690 SOUTH: THE SHACKLETON PROJECT Set for Capitol Center for the Arts May 2, Concord
A young puppet theater company called The Phantom Limb has teamed with the renowned Kronos Quartet to produce an historical reenactment of the harrowing 1914 trans-Antarctic expedition by Earnest Shackleton and 27 staunch souls. The result is 690 South: The Shackleton Project, a marionette performance that takes viewers on an artful, emotional journey. It will be presented free of charge at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 2, at Concord NH's Capitol Center for the Arts.
The show, described as a series of "tableau vivants" or living pictures, melds theatrical performance, puppetry, photography and film with original contemporary music. Its aim is to bring the unknown Antarctica to an audience.
In 1914, Shackleton and his party of 27 men set out to be the first team of explorers to cross Antarctica. After their ship, The Endurance, became frozen and was eventually crushed by the ice and sunk, they embarked on a traumatic two-year journey of survival in the harshest climate on Earth. Ancient and universal themes – including the price of knowledge, the inevitability of adversity and struggle, and ultimately the power of endurance and camaraderie – provide emotional ballast with reinterpretations that resonate in hearts and minds today.
Also embedded is the idea of the French tableau vivants in which a group of costumed actors (or in this case puppets) are artfully arranged as in a painting. The approach combines the art forms of the stage with those of painting and photography. Tableau vivants were especially popular forms of entertainment before radio, film and television.
Grindstaff is an installation artist, painter and set designer whose work ranges from tiny Victorian taxidermy music boxes to wax and chalk paintings to 15-foot-tall puppets built out of barn lumber.
Sanko is a lifelong musician having played with The Lounge Lizards, John Cale, Yoko Ono and his own band Skeleton Key. Additionally he was a closet puppet-maker making marionettes for art collectors.
Sanko's association with Kronos began in 2007, when he was asked to write a composition. Since then, the world-renowned Kronos Quartet recordings have become part of the production.
The string quartet's compositions have ranged from rock, jazz and world music since its inception in 1973. Their work is virtually unparalleled in its dedication to innovation and range of expression.
Tickets for this free Gile Series Performance are available now by calling 603-225-1111, online at www.ccanh.com, and at the box office on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Reserve your seat today.