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Download The Contemporary Performance Almanac 2020

We have launched the 6th annual edition of the Contemporary Performance Almanac. We hope that this Almanac—as an extension of the Network—can aid discovery, spark curiosity, and facilitate exchange.  The Contemporary Performance Network is a social network and community organizing platform providing artists, presenters, scholars and festivals a space to meet, share work, and collaborate. The term contemporary performance is used to describe hybrid performance works and artists that travel between the fields of experimental theatre & dance, video art, visual art, music composition and performance art without adhering to one specific field’s practice. The Network was founded in 2010 and has grown to 7600 artists, presenters, curators, foundations, scholars and publishers from 85 countrie...

SLC Performance Lab Podcast Ep. 01.04 with Kamala Sankaram

Produced by ContemporaryPerformance.com and the Sarah Lawrence College MFA Theatre Program, the SLC Performance Lab interviews visiting artists to the MFA Theatre Program’s Grad Lab, one of the core classes of the program where grads work with guest artists and develop group generated performance pieces monthly.Our Fourth episode features composer and singer Kamala Sankaram

SLC Performance Lab Podcast Ep. 01.03 with Tom Lee

Produced by ContemporaryPerformance.com and the Sarah Lawrence College MFA Theatre Program SLC Performance Lab interviews visiting artists to the MFA Theatre Program’s Grad Lab, one of the core classes of the program where grads work with guest artists and develop group generated performance pieces monthly.Our second episode features Puppeteer, Designer, and Teacher, Tom Lee

Special Effects Festival NYC Jan 9 & 10, 2020

Special Effects Festival January 09-10, 2020@ Wild Project, 195 E 3rd St, New York, NY This year’s edition of Special Effects Festival asks…How do we combine difference?How do we assemble coalition?and what is the power of togetherness. Artist driven and oriented, Special Effects gathers experimental performance works by practitioners exploring contemporary issues. Drawing on a network of over 8K artists who are part of contemporaryperformance.com, the festival samples the diversity and richness of the discipline of performance and presents an open forum for critical thinking on the issues of the day. Special Effects Festival (SFX) was founded in 2014 by Caden Manson and Jemma Nelson, artistic directors of Big Art Group and editors at Contemporary Performance Network. Our missio...

ImPulsTanz – Vienna International Dance Festival 2019 (11 July to 11 August)

ImPulsTanz FestivalVienna, Austria11 July – 11 August 2019More Information – https://www.impulstanz.com/en/festivalinfo/ Founded in 1984, ImPulsTanz has developed into one of the largest festivals of contemporary dance and performance worldwide. Each summer, thousands of dancers, choreographers and artists from all over the world come together in Vienna, work together for five weeks and celebrate contemporary dance. ImPulsTanz – that’s performances, workshops, research projects, and the soçial programme. Contemporary dance establishment meets the trendsetting productions of tomorrow, which have found their place at the festival‘s [8:tension] Young Choreographers’ Series. Every year, ImPulsTanz workshops welcome thousands of participants, beginners, and profess...

Summer Contemporary Performance Reading List

Summer is a great time to catch up on reading and we love to share what we are into at the moment. Some of these books are older so you have probably read them. What books are we missing? Post them to the comments below. Contemporary Performance Books(Links go to Amazon. Also, check your local library too. Many of these are in circulation. If you can buy these, please do and support your local book store and more importantly, our field’s tireless writers who are putting these books out into the world!) Postdramatic Theatre(If you haven’t read…) This is a link to a free PDF. Black Performance on the Outskirts of the Left: A History of the Impossible  (Also in Representation and Authenticity in Performance Section) Great resource on performance of race and gender by a member of My...

In Performance: Lola Arias, Minefield (Out There Festival)

MinefieldLola AriasWalker Art Center Minefield gathers veterans of both sides of a war. However, it may as well be two different wars, as we come to learn that people from the two countries involved hold wildly different view on everything from the name of the conflict to the reason for fighting to the reception of the homecoming troops. Lola Arias has brought together a cast of six veterans of the Falklands War (aka the Malvinas War aka Guerra del Atlántico Sur), three from the UK side, three from the Argentinian side. The piece is as much about the veterans’ process of coming together to make Minefield as it is about the war itself. These foes have turned friends. Of course it’s not easy to reconcile one’s experience with the enemy to the reality of a single human who is an artistic peer...

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, Lloyd Knight, Garen Scribner, and Reid Bartelme, dancers coming from different performance traditions—take the stage, each presenting their childhood idol as a kind of character sketch: the emotive diva (Judy Garland), the elegant pioneer (Martha Graham), the charismatic athlete (Brian Boitano), and the fabulous beast (yes, that would be My Little Pony). In this sequence, the dancers’ virtuosity is a ...

In Performance: p r i s m (Prototype)

p r i s m Composed by Ellen Reid Libretto by Roxie Perkins Directed by James Darrah Music Directed by Julian Wachner Prototype, La MaMa January 6-12, 2019 CW: Sexual assault, rape, PTSD p r i s m is an opera about trauma. It is an exploration of coping, of recounting – of learning how to heal, how to find language again. We begin in a white, cut out square of a room. Our two characters lie asleep in bed dressed in long white gowns that speak of an imaginary mental hospital. Two walls are cut away to allow us into the cramped and intimate world of mother and daughter, psychological abuser and abused. Lumee at first seems to be taking care of her daughter Bibi – and Lumee is the one keeping her locked in this small room – but we quickly move into a ripping vocal exchange as Lumee blames, caj...

In Performance: Juliana F. May, Folk Incest (American Realness)

Folk Incest Juliana F. May American Realness, Abrons Arts Center January 9-12, 2019 A single row of chairs lines the four walls of Abrons’ intimate G05 studio, all of them seemingly meant for the audience. Until Molly Poerstel enters from the hallway, takes an open seat, and, lit by a spotlight, struggles to speak. She has some pages in her hand, presumably a script she’s trying to say, but she just can’t get her mouth to form the words. She tries, over and over, for a remarkably long time, changing pitch and speed and tone, and eventually it becomes clear that she’s trying to say, “I hate when people talk about irony like that.” She struggles through a few more sentences until the lighting opens up to include four other women in the space with her. What...

In Performance: Sarah Kane/Philip Venables, 4.48 Psychosis (Prototype)

4.48 Psychosis Sarah Kane/Philip Venables Prototype, Baruch Performing Arts Center January 5-12, 2019 Sarah Kane’s classic 4.48 Psychosis takes a stirring, operatic turn in Philip Venables’ adaptation, currently playing at the PROTOTYPE festival after a sold-out run at the Royal Opera House in London. The opera uses a variety of inventive means to bring Kane’s words about death to life, with a mix of sung, spoken, slurred, and projected text. The accompanying music, performed by the ensemble Contemporaneous that is situated hauntingly above the stage, intensifies the anger and pain of the play. In a series of especially effective exchanges, the dialogue between the central, suicidal figure (played by Gweneth-Ann Rand) and her psychiatrist (played by Lucy Schaufer) are not spoken at all. In...

In Performance: Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble, The Art of Luv (Part 6): Awesome Grotto! (American Realness)

The Art of Luv (Part 6): Awesome Grotto! Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble American Realness, Abrons Arts Center January 4-5, 2019 To step into Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble’s The Art of Luv (Part 6): Awesome Grotto! is to step into a different atmosphere. A soothing aural landscape merges with a striking visual one of an extremely large moon-like surface that takes up the entire height of Abrons’ Experimental Theater. The lights are dim and performers dressed in long white tunics are at a calm attention. Soon they speak quietly to the audience, asking if anyone would like to come down from their riser seats and onto the stage floor, which is covered in grass, for some special sounds. The many willing audience members descend and lie down, and the performers take them through a kind of meditat...