Smith/Wymore Disappearing Acts to Present NUMBER ZERO (A SPACE OPERA) at CounterPULSE, 6/20-22
Smith/Wymore Disappearing Acts is proud to announce the world premiere of Number Zero (a space opera), a highly physical, semi-improvised dance-theater adventure about a near future shaped by excessive computer control. Created by Sheldon B. Smith, Lisa Wymore and Ian Heisters, in collaboration with James Graham and Pei-Ling Kao, Number Zero runs June 20 - 22, 2014 at CounterPULSE in San Francisco.
Following the enormous success of his collaboration with Scott Wells on Father On last fall, Smith returns to the artistic partnership he and Wymore have shared for more than a decade. Recognized for its witty choreography and visual design, the award-winning husband-and-wife team has performed for audiences throughout the U.S. and Europe.
Number Zero is both a game and an experiment in real-time computer augmented performance. A semi-improvised performance about a semi-intelligent computer system, Number Zero threatens to evolve into a "space opera," that familiar sci-fi narrative about a defective computer which takes control of a band of humans.
Set in a near future world that is only marginally different from our own, Number Zero continuously reconstructs itself anew, searching in vain for the perfect balance between human contentment and computer power. The performers find themselves trapped in a kind of limbo where the only hope is to win over the "heart" of the machine by successfully completing bizarre games of mental, physical and spiritual endurance. The work is comical, bleak and completely unpredictable. No two performances will be alike.
In the spirit of Merce Cunningham's chance operations, Number Zero unfolds according to the sequence of commands issuing from the operating system; but unlike Cunningham's modernist example, the chance elements in Number Zero happen in real time, preventing the performers from memorizing a sequence in advance.
"We've created a set of circumstances in Number Zero in which the performers are asked, in a certain sense, to 'survive' the moment-by-moment unpredictability of a work that is continuously shaped by what appears to be an intelligent and authoritarian power," says Smith.
"Number Zero is a piece about the future," adds Wymore, "but it's also about where we are now in our relationship with technology and how we want to evolve with our machines."
Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door, and may be purchased online at CounterPULSE.org or by calling 415-626-2060.
ABOUT SMITH/WYMORE DISAPPEARING ACTS Smith/Wymore Disappearing Acts is a dance-theater company founded in 2001 by co-artistic directors Sheldon B. Smith and Lisa Wymore. Their work places the inherent beauty of the body in motion, both choreographed and improvised, in a deeply conceptual and human-centered environment that is supported and enhanced by technology. Smith and Wymore's research has taken them from studio to stage by way of virtual and real locations on city street corners, desert landscapes, kitchens, canyons and science labs in search of timeless stories of passion, fear, longing, violence, humor and joy. From these investigations Disappearing Acts creates abstract narratives built on a foundation of physical experimentation, improvisation, text, song and digital image. The result is a new aesthetic that is at once oddly familiar and beautifully odd. Their work has won numerous awards including Best Interdisciplinary Performance and Best Use of Technology at Chicago's PAC/Edge Festival 2004. They were nominated for Sexiest show at the 2005 Dublin Fringe Festival and were nominated for two 2006 Isadora Duncan awards for Best Choreography and Best Design. In 2006 their work was seen in San Francisco, Minneapolis, Zurich as well as several small towns in County Donegal, Ireland. In 2007, their son Will was born. He has taken up a lot of their time.