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La MaMa Announces 15th edition of the La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival

The virtual La MaMa Moves! festival will take place Tuesdays–Wednesdays, January 19–20, and January 26–27, at 7pm (EST).

La MaMa has announced the 15th edition of the La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival, which will be presented for the first time in a virtual format. Curated and hosted by Nicky Paraiso, the festival will feature digital premieres by five artists who bring bold perspectives and approaches to their diverse movement practices: Kevin Augustine (US), Kari Hoaas (Norway), Anabella Lenzu (Argentina/Italy/US), and Tamar Rogoff (US) with Mei Yamanaka (Japan). The artists created/recreated work during a La MaMa-supported residency this past summer. The virtual La MaMa Moves! festival will take place Tuesdays-Wednesdays, January 19-20, and January 26-27, at 7pm (EST) on La MaMa's website: Tickets are pay-what-you-can starting at $5.

"We are thrilled to present five maverick choreographers who make work outside the box with invention, innovation, intelligence, and a deeply passionate, personal core of feeling," said Paraiso. "For this virtual La MaMa Moves!, created in response to the global pandemic, we asked the choreographers who had been selected for the 2020 festival to reimagine and rethink their works for the video format, perhaps creating a new form/at entirely."

Kevin Augustine utilizes puppetry as movement, carving out heretofore unknown territory. Anabella Lenzu bravely charts new paths for the body as feminist vessel with courage and fierce intelligence. Kari Hoaas researches humanity's essential need for water with a rigorous movement practice informed by visual beauty and clarity. Tamar Rogoff manifests years of movement research and teaching, forging a new form of dance-theater informed by fearless questioning and rigor. Mei Yamanaka is a fearless performer researching and investigating her return to Japan during a global pandemic as she and her parents deal with quarantine and (perhaps) ghosts from their familial, cultural past.

BODY CONCERT (work-in-progress)

Kevin Augustine / Lone Wolf Tribe

January 19 and 27, 7pm

BODY CONCERT is a hauntingly romantic moving-puppet sculpture of muscles, tendons, and bone. Animated in a rigorous solo choreography, Kevin Augustine's spectacle embraces pure minimalism as he puppeteers with his hands, toes, and outstretched legs. Inspired by Butoh and performed to an original score by Mark Bruckner, this hybrid work brings Lone Wolf Tribe's exquisitely sculpted foam-rubber puppets uniquely to life in a wordless, tender meditation on life's beautiful impermanence.

The night that you stopped acting/La noche que dejaste de actua

Anabella Lenzu

January 19 and 20, 7pm

The night that you stopped acting/La noche que dejaste de actua is a one-woman show that confronts the absurdity and irony of life while being an artist and a spectator in today's world. Choreographed and performed by Anabella Lenzu, the dance-theater work reflects Lenzu's experience as a Latina/European artist living in New York and comes from a deep examination of her motivations as a woman, mother, and immigrant. The creative team includes Daniel Pettrow (director), Naoko Maeshiba (dramaturg), and Todd Carroll (videographer and technology advisor).

HEAT - the distant episodes

Kari Hoaas

January 20 and 26, 7pm

Kari Hoaas's HEAT - the distant episodes, created in response to the continuing global pandemic, is a series of digital dance haikus that began with Be Like Water - the distant episodes in July. This series of dance-poems offers moments of pause, of contemplation on listening and seeing. With each episode audiences may notice the interplay of light, shadow, movement, and sound, and appreciate the immediate surroundings. In HEAT - the distant episodes the choreography is based on material from Kari Hoaas Productions' original evening-length work HEAT (2018), adapted to and filmed in empty urban offices and workspaces in Oslo.

The Yamanakas At Home (work-in-progress)

Tamar Rogoff and Mei Yamanaka

Wonder About Merri (2019)

January 26 and 27, 7pm

The Yamanakas At Home, created by Tamar Rogoff in collaboration with Mei Yamanaka, quietly yet boldly engages the mundane and otherworldly. The piece centers on an older couple living in a house in Japan. They eat, they sleep, they do laundry. A figure enters the house leaving mysterious rice circles that surround this man and woman. As often as they sweep up the rice it returns. They wonder if someone is haunting them or trying to protect them. Rogoff envisions and directs. Yamamaka directs, edits, and dances the intruder/protector. Yamanaka's parents perform as the couple.

This collaboration across the world began after Yamanaka left New York and returned to her family's home in Japan at the start of the pandemic. The two artists forged a partnership, working together for the first time. For Rogoff, this opportunity to mix truth and fiction, a cast of dancers and non-dancers, a kind of site work and merger of dance and film, is what she loves most.

Also on the program is Wonder About Merri, a six-minute short that looks at a surprising moment in Merri Milwe's life. Diagnosed with dystonia in 2012, she pursued a number of medical treatments and a lot of alternative routes recommended by friends. Some of these methods were crazy, some not, but all ineffective. A longtime dance student of Rogoff's, she had stopped going to classes in fear that she couldn't do anything. When she returned, she and Rogoff found some shocking evidence of movement they didn't think was possible. Wonder About Merri is a hybrid, not a documentary, or a narrative, or a dance film. In Milwe's words, it is "a cross between a music video and Lourdes." Wonder About Merri was produced by Merri Milwe and Tamar Rogof. The film stars Merri Milwe and was directed by Tamar Rogoff. Editing and cinematography by Shachar Langlev. Sound design and original composition by Wilco Alkema. Wonder About Merri premiered at Dance on Camera in July 2019.


Tuesday, January 19, at 7pm
Kevin Augustine
Anabella Lenzu

Wednesday, January 20, at 7pm
Anabella Lenzu
Kari Hoaas

Tuesday, January 26, at 7pm
Kari Hoaas

Tamar Rogoff

Wednesday, January 27, at 7pm
Tamar Rogoff
Kevin Augustine

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