Isabella Rossellini's LINK LINK CIRCUS Comes to Baryshnikov Arts Center
Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC) presents the American premiere of Link Link Circus, written and performed by the Golden Globe-nominated actress and filmmaker Isabella Rossellini, for seven performances only, May 16-23, 2018, at BAC's Jerome Robbins Theater (450 W. 37th Street, Manhattan). Following Rossellini's widely acclaimed theatrical lecture Green Porno (adapted from the celebrated Sundance Channel series of the same name), which explored the sexual behavior of animals, Link Link Circus addresses the latest scientific discoveries about animal minds, intelligence, and emotions.
Link Link Circus, co-starring a dog named Pan, is at once comic and scientifically informed. Over the course of the performance, Rossellini transforms herself into Aristotle, Descartes, a medieval theologian, B.F. Skinner, and Charles Darwin-discussing the essence of human beings and what distinguishes us from the "brutes." Darwin, in his theory of evolution, linked humans to non-humans, demonstrating that there is a continuum between animals and humans. For some, this idea is still offensive. While physical continuity is more accepted, cognitive continuity is mostly rejected.
Accompanying Rossellini's monologue are projections of her short comic films, home movies, photos, and drawings. Pan, an accomplished dog performer, plays various animals, assisted by puppeteer and animal handler Schuyler Beeman.
In addition to Rossellini (performer, co-director, co-producer), the creative team includes Rick Gilbert (set designer and line producer), Andy Byers (set designer, costume designer, composer), Guido Torlonia (co-director), Bill Berloni (animal director), Schuyler Beeman (puppeteer, animal handler), Fanny Karst (ring leader costumes), Andy Smetanka and Courtney Pure (animations), Gina Freedman (props), Stacey Foster (film and audio clips editor), and Jason L. Miller (technical director).
Link Link Circus is Rossellini's first original performance since Green Porno, written with Oscar-winning screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière, directed by Muriel Mayette, and based on the series of short films produced by the Sundance Channel. Green Porno toured to 50 cities in 2015. Reviewing the work, at BAM, for New York Magazine, Jesse Green wrote that Rossellini is "the best professor you could ever imagine: witty, lovely to watch," and that Green Porno is "about as much fun as you can have learning about the fun other creatures are having." The Hollywood Reporter called her performance "impossible to resist." Theatermania observed, "Staged with its tongue firmly implanted in its cheek, the evening enjoyably flits by with many belly laughs and a whole lot of knowledge."
Link Link Circus comes to BAC following a world premiere March 14-25 at Barcelona's Teatre Akadèmia, the work's co-producer.
Critics are welcome as of Thursday, May 17, at 7:30pm, which also serves as the official opening.
Tickets, $42 (orchestra) and $35 (balcony), can be purchased at www.bacnyc.org or 866-811-4111. A limited number of tickets, priced at $325, will be available for the May 16 performance and reception with the artist; proceeds benefit Baryshnikov Arts Center.
Running time is 70 minutes.
Isabella Rossellini grew up in Paris and Rome. She made her cinematic debut as an actress in 1979 in the Taviani brothers' film Il Prato (The Meadow) and has appeared in numerous other films, including the American features Blue Velvet, White Nights, Rodger Dodger, Cousins, Death Becomes Her, Fearless, Big Night, and Joy. She worked with wide-ranging directors including Robert Zemeckis, David O. Russell, David Lynch, Robert Wilson, Taylor Hackford, Marjane Satrapi, and Guy Maddin. She is also a successful television actress and filmmaker, with a keen interest in animals and wildlife conservation. Her award-winning series of shorts, Green Porno, Seduce Me, and Mammas offer comical and scientifically insightful studies of animal behavior. She will next be seen in Silent Live, Vita and Virginia and The Incredibles.
Rossellini is completing a Master's degree in Animal Behavior and Conservation at Hunter College in New York City and has received a PhD Honoris Causa from the Science Faculty at UQAM (University of Quebec at Montreal). Rossellini's most recent work for television includes Master of Photography, for European broadcaster SKY, and the American series Shut Eye, for Hulu, released in December 2016. Her new book My Chickens and I will be released by Abrams Books on March 13. Rossellini runs an organic farm in Brookhaven in association with the Peconic Land Trust and the Post Morrow Foundation. She is a mother of two and resides in Bellport, Long Island.
Rick Gilbert is a freelance producer, production designer, and art director with over 15 years of experience in feature film, television, commercials, music videos, print and stop-motion animation, and theatre. He has designed and art-directed films which have screened at film festivals, museums and cinematheques all over the world, including Sundance, Tribeca, Venice, Toronto, Rotterdam, Berlin, MOMA, Sao Paulo, and Pusan, South Korea. He has worked with many acclaimed directors and cinematographers, including Isabella Rossellini, Todd Solondz, Paul Mazursky, Guy Maddin, James Franco, Deepha Mehta, Jeremy Podeswa, Norman Jewison, and Academy Award-nominated cinematographer Ed Lachman. His commercial clients include Keihl's, Wink, Garnier-Nutrisse, Dodge Ram, Ricoh, Canon, Southwest Airlines, Citizen's Bank, Nationwide, Country Music Television, Best Buy, and Coca-Cola. Gilbert is a graduate of Media Arts at Ryerson University in Toronto.
Andy Byers is a Los Angeles-based artist who works through the mediums of sculpture, music and performance art. Most notable is his 10-year collaboration with Rossellini on the Green Porno series and subsequent films. Byers has done commercial prototyping and installation for companies such as Victoria's Secret, J Crew, American Express, Target, and Ann Taylor. His work and performances have been exhibited at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA; The Wolfsonian, Miami, FL; Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal; Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto: Selfridges, London; Filmhaus Potsdamer Platz, Berlin; The Ulrich Museum, Wichita; The Smithsonian National Zoo, Washington DC; and 21C Museum in Cincinnati. He received his BFA at the Kansas City Art Institute and his MFA in ceramics from the Ohio State University.
Guido Torlonia is a theater and film director born in Rome. In 1995, he directed two short films for the New York Film Academy, and then returned to work in theater in Italy, France, and Spain. In Florence, Torlonia served as Event Manager for the Fashion and Cinema Biennale. From 2003 on, he worked in Paris for the Festival des Italiens and served as Stage and Artistic Director at the Italian Institute of Culture. For many years Torlonia served as Master of Ceremonies at both the Venice Film Festival and the Rome Film Festival. He wrote and directed three plays-tributes to Visconti, Fellini, and Strehler (2007-2008)-that have been presented over the years in Paris, Rome, Milan, Venice, Moscow and New York. In 2012 he wrote and directed Handmade Cinema, his first documentary on the Italian film industry. In 2015 he created the theater piece The Tribute to Ingrid Bergman with Isabella Rossellini and Ludovica Damiani, presented worldwide for the centenary the great Swedish actress. He is Resident Stage Director at the Teatre Akadèmia in Barcelona.
Bill Berloni was a 20-year-old apprentice at the Goodspeed Opera House when a producer offered him his big break: a chance to act professionally and gain his Equity Card. In return, all Berloni had to do was find and train a dog to play Sandy in the original production of Annie. Berloni found his dog at a local animal shelter-beginning his career-long commitment to using rescued animals. Through a combination of persistence, patience and trial-and-error, he developed his revolutionary humane training techniques-learning how to teach actor and animal alike to create a successful performance. Annie became a huge hit and Sandy became "the longest running dog on Broadway," never missing a performance in more than seven years. Since then, Berloni and his handlers have provided and directed animals of all species and sizes, for a vast range of performances, motion pictures, television and commercials, including The Greatest Showman, with Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, and Zac Efron; the 2014 Annie movie starring Quvenzhane Wallis and Jamie Foxx; High Maintenance; Billions; and the Broadway productions of The Crucible, directed by Ivo van Hove, and Bullets Over Broadway, directed by Susan Stroman. When their careers are over, the animals return to Berloni's Connecticut farm.
Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC) is the realization of a long-held vision by artistic director Mikhail Baryshnikov who sought to build an arts center in Manhattan that would serve as a gathering place for artists from all disciplines. BAC's opening in 2005 heralded the launch of this mission, establishing a thriving creative laboratory and performance space for artists from around the world. BAC's activities encompass a robust residency program augmented by a range of professional services, including commissions of new work, as well as the presentation of performances by artists at varying stages of their careers. In tandem with its commitment to supporting artists, BAC is dedicated to building audiences for the arts by presenting contemporary, innovative work at affordable ticket prices. For more information, please visit www.bacnyc.org.
Baryshnikov Arts Center is grateful for the support of its generous individual and institutional annual fund donors in 2017-2018.
Individual donors includeJennifer Adams; Anonymous (2); Darcy Bacon; Mikhail Baryshnikov and Lisa Rinehart; Dr. Phillip Bauman; Kate Baxter; Carol Baxter and Loren Plotkin; Tina and Jeffrey Bolton Family Fund; Catherine Brennan; Valentino D. Carlotti; Lydia and Mats G. Carlston Charitable Fund; Carroll Cartwright; Fadi, Terri and Claudine Chartouni; Mirjana Ciric and Edin Buturovic; Lori Cohen and Christopher Rothko; Frank and Monique Cordasco; Nancy Dalva; Edoard Dejoux; Michael and Denise Deleray; Richard and Jennie DeScherer; Michael Devins; Joseph and Diana DiMenna; Debbie and Harry Druker; James H. Duffy; Cheryl Lee and Steven C. Dupré; William James Earle; Jennifer and Russell Echlov; Gwen Edelman; Ehrenkranz Family Foundation; Brittawnee Enos; Michele Lee Fine; Alan and Judy Fishman; Barbara Fleischman; Richard and Nicole Fortson; Sandra Foschi; Natasha Frank; Alex and Jenia Fridlyand; Randy Gaugert; Philip Giambanco; Slavka B. Glaser; Michael Goldstein and Carolyn Katz; Ain Gordon; Agnes Gund; Annie and John Hall; Elaine M. Halpin; Charles Hamlen; The Hare Family; Nicole and Paul Harman; Elisabeth Hayes; Jeffery Hentze; Rebecca M. Hetherington; Brian and Tania Higgins; Joan Hooker; In Honor of Roger Hooker; Sarah Hooker; Huong Hoang; Fredericka Hunter; Mary Anne Hunting and Thomas Remien; Yukiko Inoue; Susan Israel; Vivek Iyer; Laith and Adele Jazrawi; Bobbo Jetmundsen; Carine Joannou; Stephanie Joel; Annie Jordan; Zuzana Justman; Julia and Michael Katz; Colleen Keegan; Donald M. Kendall; Paul and Teresa Kim; Joan Konner and Alvin Perlmutter; Sonja Kostich; Herman Krawitz; Sali Ann Kriegsman; Iya Labunka; Nicole Leibman; Tania J. Leon; The LeRoy Family; Charlie and Lorie Levy; Harvey Lichtman and Lauren Best; Jarrett and Maritess Lilien; Julie Lilien; Topper Lilien; Lew Lloyd; Nicholas Lloyd and Megan Craig; Marianne Lockwood and David Bury; Nick and Cass Ludington; Sarah and Alec Machiels; Elizabeth Manigault; Yael Mandelstam and Ken Tabachnick; Cheryl Yeager Marshall; Paul and Caroline McCaffery; Tamara McCaw; Karen McLaughlin and Mark Schubin; Patrick A. Meere, MD and Ingrid E. Weigel, MD; Jane & Richard Mescon; Adam Miller; Valerie and Stuart Mogul; In Honor of Natalie Moody; Bob and Carol Morris; Mark Morris; Cheri Mowry; Alice and Alexander Nakhimovsky; Marion Nestle; Zoya and Anna Obraztsova; Elizabeth Osha; Hubert and Joanna Parzecki; Ray Pepi and Karen Arrigoni; Steven and Michèle Pesner; Steve and Randi Piaker; Georgiana Pickett; Darryl Pinckney; Anatole Plotkin & Inna Kugel; Lily Potter; Tamar Quillen; Aidan and Elizabeth Quinn; Judith Regan; Laila Robins; James Roe; Isabella Rossellini; Christopher Rothko; Sophia Schachter; Hillary Schafer and Mark Shafir; Dorothy Scheuer; Natasha Schlesinger; Laura Schoen; Tatiana Segal; Joel Shapiro and Ellen Phelan; Wallace Shawn; Jeremy Smith; Christina Sterner and Steve Poses; Lev Sviridov; Rosalie Swedlin; Robert Thorpe and Laurie David; Jennifer Tipton; Rosanna and John Troiano; Igor Tsukanov; Robert Warshaw and Debbie Schmidt; Mary R. Waters; Suzanne Weil; Roger Weisberg and Karen Freedman; Michael Worden; Yelena Yoffe and Serge Troyanovsky; and Tony Zisa.
Institutional donors include Affirmation Arts Fund; Altman Foundation; American Chai Trust; Anonymous (2); Rose M. Badgeley Residuary Charitable Trust; Bay and Paul Foundations; Consulate General of Israel in North America; The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation; The Enoch Foundation; FACE Foundation; Ferriday Fund Charitable Trust; Anne and Chris Flowers Foundation; Ford Foundation; Howard Gilman Foundation' Harkness Foundation for Dance; Irving Harris Foundation; Francena T. Harrison Foundation Trust; Israel Institute; Japan Foundation; Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine Kaye Foundation; Kent Van-Alen Fund; The Frances Lear Foundation; The Lupin Foundation; The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Mertz Gilmore Foundation; Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation; Stavros Niarchos Foundation; Rudolf Nureyev Dance Foundation; Princess Grace Foundation-USA; rag & bone; The Reed Foundation; The Jerome Robbins Foundation; Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation; The Shubert Foundation; The Seth Sprague Educational and Charitable Foundation; Soros Fund Charitable Foundation; The Thompson Family Foundation; and Trust for Mutual Understanding.
Lead support of dance programming at Baryshnikov Arts Center is provided by the Rudolf Nureyev Endowment.
Baryshnikov Arts Center is also grateful for support provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Funding is also made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Yamaha is the official piano of the Baryshnikov Arts Center. As of February 26, 2018.