American Realness 2017

In Performance: Jen Rosenblit, Clap Hands (American Realness 2017)

CLAP HANDS Jen Rosenblit Jan 6-10, 2017 Abrons Arts Center, Experimental Theater Metal bleachers line the walls of the Abrons Experimental Theater at the top of Clap Hands, the latest movement-text mashup from creator Jen Rosenblit. With only a breath of separation between audience and performers, and bathed in designer Elliott Jenetopulos’s diffuse white light, the room is part theater, part gym, part research laboratory. Four performers enter the space and meet our gazes, taking in our presence with little affect or expectation; costumes suggest a boxer (Rosenblit), a fencer (Effie Bowen), a squash player (Admanda Kobilka), and a stage technician (Alexia Welch, aptly credited for “supportive performance”), but any associations with sports are swiftly de-centered by Rosenblit’s fractured ...

In Performance: Trajal Harrell, Twenty Looks…(S) (American Realness)

American Realness Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at The Judson Church (S) Trajal Harrell (USA) Abrons Arts Center, Playhouse 466 Grand St January 6-10 The stage of the Abrons Playhouse has been transformed into a runway, a black strip running down the center of a white rectangle. There is an informal but buzzy vibe as the sold-out audience climbs the stairs onto the stage and takes its place on three sides of the runway. Are we attending a fashion show, a social event, an artistic performance? The space begins to articulate the intentions of Trajal Harrell’s solo, a remounting of the first work in his Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at The Judson Church series. Further guidance is provided by a leaflet that Harrell himself hands out at the beginning of the performance, which lists the t...

In Performance: Karol Tyminski, This Is A Musical (American Realness)

American Realness This is a musical Karol Tyminski (Poland) Abrons Arts Center, Underground Theater 466 Grand St January 6-10 Karol Tyminski’s searing This is a musical offers up the queer body as a site of pleasure, trauma, and defiance. Tyminski begins by eliciting a variety of sounds from his body, slamming his back, legs, and hands against the floor to produce an array of thuds, slaps, and violent exhalations. Soon he employs a microphone and a sampler to amplify and loop these noises, the manipulation of his body providing an ever-building electronic score. This manipulation becomes increasingly sensual: at one point he drops his shorts, pulls up his shirt, and rubs the microphone slowly up and down the length of his body. And the sensuality becomes increasingly provocative, inviting ...

In Performance: Ligia Lewis – Minor Matter (American Realness 2017)

Ligia Lewis – Minor Matter (US Premier) Sunday, January 8, 5pm – SOLD OUT* Monday, January 9, 7pm – SOLD OUT* Tuesday, January 10, 4pm – SOLD OUT* Abrons Arts Center, Experimental Theater 466 Grand Street, Manhattan Minor Matter is uncomfortable. Rage in the black body is a polarizing subject in black culture. It’s as personal as a secret. Minor Matter explores the various ways black rage manifests and how it effects the community at large. Choreographer/Performer Ligia Lewis and her collaborators Jonathan Gonazalez and Hector Thami Manekehla fuse anger with everything from the mundane to the intimate. Their movement is athletic and powerful. Sometimes you can’t tell if the performers are loving or fighting. Humor feels like a slap. The show uses a limited pallet in evoca...

In Performance: AmeriSHOWZ, Circle of Champions 2017 (American Realness)

American Realness Circle of Champions 2017 AmeriSHOWZ (NYC) Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center 280 Broadway Jan 6 – 8pm Jan 7 – 8pm Jan 8 – 8pm AmeriSHOWZ, the brainchild of choreographer Alex Rodabaugh, advertises itself as “one of the world’s largest direct performance selling businesses.” If you’re confused as to what exactly this might mean, don’t worry: the AmeriSHOWZ team is here to explain it to you. Clad in professional black outfits, Rodabaugh and dancers Ashley Handel, John Hoobyar and Lily Bo Shapiro step out in front of the audience, welcoming us enthusiastically to this training session. AmeriSHOWZ, we learn from these earnest representatives, allows you to buy tickets to a variety of performances (advertised “brands” include Meg Stuart, Miguel Gutierrez, and Tra...

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