ilvs strauss (Seattle, WA): Doin it Right
Photo by Tim Summers.
ilvs strauss brings her critically-acclaimed theatrical wit and imagination to a work investigating text based movement (Dance Narrative) in depth. Playing with layers of TEXT/SUBTEXT/ SUPERTEXT, she explores forgiveness, loss, and the sometimes complex meaning of the said vs unsaid with help from four dancers and Daft Punk’s Doin it Right.
ilvs strauss is an analytical chemist turned multi-disciplinary performance artist and theater tech living and making work in Seattle. Her art ranges from Dance Narrative performance to anamorphic outdoor sculptures, illustrated storytelling (aka Slide Shows) to haiku poetry. As Technical Director / Lighting Designer she has worked for Pat Graney, KT Neihoff, Salt Horse, and Cherdonna, and is currently the TD at Velocity Dance Center. She also teaches workshops on writing, movement and performance. Her solo piece, Manifesto (last seen at Risk/Reward Festival 2014), now an evening length show), was listed in Dance Magazine’s BEST of 2014 list.
Five dancers (ilvs included) are in matching pedestrian outfits: grey shirts, black pants, sneakers. A Voice Over narration (ilvs’s voice) plays throughout the piece – this is the TEXT. The dynamics of the performers onstage dance-interacting with each other and with the VO serve as the SUBTEXT – highly scored, improv-based movement. The movement is derived and inspired by words, with partiality paid to subtlety, facial expressions, and repetition. The final layer, the SUPERTEXT, is set unison choreography to Daft Punk’s Doin it Right that plays repeatedly and intermittently throughout the piece. In addition to Daft Punk, there is an instrumental sound scape of looped clips from songs off of PJ Harvey’s album Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea. As it stands, the story is about loss, sunshine, and saying goodbye.
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SNKR (Portland, OR)
Against a backdrop of architectural video and location sound, Rauer moves, taps and interacts with microphones and found objects. Sitting onstage, Nehil treats the live sound and triggers samples of scratchy LPs. Actions are mirrored between past and present, sounding in remote sites and the space of the stage.
Seth Nehil is a composer, video artist and performance-maker. His distinctive sound pieces feature manipulated acoustic recordings, voice and granular synthesis in unlikely combinations. He has created original scores and sound designs for dance and theater productions, has directed large-scale performance pieces and has released over 15 albums of experimental music on international labels. Seth currently teaches sound and video at the Pacific NW College of Art, among other schools.
Kelly Rauer merges video and movement studies to form large-scale, multi-channel video installations where the body serves as the main subject, object and device. Intimacy and proximity are guiding principles that shape the way she approaches, frames, deconstructs and reconstructs an experience of the body. These video installations are highly planned and choreographed experiences, typically designed to immerse the viewer in uncommon perspectives of the body and its movement not possible in a live performance context or in our day-to-day social interactions.
SNKR is the duo of sound/video artist Seth Nehil with video/movement artist Kelly Rauer. In performance, they bring together video, sound and movement; Dance is a form of sound-making, and making sound is a way of interacting with places. We sent impulses into schoolyards and rail yards, we created feedback inside Portland’s oldest building, and we explored angles inside a semi-abandoned Soviet-era grain mill in Southern Estonia. In performance, we layer action on action and sound on sound. Kelly is swinging and coiling microphone cables, dragging and rubbing the mics, exploring the simple sounds of paper, wood and metal. She reflects and contrasts with her former self, which is multiplied on the large screen at the back of the stage. A raking light focuses her concentrated body-listening in front of the projected image. Seth is watching, changing and adding in the moment, twisting knobs and triggering digital sounds. SNKR finds an intersection of movement as sound-making and sound-making as movement.
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Vanessa Goodman/Action at a Distance (Vancouver, BC): Container
Photo by David Cooper.
Leonard Cohen wrote that “there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” When everything else has been taken from a person, is that light that keeps us human something as simple as a memory of our past?
Vanessa Goodman is a Vancouver-based dance artist who is Artistic Director of Action at a Distance Dance Society, is Co-Artistic Director of The Contingency Plan dance collective and is an artistic associate with Small Stage. She received her early training in Toronto from Canadian Children’s Dance Theatre, PBJ Dance Projects and Etobicoke School for the Arts. Vanessa holds a BFA from Simon Fraser University and continues her training locally and abroad, including intensives with the Batsheva Dance Company in Israel and the Hofesh Schechter Company in England. Vanessa was the recipient of the 2013 Iris Garland Emerging Choreographer Award from the Scotiabank Dance Centre.
Photo by Ben Didier.
In a broad sense the title of this solo is a reference to the body as the container of identity and the cultural past it inherits. Most cultures throughout history have experienced life on either side of oppression at some point, and that collective history informs a muddy fabric of guilt and victimhood that exists as part of the human condition. Beyond this, there is also a more literal meaning which can be clearly discerned through the movement where the container represents an actual lack of freedom. How the mind and body copes with incarceration, especially in unjust cases, is fascinating to examine. What parts of ones self can be retained under these circumstances?
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Anthony Hudson / Carla Rossi (Portland, OR): Looking for Tiger Lily
Photo by Gia Goodrich
LOOKING FOR TIGER LILY utilizes song, drag, and video to put a queer spin on ancestral, traditional storytelling; what it means for a mixed-race person to grow up seeing their heritage filtered through white normative media.
ANTHONY HUDSON is a multidisciplinary artist, performer, and filmmaker. He lives in Portland, OR among lush greenery, sprawling gentrification, and a not-mutually-exclusive fear of bridges and earthquakes. Anthony is perhaps best known as Portland’s premier drag clown CARLA ROSSI, an immortal trickster whose attempts at realness almost always result in fantastic failure. Career highlights include Pepper Pepper’s Critical Mascara for TBA (PICA), the Cascade AIDS Project Art Auction, Seattle PrideFest, and Conduit Dance’s DANCE+ Festival, and hosting alongside Coco Peru, Peaches Christ, Jinkx Monsoon, Bianca Del Rio, and more. Anthony & Carla host and program their LGBTQ film series QUEER HORROR bimonthly at the historic Hollywood Theatre, and they recently received their second RACC Artist Focus project grant for the full-length version of LOOKING FOR TIGER LILY, premiering in Fall 2016.
Carla Rossi, Portland’s premier drag clown and (in her words) “ghost of white privilege,” confronts white supremacy and the confusion of “mixed” identities – of living in-between, particularly sexually and racially. LOOKING FOR TIGER LILY forces Carla (but also Anthony) to trace personal and ancestral lines to work through and recreate childhood memories, namely watching Tiger Lily’s “Ugg-A-Wugg” song from Mary Martin’s Peter Pan. While this is technically a “one-woman-ish” show, a large element of the show – the storytelling – comes through with the use of video and slides, inspired by the Power Points Anthony’s father used to give as a Grand Ronde Tribal social worker. His father’s workshops for State social workers taught the importance of the Indian Child Welfare Act and the lived realities of assimilation and intergenerational trauma, and included typical “dad jokes,” pictures of the Chemawa Indian School where he grew up, and his family history within the Tribe.
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Tim Smith-Stewart (Seattle, WA) – Awaiting Oblivion or How to be ok when everything is not ok—Temporary Solutions for navigating the dystopian future we find ourselves within at present.
WEEKEND 2: An anonymous street artist, AO, has contacted Tim Smith-Stewart and tasked him with creating a performance as a way to share their “Temporary Solutions.” Tim and a team of artists carry out assigned performance scores, read letters, and project live feed video of relics, documentations, and messages sent by AO.
Tim Smith-Stewart is a Seattle based interdisciplinary artist. He utilizes text as his primary medium for creating performances and installations. This past summer Tim created BIG TREES STIR MEMORIES LIVE WATER HEALS THEM, an audio and visual installation at the LoFi Arts Festival at Smoke Farm. In February 2014, Tim showcased THE MAILROOM, an installation created in collaboration with Charlie Spitzack at the Art Shanty Project in St. Paul, Minnesota (2014). His work has also been seen at The Seattle Center Next50, On the Boards NorthWest New Works Festival, LoFi Arts Festival at Smoke Farm, Velocity Dance Center Big Bang, and Seattle Fringe Festival.
Anonymous AO uses street art, secret messages and performance scores as a radical means for survival as they combat disaffection with oppressive systems, suicidal ideation, and on overall hopelessness. AO’s secret identity is a means to protect the magical world of momentary poetic ruptures that they have constructed. Tim becomes a conduit to share that expression while maintaining AO’s anonymity. Awaiting Oblivion is a continued collaboration between Tim Smith-Stewart and Jeffrey Azevedo, occupying a thinly veiled line between “real time” and “fictional time.” While AO is constructing street art anonymously across the city, Tim presents a fiction in the theatrical space based on AO’s temporary solutions and correspondence.
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Katie Piatt (Portland, OR) – Springfield Today (LIVE)
WEEKEND 2: Get ready to don a wig and/or costume, and be interviewed as the audience becomes the interviewees in recent PNCA grad Katie Piatt’s exploration of her hometown in Springfield Today.
Katie Piatt is an artist living, playing dress-up, and telling jokes in Portland, Oregon. She explores the ideas of gender, body, sizeism, and identity with her extensive background in soft sculpture and sewing, as well as in her newer participatory performance and storytelling practice. Through the art of spoken word, improvisation, body language and costume, she collects the stories of participants while challenging the effects of growing up a fat girl in the conservative Ozark hills of Missouri. She received a BFA in Painting from Missouri State University in 2012, and an MFA in Visual Studies from the Pacific Northwest College of Art in 2015. Her recent mischief includes crashing last year’s Whitney Biennial as an aged characterization of Little Orphan Annie and doing stand-up in Canada dressed as an old woman named Martha. http://katiepiatt.com/
All the stories created in Springfield Today are based on true local color, traditions, and memories from Katie’s hometown in Missouri. The group fiction that occurs is a magical, one-time-only part of the show. Even the theme-song is created from an interview! Everything you see happening will not happen again. This show will make you laugh if you’re from the Midwest, have ever traveled through there, or know any of the major stereotypes about Midwesterners.
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Dani Tirrell (Seattle, WA) – The Beautiful
WEEKEND 2: This dance/theatre work, created and choreographed by Seattle dance artist Dani Tirrell, is centered on Dani’s relationship with America/Seattle and his identity as a gay black man. He summarizes it as: semi-patriotic, gender non-conforming Butch Queen, some heels, some Drag, and a little bit of Thug Realness.
Detroit native Dani Tirrell is a dancer, performer, choreographer and dance educator. Most recently Dani’s work has been seen at the Seattle International Festival of Dance (Seattle), Black Choreographers Festival (San Francisco), Poetry + Motion (Seattle), On the Boards: 12 Minutes Max (Seattle), Global Dance Party (Seattle), Gay City Arts: Up Close Personal and Young Tanz Sommer (Austria).
In 2012 he was awarded a grant through The Central District Forum of Arts and Ideas creation Project. Dani is currently on staff and Northwest Tap Connection and The Beacon. He has choreographed for Broadway Bound Children’s Theater (Seattle), Brown Box Theater (Seattle) and Repertory Theatre of Hope (Detroit). Dani is the founder and Artistic Director of Dani Tirrell Dance Theater/Color Lines Dance Ensemble. He currently teaches Modern, House and Vogue throughout the Seattle area.
The Beautiful will examine the question: “What is freedom if you are gay, black, living in America and raised in the Detroit area?” Using Vogue and House dance as a base, along with contemporary modern movement, the concepts of sexuality and the human condition are explored against a backdrop of Detroit and the automotive industry. The sound score will consist of reworking American patriotic songs interwoven with House music. In this work, Dani finds himself asking:
Who were these songs were created for?
Does these songs mean the same today as when they were first written?
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Jessica Jobaris + general magic (Seattle, WA) –
A Great Hunger
WEEKEND 2: brings Seattle choreographer Jessica Jobaris and her company, general magic. With “A Great Hunger,” they bring us a Shangri-La supper table offering the intelligence of dolphins, the promise of God, superficial intimacy, Humpty Dumpty, and blurry faces binge eating on Nietzsche. A repast dedicated to the secret world of loneliness, and the incessant work of staying perpendicular.
Curiosity of the expressive body brings Jessica Jobaris to study, perform, teach and choreograph in Seattle, NYC, and the EU. She has been awarded residencies/commissions throughout the U.S., creating 25+ dance works. Jessica performed with Seattle all-stars Lingo dance theater, Scott/Powell Performance, Maureen Whiting Co., Salthorse, Carr Dance Media (NYC), Theater directors George Lewis and John Paulsen. While living abroad, she worked in Berlin for German MTV, Kristin Berger, Felix Ruckert, Jess Curtis/Maria Scaroni, & visual artist Eloise de Hauteclocque. She currently performs for Mark Haim Dance & Theater, having had the privilege of opening the ArtDan Festival in Paris, and forJoyce Theatre’s Focus Dance showcase in NYC.
Opening: a very long clean barren table. Performers enter and begin with a seance; to see if they are truly alone. Layers of stillness, hyper-physical choreography and “name” soliloquies, using Tennyson’s method for transcending the self (repeating his own name to lose his “ego”). Performers fluctuate in failure and attainment of physical contact/intimacy with each other inside projected landscapes: nauseating oceans, screaming roller coasters, blurry faced car drives, and starring Humpty Dumpty as the Fool. Unsentimental in nature, this performance is also a study in creating and annihilating loneliness thru performance; how to not be so lonely in being lonely, by being lonely together. Mostly, a comedy.
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Faith Helma (Portland, OR) – I HATE POSITIVE THINKING
WEEKEND 1: Faith Helma’s newest solo work, I HATE POSITIVE THINKING, is a performance in which the new-age psychology of positive thinking is ripped apart, and alternatives attempt to be articulated using charts, songs, semi-coherent rants and experiments with the audience. This show will be a departure from previous works that Helma has created with Portland’s Hand2Mouth Theatre, and from her last solo work, Undine, created in 2009.
Faith Helma is a performance artist and singer/songwriter who has worked with Hand2Mouth for fifteen years, creating and performing in Repeat After Me (2007), Everyone Who Looks Like You (2010) and Something’s Got Ahold of My Heart (2013) among others. She also created the one-woman music-theatre performance Undine (2008), which toured to Seattle, New York and San Francisco. She currently works with people one on one and in groups as a Creative Guide, and if you’d like to book a session you can go to her website: faithhelma.com/workwithme.
I HATE POSITIVE THINKING is inspired by Faith Helma’s aversion to positive thinking on the one hand, and her fascination with life-coaching, hypnosis, and the power of the unconscious mind on the other. It’s also inspired by the curveball of giving birth to her son, and how the tools of creativity and performance helped her survive. By using these tools, Helma will help other people harness their own creative power to dissolve blocks and solve life problems. Specifically the performance will include:
• Semi-coherent rants from about how much “I hate positive thinking”
• Guided exercises and experiments with the audience (for instance, testing one of the main facets of positive thinking by seeing if we can manifest something over the course of the performance)
• Simple songs I have written, like “I’m Awkward, I’m Alive” and “You Can’t Control the Universe, You Can’t Control Your Mind”
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