FIAF Announces Global Lineup for 2017 Crossing the Line Festival
The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), New York's premiere French cultural center, has announced the Crossing the Line Festival 2017, the eleventh annual edition of its path-breaking fall arts festival.
The festival will fill prestigious performance venues, museums, public spaces, and other surprising locations across New York City with vital, imaginative new works by artists of vastly diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and practices. Crossing the Line runs September 6-October 15. Tickets are on sale at crossingtheline.org.
The festival enters its second decade with a characteristically global lineup of artists-from Japan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, Italy, Morocco, the Netherlands, the UK, France, and the US-who transcend the boundaries of genre as well as geography in performances, art works, and public conversations that wrestle with critical ideas and inspire, move, and thrill audiences. A number of New York City's foremost cultural institutions will partner with Crossing the Line to help realize these artists' visions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, Times Square Arts, NYU Skirball Center, Abrons Arts Center, Movement Research, and La MaMa. Events will also take place in various spaces at FIAF, in Brooklyn, and in Roberto Clemente Plaza in the South Bronx.
The Crossing the Line Festival 2017 features works by artists whose careers-and whose exposure to New York audiences-the festival has nurtured over multiple years. Having presented Faustin Linyekula in 2011 and 2012 to considerable acclaim, this year the festival presents three wide-ranging new works by the Congolese dancer and choreographer, including the world premiere of a festival commission. Iconoclastic choreographer Nora Chipaumire returns to the festival with the US premiere of #PUNK, a raw concert inspired by 1970s independent music and her years growing up in Zimbabwe; she participated in the Crossing the Line Festival in 2013 with her work
rite riot. American artist Annie Dorsen, whose Spokaoke was also part of the 2013 festival, this year offers the US premiere of The Great Outdoors, which is staged in an inflatable planetarium where a performer reads texts culled from internet comments and fed through an algorithm.
Leading French conceptual artist Sophie Calle returns to Crossing the Line with Voir la mer, a profoundly moving series of videos capturing the reactions of Istanbul residents seeing the ocean for the first time. Co-presented by Times Square Arts, the work will screen on electronic billboards in Times Square nightly throughout October. Italian artist Alessandro Sciarroni brings his spectacular performance UNTITLED_I will be there when you die to La MaMa for the work's New York City premiere. In it, four jugglers confront the forces of nature and the potential for failure-just as we all do each day. At The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Japanese electronic musician Ryoji Ikeda, who made his US debut in the 2010 festival, will give a live performance of his celebrated 2013 album supercodex [live set], surrounded by large-scale projected visuals.
Crossing the Line joins forces with the Brooklyn Museum, Abrons Arts Center and Movement Research to introduce American audiences to Moroccan dancer-choreographer Bouchra Ouizguen's Corbeaux (Crows), a site-specific "living sculpture" in which a cast of 12 Moroccans and 30 New Yorkers form a rhythmic chorus that will perform across the Museum's Beaux-Arts Court. Inspired by medieval Persian literature and Moroccan trance rituals, Corbeaux follows Ouizguen's appearance in the 2013 Crossing the Line with HA!
The festival welcomes several innovative artists for the first time this year. In its gallery, FIAF will present an exhibition of arresting images by French photographer Alain Willaume, curated by François Hébel. At Abrons Arts Center, UK drag fabulist Dickie Beau will give four performances of his singular work Blackouts, in which he channels Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland and reflects on the lingering impressions that icons leave behind.
The Crossing the Line Festival 2017 concludes with Dutch theater-maker Adelheid Roosen's first major New York engagement in a decade: the US premiere of No Longer Without You, her collaboration with journalist Nazmiye Oral. No Longer Without You takes the form of a public debate between Nazmiye, a Westernized Muslim, and her mother, Havva Oral, a traditional Muslim migrant.
Crossing the Line is co-curated by Lili Chopra, FIAF's Executive Vice President and Artistic Director; Simon Dove, Executive and Artistic Director of Dancing in the Streets; and Gideon Lester, Artistic Director for Theater and Dance at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College. About this year's festival they said, "The Crossing the Line Festival enables artists from around the world, and from New York City, to share and dialogue with residents, building deeper understanding and fostering community in a way that artists are uniquely able to do."
CROSSING THE LINE FESTIVAL 2017 LINEUP:
Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue (at 82nd Street)
Co-presented with The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Tickets from $45
Ryoji Ikeda is a renowned visual artist and one of the world's leading electronic music composers. His work is known for its achingly beautiful minimalism, ultra-spare beats, and mesmerizing audiovisual installations, and is as astonishing to encounter in a night club as it is in a museum. Ikeda uses mathematical principles and aesthetics to explore the characteristics of sound and light with precision and rigor. He has performed and exhibited worldwide at venues including Centre Pompidou (Paris), Sonar Festival (Barcelona), Tate Modern (London), Festival d'Automne (Paris), and Park Ave Armory (New York). Ikeda made his US debut at the Crossing the Line Festival in 2010, and last appeared at the festival in 2014, when he performed superposition at The Met.
Ryoji Ikeda opens Crossing the Line 2017 with his most recent audiovisual concert. Ikeda stands alone on stage surrounded by mammoth projections of mesmerizing black and white digital imagery. Using raw data and mathematical models, he masterfully mines information for rhythmic beats. The result is a beeping, pulsating, immersive mix of sound and multimedia art that dazzles the senses and explores the nuances between, in his words, "data of sound" and "sound of data."
Part of BRIDGING, an initiative co-developed and supported by The Edmond de Rothschild Foundations
Faustin Linyekula is an incredible artist with a "live-wire intensity" (The New York Times). His riveting work often addresses themes of memory, forgetting, and dreams. With his country's history as a catalyst, he considers the impact that decades of war, trauma, and economic uncertainty have on people's lives. Crossing the Line 2017 will feature a focus on Faustin Linyekula, presenting three works that reflect the scope of his mission, from a collaborative community project to compelling dance theater. This special program is supported in part by the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations as part of BRIDGING.
Linyekula founded his Studio Kabako in 2001. Based in Kisangani, DR Congo, the company fosters young artists, acts as a laboratory for the development of theater, dance, music, film, and video, engages in local community initiatives, and supports the touring of Linyekula's work worldwide. Linyekula has performed in New York at MoMA and at the Crossing the Line Festival in 2011 and 2012.
(World Premiere, a Crossing the Line 2017 and Met LiveArts Commission)
Co-presented with The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Gallery 534, Vélez Blanco Patio, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue (at 82nd Street)
Tickets from $65; $1 tickets available for children 7-16, as part of The Met's Bring the Kids initiative
This site-specific work, commissioned and performed in The Met's 16th Century Spanish Courtyard, the Vélez Blanco Patio, takes its starting point from The Met's collection of art from the Kingdom of Kongo. Shifting political landscapes and the tumultuous history of the DR Congo also serve as muses for these insightful and provocative artists.
Faustin Linyekula will be accompanied by South African dancer Moya Michael.
Faustin Linyekula/Studios Kabako: In Search of Dinozord (Sur les traces de Dinozord) (US Premiere)
Co-presented with NYU Skirball
Post-performance conversation on September 22 with Faustin Linyekula and NYU Faculty
NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, 566 LaGuardia Place, between West 3rd and West 4th Streets
In French with English supertitles
Scored with fragments of Mozart's Requiem, metronomic taps on a typewriter, and live vocals by rising opera star Serge Kakudji, In Search of Dinozord is a poetic, political fairy tale that begins, like all fairytales, with "once upon a time..."
From there, Faustin Linyekula and a small group of dancers and actors embark on a deeply personal journey as they search for what is left of their former dreams. In spoken word and solo dances, they delve into the wrenching history of the Congo, recount stories from their childhoods, and mourn the loss of a friend. In the process, they hope to fashion a new kind of myth that is a truer reflection of their lives.
Festival of Dreams
(World Premiere, a Crossing the Line 2017 and Dancing in the Streets Co-Commission)
Co-commissioned and co-presented with Dancing in the Streets and 651 ARTS, in partnership with BRIC, University Settlement, and the Soul of Brooklyn Festival
Saturday, September 23 at 3pm
Roberto Clemente Plaza, The Hub, 149th Street and Third Avenue, South Bronx
Sunday, September 24 at 3pm
Weeksville Heritage Center, 158 Buffalo Ave, between St. Marks Avenue and Bergen Street, Brooklyn
Free and open to the public
Assisted by South African dancer Moya Michael, Faustin Linyekula teams up with 20 dancers from It's Showtime NYC!- to create a series of performative dialogues in Brooklyn and the Bronx. During a two-week residency, he will work with each member of It's Showtime NYC!-a program of Dancing in the Streets that supports the development of street and subway dancers in New York City-exploring movement, memories, and hopes in the process of shaping meaningful stories.
The project will culminate in two events in which the performers share their dreams for a better future through street dance, music, storytelling, and community dialogue. The work celebrates the small, personal details that define who we are, and that connect us all as human beings.
ALAIN WILLAUME: VULNERABLE
Curated by François Hébel
Friday, September 15 through Saturday, October 28
FIAF Gallery, 22 East 60th Street (between Park & Madison Avenue)
Gallery Hours: Monday through Friday 11am-6pm, Saturday 11am-5pm
Opening Reception Thursday, September 14 from 6-8pm
Free and open to the public
French photographer Alain Willaume lives and works in Paris. He began his photography career in 1979. Since 2010, Willaume has been a member of Tendance Floue, a French collective of experimental photographers which received the ICP Publication Infinity Award in 2007 for the book Sommes-nous?, featuring text by Jean Baudrillard. He works outside the traditions of documentary photography to create unusual photos that evoke a ghostly undercurrent in our everyday lives. He was the recipient of a First Prize Sony World Photography Award in 2011, and he received the Kodak Award "Prix de la Critique" in 1979. Alain's work has been exhibited worldwide. Since 2003, he has also been a guest professor in art schools (Strasbourg and more recently Nancy).
Alain Willaume's unusual photos evoke a ghostly undercurrent in our everyday lives. In depicting the likes of lone and meditative figures in barren landscapes and dusty roads, he highlights the fractures in the places we call home. Working outside of the mainstream and the traditions of documentary photography, Willaume creates an arresting personal cartography of engaged metaphors and enigmatic imagery. His haunting body of work evokes the lurking violence and vulnerability in the world as well as the human beings who inhabit it. This immersive installation designed by François Hébel for the artist's US debut invites new perspectives into Willaume's global body of work.
This is the sixth exhibition of the French Protocol series in the FIAF Gallery, curated by François Hébel.
Supported by King's Fountain.
NORA CHIPAUMIRE: #PUNK (US Premiere, a Crossing the Line 2017 Commission)
Post-performance conversation on Sep 15 with Nora Chipaumire and Faustin Linyekula, moderated by Ralph Lemon.
FIAF, Tinker Auditorium, 55 East 59th Street (between Park & Madison Avenue)
FIAF Members $25; Non-Members $30
Born in Mutare, Zimbabwe and based in NYC, Nora Chipaumire uses her work to challenge and embrace stereotypes of the African black body. She seeks to question how status and power are experienced and presented, working within modes of portraiture, self-portraiture, and biography. She was awarded a 2015 Doris Duke Artist award and is a three-time BESSIE award winner. Chipaumire's most recent performance work, portrait of myself as my -f-a-t-h-e-r (2015) has toured in Africa, Europe, and the US, and her debut film, Afro Promo #1 King Lady (2016, commissioned by Montclair State University) was featured in the 2017 New York African Film Festival. She last participated in Crossing the Line Festival in 2013 with rite riot.
Iconoclastic choreographer Nora Chipaumire stages a raw concert inspired by 1970s independent music, Americana, and her own formative years in Zimbabwe in the 70-90's. Riffing on an iconic Patti Smith lyric and a punk perspective on the future, #PUNK paints a riotous sonic and visual landscape with voice, dance, installation, and performance. #PUNK is the first part of a triptych titled #PUNK 100% POP*NIGGA, a live performance album that confronts and celebrates three sonic ideologies: punk, pop, and rumba, explored through the radical artists Patti Smith, Grace Jones, and Rit Nzele.
Commissioned by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts with the support of Miami Light Project, ICA Live Art Festival (Cape Town), Crossing the Line Festival/French Institute Alliance Française and company nora chipaumire.
Annie Dorsen: The Great Outdoors (NYC Premiere) (A Crossing the Line 2017 Commission)
Supported by the Hermès Foundation within the framework of the New Settings Program
FIAF, Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th Street (between Madison & Park Avenue)
FIAF Members: $30; Non-Members: $35
Since 2009, American writer and director Annie Dorsen has used algorithms in performances to question how we live with and make meaning from technology. She is the recipient of a 2017 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant to Artists Award, the 2014 Herb Alpert Award in the Arts for Theater, and a 2008 Obie award. Dorsen's work, Spokaoke, was presented at the Crossing the Line Festival 2013.
The Great Outdoors takes us on a sublime journey through inner space in the darkness of a planetarium. A lone performer reads texts culled from internet comments and fed through an algorithm, giving voice and body to the thoughts of countless individuals all tapping away at their keyboards in isolation. As fragments of narrative emerge from the chatter, Dorsen invites us to imagine the internet's infinite possibilities as a new form of celestial authority, and the comments as the internet's id-unrestrained and protected by anonymity.
The Great Outdoors is a co-production of BIT Teatergarasjen & Bergen International Festival (Bergen, NO), Crossing the Line Festival/French Institute Alliance Française (New York, NY), and Noorderzon/Grand Theatre Groningen (NL).
The Great Outdoors is created with the support of King's Fountain, and developed in part by Live Arts Bard at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College.
ALESSANDRO SCIARRONI: UNTITLED_I will be there when you die (New York Premiere)
Co-presented with La MaMa
Supported by the Hermès Foundation within the framework of the New Settings Program
La MaMa, Ellen Stewart Theatre, 66 East 4th Street (between Second Avenue and The Bowery)
$25 General Admission; $20 Students/Seniors
Alessandro Sciarroni creates visceral, visual, high-endurance work, somewhere between dance, performance art, and ritual. Taking simple, repetitive choreography to its extremes, he pushes dancers to their physical limits to uncover obsession, fear, and vulnerability. Sciarroni's works have been performed in his native Italy and all over the world at festivals and venues including the Festival D'Automne (Paris), TBA Festival (Portland), and the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis). He last appeared at Crossing the Line Festival in 2015 with Folk-s, will you still love me tomorrow?, the first work in his Will you still love me tomorrow trilogy.
Choreographer Alessandro Sciarroni returns to Crossing the Line Festival with the second part of his Will you still love me tomorrow? trilogy. In this contemplative work on the passage of time, four jugglers start nonchalantly tossing pins, building to a thrilling spectacle while Pablo Esbert Lilienfeld DJs live.
This new performance embodies the drama and artistry of the juggler's struggle-against gravity, against their weary bodies, against the potential for failure in every toss.
BOUCHRA OUIZGUEN: Corbeaux (Crows) (NYC Premiere)
Presented in partnership with Brooklyn Museum, Abrons Arts Center, and Movement Research
Supported by the Hermès Foundation within the framework of the New Settings Program
Saturday, September 30 at 12pm & 4pm; Sunday, October 1 at 3pm
Brooklyn Museum, Beaux-Arts Court, 200 Eastern Parkway, between Mary Pinkett and Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn
Free with museum admission
Moroccan dancer and choreographer Bouchra Ouizguen lives and works in Marrakech, where she has championed and developed dance since 1998. A self-taught performer, she founded her own company, O, in 2010. Her interest in societal issues and the visual and popular arts in her country inform her body of work, which encompasses sound, performance, and video. She presented Madame Plaza and HA! as part of Crossing the Line Festival 2010 and 2013.
Corbeaux (Crows) is a hypnotic, site-specific living sculpture that interrupts and transforms public spaces. Dark silhouettes of women emerge from The Shadows and silently fan out across the Brooklyn Museum's Beaux-Arts Court. Moroccan performers are joined by a local cast of New Yorkers for this frenzied, full-body performance. Forming alchemical arrangements, they move again and again, erupting into an immersive chorus of piercing sounds and rhythmic cries, making all notions of time and space disappear.
Production Compagnie O // Co-production Service de Coopération et d'Action Culturelle de l'Ambassade de France in Rabat, with the support of the French Institute in Marrakech. Spectacle created in February 2014 for the Marrakech Contemporary Art Biennial.
Supported by the French Institute in Paris and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States
Supported by FUSED: French-US Exchange in Dance, a program of the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, and FACE Foundation, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Florence Gould Hall Foundation, and the French Ministry of Culture and Communication.
SOPHIE CALLE: Voir la mer (New York Premiere)
Co-presented with Time Square Arts and Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC)
Sunday, October 1 through Tuesday, October 31, nightly from 11:57pm-midnight
On Times Square electronic billboards from 42nd-49th Streets between 7th Avenue and Broadway
Free and open to the public
Since the late 1970's, Sophie Calle-"France's foremost conceptual artist" (The New York Times)-has been making provocative and often controversial work thatconfronts issues in her personal life. She is well-known for her sleuth-like explorations of human relationships, which have led her to follow strangers, and find work as a hotel chambermaid.
Calle's work has been shown at international venues including the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, MoMA (New York), the Guggenheim Museum (New York), The Tate Gallery (London), Crossing the Line Festival 2011, and recently a site-specific installation in Greenwood Cemetery (Brooklyn) for Creative Time.
In Istanbul, a city surrounded by the sea, Sophie Calle met people who had never seen it. For Voir la mer, as Calle describes it, "I took them to the shore of the Black Sea. They came to the water's edge, separately, eyes lowered, closed, or masked. I was behind them. I asked them to look out to the sea and then to turn back towards me to show me these eyes that had just seen it for the first time." Magnified on Times Square's electronic billboards, five of these intimate video portraits silently reveal their emotional response to this evocative experience.
DICKIE BEAU: Blackouts (US Premiere)
Co-Presented with Abrons Arts Center
Thursday, October 5 through Saturday, October 7 at 8pm; Sunday, October 8 at 2pm
Abrons Arts Center, 466 Grand Street (at Pitt Street)
Dickie Beau has revitalized the tradition of lip synching through distinctive playback performances in which he embodies counter-cultural figures and movie stars alike. Miming to speech and interviews, Beau performs uncanny invocations with the showmanship of a drag artist and the melancholy of a clown. At home on the stages of clubs, theaters, and cabarets, he has received awards including the Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award and the London Cabaret Award for Best Alternative Performer.
For his first major US solo show, drag fabulist Dickie Beau conjures the wayward spirits of Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland. Following the siren call of his childhood idols, Dickie ends up in the New York apartment of an octogenarian journalist, listening to the unpublished tapes of an interview conducted just before Monroe's death in 1962. Using this encounter as the genesis for Blackouts, Dickie merges reality with illusion and his identity with the actresses' as he breathes electrifYing Life into Hollywood's audio artifacts. The result is an ethereal portrait of icons and a reflection on the lingering impressions they've left behind.
Supported by the British Council
ADELHEID ROOSEN & NAZMIYE ORAL: No Longer Without You (US Premiere)
Thursday, October 12 and Friday, October 13 at 7:30pm; Saturday, October 14 at 3 & 7:30pm; Sunday, October 15 at 3pm
FIAF, Le Skyroom, 22 East 60th Street (between Madison & Park Avenue)
FIAF Members: $20; Non-Members: $25
Dutch filmmaker, actress, and director Adelheid Roosen has been making theater about "unspeakable" topics since 1989. Her mission is to shift perspectives about what we see as "other" and whom we call strangers. Roosen uses theater to lay bare some of our most sensitive social issues, and to deepen public discussion.
Dutch writer and actress Nazmiye Oral has an extensive theater career in the Netherlands and abroad. She is a co-founder, with Adelheid Roosen, of Zinaplatform, a theater company that travels to different neighborhoods throughout the Netherlands and stages performances based on the lives of locals in the community. Her collaborations with Roosen on the plays The Veiled Monologues and No Longer Without You have met with great success. Since its creation, No Longer Without You has toured extensively throughout the world. It was presented during the prestigious Holland Festival in 2015 where Nazmiye won the Audience Award for her performance. In 2016 she won a Golden Calf Award for her role in the film In Vrijheid (In Freedom).
You are invited to a searing, outrageous, hilarious conversation between a real-life mother and daughter about things never discussed in the family home. Havva Oral is a traditional Muslim immigrant living in the Netherlands; her westernized daughter Nazmiye Oral is a journalist and modern Dutch woman. In the intimate circle of a staged living room, they confront each other's core values, faith, and sexuality. Directed by Adelheid Roosen and set to live music by Seval Okyay, No Longer Without You is a theatrical look at an important rite.
An Adelheid|Zina production
Supported by the Performing Arts Fund NL
About Crossing the Line 2017
Crossing the Line is an international arts festival for New York City produced by the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) in partnership with leading cultural institutions.
France has a long history of supporting national and international cultural practices, welcoming and nurturing new ideas and influential perspectives from around the world. FIAF, as the leading French cultural institution in the US, critically maintains that practice through the Crossing the Line Festival, presenting leading-edge artists from France and the US alongside their peers from around the world.
Since its inauguration in 2007, Crossing the Line has cultivated an increasingly large and diverse following, and received numerous accolades in the press including "Best of" in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, Time Out New York, Artforum, and Frieze. Festival performances have earned multiple Obie and Bessie awards. Visit crossingtheline.org for more information.
Crossing the Line 2017: Partners
FIAF is thrilled to work once again with numerous partners throughout New York City, including 651 Arts, Abrons Arts Center, BRIC, the Brooklyn Museum, Dancing in the Streets, La MaMa, The Met Fifth Avenue, Movement Research, NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, Times Square Arts, and the Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC).
About BRIDGING: An International Dialogue on Diversity and Inclusion in the Arts
The Edmond de Rothschild Foundations and the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) have partnered to present BRIDGING: An International Dialogue on Diversity and Inclusion in the Arts, which was launched as part of Crossing the Line 2016. BRIDGING offers international perspectives to evaluate policies and practices in an effort to move beyond simple acknowledgement of cultural diversity to achieve genuine equality in the arts in our shifting cultural landscape. Works by choreographer Faustin Linyekula and his guest artists will be presented as part of this project, as well as a public conversation.
About the Partnership between Crossing the Line and the Hermès Foundation's (Fondation d'entreprise Hermès) New Settings Program
Crossing the Line is thrilled to partner with the Hermès Foundation (Fondation d'entreprise Hermès)'s New Settings Program for a fifth consecutive year. Launched in 2011, New Settings supports new performing arts productions that shift borders between disciplines to create innovative art forms. This year, works by Annie Dorsen, Bouchra Ouizguen, and Alessandro Sciarroni are presented within the framework of Crossing the Line. Go to www.fondationentreprisehermes.org.
The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) is New York's premiere French cultural and language center. FIAF's mission is to create and offer New Yorkers innovative and unique programs in education and the arts that explore the evolving diversity and richness of French cultures. FIAF seeks to generate new ideas and promote cross cultural dialogue through partnerships and new platforms of expression. Visit www.fiaf.org.