The Center At West Park Announces Evolution Festival Lineup

The festival will run at The Center at West Park from September 8 to October 15, 2022.

By: Jul. 01, 2022
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The Center At West Park Announces Evolution Festival Lineup

THE CENTER AT WEST PARK (CWP), the Upper West Side's cultural hub for diverse, engaging, and boundary-pushing performing arts, announces the lineup for The 2022 Evolution Festival, a multi-disciplinary performance festival featuring six original works-in-progress of theater, dance, and music by NYC-based artists.

CWP's 2022 Evolution Festival is curated by artists Christina Franklin, Melanie Greene, and Trevor Weston, and features new works by Jenny Gillett, SHA Creative Outlet, Salsa Masala, Reynaldo Piniella, PopUP Theatrics, and Anabella Lenzu. The festival will run at The Center at West Park from September 8 to October 15, 2022.

"We are thrilled to launch this new festival with six amazing artists that represent the breadth, depth, and creativity of experimental and interdisciplinary performance in New York," says Artistic Director Zachary Tomlinson. "The Evolution Festival is designed to further development - the evolution, if you will - of innovative performance works. Creating a new piece is an iterative process. We're inviting audiences to join us for the exciting middle phase when daring ideas are tested and the artist's vision comes into focus."

The 2022 Evolution Festival is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

The Center at West Park is located at 165 West 86th Street, at the corner of Amsterdam Avenue and 86th Street, with access to the 86th street stops on the 1, C, and B subway lines. For more information visit httpswww.centeratwestpark.org/evolution-festival.

JENNY GILLETT, TOKOPHOBIA, September 8-10

For more than 15 years, Jenny has worked as an actor, puppeteer, playwright, VoiceOver artist, and theatre producer. Her plays have been performed in New York and Los Angeles, with the support of organizations such as Dixon Place, The Center at West Park, and The Omega Women's Leadership Center. She currently works as the Arts Education Manager at St Nicks Alliance in North Brooklyn and is a practicing full-spectrum Doula certified through Ancient Song Doula Services. Jenny has held previous positions: at the Children's Museum of Manhattan where she taught early childhood classes with a focus on music, movement, and art; in the Los Angeles Unified School District as a Teaching Artist through The Unusual Suspects Theatre Company; at the Tenement Museum, where she led tours with a focus on real untold stories of the immigrant experience; at The Skirball Cultural Center, where she facilitated the Build A Better World program in partnership with local public schools and community organizations; and at the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum where she operated a life-sized Saber-Toothed Cat puppet built by the Jim Henson Creature Shop. She holds an MA in Educational Theatre from New York University and draws from this experience to elevate voices from the community in her theatre praxis. Learn more at jennygillett.com or follow @thewomynnextdoor on Instagram.

SHA CREATIVE OUTLET, Xs, September 15-17

SHA Creative Outlet is a company that is rooted in dance and showcases in many mediums including film, photography, design, animation, and live performances. SHA Creative Outlet is dedicated to the collaboration of different disciplines. Formed in November 2021, the company made its debut performance in December in Triskelion Arts, with choreography by the company's director Shannon Yu. SHA Creative Outlet was also invited to perform in FreeSkewl's outdoor performance in mid-April 2022, and New Dance Alliance's Performance MIX Festival in June 2022. Founded by Shannon Yu 余香儒, a New York-based artist from Taiwan. Shannon identifies as a multi-disciplinary artist, dancer-choreographer, and queer creator. Space, sound, imagery, movement, and textures call Shannon to allow art flow.

SALSA MASALA, Block Party Unplugged, September 23-24

Salsa Masala combines Indian, Latin, and African-American music in ways that get hips shaking, heads bopping, and minds exploding. Walk down Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights, Queens, and you hear Bhangra, Bhajans, and Bollywood on one side of the street, Cumbia, Salsa, and Bachata on the other, and hip-hop, jazz, and R&B interspersed in it all. What would happen if everyone brought out their instruments and had one big jam session? Salsa Masala is what that would sound like. It's music that pays homage to the music throughout Latin America, the Indian subcontinent, and of course Black music of the US, and how we all feel similar rhythms and emotions through different languages. Indian, Latin, and Black music all have deep scholastic and pedagogic traditions, yet fundamentally speak directly to the improvisational spirit and to the soul. Salsa Masala is a celebration of the interactions that make New York City---and America---beautiful.

Reynaldo Piniella, Black and Blue, September 29 - October 1

Reynaldo Piniella was seen on Broadway in Trouble in Mind and Thoughts of a Colored Man. His Off-Broadway acting credits include The Death of the Last Black Man..., Venus (Signature), The Skin of Our Teeth (TFANA), Lockdown (Rattlestick), The Space Between the Letters (The Public/UTR), Lockdown (Rattlestick), and The Best of Theatreworks (Working Theater). Regional acting credits include work at Baltimore Center Stage, Syracuse Stage, St. Louis Shakespeare Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, O'Neill, Sundance Theatre Lab, and Cleveland Play House. As a playwright, his work includes Black Doves (Thomas Barbour award for Playwriting), Real Life RPG (commissioned by Baltimore Center Stage, produced by San Diego Rep, Shakesqueer Theater Company, and Pioneer Theater Guild), No Shade (produced by the Lee Strasberg Institute at NYU Tisch), I'm Old School (produced by Single Carrot Theater) and Black and Blue (Ars Nova's ANT Fest.) @ReynaldoRey. www.reynaldopiniella.com

POPUP THEATRICS, Liar, October 6-8

PopUP Theatrics is a partnership between theatre artists Tamilla Woodard, Ana Margineanu, and Peca Stefan. PopUp Theatrics' mission is to create site-impacting theatrical events. PopUP performed in New York, Berlin, Madrid, Buenos Aires, Edinburgh, and Bucharest (to name a few); collaborated with over 300 artists worldwide; and has garnered critical praise from press outlets worldwide (The New York Times, El Pais, Clarin, Huffington Post, UK and Huffington Post NYC among many others). Their most recent production, LONG DISTANCE AFFAIR was awarded "Outstanding Achievement in Livestreamed Production" by No Proscenium in 2022. Other achievements include receiving 7 New York Innovative Theatre Awards and 4 Awards, including Best Ensemble for The Window, and The Special Jury Award at the Romanian Independent Theatre Festival for INSIDE. PopUP is thrilled to bring its newest exploration Liar at the Evolution Festival. www.popuptheatrics.com

ANABELLA LENZU, The night that you stopped acting/ La Noche que dejaste de actuar, October 13-15

Originally from Argentina, Anabella Lenzu is a dancer, choreographer, writer, and teacher with over 30 years of experience working in Argentina, Chile, Italy, and the USA. Lenzu directs her own company, Anabella Lenzu/DanceDrama (ALDD), which since 2006 has presented 390 performances, created 14 choreographic works, and performed at 100 venues, presenting thought-provoking and historically conscious dance-theater in NYC. As a choreographer, she has been commissioned all over the world for opera, TV programs, theatre productions, and by many dance companies. She has produced and directed several award-winning short dance films and screened her work in over 100 festivals both nationally and internationally, including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Cyprus, France, Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, London, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, United States & Venezuela. Lenzu has written for various dance and art magazines, and published her first book in 2013, entitled Unveiling Motion and Emotion.

THE 2022 EVOLUTION FESTIVAL CURATORS

Christina Franklin is a theatre artist, born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. Recent directing and associate credits include: For Colored Girls... (Broadway), Fire Shut Up In My Bones (The Met), The Niceties (Chester Theatre), Once Upon A Pandemic (Waterwell), The Last Five Years (OOTB), Don't Stay Safe (Prospect Theatre Company), The Wolves (The Professional Performing Arts School), Coal Country, For Colored Girls... and White Noise (The Public Theater), Slave Play (NYTW). She has written and directed for Royal Family Productions, Waterwell, and TADA! Youth Theater, earning several National Youth Theatre awards and nominations. Christina is an alumna of The Professional Performing Arts School and University of The Arts where she earned a BFA in Directing, Playwriting, and Production. Matthew 5:14! All for you Ma.

Melanie Greene, 2017 Bessie Award Recipient for Outstanding Performance with Skeleton Architecture, is a dance artist, writer, and podcast host. She is no stranger to swirling on the edge of impossible, swimming in the sea of the minority. She has presented work around New York City and has received generous support from MANCC, Marble House Project, Brooklyn Studios for Dance, Movement Research, Mount Tremper, New York Live Arts, Gibney Dance, Actors Fund, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Dancing While Black Fellowship, Bogliasco Fellowship, and Brooklyn Arts Council. Greene has contributed written works to Dance Magazine and the Dance Enthusiast, and is currently a co-host of the Dance Union Podcast, and a 2018/20 Movement Research Artist in Residence. A southern belle turned Brooklynite, Greene holds a special place for buttery biscuits, country ham, and collard greens. Stay tuned: www.methodsofperception.com

Trevor Weston's music has been called a "gently syncopated marriage of intellect and feeling." (Detroit Free Press) Weston's honors include; the George Ladd Prix de Paris from the University of California, Berkeley, a Goddard Lieberson Fellowship and the Arts and Letters Award in Music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is a fellow from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the MacDowell Colony. Weston co-authored with Olly Wilson, "Duke Ellington as a Cultural Icon" in the Cambridge Companion to Duke Ellington, published by Cambridge University Press. Weston won the first Emerging Black Composers Project sponsored by the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the San Francisco Symphony. Weston's Flying Fish, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall for its 125 Commission Project and the American Composers Orchestra, was described as having, "...episodes of hurtling energy, the music certainly suggested wondrous aquatic feats." The Bang on a Can All-Stars premiered Weston's Dig It, for the Ecstatic Music Festival in NYC in 2019. The Grammy-nominated Choir of Trinity Church Wall Street recorded a CD of Trevor Weston's choral works. Weston's work Juba for Strings won the 2019 Sonori/New Orleans Chamber Orchestra Composition Competition. In addition to his creative work, Weston reconstructed the orchestration for Florence Price's Piano Concerto for the Center for Black Music Research in 2010. Dr. Weston is currently Professor of Music and Chair of the Music Department at Drew University in Madison, NJ and an instructor for the MAP and Pre-College programs at the Juilliard School, NYC.





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