Thirteenth Floor Dance Theater to Present World Premiere of BEING RAYMOND CHANDLER, Begin. 10/26
Thirteenth Floor Dance Theater is proud to announce the world premiere of Being Raymond Chandler, an original work of dance theater imaginatively set in the mind of the iconic detective fiction writer as he struggles to write his latest novel. Created by 13th Floor Founder Jenny McAllister for an ensemble of seven multi-talented performers, Being Raymond Chandler runs for two weekends, October 26-27 and November 2-3, 2013 in Studio B at ODC Dance Commons.
It's about 11 o'clock in the morning, with the sun not shining, and detective fiction writer Raymond Chandler, author of The Big Sleep and Farewell, My Lovely, is on deadline to complete his next novel. With cigarette and scotch in hand, he searches for words, but is haunted by figures from his past, figures of his own creation: fast-talking dames, broads, goons, and his favorite private eye, Philip Marlowe. The stage unfolds inside Chandler's mind as these figures cavort, slink and machinate with hilarious, heartreading and ultimately triumphant results.
"I found this weird artistic connection with Raymond Chandler," says McAllister. "One letter of his, in particular, resonated with me. He describes his wandering writing process with dead ends and revisions, his struggle to plot a course for his characters from the beginning. It's a great example of self-deprecating humor. It's also a mirror of my own artistic process that works by fits and starts."
"I'm thrilled to be working on this new piece," McAllister continues. "I'm working with such a terrific ensemble team, and I'm lucky to have Michael Oesch as a lighting designer again. We're enjoying our experiment with the conventions of film noir: the dramatic shafts of light and shadow, the off-kilter framing of a scene, and so on. In rehearsal we've been playing at recreating scenes from films like The Big Sleep,replacing some dialogue with movement, and creating characters out of stage directions. It's been a rewarding challenge."
Performers in the world premiere of Being Raymond Chandler include returning 13th Floor ensemble members Blane Ashby, Patric Cashman, Eric Garcia, Nicole Nastari, Julie Mahoney,David Silpa, and Erin Mei-Ling Stuart.
The development of Being Raymond Chandler was supported in part by ODC Theater's Creative Work/Play program.
Jenny McAllister has been dancing and choreographing in the Bay Area for almost two decades. Before forming 13th Floor Dance Theater in 2010, she was co-director of Huckabay McAllister Dance from 1994-2009. Thirteenth Floor Dance Theater experiments in character-driven dance performance with a sense of humor. The company's most recent production, Bloomsbury/It's Not Real, was presented in 2012 at ODC Theater and supported in part by awards from Dancers' Group and the Zellerbach Family Foundation. McAllister's early dance training includes the Oakland Ballet, Cliff Keuter, Fred Mathews, and Gary Masters. In addition, McAllister has studied release technique and partnering with Bay Area teachers Joe Goode, Lizz Roman, Scott Wells, and Eric Kupers. Her performance credits include Lizz Roman and Dancers, Eric Essner Performance Co-op, Fellow Travelers Performance Group, Chris Black/Potrzebie, Keith Hennesey's Circus of Resistance, EmSpace Dance, Duncan Macfarland, and Cliff Keuter. She has choreographed for San Jose Repertory Theatre, SF Cabaret Opera, and various local musical theater groups, and taught modern dance at San Francisco Dance Center and ODC School.
Photo Credit Pak Han