USA)

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: Angela Goh, Desert Body Creep (COIL)

Desert Body Creep Angela Goh COIL, Performance Space New York January 16-17 Desert Body Creep, choreographed and performed by Angela Goh with sound operation by Matt Cornell, is something of a post-anthropocene hallucination. As Goh literally moves through choreographies, sounds, and objects, the mundane becomes uncanny. Goh’s body turns until it becomes an object, which then comes back to life, becomes the earth, and regenerates itself. It’s a methodical yet dizzying evolution involving a giant gummy worm, a mint-hued crushed velvet tube, and shrinkwrap, underscored in cinematic turns by shredding guitar solos, pop music, and Goh’s own voice in haunting choral overtones. The result is a capitvating, unaffected disorientation posing questions of objectification inside the environment and t...

In Performance: Gordon/Artman/Fish, Acquanetta (PROTOTYPE)

Upon entering the auditorium in the Gelsey Kirkland Arts Center, the audience is met with a larger-than-life projection screen. Its big size makes a big impact--as does its light color amidst the rest of the stage, which seems shallow and dark. But there are hidden depths to that stage and they surprise throughout Acquanetta, an opera inspired by a 1940s actress of the same name who kept much of herself hidden, too.

In Performance: Chapman/Sirna-Frest, Welcome to the Gun Show (Exponential Festival)

Welcome to the Gun Show: a Chekhovian Song Cycle Julia Sirna-Frest/Shane Chapman/Patrick Vassel Exponential Festival, Slipper Room January 14-15 Composers Julia Sirna-Frest and Shane Chapman lit up the Slipper Room in Welcome to the Gun Show, an hour-long set of original songs with lyrics exclusively from Chekhov’s writings. Before diving in, Sirna-Frest explained the concept behind the set and invited the packed crowd to “sit back and enjoy the melancholy.” Melancholy was certainly to be had, with most of the many-membered band dressed in mourning-for-my-life black, playing songs focused on unrequited love, getting old, and wanting to go to Moscow. But a whole lot of fun was to be had, too. Sirna-Frest provided vodka and sno balls between songs, and listening to the songs themselves becam...

In Performance: Neal Medlyn, I HEART PINA (American Realness)

I <3 PINA Neal Medlyn American Realness, Abrons Arts Center January 11-16 “I feel weird about Pina Bausch and I feel weird about dance and I feel weird about romance and I feel weird about being a fan. I’m mainly interested in two things from Pina Bausch’s work: fandom and romance.” So starts the program note to Neal Medlyn’s I <3 PINA, words that are also projected during the performance. Behind almost the entirety of the performance is a constant, slow scroll of words, a fascinating wealth of context to Medlyn’s latest creation. Much of Medlyn’s work has dealt with celebrity, and I <3 PINA, focusing on the legendary dancer, of course does, too. As Medlyn writes, it certainly deals with fandom and romance, but to put it another way, it also deals with legacy and deep loneliness, ...

In Performance: Ikechukwu Ufomadu, Ike’s Wonderful World of Leisure (Exponential Festival)

Ike’s Wonderful World of Leisure Ikechukwu Ufomadu Exponential Festival, Vital Joint January 12-13, 2018 Comic entertainer Ikechukwu Ufomadu breaks all the rules in his one-man lecture performance, Ike’s Wonderful World of Leisure. All the rules for giving effective presentations, that is. He moves through his presentation at a slow pace; he walks in front of the projector so that the presentation slides often end up projected on his body; and perhaps most egregious of all, he reads every single word that he’s put on his slides. Yet the show could not be a more thoroughly enjoyable leisure experience. Ike establishes the leisurely pace from the very start, as he shuffles in and says hello to individual audience members he happens to see, with an openness that makes it easy to e...

In Performance: Michelle Ellsworth, The Rehearsal Artist (American Realness Festival)

The Rehearsal Artist Michelle Ellsworth American Realness, The Invisible Dog Jan 9 – 11, 2017 Michelle Ellsworth’s Rehearsal Artist is a 35-minute experience for less than a dozen people at a time. There are clear directions at the beginning of the experience. Everything else that follows is utterly surprising, unnerving, and profoundly revealing. Describing this work any further would be a disservice to the elusive universe Ellsworth has created. Instead, I offer some of my personal thoughts and questions coming out of the piece. Sitting in the audience I found myself obsessing over other people being able to see me. I wondered why the performers never looked scared. I found myself steeped in my own complicity. I had to admit that I labor consistently without ever asking why. My lac...

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 Gutierrez as they stood up to introduce the performance. The two artists looked up to the balcony for the source of the sound. “John’s here,” said Gutierrez with a sly smile. John Bernd was a vital member of the New York downtown dance community in the 1980’s, creating work until his death from AIDS complications in 1988. Conceived by Houston-Jones, who danced in Bernd’s work (as did Jennifer Monson, who...

Opportunities: Call for Submissions: Highways Performance Space & Gallery (CA, USA) Deadline – 01/28/2018

Call for Submissions: Highways Performance Space & Gallery (Highways Performance Space & Gallery, Santa Monica, CA USA) July-December 2018 Deadline: 01/28/2018 Online Application: Fee to Apply: Free Description Of Opportunity: Highways seeks performance and visual works by emerging and established Los Angeles-area based artists for presentation in its JULY – DECEMBER 2018 Calendar. Both evening-length and short form works are being accepted. How To Apply: Please send, with “July – December 2018 Submission” in the Subject heading, a description of the work, your bio, preferred period of presentation and any relevant video and image support material (as attachments and/or links) to: submissions@highwaysperformance.org. Contact Email: patrick@highwaysperformanc...

In Performance: Motus, Panorama (Under the Radar)

Motus's Panorama begins with a video of an individual trying to answer the daunting question - “Who are you?” The same person arrives on stage and continues her line of thinking live. Her body and her mediated image are both present as she attempts to describe who she is. A second person enters and does the same, a third, a forth, and so on. The game-like ritual unfolds and quickly the audience begins to understand some of the rules. The performer is to enter, sit in a chair centerstage and repeat what they said at the audition. As this continues, the game bends and flexes. The performers start to share each other’s stories. There are people in the room whose assumed identities don’t match with the words coming out of their mouths. There are recordings of people who never arrive in the roo...

In Performance: Christina Pitter, Decolonizing My Vagina (The Exponential Festival)

Decolonizing My Vagina Christina Pitter The Exponential Festival, JACK Jan 8-29, 2017 Decolonizing My Vagina is a 75-minute show written and performed by The Ashe Collective’s Christina Pitter and directed by Jordana De La Cruz. At the top of the show, Pitter asks the audience, “Where does freedom live in your body?” She then makes her intentions clear: this performance is a ritual for her to unpack her own desires. Pitter centers her experience as a person of color and locates her attraction to white people as a site to investigate, reconcile, and heal. Through story, song, and movement Pitter chronicles many experiences with past white lovers and partners. The audience learns about a man she loved and his wife, the woman she knew she only had a couple months with, and many other people w...

In Performance: Deepali Gupta, Over(Reverberating) (The Exponential Festival)

Over(Reverberating) is a live-performance of selected songs from Deepali Gupta’s 2017 album of the same name. Between each song, Deepali shares snippets of stories inviting the audience into a recent break-up and the resulting manic episode that inspired and fueled the album. Each song is a stark and haunting plunge into Deepali’s psyche with just her voice and no instrumental support. Deepali uses rhyme and repetition to understand herself. Her lyrics seem to result from associative word games that pull the audience in for a brisk hour-long experience.