COIL 2012 | Performance Space New York

COIL 2012

Performance Space 122’s contemporary performance festival, COIL, returns in an expanded edition for its seventh year. Spanning 25 days and taking place at multiple venues across New York City, this annual mid-winter festival “aimed at the head, the guts and the heart” (New York Post, 2011) features 10 premieres from daring international and New York-based artists.

Performance Space 122 Artistic Director Vallejo Gantner commented, “COIL 2012 represents a Performance Space 122 of which we are all very proud. Across the city, sourced from around the world. Fully realized, but on the bleeding front edge. As we spend the upcoming seasons outside of our home, we are proud to be embarking on several catalytic partnerships that help make this vital work possible: The Invisible Dog Arts Center, Under the Radar & The Public Theater, SPiN New York, and the wonderful Baryshnikov Arts Center.”

Tickets to COIL go on sale to package holders on November 2 and to the general public on December 1, 2011. All tickets may be purchased online at, via phone at 212-352-3101, and in person at the Box Office at Performance Space 122 (150 1st Avenue) except where otherwise noted. Single ticket prices vary per event. Ticket packages include: The PS122 Passport (5 tickets for $75 valid through June 30, 2012) & The COIL Pass – recommended for Arts Professionals & Performance Lovers (10 tickets for $100 valid through January 29, 2012).

On Sunday, January 8 at 7pm, PS 122 and SPiN New York will present The Red & White Party, downtown’s definite holiday bash. The event features performances by choreographer Jack Ferver, new media artist Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky, and performance tour de force Reggie Watts. Details follow.

Let us think of these things always. Let us speak of them never. (New York Premiere)
Every House Has a Door (Chicago, Croatia)

Upstairs at Performance Space 122 (150 First Ave. NYC)
Jan 5, 6 at 8pm; Jan 7 at 6pm, Jan 8, 9 at 3pm
Tickets: $20 ($15 for students, seniors)

The New York premiere of Let us think of these things always. Let us speak of them never. marks the New York debut of the performance collective Every House Has a Door, which features Lin Hixson and Matthew Goulish, co-founders of the performance group Goat Island; fellow Chicagoan Stephen Fiehn (of Cupola Bobber); and Croatian artists Selma Banich and Mislav ?avadjda. In a densely layered, high-energy weaving of text and movement, the artists, influenced by Yugoslavian filmmaker Dušan Makavejev and the work of American philosopher Stanley Cavell, respond to the work of Swedish director Ingmar Bergman. Alternately visceral, poetic, grotesque and humorous, this multi-disciplinary work engages the histories of utopianism and revolt in an unjust world.

The creation of this performance has been supported by a grant from the Trust for Mutual Understanding. It is a co-production with OOUR and Centre forDrama Art with further support from the City Office for Culture Zagreb, The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, ekscene platform in collaboration with CeKaO “Zagreb”, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, FACE Croatia, commissioning support from The Nuffield Theatre, Lancaster, UK, and a United States Artists Ziporyn Fellowship. This work is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation Fund/Forth Fund Projectco-commissioned by Performance Space 122 in partnership with Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago,Fusebox Festival and NPN. The Creation Fund is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency). The Forth Fund is supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. For more information:

Too shy to stare (US Premiere)
Davis Freeman (Belgium)
Co-presented with The Old School

The Old School (233 Mott St. NYC)
Jan 6, 7, 9-11, 13, 14 at 5pm and 9pm
Tickets: $25 ($20 for students, seniors)

The celebrated American-born, Belgium-based dance artist Davis Freeman invites audiences of just 10 at a time to experience the US Premiere of Too shy to stare. Developed over the last nine years in Europe, this unique two-hour performance attempts to eliminate the barriers that exist between performer and audience in highly original and unrepeatable ways.

Ticket buyers are required to make an appointment to have their photograph taken at least 48 hours in advance of attending the performance. A cast of local performers wear the photographs like masks, creating the illusion that the audience is performing for themselves. Using set and newly developed choreography, Too shy to stare is also dependent on how far the audience is willing to let their imaginations take them.

Too shy to stare is made possible with support from Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Koen Kwanten, Kaai theatre, Damaged goods, and the VGC. Created in part at the Arts Collaboration Lab, a partnership between Columbia University School of the Arts and Performance Space 122 in July 2011.

Looking for a Missing Employee (US Premiere)
The Pixelated Revolution (World Premiere)
Rabih Mroué (Lebanon)

Baryshnikov Arts Center
Howard Gillman Performance Space (450 West 37th St. NYC)
Looking for a Missing Employee on Jan 6, 7 at 7:30pm; Jan 8 at 5pm
The Pixelated Revolution on Jan 9 at 7:30pm
Tickets: $20 ($15 for students, seniors)

Lebanese actor, writer and director Rabih Mroué makes his US debut in the American premiere of Looking for a Missing Employee. In this solo performance, Mroué uses newspaper clippings to detail a disturbing case of a missing employee and the larger political and economic factors responsible for his disappearance. Based on true events, Looking for a Missing Employee combines found narrative with projection and live video feed. Mroué explores questions of presence, absence and documentation for individuals and society at large. In the work-in-progress lecture performance The Pixelated Revolution, Mroué explores the role social media and mobile phones played during the recent Syrian revolution.

Rabih Mroué belongs to a tight-knit generation of artists that keeps Beirut at the forefront of the international artistic and cultural scene. He is the winner of the 2010 Spalding Gray Award.

The Pixelated Revolution is commissioned by the 2010 Spalding Gray Award (Performance Space 122 in New York, The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, On the Boards in Seattle, The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis).

El pasado es un animal grotesco / The past is a grotesque animal (US Premiere)
Mariano Pensotti (Argentina)
Co-presented with The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival

The Public Theater (425 Lafayette St., NYC)
Jan 7 at 7pm; Jan 8 at 2pm; Jan 10 – Jan 14 at 7pm; Jan 15 at 2pm
Tickets: $20 (Single tickets on sale December 7 at

In this highly anticipated US Premiere directed by Mariano Pensotti, damaged photographs pieced together by an indie rock anthem by the band Of Montreal tell the epic and cinematic chronicle of the lives of four young Argentinians between 1999-2009. This record, bittersweet, fragmented, and fast-paced, displays past lives – both true and imaginary – across a slowly revolving stage.

In Spanish with English subtitles.

Made possible by the Performing Americas Program (PAP), a partnership between the National Performance Network (NPN) and the Network of Cultural Promoters of Latin America and the Caribbean (La RED) designed to increase artistic exchange in the Western Hemisphere. Performing Americas Program is supported by the NPN with funding provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation. Co-produced by Grupo Marea, Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Festival de Otoño de Madrid and Theaterformen.

The Green Surround (Originally premiered in May 2011 at PS 122)
Heather Kravas (US, France)

Downstairs at Performance Space 122 (150 First Ave. NYC)
Jan 7 at 7:30pm; Jan 8 at 6pm; Jan 9 at 5pm
Tickets: $20 ($15 for students, seniors)

Choreographer Heather Kravas returns to the downstairs space at Performance Space 122 with The Green Surround, a work that upends the effortful physicality of nine women and the practice of perfection. Kravas utilizes repetition and combines the endless rhythmic possibilities of classical and anti-classical movement, text, and atmospheric sound to distort ideas of beauty. In attempting perfection, individuality begins to seep through the cracks as a community forms around the performers’ shared effort. The Green Surround recognizes the beauty of a body forced and forcing itself into an ideal, while considering the possibility that some necessary vitality exists in the pathetic failings to these standards. Insisting strength, while insinuating violence, it aims to be perfect, while hoping to undermine perfectionism.

The Green Surround is made possible with commissioning support from Performance Space 122 and the Jerome Foundation. This work received its US premiere at Performance Space 122 in April 2011. Additional support provided by Mertz Gilmore Foundation, TestPerformanceTest and Swedish Hasbeens.

Mission Drift (US Premiere)
the TEAM (NY)

The Connelly Theater (220 E 4th St. NYC)
Jan 8 at 11am; Jan 9-10, 12-14, 17-21, 24-28 at 8pm; Jan 15, 22, 29 at 5pm; Jan 28 at 2pm
Tickets: $25 ($20 for students, seniors)

The TEAM returns to Performance Space 122 with the US premiere of the award-winning, contemporary musical Mission Drift, following a critically acclaimed European tour of the work. Combining atomic blasts, Elvis gyrations and lizard ballet with original music by Heather Christian (2011 Off-Off-Broadway Innovator to Watch, Time Out New York), Mission Drift is an epic journey East and West in search of the soul of American capitalism. The work interweaves the story of two immortal Dutch teens who travel west from 1624 Amsterdam to modern-day Las Vegas with an intimate portrait of a contemporary Vegas cocktail waitress laid-off due to the financial collapse. “What a blast,” declares The Guardian, “the company fulfill all their much-hyped promise in this gorgeous, gaudy musical.”

Renowned for fusing American history, myth, and contemporary stories, the TEAM, under the direction of Obie award-winner Rachel Chavkin, conceived of Mission Drift before the collapse of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Yet in this timely work, the company wrestles with questions that are at the forefront of our current economic and political climate: How did we arrive at this financial crisis? How do we recover as individuals and as a country? What are our hopes for the future? Mission Drift was awarded the 2011 Edinburgh International Festival Fringe Prize, the Scotsman Fringe First and the Herald Angel Awards.

Mission Drift was made possible with support from the Greenwall Foundation, the Panta Rhea Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, the JMJ Family Fund, the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (through USArtists International in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation), the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, The Almeida Theatre, Performance Space 122, & Culturgest. It was developed at London’s Almeida Theatre, Brooklyn’s BRICStudio, the University of Nevada Las Vegas, LMCC’s Swing Space grant at Building 110 on Governors Island, the Orchard Project, Soho Think Tank’s Ice Factory Festival, CUNY’s Prelude Festival, and ArtsEmerson.

Choreography for Blackboards (US Premiere)
Michael Kliën with Steve Valk (Ireland)
Co-presented by The Invisible Dog Art Center

The Invisible Dog Art Center (51 Bergen St. Brooklyn, NY)
Jan 8 at 3pm; Jan 9, 11 at 6pm; Jan 10 at 8pm
Tickets: $20 ($15 for students, seniors)

The US Premiere of Choreography for Blackboards, a work by European choreographer Michael Kliën (with dramaturge Steve Valk), weaves the drawings of seven performers info a collective dance of minds. Drawing on seven monolithic blackboards, seven local and international performers follow exact, rehearsed procedures over a set period of time. As the drawings develop and become more expressive, audience members are invited to interact with the performances or simple observe. Once the choreography has come to an end, a landscape of drawings is left for display and contemplation.

Choreography for Blackboards is made possible with support from Mertz Gilmore Foundation and Culture Ireland. Originally produced by Daghdha Dance Company, Ireland.

ANGER AT THE MOVIES (World Premiere)
David Levine (NY, Berlin)

Mabou Mines (150 1st Ave. NYC)
Jan 10 at 6pm; Jan 11 at 8pm
Tickets: $20 ($15 for students, seniors)

A seminar masquerading as theatre, masquerading as a film screening, ANGER AT THE MOVIES is the follow-up to Levine’s acclaimed Venice Saved: A Seminar, which premiered at Performance Space 122 in 2010. Returning to the format of a performance seminar, Levine asks the audience, “Why is it so annoying to see your profession represented on film?” Audience members are invited to present a YouTube clip in which their own professions are misrepresented which will then be discussed as part of the evening.

ANGER AT THE MOVIES was created in part at the Arts Collaboration Lab, a partnership between Columbia University School of the Arts and Performance Space 122 in July 2011.

Newyorkland (New York Premiere)
Temporary Distortion (NY)

Baryshnikov Arts Center
Howard Gillman Performance Space (450 West 37th St. NYC)
Jan 12 at 7pm; Jan 13, 14, 17-21, 24-28 at 7:30pm; Jan 15 at 6pm
Tickets: $20 ($15 for students, seniors)

New York performance group Temporary Distortion merges film, live performance and visual art in Newyorkland, which makes its New York Premiere in the festival. The work follows four male police officers who struggle with the challenges and rigorous demands of being a cop in New York City. Inspired by first-person accounts from real-life police officers along with popular 1970s cop films and TV police dramas, Newyorkland is staged by director Kenneth Collins in one of the company’s signature box-like structures. This installation serves as a framework for the both the performers’ restrained acting style and as a canvas for the arresting images of projections designer William Cusick.

Newyorkland is made possible with commissioning support from Performance Space 122. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Additional support provided by the Arts Collaboration Lab, a partnership between Columbia University School of the Arts and Performance Space 122 in July 2011, and The Greenwall Foundation.

Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company (NY)
Co-presented with Baryshnikov Arts Center as part of BAC Presents Series

Conceived and directed by Young Jean Lee
Featuring Becca Blackwell, World Famous *BOB*, Amelia Zirin-Brown (aka Lady Rizo), Hilary Clark, Katy Pyle and Regina Rocke
Choreography by the Company in collaboration with Faye Driscoll
Associate Director: Morgan Gould

Baryshnikov Arts Center
Jerome Robbins Theater (450 W 37th St. NYC)
Jan 12 at 8:30pm; Jan 13-15, 18-21, 24-28 at 8pm
Tickets: $25 ($20 for students, seniors)

Theatrical provocateur and winner of the 2011 Spalding Gray award Young Jean Lee unveils her latest experiment, UNTITLED FEMINIST SHOW, in its New York Premiere. Committed as ever to working far outside her comfort zone, Lee-who is known primarily as a writer-here creates a nearly wordless spectacle that invites the audience to examine what feminism means to them. Six charismatic performers take the audience on an exhilarating and disorienting journey through an array of unexpected possibilities, heightening our awareness of the gap between what we think we are and what we could be.

Young Jean Lee (Artistic Director) is a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow and OBIE Award winner, and was named by American Theatre magazine one of the 25 artists who will shape the American theater over the next 25 years. Since 2002, she has directed her plays at Soho Rep (LEAR; THE APPEAL), The Kitchen (THE SHIPMENT), The Public Theater (CHURCH), Performance Space 122 (CHURCH; PULLMAN, WA), HERE Arts Center (Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven), and the Ontological-Hysteric Theater (Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals); and performed in her play WE’RE GONNA DIE (with band Future Wife) at Joe’s Pub. She and her company have been the recipients of numerous grants and her work has been invited to tour to venues in over 30 cities around the world. Recent awards include a 2010 fellowship in playwriting from NYFA, and a 2010 Prize in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Originally commissioned by The Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN) this production is a co-production of The Walker Art Center, Steirischer Herbst (Graz), Kunstenfestivaldesartes (Brussels), the 2011 Spalding Gray Award (Performance Space 122 in New York, The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, On the Boards in Seattle, The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis), and Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company. Originally developed in association with Caleb Hammons. Funding support provided by the MAP Fund, a program of Creative Capital supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, the Greenwall Foundation, the MAP/Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Creative Explorations Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency. Residency support from The Park Avenue Armory, The New Museum, Mount Tremper Arts, and the Baryshnikov Arts Center.

The Red & White Party
Presented by Performance Space 122 & SPiN New York

SPiN New York (48 East 23rd St. NYC)
Jan 8; Doors at 7pm

Downtown’s definitive holiday bash turns 7 this year at SPiN New York and moves into January to ring in the New Year and celebrate COIL. Choreographer Jack Ferver, new media artist Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky, and performance tour de force Reggie Watts provide singular performance as you show off your ping-pong prowess in an all night long competition hosted by Crumpler. Fame, prizes, and libations abound as COIL artists, international arts professionals, festival partners, PS122 Board Members & Staff invigorate an irresistible cross-section of NYC nightlife.

Dates: January 2012

Type: Festival

Premiere Status: World Premiere

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