A Boxing and Chamber Music Concert Event to be Held at Gleason's Gym, 3/16
The International Street Cannibals (ISC), hailed by The New York Times as a "brash new-music ensemble," join forces with young boxers from the legendary Gleason's Gym for "STRIKE!" - a concert event in which contemporary chamber music commingles with boxing rounds and choreography. Initially drawing its players from groups such as Orpheus, The Orchestra of St. Luke's, Absolute Ensemble, and the ST-X Ensemble of Xenakis, this collective of seasoned musicians/composers was founded in 2005 by Dan Barrett as a laboratory for ritual and artistic expression that defies assumptions regarding performance spaces and audiences. STRIKE! will take place on Saturday, March 16 at 8 p.m., at the historic Gleason's Gym - training home of 132 world champions, among them Mohammed Ali, George Foreman, Larry Holmes, and Roberto Duran - located at 77 Front Street in Dumbo, Brooklyn. Tickets are $20 ($15 for Gleason's Gym members and students) and are available by calling 718-797-2872.
Part of an ongoing series, STRIKE! brings together boxing, dance and chamber music, allowing each discipline to combine in surprising partnerships while engendering new artistic forms. New music compositions from some of today's most dexterous composers as well as modern masters will be heard in the unfamiliar, yet highly disciplined environment of the boxing ring. Short 10 to 12-minute sets of 3-minute chamber music works will alternate with 9-minute boxing bouts of 3 rounds each. 60-second thematic interludes that can involve music and/or movement will serve as transitions between the boxing rounds. Performances will take place in the three main rings of the gym, contributing to a theater-in-the-round effect, with the audience progressing from one ring to another to follow the sequential flow of the evening. A dance component directed by Dance Director/choreographer Megan Sipe will also play an essential role in this mix, contributing to unify the choreographies of these various genres.
The music program will include:
* A Dixieland version of the well-beloved German folk tune, "Die Gedanken sind Frei," which introduces and closes the concert with its call for freedom of thought.
* Dan "Wotan" Barrett's impressionistic villanelle, "Philomela" (premiere); his "Technical Knock Out" (Premiere) (French horn, bass trombone, violin, electric guitar, percussion); as well as his schizoid "March of the Balonie Sandwiches" (bass trombone, violin, viola, and military snare drum), which exploits various species and layers of Canon.
* John Clark's French horn solo "Full Count" (Premiere): an inside-out Cubist view of "horn call," inspired by Wagner's Siegfried (Act 2); and his cryptic "Going Coastal" (trumpet, French horn, and bass trombone).
* Dan Cooper's jumpy "Hoof & Mouth" (Premiere) (violin, bass trombone, percussion tap dance); his frenetic, breakneck duo "Ephemeral Blues" (Premiere) (trumpet and electric guitar); as well as his "Soca" (flute, French horn, bass trombone, violin, cello and double bass), an homage to Caribbean Soca music.
* Paul Hindemith's "Marsch," "Lied," and "Musikstück" from Wir Bauern Eine Stadt (We're Building a City), a children's song cycle about an imaginary and metaphoric city built and ruled by children alone.
* Daniel Palkowski's "Bela's Musette" (Premiere) (French horn, bass trombone, violin, viola, electric guitar, percussion), an embroidered study of pitch relations and tonal color with quotes by Bartok; and his pensive miniature, "Duet for a Wet Space" (Premiere) (French horn and violin).
* Gene Pritsker's "Aeon II" (Premiere) (flute, trumpet, violin, electric guitar, cello, contrabass), a romp in the hybrid vein of Satie, Zappa, and Stravinsky; and his jagged "Dust and Mirages of the Communal Mind" (Premiere) (French horn, bass trombone, contrabass).
* Dave Taylor's "Brother" (Premiere) (bass trombone, flugelhorn, violin, viola, percussion), part dirge, part anthem; and his "Dance" (Premiere) (piccolo and bass trombone), characterized by an incongruous superimposition of contours, gaping voice positioning, and Extreme registration.
International Street Cannibals is directed by Dan Barrett with co-director Chala Yancy.
Musicians include Dan Barrett (conductor), John Clark (French Horn), Tish Edens (cello), Rachel Golub (violin), Franz Hackl (trumpet), Gregor Kitzis (violin), Cesare Papetti (percussion), Gene Pritsker (electric guitar), Troy Rinker (bass), Dave Taylor (bass trombone), Linda Wetherill (flute), Chala Yancy (viola).
Dancers include Andrew Broaddus, Adrienne Misko, Amanda Mottur (belly dancer), Cat Murcek, Max Pollak (tap dancer), and Megan Sipe (choreographer).
Boxers for this event will be Paul Anthony (17 yrs) and Kevin Barker (17 yrs), Jennifer Guzman (17 yrs) and Eryan Rodriguez (16 yrs), Matt Nicelli (11 yrs) and Kevin Anderson (12 yrs), Antonio Arca (13 yrs), Isabella Arca (14 yrs), and Nicole D'Alessio (17 yrs).
ISC's Stage Director is Tyler Learned, Video Director is Daniel Palkowski, and Technical Director for this performance will be Charles Moses (Viper Studios).
This event will serve as a fundraiser for the Gleason's Gym's "Give a Kid a Dream" program. For the past sixteen years, the program has provided children from disadvantage backgrounds a place to come and develop themselves both physically and mentally through the sport of boxing. It is currently supported by Gleason's itself and the efforts of individual personal trainers, who volunteer their time or substantially discount their rates in order to help the children.
The International Street Cannibals is a collective of acclaimed instrumentalists, singers, composers, videographers, audio technicians, dancers, puppeteers and visual artists, directed by Dan Barrett, with Stage Director Tyler Learned, Dance Director Megan Sipe, and co-director Chala Yancy. In the spirit of Montaigne's 1580 essay, "Of Cannibals" - in which the French philosopher derides the status distinctions and disingenuous mores of a modern society - the ensemble presents a mix of fresh compositions and the more arresting in classical music, showcasing diverse modalities while challenging assumptions about the concert space. Since its inception in 2005, The ISC has performed at The Outreach Festival (Schwaz, Austria), HOWL! Festival (New York), Le Poisson Rouge, St. Mark's in-the-Bowery, the Austrian Cultural Forum, Players Theater, and the boxers' legendary training gym, Gleason's. The ISC can be heard on two CDs released in 2010-11 by Composers Concordance Records: Ballets & Solos (Music by Dan Cooper, Part Hardish, Otto Luening, Joseph Pehrson and Gene Pritsker), and The International Street Cannibals Present The Music of Gene Pritsker. Composers Concordance Records/Naxos will release Non Western Omelette (Music by Luciano Berio, Dan Cooper, Paul Hindemith, Guillaume de Machaut/Barrett, Dary John Mizelle, Arvo Pärt, Gene Pritsker, James "Nyoraku" Schlefer, and Japanese and Tyrolian folk tunes).
The oldest active boxing gym in the United States, Gleason's Gym has produced 132 World Champions, 2 Olympic Gold Medalists and hundreds of Amateur champions. It was founded in 1937 by Peter Gagliardi, a former bantamweight who changed his name to Bobby Gleason to appeal to the predominantly Irish New York fight crowd of the era. Located in the South Bronx, it thrived during the boxing's "Golden Age" of the 40's and 50's. In 1974, it moved to 30th street, the first level gym in New York, and in 1981 it was sold to New York businessman Ira Becker, a longtime friend of boxing and a staunch supporter of boxing safety and uniform rule regulations. When the building went co-op in 1984, Gleason's found its new and present home in Dumbo, Brooklyn. It is currently owned by Bruce Silverglade, who became business partner with Ira Becker in 1983. Fighters who trained at the gym include Muhammad Ali, Jack LaMotta, Roberto Duran, Benny "kid" Paret, Gerry Cooney, and Mike Tyson, among many others. Over the years, the reputation of the champion boxers Gleason's produced earned the gym world-renowned appeal as the pinnacle of excellence in boxing. Nowadays, Gleason's has gained a new dimension, attracting a fitness conscious crowd who understand the benefit of a boxing workout. Many full-length movies such as Midnight Run, The 10 Count, Heart, Rage of Angels, and Raging Bull were shot at the gym. Actors like Robert DeNiro and Wesley Snipes trained there to prepare for their roles, and Gleason's Gym helped coach Hilary Swank to win her second Academy Award for Best Actress in Million Dollar Baby. The gym currently has 1050 members, including 450 amateur and professional boxers and 600 recreational boxers, 320 of which are female.