Author: Philip Gates

In Performance: Jack Ferver, Everything is Imaginable (American Realness)

Everything Is ImaginableJack FerverAmerican Realness at New York Live ArtsJanuary 7-12, 2019 What makes a young gay boy, perceiving himself to be different, feel safe or whole? Who gives him inspiration, or permission, to be something he wants to be? In the first half of Everything Is Imaginable, Jack Ferver gives us a fantasia parade of such figures. One by one, his soloists—James Whiteside, Lloy...

In Performance: Joseph Keckler, Train With No Midnight (Prototype Festival)

Train With No Midnight Joseph Keckler Prototype Festival at HERE January 5-13, 2019 Do you remember the 2012 apocalypse? Joseph Keckler, silhouetted against a stuttering cloud of fog, begins his dark, off-kilter, hauntingly gorgeous cabaret by posing this question to the assembled audience. I don’t remember, of course, and nor does anyone else, because it didn’t happen. What I mostly remember is t...

In Performance: SOFTLAMP.autonomies (American Realness)

SOFTLAMP.autonomies Ellen Furey and Malik Nashad Sharpe American Realness at University Settlement January 7-10, 2019 As the dancers Ellen Furey (based in Montreal) and Malik Nashad Sharpe (a New Yorker based in the UK) began yet another iteration of a looped unison sequence—which had already been and would continue to be repeated beyond anything close to an expected duration—I found myself thinki...

In Performance: Meg Stuart/Damaged Goods, Until Our Hearts Stop

UNTIL OUR HEARTS STOP Meg Stuart/Damaged Goods NYU Skirball Center May 4 & 5, 2018 When a disgruntled spectator walked out of the theater forty-five minutes into Saturday night’s performance, he took the time before exiting to announce to the room “how embarrassing and disgusting” the work was. The two performers onstage instantly stopped their activity (a playful, inquisitive exploration of e...

In Performance: Simone Aughterlony & Jen Rosenblit (American Realness)

"This is a kind of (dis)assembly, a kind of cohabitation, and a kind of care. This, too, fits in the room."

In Performance: Electric Lucifer (The Kitchen)

Electric Lucifer Jim Findlay and Philip White The Kitchen January 9-13 A scene of creation and curiosity launches Electric Lucifer, but this particular scene is not found anywhere in Genesis or Milton. No, this scene comes from a much more recent source: none other than “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” In a projected video clip, we see Fred Rogers making a visit to the studio of Bruce Haack, the ele...

In Performance: Variations on Themes from Lost and Found (American Realness)

Variations on Themes from Lost and Found: Scenes from a Life and other works by John Bernd Ishmael Houston-Jones and Miguel Gutierrez with Nick Hallett and Jennifer Monson presented by Danspace Project, Gibney Dance & American Realness 2018 January 9-13 A mysterious crash reverberated through the sanctuary of St. Mark’s Church, interrupting co-directors Ishmael Houston-Jones and Miguel Gutierr...

In Performance: Rudi van der Merwe, Trophée (Tanz im August)

Trophée Rudi van der Merwe Tanz im August, Vierfelderhof August 19-20 The performance space (in this case, a field at the outer edges of the Berlin city limits) becomes a site to be conquered in Rudi van der Merwe’s outdoor Trophée. At one end of the field stands a white picket fence, the audience gathered a short distance behind it. From the faraway trees at the other end of the field, three figu...

10 Socially Engaged Art Practitioners to Know: 9. Ping Chong + Company

Ping Chong + Company Ping Chong + Company produces theatrical works addressing the important cultural and civic issues of our times, striving to reach the widest audiences with the greatest level of artistic innovation and social integrity. The company was founded in 1975 by leading theatrical innovator Ping Chong with a mission to create works of theater and art that explore the intersections of ...

10 Socially Engaged Art Practitioners to Know: 7. Paul Chan

Paul Chan Paul Chan was born in 1973 in Hong Kong and was raised in Omaha, Nebraska. He received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1996 and an MFA from Bard College in 2002. From the outset of his career, Chan has worked simultaneously as political activist and artist, known for such varied practices as his animated film projections and his invented fonts. The artist’s...

10 Socially Engaged Art Practitioners to Know: 8. Sojourn Theatre

Sojourn Theatre Sojourn Theatre, founded in 1999, is an award-winning ensemble theatre company comprised of 15 artists who live in 8 cities and make performance together around the nation. National/international touring, a body of 25 works, and a reputation for consistent innovation as artists and engagement practitioners has led to: a 2005 Ford Foundation/Americans for the Arts Exemplar Award; be...

10 Socially Engaged Art Practitioners to Know: 6. Pedro Reyes

Pedro Reyes Pedro Reyes was born in Mexico City in 1972. He designs ongoing projects that propose playful solutions to social problems. From turning guns into musical instruments, to hosting a People’s United Nations to address pressing concerns, to offering ecologically-friendly grasshopper burgers from a food cart, Reyes transforms existing problems into ideas for a better world. In the artist’s...