Ensemble Mik Nawooj, Crowded Fire Theater, and AXIS Dance Company Present DEATH BECOME LIFE: BANISH DARKNESS

Ensemble Mik Nawooj, Crowded Fire Theater, and AXIS Dance Company Present DEATH BECOME LIFE: BANISH DARKNESS

Three established Bay Area performance organizations are coming together to create a new immersive multidisciplinary experience, offering a future vision of catharsis, engagement, and optimism, so needed in this cultural moment. The powerful storytelling of Crowded Fire Theater and playwright Star Finch, the musical and poetic impetus of Ensemble Mik Nawooj, and the diverse and unique physical rhythms of AXIS Dance Company come together at the beautiful Bayview Opera House Ruth Williams Memorial Theatre. In this immersive study of aesthetics, the artists merge hip-hop, contemporary dance, and theater into a boundary-pushing work featuring a 12-person orchestra; a work which challenges the conventions of performing arts at large while creating a future vision that can be replicated in communities in need of healing throughout the country.

This vision unites JooWan Kim, a composer who samples classical compositional techniques & hip-hop for his orchestral Ensemble Mik Nawooj and Crowded Fire Theater Company, which has 20 years experience developing innovative new plays that break traditional boundaries. With choreography by AXIS Dance Company's Artistic Director Marc Brew and their dancers with and without disabilities, and supported by Presenting Sponsor the Bayview Opera House, the companies have created a unique communal event that pulls in the audience as a final collaborator.

"This is the first full iteration of EMN's modular work, Death Become Life," says EMN Artistic Director JooWan Kim, "which uses region specific collaborations with dance, theater, and visual arts. After our SF beta version, we'll set up multiple variations in select cities within U.S. and abroad. Each variation will uniquely express the culture of the region along with different storylines, sets, and format of execution."

"We're celebrating 20 years of innovation - and expanding what theater is -with this intrepid collaboration," says CFT Artistic Director Mina Morita. "Crowded Fire is known nationally for being a vital home for fierce new plays, thanks to our Matchbox development program, and we're thrilled to be stretching that program with this remarkable piece."

Support for this production comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, Red Sand Media Partners, and the Zellerbach Family Foundation. Additional funding for Crowded Fire's Matchbox Program comes from the Kenneth Rainin Foundation.

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