Kathy Westwater's REVOLVER + CHOREOMANIACS at The Chocolate Factory Theater

Performances run April 20-29, 2023.

By: Mar. 15, 2023

Kathy Westwater's REVOLVER + CHOREOMANIACS at The Chocolate Factory Theater

The Chocolate Factory Theater presents the world premiere of Revolver + Choreomaniacs, two new dance works by Kathy Westwater. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased in advance at (866) 811-4111 or www.chocolatefactorytheater.org.

Kathy Westwater, "an unconventional choreographer experiencing a surge of recognition" (The New Yorker), builds on nearly thirty years of dancemaking with the premiere of Revolver + Choreomaniacs, two new works staged within an immersive visual environment designed by artist-architect and longtime collaborator Seung Jae Lee.

Choreomaniacs, a piece for five dancers, explores the historical phenomena of choreomania - or "dancing plague" - in which people danced themselves to death during the Middle Ages. An accompanying duet, Revolver, which the artist began just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, explores the existential threat of super-catastrophes. Together the works articulate the bifurcation of time in the pandemic: of the time "before" and "since." As a performance diptych, the works also grapple with the idea that dance itself at times causes pain. Both works engage Westwater's seminal pursuit of "the disorganized body," a comprehensive movement system that the artist initiated in 2001 in the wake of 9/11, and has continued to develop for over twenty years. Through infinite permutations of a set of physical prompts, designed inclusively for anyone to perform, the process generates movement from a destabilized body, stumbling toward cohesion. The movement is signature to Westwater's choreography, and is a radical proposition of a dimensional dancing body. As an integrated system of misalignments, Westwater's movement unravels inherited traditions of her field.

Revolver + Choreomaniacs are choreographed by Kathy Westwater in collaboration with the performers. Revolver is danced by Lance Gries and Westwater, and Choreomaniacs features Alex Romania, Rakia Seaborn, Stacy Lynn Smith, Nattie Trogdon, and Westwater. Revolver is accompanied by music by Ava Mendoza, Choreomaniacs by music by Ava Mendoza and Mike Baggetta. Both works feature set design by Seung Jae Lee, costume design by Claire Fleury, and lighting design by Madeline Best.

Kathy Westwater has choreographically pursued experimental dance forms since 1996. Described as "at the limits of the human" (The Brooklyn Rail), her work responds to contemporary experience and the societal landscape in which it manifests by reimagining the body's movement potential. Westwater's Bessie-nominated Rambler, Worlds Worlds A Part, co-presented at New York Live Arts by NYLA and Lumberyard, explores pain and the body, including the pain of others. Her other major works have explored the built environments of monuments (Anywhere); landfills and parks (PARK); phenomena of war and pain (Macho); the intersection of human and animal culture (twisted, tack, broken); psycho-physical states of fear (Dark Matter); and interactive virtual environments (The Fortune Cookie Dance).

Westwater is a recipient of the Solange MacArthur Award for New Choreography. She has received commissions from Gibney, Lumberyard, Temple University, Dance Theater Workshop, and Danspace Project; and awards from CUNY Dance Initiative, Dance NYC, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New Music USA, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Puffin Foundation, Franklin Furnace Fund, Meet the Composer, and New York Foundation for the Arts. Westwater was artist in residence in 2022 at the Arts Center on Governors Island; in 2021 at both Snug Harbor and Yaddo; in 2019 at Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography; and in 2018, one of three inaugural artists in residence at Petronio Residency Center.

The Chocolate Factory Theater exists to encourage and support artists in their process of inquiry. We engage specifically with a community of artists who challenge themselves and, in doing so, challenge us. We believe that by supporting the labor of these artists, we contribute to elevating New York City as a thriving and more equitable wellspring of ideas.

The Chocolate Factory embraces artistic practice as an integral part of the artist's whole life, an essential component of the life of our community and a key element of a larger national and international artistic dialogue. As such, we host artists as our equal partners with shared autonomy, trust and appreciation. While we seek to make big ideas and extended relationships possible, we commit to working at a small, intimate and personal scale, with few artistic compromises or boundaries.

We achieve all of this by creating a vessel for artistic experimentation through a residency package serving the whole artist - salary, space, responsive and flexible support for the development of new work from inspiration to presentation.

Works supported by The Chocolate Factory have received numerous Bessie and Obie Awards and have toured nationally and internationally.

An extensive archive of The Chocolate Factory's past performances is freely available at vimeo.com/chocolatefactory.


Review: SANCTUARY CITY at Ground Floor Theatre Photo
Review: SANCTUARY CITY at Ground Floor Theatre

What did our critic think of SANCTUARY CITY at Ground Floor Theatre? SANCTUARY CITY, written by Martyna Majok and produced by the Ground Floor Theatre, presents a thought-provoking exploration of DREAMers, the concept of sanctuary, and the complexity of how to live as an undocumented immigrant in the United States.

Tapestry Dance Performs the Texas Premiere of ITS ABOUT TIME at the Rollins Studio Theatre Photo
Tapestry Dance Performs the Texas Premiere of IT'S ABOUT TIME at the Rollins Studio Theatre

Tapestry Dance will present the Texas premiere of It’s About Time, which honors legendary jazz tap dancer Sarah Petronio, at the Rollins Studio Theatre at the Long Center on June 16 & 17 at 8 p.m.

Review: THE BAKERS WIFE at The Alchemy Theatre Photo
Review: THE BAKER'S WIFE at The Alchemy Theatre

Gifting yourself with the talent that makes up this cast is worth the visit, though one must consider the evening will be long based on pacing issues within the show. Nonetheless, it is easy to see the promise in Alchemy Theatre’s production of THE BAKER’S WIFE.

BIG FISH at Austin Playhouse Photo
BIG FISH at Austin Playhouse

Special Offer: Heartwarming musical BIG FISH opens next Friday at Austin Playhouse!

More Hot Stories For You


#repshow# in #getregions.name[i]# The Zoo Story
The Saturni Theatre at the Grove Amphitheatre in Southpark Meadows (6/03-6/11)Tracker
#repshow# in #getregions.name[i]# The Mad Ones
Austin Community College Drama Department (6/08-6/25)Tracker
#repshow# in #getregions.name[i]# Jenna & the Whale
Ground Floor Theatre (8/11-8/26)
#repshow# in #getregions.name[i]# AND THEN THERE WERE NONE
The Wimberley Players (6/30-7/23)
#repshow# in #getregions.name[i]# Thank You, And Have a Nice Day
Summer Break Theatre at Hyde Park Theatre (6/07-6/17)
#repshow# in #getregions.name[i]# Things My Mother Taught Me
Runway Theatre (6/02-6/18)
#repshow# in #getregions.name[i]# Sunny Days - A Work-in-Progress
The VORTEX (8/17-8/20)
#repshow# in #getregions.name[i]# The Memorandum
The VORTEX (7/21-7/29)
#repshow# in #getregions.name[i]# Trip to Bountiful
Bastrop Opera House (6/30-7/16)
#repshow# in #getregions.name[i]# The Real Inspector Hound by Tom Stoppard
Dougherty Arts Center (7/14-7/29)

Recommended For You