bewilderment and other queer lions | Performance Space New York

bewilderment and other queer lions

bewilderment and other queer lions
Samita Sinha (USA)

An intimate, immersive experience of voice, sound and image, bewilderment and other queer lions radically transmutes Indian classical, folk and ritual music traditions through the collaboration of composer Samita Sinha with musicians Sunny Jain (of Red Baarat) and Grey Mcmurray.

A world of acoustic and electronic sound created on traditional instruments and found objects accompanies Sinha’s voice, which synthesizes the raw and refined in a single breath. Along with director Ain Gordon, acclaimed visual artist Dani Leventhal and lighting designer Devin Cameron, Sinha digests a wide range of texts and imagery, from South Asian mythology to Freddie Mercury to French novelist Marguerite Duras, meditating on desire and diasporic experience to prophecy a mythic future.

Creator & Composer: Samita Sinha
Director: Ain Gordon
Lighting Designer: Devin Cameron
Visual Designer: Dani Leventhal
Drums and Percussion: Sunny Jain
Guitar and Sound Design: Grey Mcmurray

“Rather than mash-up, she minimalized, delicately teasing her voice and the elements of the raga form through a vast range of musical territories.” – Portland Monthly

80 minutes running time

Commissioned by Performance Space 122
Co-presented by The Invisible Dog Art Center and Performance Space 122

Jan 6 – 7pm
Jan 7 – 8pm
Jan 8 – 7pm
Jan 9 – 9pm
Jan 10 – 3pm

The Invisible Dog Art Center
51 Bergen Street in Brooklyn

$20 / $15 Students & Seniors


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Samita Sinha is a composer and vocal artist who combines tradition with experiment to create bold new forms in music and performance. Her vocal art combines visceral energy with a deep grounding in North Indian classical music, embodied practices, and folk and ritual music in several languages. Her performance work combines voice and body, language and text, sound and music, light and visual design to create new experiences of listening, seeing, and meaning.


Current projects include her solo staged work Cipher (produced by MAPP International, toured at The Kitchen, Wexner Center for the Arts, PICA, Virginia Tech and REDCAT), as well as Tongues in Trees, a ‘uniquely-aligned trio’ (NPR) with Sunny Jain and Grey Mcmurray, whose debut album Parallel will be released this fall.


Sinha has composed/performed scores for Fiona Templeton’s epic theater work The Medead and Preeti Vasudevan’s Veiled Moon and vocal directed E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E by Daria Fain and Robert Kocik. She toured internationally with Sekou Sundiata’s the 51st (dream) state, worked as a vocalist with Robert Ashley in his 2011 revival of That Morning Thing, and collaborated with jazz pianist Marc Cary (FOCUS Trio, Anatomy). Awards include grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, National Performance Network, Queens Council on the Arts, Urban Arts Initiative and a Fulbright Scholarship; and residencies with Atlas Performing Arts Center (DC), BRICLab (NY), Coleman Center for the Arts (AL), Millay Colony for the Arts (NY), Ohio State University and The Watermill Center (NY).


Sinha works extensively as an educator as well as a curator (Movement Research Spring Festival 2015, WedaPeople’s Cabaret at Harlem Stage). Inspired by Sundiata’s call for artists to create new public rituals, Sinha creates forms that extend her practice into communities: she created a Community Coalition Choir bridging racial divisions in York, Alabama; brought social singing rituals (created in collaboration with Stephanie Loveless, Julia Ulehla, and Massimiliano Balduzzi) into various communities throughout NYC; and led Community Sings—events that bring diverse populations together for singing and dialogue—in her own Queens neighborhood as well as in Alabama. She teaches voice and embodiment extensively in New York City and as a visiting artist, with a focus on workshops for young women of color.

The Invisible Dog Art Center The Invisible Dog Art Center is housed in a three-story former factory building in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. Built in 1863, our 30,000 square foot facility has been the site of various industrial endeavors – most notably a belt factory that created the famous Walt Disney invisible dog party trick, from which they take their name. The building remained dormant from the mid 1990’s to 2009 when founder, Lucien Zayan, opened The Invisible Dog.
The Invisible Dog is dedicated to the integration of forward-thinking innovation with respect for the past. In 2009 the building was restored for safety, and has been maintained over the years, but otherwise preserved in tact from its original 1863 form. The rawness of the space is vital to the space’s cultural identity.
The ground floor is used for exhibitions, performances and public events, featuring artists and curators from round the world. This floor also includes a new pop-up shop, designed by artist-in-residence Anne Mourier, conceived as a new home for independent, commercial designers in various fields. The second floor and part of the third floor are divided into over 30 artists’ studios.The third floor, luminous and spacious is used for private events, exhibitions, performances and festivals. Finally, the Glass House is a brand new, seasonal exhibition space dedicated to featuring the work of female-identified artists.


The Invisible Dog Art Center is located in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn and is accessible by the F and G subways. This cool and calm region on the northwest side of Brooklyn is home to roughly 20,000 residents. Invisible Dog Art Center sits one block from Dean Street and two blocks from Atlantic Avenue, both boasting a plethora of bars and restaurants.
Boerum Hill claims a trendy stretch of Smith Street as its own, and small cafes and stores are dotted throughout the neighborhood’s interior, like the restaurant Building on Bond and the Brooklyn Circus boutique. Some staff picks include: 61 Local, just next door at 61 Bergen Street! Hancos, 85 Bergen St & 134 Smith Street (2 locations); Van Leeuwen, 81 Bergen Street; Bien Cuit, 120 Smith Street; Van Horn Sandwich Shop, 231 Court Street; Ki Sushi, 122 Smith Street.


Featured image by Dean Moss
bewilderment and other queer lions is commissioned by Performance Space 122 with support from the Jerome Foundation. Additional support provided by American Dance Institute and PICA’s Creative Exchange Lab.

Dates: January 6-10

Type: Music, Performance

Premiere Status: World Premiere

All rights reserved by Performance Space New York
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