORMANCE: “Over the years I’ve developed this Improv. technique that I call Scores.
At this point, the scores are elaborate, excessive, amusing and impossible.” (Yvonne Meier)
Performance Event: stillness-action-sweat-effort
10PM, $5 ($4 with Day Pass)
A performance experiment where the duet is charged with the exploration of stillness, action, sweat and effort. Participants are chosen based on their choreographic approaches and aesthetic differences that touch these categories. Performances can be rehearsed, improvised, score-driven or otherwise. The collaboration can be collective, competitive, a battle, a fusion, or indeterminate.
PARTICIPANTS: Aretha Aoki, devynn emory, Niall Jones, Jennifer Monson

Thursday, May 31st

photo: Chris Forsyth by Maria Dumlao
Sound and Music: Listening Beneath the Surface, a Music Workshop with Chris Forsyth
3-5PM, $10
This workshop will investigate ways of listening to both environmental sound and organized sound (a.k.a music) via demonstration, participation, and investigating our surroundings (including taking a subway ride). How does sound define space? How does our conventional understanding of music affect our perception of sound in general? What are we listening for when we open our ears? The aim of the workshop is to cultivate a greater understanding of and sensitivity to the power of activated listening – getting past the surface noise and into the underlying content that we often ignore both in our day-to-day lives, and in our general consumption of music for pleasure.
Pre-register online at

Real. Good. Music. A concert. In the sanctuary.
7PM, $5 ($4 with Day Pass)
Chris Forsyth, Tatsuya Nakatani, Mike Pride & Mick Barr, Jesske Hume & Ryan Ferreira

Mixed Tape
10PM, $5 ($4 with Day Pass)
Curated by niv Acosta
Six performers hijack, change, distort or magnify a performance with “that ubiquitous deus ex machina, the ironically intended pop song.” (BS)

Friday, June 1st: Formal Friday

DRESS yourself up. GET SCHOOLED by the Dean of Sex Research. Come to the church on FORMal FRIDAY in your finest attire and celebrate your bad self. Go to the DANCE. Pose for all the PHOTOS. You know you want it.

Let’s talk about sex
6-7:30PM, $5 ($4 with Day Pass)
Choreographers, erotica writers, and performance artists talk about doin’ it in the 21st Century.
PARTICIPANTS: Diana Cage, Aimee Herman, John Jasperse, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Antonio Ramos, Lucy Sexton
Moderated by Jillian Peña, Dean of the School of Sex Research at Movement Research and Erin Markey, Assistant Dean

Performance Event: Anna Azrieli, Neal Beasley, Justin Cabrillos, Carmine Covelli, Jesske Hume
8PM, $5 ($4 with Day Pass)
Anna Azrieli , Skirt Scrum
Ideas about manners and society, Jane Austen and Jane Eyre. But when it comes down to it there is a big hoop skirt, a space, and a body finely flailing.

Neal Beasley, kommun: a stud-ee
Descriptions of everyday life frame an everyday body – an “everyman” body – looking at the poetics of the banal and for the release of fantasies desperately humming beneath the tasks of daily life. Another dance, another body, and a dream of an “other” place. The ordering and reordering of language and movement seeks to reveal or invite something larger than the artist’s stale ideas of what is possible or appropriate.

Justin Cabrillos: Troupe
Troupe explores the relationship between the American showman P.T. Barnum and a host of animals and people he put on display including Jumbo the elephant, the Feejee Mermaid, and the “Swedish Nightingale.” The movement, voice, and text integrate selections of his autobiography and the language of disciplinary techniques for children. Inspired by Barnum’s own mingling of different performance forms, this interdisciplinary solo brings together elements of the forms he popularized.

Jesske Hume
“A man and a woman
Are one.
A man and a woman and a blackbird
Are one.”
-excerpt from
Thirteen Ways of Looking at A Blackbird, by Wallace Stevens
A dance to alter perceptions of the body, space, and time through both movement and stillness. Seeking limitations in order to push past them, the dancer is present and lives both in her body and in the space around it.

Carmine Covelli: American Tantrums
American Tantrums is a series of short installation art pieces. This marks the debut of Part 1 and will feature a small cast of un-recognizable faces simulating barely recognizable modern day tasks.

Tei Blow will be taking portraits:
“El Dorado”
El Dorado: ( is a series of portraits of fortune-seekers from around the world, shot with an 8×10 camera. Tonight, Photographer Tei Blow collects a hundred more wayfaring strangers in modern day silver halide negatives.

Saturday, June 2nd

Central Park Sensory Walk
Led by Jennifer Monson

Location: CENTRAL PARK. Meet at the entrance on W. 81 St. & Central Park West.

Child Support!
Location: CENTRAL PARK. Meet at the Diana Ross Playground, W. 81 St. & Central Park West.
Hosted by Anna Sperber
A kid friendly hang-out pot-luck picnic. An opportunity for play between parents and non-parents alike! Bring snacks, games, blankets as well as questions and experiences of parenting in New York City. A space for dialogue and sharing resources.

3-6pm: Participate!, 6pm: Formal Presentation from The Bureau for the Future of Choreography
This Studies Project is a project initiated by the Bureau for the Future of Choreography to map out a history of contemporary dance and choreography since Judson Church. Taking inspiration from the first director of MoMA, Alfred Barr’s infamous Flowchart of Modernism and various responses to his gesture, what might a flowchart for the past fifty years of experimental dance look like? Participants will be invited to create their own flowchart for the collection of the BFC, followed by a presentation by the Bureau at 6pm.

Performance Event: Tarek Halaby, Dynasty Handbag, and Adrienne Truscott
8PM, $5
Tarek Halaby: Performing for the first time
Tarek Halaby is based in Brussels, Belgium. He has entered into a phase of generating new material. Working without the aim to produce a specific piece or performance, he has set up a series titled “Performing for the first time’ which, in essence, is an experiment on how to produce work and a practice in performing. Anything from movement, to songs, texts, photographs and drawings are used as material and/or to generate material for each performance.

Dynasty Handbag, Sounds Affectionate
Dynasty Handbag tells a dismal story through spastic mime inversion and inaccurate sound collage.

Adrienne Truscott, I Don’t Mean to Brag
Adrienne Truscott’s One-Lady Rape about Comedy starring Her Pussy and little else. (a werk-in-progress).

Ryan Heffington’s SWEATY SUNDAYS with Heather Lang. Followed with jams by JAMS
10PM, $5
Sweaty Sundays is an open level, feel good dance class for people of all ages, shapes and dance backgrounds that began in LA and is crossing the country for all you beautiful people. Costumes are encouraged. Class is followed immediately by a short, wild, intense, probably fatal 90’s Dance Party.

Sunday, June 3

Ridin’ Dirty Wrap Up Party
Meet at the Grand Army Plaza entrance to Prospect Park
Grab your gears, join the MR Rough Riders Rebecca Wender, Barbara Bryan, and Ian Douglas, and pedal down to Jacob Riis beach for the PUSH IT Wrap Up Party. Transportation and location information will be available on the website for non-riders. BYO helmet, for real, and Bon Voyage.

Site-specific performances and installations on view throughout the Festival by Megan Byrne, Alan and Michael Fleming, R.E.H Gordon, Katya Grokhovsky, Kennis Hawkins, Aki Sasamoto, Mariana Valencia

Critical Correspondence: Lydia Bell, Elizabeth Feidelson, Tara Sheena, Lindsey Drury (guest artist), and others take turns recording dialogue on Festival events each day.


All events are held at The Center at West Park (except where otherwise noted)
165 W. 86th St. (West Park Presbyterian Church, corner of Amsterdam Ave.)

1 train to 86th
B, C trains to 86th
All events are $5, except where it says FREE(!).

Classes and Workshops range from $5-10, as listed above.
You can also purchase an $8 DAY PASS, available on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
The Day Pass gives you admission to all events on that day, excluding workshops.

Share This Post

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.

Related Articles

%d bloggers like this: