Annie Dorsen (USA)
Human artists and computer algorithms collaborate to form a concert of song, machine, gesture, light and space. Beginning with the Beatles’ “Yesterday,” evolutionary algorithms breakdown the music and gradually reconstruct it to transform into “Tomorrow” from the musical Annie. Three remarkable singers perform a live-generated score. Each performance, the spatial and musical path from the past into the future is different. Our journey’s beginning and end are certain – the route we take between them is unknown.
Creation & Direction: Annie Dorsen
Music Direction: Joanna Bailie
Algorithm Design: Pierre Godard
Sound Design: Greg Beller
Video Systems Design: Ryan Holsopple
Lighting Design: Bruno Pocheron & Ruth Waldeyer
Technical Direction: Ruth Waldeyer
Design Consultants: Kate Howard & Jeff Sugg
Produced by: Alexandra Rosenberg
Performers: Hai-Ting Chinn, Jeffrey Gavett, & Natalie Raybould
Videography: Mehmet Salih Yildirim, Gina Chang.
“a daring concert … the random and technological dimensions of which provoke disturbing reflections on our condition. And our freedom.” — La Terrasse (France)
60 minutes running time
Co-presented by La MaMa and Performance Space 122
Commissioned by Performance Space 122
Jan 13 – 9pm
Jan 14 – 7:30pm
Jan 15 – 7:30pm
Jan 16 – 3pm
La MaMa’s Ellen Stewart Theater
66 East 4th Street, Manhattan
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Annie Dorsen is a writer and director who works in a variety of fields, including theatre, film, dance and, as of 2009, algorithmic performance. Most recently, her algorithmic music-theater piece Yesterday Tomorrow premiered at the Holland Festival. Her previous algorithm project, A Piece of Work, has been seen at On the Boards (Seattle), Parc de la Villette (Paris), Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival (NYC), and others. In 2012 she made Spokaoke, a participatory karaoke project that uses political and historical speeches in place of pop songs. That work premiered as part of Steirischer Herbst’s “Truth is Concrete” marathon, and has also performed at Crossing the Line Festival (NYC), at Black Box Teater (Oslo) and BIT Teatergarasjen (Bergen). Her first algorithmic theatre piece, Hello Hi There, premiered at Streirischer Herbst (Graz) in 2010, and has been presented at over 15 theaters and festivals in the US and Europe, as well as, in installation form, at Bitforms Gallery in New York. She is the co-creator of the 2008 Broadway musical Passing Strange, which she also directed. Spike Lee made a film of her production of the piece, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009 and screened everywhere from the Tribeca Film Festival to South by Southwest Film Festival, and was released theatrically by IFC in 2010 before being broadcast on PBS’ Great Performances. Also in 2010, she collaborated with choreographer Anne Juren on Magical (premiere at ImPulsTanz Festival Vienna) and with Ms. Juren and DD Dorviller on Pièce Sans Paroles (brut Vienna and Rencontres Choréographiques Internationales Seine-St-Denis, Paris).
Dorsen has collaborated often with musicians, including Questlove of The Roots on Shuffle Culture (BAM), Laura Karpman and Jessye Norman on Ask Your Mama, a setting of Langston Hughes’ 1962 poem (Carnegie Hall) and with the string quartet ETHEL on Truckstop, also at BAM. Her pop-political performance project Democracy in America was presented at PS122 in 2008. Her short film, I Miss, originally the centerpiece of Democracy in America, has screened at American Film Institute Festival (AFI Fest), SXSW Film Festival, The New York Film Festival’s “Views From the AvantGarde” and the Nantucket Film Festival. She is the recipient of a 2008 OBIE Award and the 2014 Herb Alpert Award in the Arts.
La MaMa is a world-renowned cultural institution located in Manhattan’s East Village that is the home for three theaters, an art gallery, a six-story rehearsal studio building, and an extensive archive documenting the history of Off-Off Broadway. Each season, over 60 productions with over 400 performances are staged in our theaters. Our interest is always to support artists, and we try to help them accomplish their visions by presenting their work in our spaces, and making available to them whatever else we have that they can use to create their work. La MaMa continues its original vision and mission of bringing artists, dancers, writers, musicians, actors, directors and technicians together to investigate and create.
La MaMa, located in the East Village of Manhattan, is accessible by the F subway line to 2nd Avenue. The East Village has become a center of the counterculture in New York, and is known as the birthplace of many artistic movements, such as punk rock and Nuyorican literature.
Some staff favorites for great dining in the area include Babu Ji NYC at 175 Avenue B and DBGB Kitchen and Bar at 299 Bowery.
Featured image by Alexandre Schlub
Yesterday Tomorrow is a co-commission of Holland Festival, Black Box Teater, PS122, La Villette – Résidences d’Artistes 2015,TANDEM – Scène nationale Arras Douai, Théâtre de Gennevilliers with Festival d’Automne à Paris, Maillon, Théâtre de Strasbourg – Scène européenne, Théâtre Garonne, Scène européenne, Toulouse. Made possible, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; and by The MAP Fund, with the assistance of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Additional support provided through fiscal sponsorship and a residency at Mount Tremper Arts; and a residency at Abrons Arts Center.