Artist Profile: Marcus Youssef and James Long

Marcus Youssef and James Long – Winners and Losers

Marcus and Jamie are two of Vancouver’s most prominent theatre makers. We are incredibly excited to help bring them to Portland!

It seems like I’ve known these two forever as they are some of the most welcoming hosts for my annual pilgrimage to the PuSh Festival in Vancouver, BC.

My first encounter with either of these artists was in 2010, seeing Clark and I Somewhere in Connecticut by Theatre Replacement featuring James Long in a full body bunny suit. It was a fascinating piece about creating art with found objects (in this case a discarded photo album) and the way we project stories onto images. Since then we’ve shared many conversations and cocktails leading to this current moment. There are so many collaborators in this piece, it’s a veritable “who’s who” of Canadian theatre!

PERFORMANCE SYNOPSIS

Winners and Losers is a staged conversation that embraces the ruthless logic of capitalism, and tests its impact on our closest personal relationships as well as our most intimate experiences of self.

Theatre artists and long-time friends Marcus Youssef and James Long sit at a table and play a game they made up, called winners and losers. In it, they name people, places or things — Tom Cruise, microwave ovens, their fathers, rainforests, druids, etc. — and debate whether these things are winners or losers. As each seeks to defeat the other, the debate becomes highly personal, as they dissect each other’s individual, familial and class histories. And because one of these men is the product of economic privilege, and the other not, the competition very quickly begins to cost.

READ: “Virtuoso wordplay gives way to nasty verbal sparring in this tour de force” Paula Citron, Globe and Mail. May 23, 2013.

READ: “Winners and Losers Hits the Bullseye”Village Voice

READ: “Now Playing: Winners and Losers”. The New Yorker.

READ/VIEW: “Friendship Frays, a Topic at a Time” Charles Isherswood, The New York Times. February 1, 2015.

READ: “Winners and Losers is one of the best shows of the season” Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight. November 26, 2012.

WATCH OUR VIDEO TRAILER FOR WINNERS AND LOSERS

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BIOS

THEATRE REPLACEMENT

Theatre Replacement is an ongoing collaboration between James Long and Maiko Bae Yamamoto. Whether working together or apart, we use extended processes to create performances from intentionally simple beginnings. Our work is about a genuine attempt to coexist. Conversations, interviews and arguments collide with Yamamoto and Long’s aesthetics resulting in theatrical experiences that are authentic, immediate and hopeful. www.theatrereplacement.org

NEWORLD THEATRE

Neworld Theatre creates, produces, and tours new plays and performance events. We tell stories that are as complicated and contradictory as the enormously small country we live in. Historically, our work is rooted in an experience of ethnic and cultural diversity. While diversity remains a core value, our programming now asks a broader range of questions about political responsibility, identity, and difference. We ask artists and audiences to embrace work which challenges assumptions about the nature of theatre and its function in the world www.neworldtheatre.com

MARCUS YOUSSEF (writer/performer)

Marcus’ plays include Winners and Losers, Leftovers, Jabber, How Has My Love Affected You?, Ali & Ali and the aXes of Evil, Everyone, Adrift, Peter Panties, Chloe’s
Choice and A Line in the Sand. They have been performed dozens of times at theaters and festivals across North America, Australia and Europe, including: the Dublin Theatre Festival, Soho Rep, Festival Trans Ameriques, PuSh Festival (four times), Noorderzon (Netherlands), Ca Foscari (Venice), Brno Festival (Czech), Aarhus Festival (Denmark), On the Boards (Seattle) the Magnetic North Festival (five times), and many others. Marcus’ essays, journalism and fiction have appeared in Vancouver Magazine, the Vancouver Sun, Grain, This Magazine, the Georgia Straight, The Tyee, and many programs on CBC Radio and TV.

Awards and nominations include: Governor General’s, Rio-Tinto Alcan Performing Arts, Chalmer’s Canadian Play, Seattle Times Footlight, Arts Club Silver Commission, and Vancouver Critics’ Choice (three times). Marcus is Artistic Director of Vancouver’s Neworld Theatre, sits on the city’s Arts and Culture Policy Council, and co-founded the East Vancouver production hub, PL1422. He has served on the faculties of Concordia and Capilano Universities, teaches widely, and is currently a Canadian Fellow to the International Society of Performing Arts. neworldtheatre.com, @marcusyoussef, marcusyoussef.com

JAMES LONG (writer/performer)

James Long has been making theatre since 1995 and currently artistic directs Theatre Replacement with Maiko Bae Yamamoto. The company’s work has been presented in 40 cities and venues across North America and Europe and includes Clark and I Somewhere in Connecticut, Sexual Practices of the Japanese, BIOBOXES: Artifacting Human Experience, WeeTube, Dress me up in your love, The Greatest Cities in the World, Winners and Losers and Kate Bowie among others. Upcoming works with TR include Town Criers and Three Lectures on the North. As a freelance artist he has worked as a director, writer and actor with Rumble Productions, Neworld, urban ink, Leaky Heaven Circus (now Fight with a Stick), The Only Animal, The Chop Theatre, CBC radio and The Electric Company, among others. Recent favorite freelance work includes: Morko and its upcoming partner piece Loch – both site oriented performances created with visual artist and animator Cindy Mochizuki; How To Disappear Completely created for the Chop Theatre with lighting designer Itai Erdal: and, with Neworld, a new incarnation of the King Arthur story as told by Niall McNeil and Marcus Youssef. In addition to creating new work, James has taught performance and methods of creation to established artists across Canada and to students at The University of British Columbia, The University of Regina, Simon Fraser University, Studio 58 and Seattle’s Cornish College of the Arts. He is a graduate of SFU’s School of Contemporary Arts.

CHRIS ABRAHAM

Chris Abraham has been the Artistic Director of Crow’s Theatre since 2007. At Crow’s, he has directed numerous productions including Eternal Hydra, I,Claudia, Boxhead, The Country, and Instructions to any future socialist government wishing to abolish christmas. Chris is a multi-award winning theatre and film director, dramaturg and teacher who has worked with Canada’s foremost artists and theatres, including the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Canadian Stage Company, Tarragon Theatre, Segal Centre, Centaur Theatre, Globe Theatre, Theatre Junction, among many others. In 2000, he co-founded and was the Co-Artistic Director of Bill Glassco’s Montreal Young Company. In 2003, Chris directed the film adaptation of Kristen Thomson’s award winning hit I,Claudia for which he won a Gemini award. The film was also named one of 2004′s top ten Canadian films by the Toronto International Film Festival.

A graduate of the National Theatre School’s directing program, Chris later served as Co-Director of the school’s renowned directing program (2006-2010). Chris was the recipient of the John Hirsch and Ken MacDougall awards and the Siminovitch award for Directing in 2013, as well as the Siminovitch protege award in the award’s inaugural year. Chris has directed the highly lauded Stratford Shakespeare Festival productions of For The Pleasure of Seeing Her Again, The Little Years, The Matchmaker, Othello in 2013 and returns in 2014 to direct A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Chris lives in Toronto with his wife, actor Liisa Repo-Martell, their daughter Hazel and son Leo.

 

THEATRE REPLACEMENT WEBSITE

NEWORLD THEATRE WEBSITE

GET A COPY OF A WINNERS AND LOSERS SCRIPT

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Artist Profile: Cherdonna Shinatra

Cherdonna Shinatra – Worth My Salt

5 -live - dying swan - by Jenny May Peterson

We’re thrilled to welcome Cherdonna Shinatra back to Portland!

Cherdonna burst into the Risk/Reward hall of fame at our 2010 Festival of New Performance with Lou Henry Hoover and The Cherdonna and Lou Show. The duo brought down the house with the wildly entertaining IT’S A SALON! and our audiences have been clamoring for more ever since. Cherdonna occupies a unique space between contemporary dance, drag, clown, and performance art – just the type of uncategorizable goodness that Risk/Reward stands for. We can’t wait to reconnect Portland with Cherdonna and her full-length debut, WORTH MY SALT.

BIO

JODY KUEHNER is a Seattle-based dance artist, director, and drag queen CHERDONNA SHINATRA. Cherdonna takes what you recognize about dance, what you believe about drag, what intrigues you about improvisation and what delights you about entertainment, effortlessly tosses it in a mason jar, shakes it up, and opens the lid. Cherdonna exists between dimensions and quantum shifts in time through everyday objects and emotions. While she provides a brightly decorated avenue to explore and question what is “normal”, she remains a child, innocent of rancor. Cherdonna is aggressively sweet. She is always seeking (even while struggling), what is beautiful and shiny. She lives for the light. The subtext is the made-up surface belying what exists beneath and the commentary of truth beyond what’s advertised.

She is a 2015 Stranger Genius Award winner, Velocity Dance Center’s 2014 Artist in Residence, and 2010 Spotlight Award winner. Her choreography has been presented by every major contemporary dance venue in Seattle. Jody received a National Dance Project Production Grant for a new work that will premiere in Seattle 2016/17 seasons at On the Boards and Velocity Dance Center and will tour the US. Jody has worked with Dayna Hanson as Production Coordinator and Assistant Director for various projects. She has been a company member of Mark Haim and Pat Graney since 2008 also assisting Graney’s KTF Prison Project in 2007.  As Cherdonna, she currently performs regularly with drag-queen superstar BenDeLaCreme (RuPaul’s Drag Race); and the award-winning international sensations Kitten LaRue and Lou Henry Hoover.  Kuehner teaches Professional Contemporary Dance at Velocity, has taught at summer intensives Strictly Seattle and Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation.  She is Resident Choreographer for the LGBTQ youth choir Diverse Harmony, and has developed a Drag You workshop which she has taught nationally for movers of all backgrounds and abilities.

PERFORMANCE SYNOPSIS

A one-of-a-kind dance/theater spectacular by Seattle’s incomparable drag-clown phenomenon. Drawing on Carl Sagan’s series Cosmos and female icons Kate Bush and Diane Keaton– Worth My Salt looks at the timely theme of gender inequity through the lens of an existential crisis. How do we prove our worth? How do we feel worthy? Cherdonna’s unique vision brings together dance and drag with clowning’s ability to tug on heartstrings, cabaret’s warm intimacy, and performances’ ability to shatter taboos to make sharp social commentary.

WATCH OUR VIDEO TRAILER FOR WORTH MY SALT

ARTIST WEBSITE

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VIDEO VAULT: WATCH CHERDONNA AND LOU’S IT’S A SALON!

READ: The Inexplicable, Fascinating Cherdonna Shinatra, the Drag Queen Who’s Not a Drag Queen.” Christopher Frizzelle, The Stranger. September 10, 2014.

READ: A Fiendish Conversation with Jody Kuehner (Cherdonna Shinatra)”. Seth Sommerfeld, Seattle Met. October 13, 2014. 

READ/VIEW: Cherdonna Was Not Photoshopped Falling into That Swimming Pool—She Really Fell In!” Kelly O, The Stranger Slog. September 11, 2014.

READ: The Perverse, Psychedelic Vulnerability of Cherdonna Shinatra”. Brendan Kiley, The Stranger. October 22, 2014

READ: ‘Do You Think This is Easy for Me’ asks Cherdonna Shinatra”. Melody Datz Hansen, Seattle Dances. October 22, 2014

Artist Profile: Suniti Dernovsek

Suniti Dernovsek – Leading Light

Suniti 2 - by Meghann Gilligan

The world premiere of Leading Light is coming soon!

Suniti first collaborated with Risk/Reward in the 2009 Risk/Reward Festival under the moniker Hot Little Hands with a piece called Always Merry and Bright, which was an excerpt of a larger work titled Ill-Starred. Two years later, she brought an excerpt of Palace of Crystal to the 2011 Risk/Reward Festival. She’s one of our all-time favorite local choreographers and we can’t wait to experience this new work with powerhouse collaborators like Allie Hankins and Holland Andrews!

BIO

Suniti Dernovsek is a choreographer, performer and movement educator. For several years she collaborated with visual artist David Stein to make work under the name, bobbevy. Together they created 19 shorter works and six evening-length shows: This is how we disappear (2013); Palace of Crystal (2011); ill-starred (2009); Lawn of the Limp(2008); Avian Fable (2007); and Marionette (2004). Suniti received her BFA in dance from UWM in 2003, where she had the opportunity to work with many talented choreographers including Zvi Gotheiner, Janet Lily, Heidi Latsky, Simone Ferro and Long Zhao. While in the Midwest, she was a company member of both Foothold Dance Performance and Wild Space Dance Company. She has performed with Oslund+Co, Fever Theater and Teeth. She has been presented by PICA’s TBA festival, Conduit Dance, Reed College Arts Week, Danceworks, Velocity Dance Center, Northwest New Works at On the Boards, Danspace, Ten Tiny Dances’ South Waterfront Project, Foothold Dance Performance, Starling Gallery, the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and Danspace in NYC representing UWM and she has received two residencies at Caldera Arts. Suniti received a grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2015 as well as the Dance New Work Award from UWM in 2009. Suniti teaches weekly yoga classes and retreats through The People’s Yoga in NE Portland.   

PERFORMANCE SYNOPSIS

In her latest work, Portland-based dance maker Suniti Dernovsek stages a hypnotic performance that marries intricate choreographic detail with an original sound score performed live by Holland Andrews. Initially inspired by the tragic life of the Italian-Egyptian singer Dalida, Leading Light offers a haunting meditation on the troubled boundary between public expectations and private vulnerabilities. Powerhouse performances by Allie Hankins and Dernovsek evoke the precariousness of the feminine ideal, at once dynamic and posturing, yet casting an ever-present shadow of fragility.

ABOUT DALIDA

Iolanda Cristina Gigliotti (17 January 1933 – 3 May 1987), best known as Dalida, was an Italian Egyptian singer and actress who performed and recorded in more than 10 languages, including Arabic, Italian, Greek, German, French, English, Japanese, Hebrew, Dutch and Spanish. In 1961 she acquired French citizenship upon marriage, while maintaining her original Italian one.

Dalida ranks among the six most popular singers in the world. Her sales figures today would amount to more than 170 million albums worldwide. Twice honored with “The World Oscar of success of the disc”, she is the only European singer to have won this Oscar at least once. Her 30-year career commenced in 1956 and ended with her last album in 1986, a few months before her death. She received 70 gold records and was the first singer to receive a diamond disc.

Despite enormous career success, Dalida’s private life was marred by a series of failed relationships and personal problems. Her death led to an iconic image as a tragic diva and renowned singer and she has since become a cult figure to a new generation of fans.

WATCH A VIDEO TRAILER FOR LEADING LIGHT

ARTIST WEBSITE

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READ MORE ABOUT DALIDA

 

SOURCES:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalida

Artist Profile: Frédérick Gravel

ON DEMAND: Frédérick Gravel – Usually Beauty Fails

Deux couples 300CR

Portland, get ready for Frédérick Gravel!

I was lucky to catch Usually Beauty Fails at the PuSh Festival in Vancouver, B.C. in late January. I had heard rave reviews and some skepticism when the piece toured to Seattle at On the Boards the week prior (where the film we are screening was captured). I was in awe of many parts of this piece – the raw energy of the performers, the incredible live music, the casual humor in Gravel’s addresses to the crowd, and the incredible intimacy that traveled back 30 rows to where I was sitting. Hopefully we will see Gravel’s work live on our stages soon, but until then I’m excited to be able to bring this film version of Usually Beauty Fails to Portland!

BIO

Frédérick Gravel is a dancer, choreographer, guitarist, singer, and lighting designer whose work is presented not only in underground performance spaces in Montreal and New York, but at scholarly symposia as well. Gravel cultivates artistic ambiguity, cultural meeting points, the mixing of disciplines, and post-modern irony. He plays with the contemporary zeitgeist; flippant and skeptical. He is complicit with the audience, thumbing his nose at the avant-garde; at the exclusive preserves of the elite. In lucid, offhand fashion, he takes popular culture and establishment culture out of their assigned roles and brings them together.

PERFORMANCE SYNOPSIS

Socio animalus. Three musicians plugged into the power grid, six dancers ready to explode, the energy of Pop to intensify the beat, the energy of desire to set things ablaze. Quebec’s Frédérick Gravel ignites bodies and blows up the stage in Usually Beauty Fails, a surrealist and unbridled metaphor about our relation to beauty, the shock of love and the challenges of relationships. The performers’ combination of physical restraint and furious involvement produces a nervous dialog made of projected bodies, ruptures, false starts, repetitions and aborted gestures. No more gender-related clichés, all individualities are asserted: desiring and desired beings make use of symbols and their own bodies to better arouse the audience. The choreographer-dancer-musician grabs the microphone to distil with humor and impertinence a speech about dance and humans as social animals. An audacious integration of popular culture and choreographic art; an invigorating and carnal work that posits conflict as art and elevates reality’s imperfections to the rank of most efficient aesthetic.

Once more bringing together dancers and musicians in a space where choreographic show and concert are interwoven, Quebec’s Frédérick Gravel plays with the codes of contemporary dance and pop culture to question their respective canons. Built upon a series of short scenes in the manner of Gravel Works (which itself preceded Tout se pète la gueule, chérie), the work goes by like the songs of a sweet and savoury album about the fury of life, our unease at experiencing beauty and the difficulty in finding harmonious contact points in relationships.

Inspired by the aesthetic of videos where the desire to please is so strong that they become quasi-pornographic, the choreographer exacerbates frontality and tackles the game of seduction in group movements where dancers are as vulnerable as provocative. It is difficult for the public to remain indifferent to this silent appeal. But from one sequence to the next, the atmosphere transforms itself, we are plunged into another universe : guitarist, dancer and sometimes also singer, Gravel grabs the microphone in between two songs, like an irreverent M.C., and takes a few jabs at contemporary dance clichés as he breaks the fourth wall.

In the sections where the duo embodies the paradox of relationships that the body calls for but that the mind refuses, he refines his aesthetic of the accident, using physical constraints to generate conflicts that in turn produce movement. Combining choreographed and reflex gestures, the dancing results from a succession of frictions, accidents and failures that reveal the nature of beings endowed with wild vitality and unstoppable perseverance despite their repeated setbacks. No exuberance, no lyricism, no crisis nor any other theatrical construction. The movements are raw. The hips and the eyes carry the strong emotional and sexual charge. Dancing bodies in the instant of instinct. Animality and candor of the human beings stripped of his or her masks and judgment filters.

As a choreographic entity integral to the show, the live music sets the tone and gives a color and a direction, or on the contrary, appears to break an image, sweeps through a scene like a tidal wave. Perfectly integrated to the mise-en-scene, the bodies of the musicians bring us back to the reality of the show’s space-time, offering the spectator a perspective on the fiction created through the abstraction of the dance.

Like all previous works by Frédérick Gravel, Usually Beauty Fails was created in close collaboration with all members, dancers and musicians of GAG : the Grouped’ArtGravelArtGroup. (Text: Fabienne Cabado / Translation : Michel Moussette)

WATCH OUR VIDEO TRAILER FOR USUALLY BEAUTY FAILS

WATCH AN INTERVIEW WITH FRÉDÉRICK GRAVEL ABOUT USUALLY BEAUTY FAILS

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READ A REVIEW OF USUALLY BEAUTY FAILS BY VANGUARD SEATTLE

Artist Profile: Allie Hankins

Allie Hankins – Like a Sun That Pours Forth Light but Never Warmth

allie-ancient-lakes-007

Allie Hankins’ full-length debut is on the way!

Allie’s first performance in Portland was at the 2011 Risk/Reward Festival. She choreographed and performed a piece titled By Guess & By God under the moniker Part & Parcel with fellow dancer Mary Margaret Moore. Since then, she has become one of the most most talked about artists in PDX. We can’t wait to behold Like a Sun That Pours Forth Light but Never Warmth after several years of development!

BIO

Allie Hankins is a choreographer, performer, and researcher currently residing in Portland and Seattle. She is an inaugural member of FLOCK — a new dance center that serves as a creative home to Portland’s experimental dance artists — and a founding member of Physical Education: a casual/critical reading & research/dance & performance body comprised of herself, keyon gaskin, Taka Yamamoto, and Lucy Lee Yim. In Portland Allie works/collaborates with choreographer Tahni Holt, composer Jordan Dykstra, Noor, and Zac Pennington (Parenthetical Girls/Crying). Her work has been presented at On the Boards’ Northwest New Works Festival and Velocity Dance Center in Seattle, Conduit Dance and Studio 2 in Portland, the Robert Rauschenberg 19th St. Project Space in New York, and various venues in Minneapolis, Albuquerque, Vienna, and Berlin.   

PERFORMANCE SYNOPSIS

A correspondence between choregrapher Allie Hankins and Ballet Russes danseur noble Vaslav Nijinsky.

Appropriating Nijinsky’s obsessive repetition, approach-avoidance, and sexual deviancy, Hankins constructs an amalgamation of herself and the notoriously troubled dancer. As imitation dissolves into disorientation and false memories, Hankins endures with a persistance  unique to bodies in spiritual crises—confronting isolation and desperation in the pursuit of corporeal transcendence.

Against a backdrop of lurid color and gold-bathed muscle, Hankins negotiates the impermanence of identity, and the volatility of solitary retrospection. Embodying movement’s capacity to engender lust, repugnance, confusion, and ultimately elation, Like a Sun inhabits the space between confinement and liberation, reality and fantasy, myth and man.

ABOUT VASLAV NIJINSKY

Nijinsky (1890-1950) remains, by reputation, the outstanding male dancer of at least one century, and a pathbreaking choreographer as well. Celebrated for his spectacular leaps and sensitive interpretations, Nijinsky became a soloist at the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg, in 1907, appearing in such classical ballets as Giselle, Swan Lake, and The Sleeping Beauty. In 1909 he joined Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, and the company’s choreographer Michel Fokine created Le Spectre de la rose, Petrushka, Schéhérazade, and other ballets expressly for him.Yet his life dramatically demonstrates the uncertain line dividing genius and madness. The “god of dance” spent 30 of his 61 years in the grip of infantile rages and catatonic withdrawal; neither Freud, institutionalization, sedation nor countless insulin shock-treatments could halt his increasing derangement.

WATCH A VIDEO TRAILER FOR LIKE A SUN THAT POURS FORTH LIGHT BUT NEVER WARMTH

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READ MORE ABOUT NIJINSKY

SOURCES:

http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-8184-0535-8 http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/415147/Vaslav-Nijinsky

A window into Allie Hankins’ artistic practice

Enjoy this unique view into the creative process of Like a Sun That Pours Forth Light but Never Warmth by Allie Hankins. These posts were taken from Allie’s blog http://casting-long-shadows.tumblr.com/ – follow her there for more in the future!

Scroll from bottom to top to view these in chronological order, or scroll top down to peel back through time.

With Laura in the Studio.
March 13, 2013
Photos by Matt Olson
Posted 5 months ago

GoPro Camera tests for Matt Olson.
Photo by Matt Olson.
“Yes, it’s recording.”
Posted 1 year ago

 

On the beach with Laura.

March 13, 2013

Photo by Matt Olson

Posted 1 year ago

 

 

You are traveling on a train. You are speaking on a mobile phone. The train enters a tunnel. The connection breaks up and is lost. What happens here? The conversation is abruptly curtailed; you are pained, frustrated – relieved? Whatever their nature, there will be affects. The telephone induces a defection and a crisis of the self: in telephonic communication parts of oneself, one’s consciousness and senses, are donated to the other, one gives one’s attention, one gives ear. And when the line goes down we are returned to the hic et nunc of our physical circumstances without the phatic niceties (“thanks for calling, see you soon”) that not only provide formal closure and break our communicative contract but prepare us for the psychic shock of being alone once more. But, as all who use this technology will know, in the event of disconnection, as the signal strength dies and the state of full, pristine connectivity bleeds into a rebarbative silence, a transitional sonic disfiguration occurs: the voice of the interlocutor suffers violent torsions, a garbled – oddly aquatic – strangulation. What happens here?

The Horror of Disconnection: The Auratic in Technological Malfunction, by Martin Dixon

I posted this on my other blog a while back, but it means something different to me now that I’m on an island with limited reception and countless “dropped calls.”

“Psychic shock of being alone once more.”

It’s been an incredible month. It’s been a lonely month. I can’t believe it’s been a month.

 

 

"Anatomy of Spasm"  (experiment)

“Anatomy of Spasm”

(experiment)

Posted 1 year ago

 

Photo by Matt Olson

Photo by Matt Olson

Posted 1 year ago

 

Photo by Matt Olson

Photo by Matt Olson

Posted 1 year ago

 

Photo by Matt Olson

Photo by Matt Olson

Posted 1 year ago

 

Performance day.

Performance day.

Posted 1 year ago

 

Version 2: With James.

 

And what is a month in Florida without at least one selfie on my bike riding toward the sunset with the wind in my hair? 

And what is a month in Florida without at least one selfie on my bike riding toward the sunset with the wind in my hair?

Posted 1 year ago

 

Every “dance” I make is also a novel, apparently. Thank you for understanding.  "muscle punch arms—> antennae—>retrograde elastic—>yourself disappearing QUICKLY BY FOLDING."  "MORE MISSHAPEN PEARL!!!"

Every “dance” I make is also a novel, apparently. Thank you for understanding.

“muscle punch arms—> antennae—>retrograde elastic—>yourself disappearing QUICKLY BY FOLDING.”

“MORE MISSHAPEN PEARL!!!”

Posted 1 year ago

 

Photo by Laurie Lambrecht.

Photo by Laurie Lambrecht.

Posted 1 year ago

 

Dancing in a white room is surprisingly disorienting.

Posted 1 year ago

 

Fellow artist-in-residence Matt Olson found these lights in the basement of the big studio today. Possibilities.

Fellow artist-in-residence Matt Olson found these lights in the basement of the big studio today. Possibilities.

Posted 1 year ago

Allie+Laura=Best Shirt Buddies on boating day. Photo by Laurie Lambrecht.

Allie+Laura=Best Shirt Buddies on boating day. Photo by Laurie Lambrecht.

Posted 1 year ago

 

 

 

It finally warmed up today. I’m attempting to put the new vocabulary in new containers.

 

Posted 1 year ago

 

March 8.

Today I will let go of the notion of steps and instead look at movement as a series of states. A state always suggests a particular consciousness or mindfulness hanging in the air while you are moving or even when you remain motionless. But is a state a picture or a sort of vibrating image? It brings up the question of what one is actually creating in dance, live art, or performance. Images or pictures? Motion or action? Are we choreographing transitions between images or creating motion? Maybe we interact with a chain of events happening without creating images.

This can be a physical research: throw myself into a physical situation and, wherever I end up, try to recognize the place I am in. I want to understand the physical structure of that state and try to separate it from the moment when I start to represent, when I give names to the material or sensation. Can I dissociate the moment of recognizing where I am from the representation of it? Am I a person standing or am I a person standing staring out to sea? Where am I and where is my weight? And can I be between these two things?

Maybe states are a different way of trying to understand feelings (I’m full of ‘em out here). That is, the feelings I have and how I embody them. The modern dance tradition aimed to evoke and represent emotions, whereas states seem more related to feelings or rather the concept of “felt sense” (maybe?). Feelings come and go. I cannot always name them. Sometimes many feelings are present at the same time (like today). Feelings dwell in the realm of uneasiness, anxiety, or desire—perhaps these terms are too big, but they tie states to a “felt sense,” to sensorial issues and physical existence, to sensation without addressing them immediately in a theatrical or psychological way.

I’m really lonely today.

 

 

My new friend and fellow Artist in Residence, Laura Brunellière.

My new friend and fellow Artist in Residence, Laura Brunellière.

Posted 1 year ago

 

A rare moment of lightness. Trying to remember lightness.

Posted 1 year ago

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Structure.

Structure.

Posted 1 year ago

 

Today.

Today.

Posted 1 year ago

 

Red Shoes screening at the Rauschenberg Residency, courtesy of Mimi Pond.  Dying Dancing

Red Shoes screening at the Rauschenberg Residency, courtesy of Mimi Pond.

Dying Dancing

Posted 1 year ago

 

Thankful for a familiar face and a shared vocabulary.

Thankful for a familiar face and a shared vocabulary.

Posted 1 year ago

 

And begin…

And begin…

 

I shared this video with the other residents last week. This video, and an essay called “Nijinsky’s Golden Slave” by Kevin Kopelson inspired me to begin making my solo “Like a Sun That Pours Forth LIght but Never Warmth” that I continue to work on here in Florida.

This is Jorge Donn dancing “Bolero” as choreographed by Maurice Bejart. The famous orchestral piece was commissioned by Ida Rubinstein (who danced opposite Nijinsky’s Golden Slave in the ballet “Scheherazade”) for a ballet choreographed by Nijinsky’s sister, Bronislava Nijinska in 1928.

Jorge Donn has also portrayed Nijinsky in another ballet by Bejart called “Nijinsky Clown de Dios”

So the glistening, sinewy body of this man, Jorge Donn, was a site of intersection/collision of all these historical interests of mine. And in this video we get to spy on him backstage as he prepares for this monumental task, and then we see him after he has been dancing like mad for 18 minutes, and the explosion of energy at the end—the moment when he faces extreme exhaustion and only barely escapes complete failure—makes me want to jump out of my skin.

 

 

March 2.

“Now it is inside my body that something is happening, the body is the source of movement. There is no longer the problem of place, but rather of the event. It is not I who attempts to escape from my body, it is the body that attempts to escape from itself by means of a spasm.” —Gilles Deleuze

Spasms call attention to the kinetic potentials of individual bodies—pushed into movement, caught in stillness, reverberating in between.

Spasm interrogates the visual through the kinetic, body through language, expression through emotion, performer through witness, pain through pleasure.

So, today’s work:

  • Consideration of movement as something interior
  • Immobility as a momentary pause of a tremulous choreography of isolation
  • Torquing language of the photographic to speak as choreographic proposal (Images of Nijinsky are all I have to work from)
  • Stillness vs. mobility, recognition vs. incommunicability
  • An exposure of flesh that reveals little intimacy or erotic force as it turns away from and into itself in a contraction of muscle and sinew (my back, my breasts)
  • To obscure an image the very moment you attend to it
  • Athleticism contained within the tension of a gesture
  • Choreography as an unstable site that disputes representation and signification
  • Sever choreography’s anticipated relationship to mobility and stasis and graceful expertise. Subvert a virtuosic notion of dance.

Choreography is given to the erotic: it tests out, seduces, and proposes without ever saying anything. Choreography is a corporeal passage in which the body is both a question and an inaccessible answer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the Weeks House with a Rauschenberg and Ann. Photo by Matt Olson.

At the Weeks House with a Rauschenberg and Ann.

Photo by Matt Olson.

 

 

Where I work.

Where I work.

 

 

My home for the next month.

My home for the next month.

 

 

Photo by Steven Miller

Photo by Steven Miller

 

 

Artist Profile: Kyle Loven

Kyle Loven – Loss Machine

Loss Machine Promo 4

We’re incredibly excited to welcome Kyle Loven and his team back to Portland for our first full-length presentation by a former Risk/Reward Festival artist! Kyle performed a short piece of his epic Moon Show 143 at the 2011 Festival and it premiered in his hometown of Minneapolis’ at the prestigious Guthrie Theater in late 2013.

BIO

Kyle Loven is a Seattle-based performance and visual artist. His work combines puppetry, projections, objects, sound, and other art forms with the human presence. His live performances (B, my dear Lewis, Crandal’s Bag, Loss Machine, Moon Show 143) have been seen in Amsterdam, Taipei, New York, Minneapolis, Seattle and other US cities. Kyle is the recipient of grants from the Jim Henson Foundation, 4Culture, Artist Trust, and the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs. Awards include a 2011 Spotlight Award from Seattle Magazine and the Innovation in Puppetry Award at the 2013 National Puppetry Festival. Ham Sandwich will premiere this June as a part of On the Boards’ NW New Works Festival.

PERFORMANCE SYNOPSIS

Part installation, part image-driven theater, Loss Machine unearths a world of lost items, misplaced thoughts, and fractured journeys all housed within an intricately detailed set.

In a tower filled with life’s debris, a collection of characters move through an ever-changing apparatus with their shared emotional journey driving the mechanical process forward. This intimate one-man show combines puppetry, objects, light, sound, and original music in a visual exploration of loss and discovery.

WATCH A VIDEO TRAILER FOR LOSS MACHINE

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Artist Profile: Shannon Stewart

Shannon Stewart – Come. Get. To. This.

SHANNON STEWART-3

Shannon made Portland her home for a short time in 2011-12 while working with local dance group tEEth. We also got to see her own choreography at Conduit as part of their Sea/Port series during that time. Shannon is a rigorous artist, dedicated to her craft with incredible intensity and drive. She is a frequent collaborator with many other artists in Seattle and we’re happy to finally be able to work with her for this year’s Risk/Reward Festival!

BIO

Shannon Stewart (choreographer) is a dance artist with a proclivity for the enigmatic, dark, nuanced, delicate, comedic, architectural, durational and highly physical elements of dance. She veers towards the inherently unresolvable in an attempt to make performance that feels constructed but not heady; that peels away artifice.

PERFORMANCE SYNOPSIS

Come.Get.To.This is an exploration of permeability in performing, viewing and participating.  it is an ensemble that is embedded in a solo.  It lacks production value and costumes.  It was made while thinking about community, the economy, virtuosity, and moshing.

WATCH A VIDEO WORK SAMPLE OF COME.GET.TO.THIS

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