Invisible Trial

 
Brontez Purnell is an acclaimed writer (100 Boyfriends published by MCDxFSG Originals) and dancer (Brontez Purnell Dance Company) whose writing rises from movement and whose dancing is often steeped in language. His latest dance solo Invisible Trial–choreographed by Larry Arrington and dramaturgy by Jeremy O. Harris–is loosely based on the Sylvia Plath short Story Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams The protagonist, a receptionist at a mental health clinic, acts as a sort of medium for the living as he secretly records the dreams, fears, and anxieties of those he comes into contact with. His boss is the God of Anxiety himself who is keeping tabs on the protagonist snooping. The piece attempts to name those fears and fantasies around patriarchal inheritance, shadow work being done against us, and the burning question: are we ever the sole agents of our own fate?

DIVINE JUSTICE

 
In her 24-hour durational performance, DIVINE JUSTICE, the poet, playwright and astrologer, Ariana Reines reimagines the courtroom as a space in which the feminine body is the presumed authority. Disillusioned by failures of the American justice system, the artist asks what would happen if the planet Venus actually presided over the American Judiciary, as it does over Justice in the Zodiac. How would a justice system that truly answers to Venus, the planet of love, be structured, how would wrongdoing be corrected, how would damage be addressed, how would victims be made whole? In DIVINE JUSTICE, Reines collapses trial and sentence, judge and jury, into light and sound– a single summer day of Venus tested, and time served.
 
DIVINE JUSTICE is a courtroom drama in which a small choir constitutes judge and jury, to which the trial of Joan of Arc & the crimes of Medea serve as touchstones. Inspired by the aesthetics of Eastern Orthodox rather than Protestant Christian devotional space and built around the dialogue structures of restorative justice and musical & activist modes of call-and-response, DIVINE JUSTICE is an experiment in transforming disputants through the power of sound and the penetrating gaze of sincere presence.  What if sound was correction?  How would punishment function, if it wasn’t measured in time served, and how would change be enacted, if not on threat of death?
 
 

Tip the Ivy

 
With Geo Wyeth, Bully Fae Collins, Mica Sigourney, and Dia Dear
 
Tip the Ivy is the latest multidisciplinary opera by Colin Self. In keeping with the artist’s previous works, it foregrounds its own making as a collaborative group process. Originating from a manuscript, the work mutates through collective authorship by the five collaborators and at points even extends to the public joining XOIR, Self’s experimental methodology for group singing. Tip the Ivy relies on Polari – an underground, queer language created in the UK at a time in which homosexuality was punishable by law. The encrypted language embraces illegibility and opacity as unique forms of queer creativity, community, and survival. The opera echoes an aesthetic embodied by the story of travesti performer Vera De Vienne, who has performed in Europe for the last 50 years as a gender illusionist. Equal parts cacophony and symphony, call and response, catharsis and rehearsal Tip the Ivy’s energy is both deviant and joyful.

No Diving 2

 
Watching Storyboard P dance feels like glimpsing into another world. His dancing reminds us that our conventional understandings of what a human body is, what it can do, and where it starts and ends, are insufficient. As an acclaimed street dancer Storyboard’s lineage is Flex, but as an artist he might be more of an Afrofuturist. Using an otherworldly combination of skill, beauty, poetry, and emotion his dancing collapses space and time into an alternative universe.
 
When Storyboard talks about dance, he becomes a visionary poet—speech is a vessel for body language, dance a way to speak without speaking, a slang of movement that can carry vibrations like the animation of a stop motion film. “My style is Mutant. As a mutant my power is to project a sequence of images through my body that tells an elaborate story to music. The power to storyboard / ballet / jazz / African / contemporary / bruk up / flex / boogaloo.”
 

Co-Produced with Arika, the political arts organization from Scotland, UK, who Performance Space collaborated with on I wanna be with you everywhere festival of disability aesthetics in 2019. Film Still courtesy of Cinque Northern (cropped into heart).

Transcendence

 

Featuring: ALANI, China Black, Tahtianna Candy Fermin in collaboration with photographer Chae Kihn, Lexii Foxx, Kaiya, Kammy-Rae, Puppies Puppies (Jade Guarano Kuriki-Olivo), Ameirah Neal, Alethia Rael, and a film produced by Pilar Adara.

 
The artist, Puppies Puppies, has throughout her career declared unexpected objects, places, and actions as art. Though she used to obscure her identity by famously sleeping through studio visits and showing up in costumes to her own exhibition openings, she recently revealed her identity as an Indigenous/Japanese/2S+ trans woman. No longer willing to hide, she now uses her name, Jade Guarano Kuriki-Olivo, and asserts art in the everyday of her own life which is centered around the trans community that emerged from a protest group that gathered every week for over a year at Stonewall.
 
When Performance Space New York asked Kuriki-Olivo to do a commission she extended the invitation to her community of collaborators and trans sisters. Together they proposed to launch the TGNC Resilience Gala and Awards honoring leaders in the trans/GNC/2S+ community. Manifesting the saying, “Give Black trans women their roses while they’re still alive,” the performance-filled award show is set along a glamorous runway beneath cascading roses and extends into this group exhibition that features a film about the group and serves as a platform for lectures, performances, concerts, open mics, and an Octopus event on March 15.

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