New York City is boiling over with all the live performances and festivals taking place. We’ve been so COIL-centric these past few weeks, but here’s a mini list of things we’re excited about for this week:
UNDER THE RADAR
45 strangers come together for 61 minutes to show us who they are, and who they could be. Part theater, part dance, part group hallucination – vivid human assembly on an epic scale. The subject is us; the time is now.
In WONDER, Michelle Boulé mines the depth of information and perceptual patterns she has acquired through a lifetime of dance. Her choreographic drive, pushing her body into new dimensions of exposure, questions the culture of facades embedded in everyday life. In a continuous cycle of costumes and personas, Boulé explores archetypes and definitions of gender, identity, and virtuosity. The dance engages the audience in a purposeful relationship with the performer to mutually explore seeing and being seen. WONDER is an invitation to witness a body in the performance encounter where a shared space of curiosity and possibility is laid bare. Without wonder our eyes are closed.
Ishmael Houston-Jones and Emily Wexler
13 Love Songs: dot dot dot
Choreographer/performers Ishmael Houston-Jones and Emily Wexler will present the premier of their first evening length collaboration, 13 Love Songs: dot dot dot. Separated by a generation — he’s in his 60s she in her 30s, and differing in gender and ethnicity – male, female; black, white, these two innovative dance artists have found common ground in their mutual belief that the pop love song is corrosive. That these songs damage any hope at finding true love with their sickening, cloying, and cheesy lyrics. Houston-Jones and Wexler have researched the lyrics of a drove of pop songs by a host of pop artists as divergent as Bryan Adams and Mary J. Blige; Ja Rule and Stephin Merritt; Aretha and Nina Simone and of course Madonna. They have narrowed their playlist to 13, (or maybe 14 or more); it won’t be pretty; it won’t be polite, but there will be knives.
Audience members are encouraged to use their smart phones during the performance to take photos/video and tweet them. #aspellforfainting
Using Charcot’s Tuesday night lectures at the Salpêtrière and his instigation of hysterical performance as a leaping-off point, WaxFactory traces the lines of fainting, hallucination, delusion, and love letters that run through the source material. #aspellforfainting vividly celebrates the live, raw neurosis of being a performer: the crippling of an artistic block, unforeseen circumstances, nightmares, getting out of one’s own way… and what happens when one confronts the reality of what was created, exposed, capsized, deconstructed, demolished, and uprooted.
Dave Malloy & Eliza Bent
Blue Wizard Black Wizard
Ancient ideals and modern musings rub up against each other in Black Wizard / Blue Wizard, a philosophical musical fantasia. Two referees adjudicate the proceedings as the Black and Blue Wizards battle to save themselves and humanity from the mundane. Warping the conventions of musical theater and classical art song to intersect with the sensibilities of electronic music, Blue Wizard / Black Wizard is a pop culture smashup of fantasy language and contemporary parlance. What unfolds is a ritualistic sporting event, the likes of which audiences have never seen.
Peggy Shaw had a stroke in 2011 and in her latest solo, Ruff, guided by longtime collaborator Lois Weaver, Shaw throws off the stigma of age and embraces the joy—and necessity—of creating new work. Premiered at COIL 2013.