BMCC Tribeca PAC Celebrates New Work by its Artists-in-Residence this June
Last fall, eight artists were selected by a jury of performing arts professionals to participate in the BMCC Tribeca PAC Artists-in-Residence program. For the past year, these talented dancers, choreographers, playwrights and musicians have spent countless hours in our theaters honing their respective crafts while developing a piece for the spring "Work & Show Festival." They will debut these new productions ? spanning Irish, American, Indian, and Chinese cultural influences ? during the first three weeks of June: Choreographer Edisa Weeks (in collaboration with composer Joe Phillips) explores Thomas Paine through dance, music and text; playwright Dolores Rice examines the "ties that bind" in her moving narrative of an Irish-American family; musicians Likeness to Lily personalize current affairs with their operatic, multimedia journey of a veteran's return home; Parijat Desai Dance Company and Yin Mei reframe classical Indian love songs and the ancient Chinese art of calligraphy respectively; and playwrights Crowley & Rau speak to contemporary suburban culture. See below for a full schedule and description of the "Work & Show Festival" from June 3-20, 2010.
WORK & SHOW FESTIVAL SCHEDULE
Tickets are $10 (unless otherwise indicated) and can be purchased at Ticketing Services or over the phone: 212.220.1460.
Edisa Weeks - Dance
To Begin The World Over Again
Thursday & Friday, June 3 & 4, at 8PM - Tickets are FREE
Parijat Desai Dance Company- Dance
Songs to Live For
Saturday, June 5 at 8PM & Sunday, June 6 at 3PM & 7PM
Michael Crowley & Michael Rau - Theater
Thursday & Friday, June 10 & 11, at 8PM
Likeness to Lily - Musical Theater/Opera
Saturday, June 12 at 8PM & Sunday, June 13 at 7PM
Dolores Rice - Theater
Thursday & Friday, June 17 & 18, at 8PM -Tickets are FREE
Yin Mei - Dance
Mountain River Project
Saturday, June 19 at 8PM & Sunday, June 20 at 7PM
ARTIST DESCRIPTIONS AND BIOS
Michael Yates Crowley and Michael Rau
The play Real Dogs begins when the Pattersons receive a wooden dog as a gift. Their suburban basement is the set and fear is the main character. Crippled by fear that the dog will bite, that the neighbors will complain, and that the dog could be hit by a car, the Patterson's paranoia eventually overwhelms the family (while reflecting current American fears of terrorist attacks, economic collapse, or government run wild). The artists also want to explore how close we might be to losing sight of the bigger picture.
Michael Yates Crowley is a 2008 Fellow in Playwriting from the New York Foundation for the Arts. As co-founder of Wolf 359, his work has been performed in Germany, Chicago and New York City, and filmed by HBO. He twice received the Seymour Brick Memorial Prize in Playwriting from Columbia University, where he studiEd English and Astrophysics. For the last three years he has been the curator of Hearth Gods, a reading series in the East Village.
Michael Rau's New York credits include: The Ted Haggard Monologues (New York Magazine Critic's Pick) and The Italian Songbook, at the NYU Steinhardt School of Music. His productions have been remounted in Germany, Greece, and Montreal. He has directed readings of new plays at New York Theater Workshop, Primary Stages and Lincoln Center. He has served as an assistant for Les Waters at A.R.T., Anne Bogart at Glimmerglass Opera, and RoBert Woodruff at San Francisco Opera. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University and Columbia University's School of the Arts.
Parijat Desai Dance Company
Songs to Live For
Songs To Live For explores the profound romantic and spiritual longing evoked by Hindustani vocal music-love songs called thumri and khayal, in particular. Dancers move solo, in pairs and as an ensemble, responding to the music's spacious vocals, rhythmic punctuations and nuances of poetry. Parijat Desai's choreography blends fluid movements from postmodern dance with gesture/expression from Indian classical dance. This dance theater work is enhanced by visuals referencing India's Mughal courts, where this music was originally fostered. Songs To Live For is made possible in part with public funds from the Fund for Creative Communities, supported by the New York State Council on the Arts and administered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.
Set to electronic music with Indian influences, Make Space rewires the sculptural positions of Indian classical dance (bharata natyam). Dancers undulate and slide their bodies, creating openings within rigid classical forms, travelling those forms out into space, into the floor, into the air. Desai also remixes classical footwork patterns in response to contemporary beats.
Parijat Desai Dance Company performs a hybrid of Indian classical and modern dance the New York Times called a "seamless blending of the new and old." Choreographer Parijat Desai brings together the lines, rhythms and theatricality of Indian classical dance with the dynamism and conceptual experimentation of modern dance, creating new vocabularies that move across boundaries of tradition and culture. PDDC has been presented by venues including the Grand Performances and Skirball Cultural Center (LA); Northwestern University (Chicago); and Danspace Project, La MaMa, BRIC Studio, and Queens Museum of Art (NY). PDDC also performed at The Other Festival (India) and in Desh Pardesh (Toronto). In 2009, Desai was in residence at Stanford University's Institute for Diversity in the Arts (winter), and is teaching at Queens College this fall. The company is a 2008 recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts BUILD grant and was selected for the Asian American Arts Alliance SOAR grant (2008, 2007).
Likeness to Lily
Command Voice is an evening-length, multimedia opera that re-imagines Odysseus's return through the story of a post-combat Marine, his waiting wife, and the scientist who promises to restore their life to 'new normal'. With original video and artwork by Justin Waldstein, music direction by Tony Melone, dramaturgy by Alison Fleminger, and through the songs of Susan Oetgen and Likeness to Lily, Command Voice considers the process of healing injury in a world where technology allows us to exceed our human limitations, while at the same time compelling us to confront the ambiguous consequences of the power it bestows.
Likeness to Lily is a Brooklyn band, featuring singer-songwriter Susan Oetgen, pianist Tony Melone, bass player Ian M. Riggs and drummer Evan Pazner. In March 2008, Likeness to Lily premiered an original multimedia song-cycle entitled Bazm-o-Razm for the Brooklyn Philharmonic's Music Off the Walls series. Since Bazm-o-Razm, they have continued to collaborate with Justin Waldstein, a Brooklyn-based artist with a multi-disciplinary background in the humanities. The quartet plays regularly in the downtown music clubs of New York City, and occasionally in other cities from Washington, DC to North Bennington, VT. Releases include Solitude's Dollhouse (2005), which features the song ‘Jewelia', as heard on A&E Television's prime-time reality show, Random 1, and Farewell, Recruit (2008).
Mountain River Project
Dance has figured prominently in the development of calligraphy as one of China's essential art forms. During the Shang Dynasty, it was dancing shamans who presided over divination rituals in which oracle bones were cracked in order to commune with the ancestors. Later, dancers also inspired drunken T'ang Dynasty monks to abandon the formalism of their age, seek freedom of expression and perform through calligraphy. The Mountain River Project is an extension of that connection: a work of modern calligraphy-making and its reflection in movement.
Yin Mei is a genre-defying director/choreographer/performance artist known for creating dance theater works that fearlessly bridge geographic, technological, artistic and cultural divides to conjure a unique brand of theatrical magic. Yin Mei was born in China and started her professional career in traditional Chinese dance during the Cultural Revolution. Before coming to the United States to study modern dance with a grant from the Asian Cultural Council, she was a principal dancer with the Henan Song and Dance Troupe and later the Hong Kong Dance Company. Yin Mei received a Guggenheim Fellowship in Choreography in 2005 and was a Choreography Fellow of the New York Foundation for the Arts in 2004. Yin Mei now choreographs and performs her contemporary works worldwide through her company, YIN MEI DANCE.
The Apology The apology is a multi-media theater piece revolving around the 60th birthday party for the patriarch of an Irish family living in America. As the day looms, the four adult children ? scarred from childhood wounds inflicted by their father ? try to come to terms with honoring the man who caused them so much suffering. The weight of the conflict strains an already knotted marriage between father and mother and a day meant for celebration and unity, threatens to bring down an already fractured family.
Dolores Rice is a playwright, film-maker and novelist. Ms Rice received a Masters Degrees from both the University of College Dublin and Goldsmith College of London, England, where she studied French literature, philosophy, theater and film making. She has taught at the Sorbonne University in Paris and University College Dublin. Her short films have appeared in numerous festivals internationally. Her feature film debut, The Whole of the Moon, will be shot in Dublin, Sinai Desert, Egypt and New York in the fall. Dolores has worked as a director in the Theatre in Dublin, London, and Paris. The Apology will be her New York theatrical debut.
To Begin The World Over Again
To Begin The World Over Again is a collaboration between Choreographer Edisa Weeks and Composer Joe Phillips for an evening-length performance that integrates Weeks' dance company Delirious Dances and the live music of Phillips and his Orchestra Numinous. The work explores the writings of Thomas Paine and his spirited advocacy for freedom and democracy in America. The piece inquires: how are freedom and democracy packaged and promoted in America? How do Weeks and Phillips as African-Americans answer that question, and how do other communities address the question? Essentially, what is the promise of America that Paine so fervently wrote about, and is America living up to it?
Edisa Weeks is the director and choreographer for DELIRIOUS Dances, which merges theater with dance to explore the beauty and complexity of life. Her work has been performed in a variety of venues including swimming pools, storefront windows, senior centers and various living rooms, as well as at Chashama Theater, Emory University, Jacob's Pillow, Works & Process at the Guggenheim Museum, The Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts, The National Black Arts Festival, and Summerstages Dance Festival, among others. DELIRIOUS recently performed in living rooms in Berlin, Germany, as part of Haus der Kulturen der Welts' 50th anniversary celebration. Weeks teaches at Princeton University and received a Brooklyn Arts Council Grant to bring her work LIAISONS to senior centers throughout Brooklyn.
BMCC Tribeca PAC is Downtown Manhattan's premiere presenter of the arts, reaching audiences from the college community, downtown residential and business communities, local schools, families, and audiences of all ages. BMCC Tribeca PAC strives to present a broad global perspective through the presentation of high-quality artistic work in music, theatre, dance, film and visual arts. BMCC Tribeca PAC is located on the Borough of Manhattan Community College campus, 199 Chambers Street (between Greenwich Avenue & West Street) and is convenient to the 2/3, A/C/E and R/W subway lines and the New Jersey Path Train. For more information please visit our website, www.tribecapac.org.