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Queer New York International Arts Festival Sets 2015 Lineup; Runs 9/16-26

The Queer New York International Arts Festival (QNYIA) announces the lineup for the 2015 festival.

Curated and produced by Zvonimir Dobrovi (artistic director, Queer Zagreb and Perforations festivals, Croatia), QNYIA presents contemporary performance and visual art that broadens the traditional concepts of queer (in) art. The 2015 Festival will feature a diverse slate of performances by international artists September 16?26, 2015. QNYIA is presented in partnership with Abrons Arts Center, the festival hub, with additional performances in Central Park, at the Merton D. Simpson Gallery, and at Dixon Place.

The 2015 lineup includes Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens (U.S.) with two works born from their SexEcology research; EcoSex Walking Tour of Central Park, and Goodbye Gauley Mountain, a film screening; Ivo Dimchev (Bulgaria) with Facebook Theater and 15 songs from my shows; Mmakgosi Kgabi (South Africa) with Shades of a Queen, a work about the identity of an African queer child; Joshua Monten (Switzerland/U.S.) with his evening-length performance, Doggy Style, incorporating dance and sign language; Mehdi-Georges Lahlou (Morocco/France) with his performance piece Stupidité contrôleé or jump jump baby jump jump; Bruno Isakovi (Croatia) who brings his newest work, Disclosures; John Moletress (U.S.) with his solo Jarman (all this maddening beauty), inspired by filmmaker Derek Jarman; Max Steele (U.S.) with a world premiere solo cabaret reverse-engineer drag performance, The Good Daughter; Kaia Gilje and Lorene Bouboushian (U.S.) who will present their "anti-sight" duet Know What Smokes; and Michael Breslin (U.S.) with his work Kiss me just once more.

The QNYIA Festival is supported by Alphawood Foundation, City of Bern, Canton of Bern, Ministry of Culture of Croatia, Zagreb Office for Culture, Domino, and Abrons Arts Center.

For more information about the festival, visit www.queerny.org.


SCHEDULE OF PERFORMANCES/EVENTS:

Performance

Annie Sprinkle / Beth Stephens (U.S.)

EcoSex Walking Tour of Central Park

Wednesday, September 16, 3pm

Central Park (corner of 59th Street and 5th Avenue)

Tickets: $25 / abronsartscenter.org

Having coined the term SexEcology, Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens have been developing this new field of research over the course of their 12-year collaboration. They shift the metaphor of Earth as mother to that of lover, inspiring and engaging others in a more mutual relationship with nature and each other. Infusing sensual pleasure, humor, and absurdity into unlikely situations, they engage the unexpected, encouraging us to slow down the alarming speed of our lives, while promoting awareness around the current rate of ecological devastation, and to open participants up to more viable possibilities for human and non-human survival in the future.

In their EcoSex Walking Tour of Central Park the adventure begins with Ecosex Orientation. Explore 25 ways to make love to the Earth and find your "E-spot (ecosexy spot)." The show will feature a special water toast, demonstrate Ecosexercies, and climax with rubbing Manhattan's planetary clitoris. Sprinkle and Stephens shine a spot light on environmental issues. By the end of the walk "you'll likely have the 'ecosexual gaze' and you might discover that you're an ecosexual too!"

Lecture performance / Film screening

Annie Sprinkle / Beth Stephens (U.S.)

Goodbye Gauley Mountain (2014) (NYC premiere)

Co-presented with MIX NYC Festival

Wednesday, September 16, 8pm

Abrons Arts Center, Underground Theater

Tickets: $25 / abronsartscenter.org

Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story is the true tale of two San Francisco "ecosexual" artist-lovers who join forces with environmental activists in trying to stop a destructive form of mining. This David-and-Goliath struggle for survival in the coalfields is narrated through an autobiographical family visit home. The documentary injects an otherwise dire situation with sexy fun and surprising activist strategies, such as a performance art marriage to the mountains. Goodbye Gauley Mountain raises awareness about the devastation of mountain-top-removal (MTR) mining, while celebrating the Earth's ecosexual glory.

Annie Sprinkle has passionately explored sexuality for over 40 years, creating her unique brand of feminist sex films, visual art and performance, as well as writing, teaching and lecturing. A champion of sex worker rights and a pivotal player in the Sex Positive Movement, Sprinkle received her BFA from the New York School of Visual Arts, and was the first porn star to earn a Ph.D. In 2013 she received the Artist/Activist/Scholar Award from Performance Studies International at Stanford University, and was awarded the Acker Award for Excellence in the Avant Garde.

Beth Stephens is an interdisciplinary artist, activist, and a professor at U.C. Santa Cruz. For over 25 years, her visual and performance work has explored themes of the body, queerness, and feminism. Stephens has exhibited and performed in museums, galleries, and theaters across the U.S. and Europe, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Vortex in Austin, PS1 in New York City, the Museo Reina Sophia in Madrid, and the Museum Kunstpalast in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Performance

Ivo Dimchev (Bulgaria)

Facebook Theater (U.S. premiere)

Thursday, September 17, 8pm

Abrons Arts Center, Experimental Theater

Suggested donation $25 / abronsartscenter.org

After his well-received performance at last year's QNYIA Festival, Bulgarian artist Ivo Dimchev returns to the festival with his new performance, Facebook Theater. This interactive theatrical experiment has actors articulate a text simultaneously created by a Facebook audience. Always trying out and exploring new formats and ways of doing, thinking, or writing theater, Dimchev sees social networks as potentially inexhaustible sources of dramaturgical material. Asking himself whether people's accustomed experience in dealing with these networks can be transposed to a theatrical context, he has invented Facebook Theater as an opportunity for the audience to create the performance text.

Ivo Dimchev has received numerous international dance and theater awards, including the Iron Medal for Contemporary Art, "Vencislav Zankov," in 2013, and a Bessie Award nomination for Lili Handel in 2011. After his master's studies at DasArts Academy in Amsterdam, Dimchev moved to Brussels and opened his own performance space, Volksroom, where he presents young international artists. He is a master teacher at the National Theater Academy in Budapest, founding director of Humarts Foundation in Bulgaria, and currently Artist in Residence at Kaaitheater in Brussels.

Performance/Music

Ivo Dimchev (Bulgaria)

15 songs from my shows (U.S. premiere)

Friday, September 18, 8pm

Abrons Arts Center, Experimental Theater

Suggested donation $25 / abronsartscenter.org

The exceptional performer Ivo Dimchev gives one of his live concerts at the festival. His enormous musicality and his remarkable vocal gift are part of all of his productions. For this event, he has selected 15 songs from his performances, detached them from their original context, presenting them as independent, individual opuses.

Performance/Dance

Social Health Performance Club (U.S.)

Various Artists

Friday, September 18, 9pm

Abrons Arts Center, Underground Theater

Tickets: $15 / abronsartscenter.org

Social Health Performance Club (SHPC) will present an evening of performances that engage the problematics of framing work as queer--aesthetically and personally. Simply put, SHPC asks: What is "queerness" in this context? How do our individual lived experiences relate to it? How does our presence in this festival, on this night, situate us as/among the marginalized or subaltern and relate those categories with queerness? SHPC seeks to create a conversation with the curatorial platform by interrogating its very presence in it. The evening will feature works by Ian Deleón, Geraldo Mercado, Lorene Bouboushian, Ivy Castellanos, Esther Neff, and Ayana Evans.

Social Health Performance Club is a collective of artists actively questioning systemic values at work in performance art through themed performances, potlucks, and member collaborations. SHPC produces events, exhibitions, and other public art projects that directly confront systemic social issues in the art world and beyond. The Club itself is framed as a performance, gathering together as action, understanding social relationships as artistic processes.

SHPC is the recipient of the 2015 André von Ah research and development grant for queer art.

Performance/Dance/Theater

John Moletress (U.S.)

Jarman (all this maddening beauty) (NYC premiere)

Saturday, September 19, 8pm

Abrons Arts Center, Experimental Theater

Tickets: $15 / abronsartscenter.org

Jarman (all this maddening beauty) is a solo performance work inspired by avant-garde queer filmmaker Derek Jarman. Evocative poetry, lush new music, and a multimedia landscape combine to create a theatrical event exploring the meaning of beauty and art. The project marks a continuing collaboration between the bold performance ensemble force/collision and award-winning playwright Caridad Svich. Jarman looks at how the specter of illness affects the making of art, and at the changes in cultural, transatlantic perceptions of queer artistry since Jarman's time.

John Moletress is a multidisciplinary artist who combines the cerebral and the visceral in performance through collaborations with artists of mixed disciplines. He is founding director of the performance ensemble force/collision, an educator for the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival, a member of The Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, and was awarded the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre for his cofounding of Factory 449. As well as directing premieres by other playwrights, Moletress has had work performed at theaters such as Arena Stage and La MaMa ETC, and has been a recipient of multiple awards from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities and Creative Communities Fund.

Performance/Music

Max Steele (U.S.)

The Good Daughter (world premiere)

Sunday, September 20, 8pm

Abrons Arts Center, Underground Theater

Tickets: $20 / abronsartscenter.org

The Good Daughter is a solo cabaret/music performance examining the relationship between queer identity, power, and gender. Max Steele utilizes pop music, punk rock, and performance art to reverse-engineer drag performance, performing songs written by women about female identity, and articulating a female voice against a culture of late-capitalist, globalist white-supremacist patriarchy. Between songs, he deconstructs his maleness, revealing the aggression in "fag art" as empty. His performance aims to exhaust the rage of being a gay person now, when history has already happened and the future seems foreclosed.

Max Steele is a performer and writer based in Brooklyn. He has presented work at the New Museum, Deitch Projects, BAM, Joe's Pub, La MaMa, Envoy Enterprises, PPOW Gallery, The Afterglow Festival in Provincetown, and the Queens Museum of Art. He writes the psychedelic porno poetry zine Scorcher, and his writing has been featured in Dossier Journal, Spunk [arts] Magazine, East Village Boys, Birdsong, Vice and Best Gay Stories 2014. He was an Artist in Residence at BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange from 2012 to 2014.

Performance/Dance

Mmakgosi Kgabi (South Africa)

Shades of a Queen (U.S. premiere)

Curated by Marýa Wethers

Monday, September 21, 8pm

Abrons Arts Center, Experimental Theater

Suggested donation $15 / abronsartscenter.org

Shades of a Queen is a coming-of-age, coming-to-self, coming-out piece exploring the identity constructs of an African queer child. The creative process was based on personal experiences and challenges in the journey to coming out both literally and metaphorically. Her Majesty the Queen (aka Mmakgosi, which translates to 'The Mother of the Chief") battles with stepping out of the house and out of the closet. She confronts herself in all her majestic glory, and the demons and counter-masks that reveal themselves as identity constructs come into being from mundane interactions with the world.

Mmakgosi Kgabi studied choreography and acting at Rhodes University. She was born out of wedlock to a South African freedom fighter and a Botswana maiden. She has performed on several platforms both at home in Johannesburg and internationally. She collaborated with Mbogeni Ngema and Constanza Macras's the Offside Rules (2010), and with Pink Zebra Theatre Co.'s Super Zoom for the Impulstans festival in Vienna (2011). She's a member of Stash the Suitcase Performance Arts Collective.

Performance/Dance

Bruno Isakovi (Croatia)

Disclosures (world premiere)

Tuesday, September 22?Friday, September 25 at 8pm, Saturday, September 26 at 10pm

Abrons Arts Center, Underground Theater

Suggested donation $20 / abronsartscenter.org

Disclosures ?is a performance ?that invites different people to share their stories, fears, and confidences, demystifying borders of privacy and nakedness as they strip away their clothes. Being naked/nakedness are intimate ?experiences ?closely related to one's individuality and ?the social norms of ?one's? surroundings. Whether an extrovert or introvert, ?the idea of nakedness connotes meaning for everyone -- about borders, privacy, shame, vulnerability, and social order. It can also serve as a powerful affirmation of self, an empowering mirror? through which one might not only see oneself, but also more fully see others. For the purposes of this experiment/performance, nakedness is utilized as a vehicle for the individual's story, reason, self-representation-a history in which all these ?meanings are condensed?.

Bruno Isakovi? studied dance at the Rotterdam Dance Academy, graduated from Amsterdam School of Arts, and is the recipient of numerous scholarships and awards. He has worked internationally as both a dancer and choreographer, and is a collaborator on the new BA course in dance art at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb and at Bilgi University for the Performing Arts in Istanbul. Since 2009 he has been a company member of The Studio for Contemporary Dance in Zagreb. His recent work Denuded (solo version) was expanded into a version for 11 dancers and premiered in June 2015 at the Perforations Festival in Croatia. It will be shown in New York in January 2016.

Performance/Dance

Kaia Gilje / Lorene Bouboushian (U.S.)

Know What Smokes (U.S. premiere)

Wednesday, September 23, 9pm

Abrons Arts Center, Experimental Theater

Tickets: $15 / abronsartscenter.org

Know What Smokes is a performance piece that embraces the simplest way there is to learn about something: "to hit your head against the thing repeatedly. Or to shove your fingers up a nose, or jiggle a pair of breasts until your fingers ache." If we close our eyes and feel what we are pressed against what do we learn? Kaia Gilje and Lorene Bouboushian attempt to activate sensation through different types of touch-tender, sensual, surprising, painful, mundane, and absurd. Working with closed eyes, they submit to each other's touch. At times this touch serves as a guide to a deeper sensory experience and at other times it becomes distracting, invasive, or even a violent element to be defended against. The performative focus of the work arises from commitment to the emotional arcs, the deep fears, and the extreme sensations that their own actions conjure. How do guilt and betrayal function in a world where logic is warped and sensation is central?

Kaia Gilje and Lorene Bouboushian's collaborative performances emerged from the desire to deconstruct a performance situation, throwing the room, performance setting, and social milieu into relief. Their years of research have formed an improvisational score-based performance relationship that blends vocalizing, moving, and audience/room interaction. They have presented work in New York at JACK NY (Brooklyn International Performance Art Festival), Movement Research at Judson Church, Panoply Performance Laboratory, CAGE, and a cow farm in the countryside, and internationally at Meinblau Projektraum and Liebig12 (Month of Performance Art-Berlin).

Performance/Dance

Mehdi-Georges Lahlou (Morocco/France)

Stupidité contrôleé or jump jump baby jump jump (U.S. premiere)

Friday, September 25, 7pm

Merton D. Simpson Gallery

Suggested donation $15 / mertonsimpson.com

Mehdi-Georges Lahlou produces performances and installations that deal with cultural identities and gender to the point of almost dissolving one into the other. Embracing physical endurance, Lahlou's performances are highly athletic, fearless, and provocative. In his new work, Stupidité contrôlée or jump jump baby jump jump, he juggles with his identities between conscious idiocy to bodily exhaustion, directly facing and playing with exotic clichés and religious fundamentalism.

Mehdi-Georges Lahlou was born in France and lives and works in Brussels and Paris. Having grown up French-Moroccan with one Muslim and one Christian parent, he experienced a multicultural and multiform society daily. Making performances and installations that deal with cultural identities and gender, he tackles ideas of masculinity within Maghrebian and European cultures, testing limits both cultural and physical.

Theater/Dance

Michael Breslin (U.S.)

Kiss me just once more (NYC premiere)

Friday, September 25, 8pm

Dixon Place

Tickets: $15 / dixonplace.org

kiss me just once more is a solo theatre piece investigating the relationship between a queer son and his mother. Using the "Goodnight Kiss" passage from Proust's Swann's Way, it explores questions about the natural and the deviant and this binary's relation to queer failure, psychosexual identification, and ritual. The piece manipulates linear time and plot structure in creating a journey of queer discovery under patriarchal forces. The piece is set in a bedchamber where a young boy lies alone trying to fall asleep, but cannot without his mother's kiss. This prompts his enacting a ritual to summon her. The piece incorporates dances from Indonesia and Brazil that contain intense gender play traditionally performed by men in cross-dress, as well as Beslin's own movement vocabulary. Along with Proust, kiss me just once more draws on a range of texts -- from Koestenbaum to Chekhov -- and on contemporary music from the Polish Royal String Quartet.

Michael Breslin is a Brooklyn-based theater and dance artist from New Jersey. He graduated from Hamilton College with degrees in comparative literature and theater. His work has most recently been presented at Dixon Place and The Orchard performing arts residency at Hamilton College. He has assisted in works at The Kitchen and at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, and works as a program assistant for Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC). Breslin has trained, performed, and conducted research in cross-gender and queer performance in

more than ten countries. His work lives between the political and the poetic, calling for change and resistance while sensitively exploring the reality of the present.

Performance/Dance

Joshua Monten (Switzerland/U.S.)

Doggy Style (U.S. premiere)

Friday, September 25, 9pm, and Saturday, September 26, 8pm

Friday, September 25, 9pm, and Saturday, September 26, 8pm

Abrons Arts Center, Experimental Theater

Tickets: $20 / abronsartscenter.org

Doggy Style is an evening-length performance at the intersection of dance and sign language. Its starting point is the behavioral patterns of dogs, transposed onto human bodies and minds. These hybrid forms provide the basis for a choreography dealing with otherness, communication, and long-term relationships (like the one between dog and owner) that are deeply unequal, yet rewarding and sustainable. The performance features four professional dancers-all of them human. Doggy Style is co-produced by ROXY Birsfelden (Basel) and LOFFT-Das Theater (Leipzig), and has been touring extensively since March 2015. The performances are accessible to both hearing and hearing-impaired audiences.

Joshua Monten was born in New York and received his BA in literature and cultural anthropology from Duke University, moving into a dance career via his participation in the 1997 American Dance Festival. After further studies at UNC, Buenos Aires, and an MA from OhioState, he moved to Europe, becoming a member of the Tanztheater Irina Pauls at the Stadttheater Heidelberg and of the Bern Ballet. Monten has worked with many international choreographers, performed and toured throughout Europe, and is regularly commissioned by the Bern Ballet. In 2010 he choreographed the opera Platée for the Ballet National du Rhin. He writes on anthropology and dance, and teaches dance at the University of Bern.


Zvonimir Dobrovi is the founder and program director of the Queer Zagreb festival, which has been taking place in Croatia since 2003.Queer Zagreb has presented more than 150 artists and performing companies from all over the world. In 2009 Dobrovi created the Perforations Festival, a network of organizations and producers from the Balkans region with the goal of initiating and promoting regional cooperation, and creating local and international opportunities for young and emerging artists. The new commissions and productions are presented at the annual Perforations Festival that takes place in Zagreb, Rijeka, and Dubrovnik, programming more than 20 new works by artists from Central and Eastern Europe. Dobrovi co-founded the Queer New York International Arts Festival with the late André von Ah (1987-2013) in 2012.



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