Witness Relocation / Dan Safer: SURVEYS THE PRAIRIE OF YOUR ROOM

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Dan Safer and Ae Andreas in SURVEYS THE PRAIRIE OF YOUR ROOM. Photo by Maria Baranova.

Part of the 2019 LaMaMa Moves! Dance Festival

Ellen Stewart Theatre, May 18-19, 2019

 

Dan Safer, a downtown maverick and the Artistic Director of Witness Relocation, returns to the stage as a lead performer in his work in Surveys the Prairie Of Your Room, a duet co-created and performed with leading WR member Ae Andreas, featuring original music by OBIE Award-winning composer and longtime company collaborator Heather Christian. Titled after a David Bowie lyric, the work is composed as an uninterrupted, virtuosic  movement sequence. Accompanied by Christian’s dreamy score and the original text by playwright Kate Scelsa (Everyone’s Fine With Virginia Woolf) – delivered in the electrifying voice of Grace McLean – this highly kinetic and physically demanding piece is an exhilarating and healing meditation for the uncertain times.

 

Feature interview with Dan Safer in Dance Enthusiast

 

“There are two people here, but this appears to be a journal of one life, a long stretch of unpaved road with some exhilarating views along the way. It’s handsome and danced with all-out exuberance.” – Eva Yaa Asantewaa, Infinite Body

 

“Dan Safer is the devil you’ve been dying to dance with and Ae [Andreas]’s enviable lines and swag make them an optimal fiend friend for that dance card. Sitting at the feet of these two rock stars, our high was reached via a sobering exploration of undoing oneself through relentless vigor and focused disappearing.” – Maura Donohue, Culturebot

 

(*****) Visually and aurally compelling… Dan Safer and Ae Andreas move beautifully together, carrying us through a range of emotions… Surveys the Prairie of Your Room is a lovely work that has the potential to change dramatically in every new space.” – Carrie O’Dell, Reviews Hub

 
“A riveting mixture of whimsical, sinister, and visceral… Dan Safer / Witness Relocation’s gorgeously choreographed piece brings about some fascinating questions on the complicated forces within all of us.” – Ran Xia, Theatre is Easy

Black Velvet: Architectures and Archetypes

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Mirelle Martins and Shamel Pitts in BLACK VELVET at BAM Fisher. Photo by Itai Zwecker.

A former company member of Batsheva Dance Company and the 2018 recipient of Princess Grace Award in Choreography Shamel Pitts returns home to Brooklyn with his recent work BLACK VELVET: Architectures and Archetypes. The piece, which played to sold-out houses in NYC and around the world in 2017, is the second installment of the Black Series and a follow-up to his autobiographical solo Black Box. Comprising vignette-like solos and duets immersed in intense music, evocative lighting and complemented by the spoken word, BLACK VELVET is a theatrical meditation on transcending the boundaries of gender, race, love, friendship, and identity.

BAM Fisher, May 9-12, 2019

Creation and Performance: Shamel Pitts and Mirelle Martins
Choreography: Shamel Pitts
Light and Video mapping: Lucca Del Carlo
Costume Designer: David Gap

 

Feature interview with Shamel Pitts on The Undefeated

 

“A haunting duet… Under Lucca Del Carlo’s stark, nimble lighting, facets of [Pitts and Martin’s]  relationship flash into view, struggle mingling with care and curiosity.” – Siobhan Burke, The New York Times

 
(*****) “A rich and complex work… Hopefully Shamel Pitts brings more of his work back to BAM soon.” – Carrie O’Dell, Reviews Hub

 
“A beautiful work of art as it is a dance performance. Black Velvet is both lush and sparse at the same time — visually, sonically and emotionally.” – Quinn Batson, OffOffOff

 

“Superb in so many ways… Mr. Pitts and Ms. Martins captivated the audience with all that they gave through their bodies from their souls.” – Isa Freeling, Medium.com

 

 

 

OH, CELINE by The People Movers

Magnum Opus at Brooklyn Studios for Dance as part of Oh, Celine; Photo by Chelsea Robin Lee

In 2018, The People Movers’ choreographer and artistic director Kate Ladenheim and performer–designer Cecilia Lynn-Jacobs devised a collaborative project titled OH, CELINE and its heroine, Celine (née De La Croix). This fictional Brooklyn-based avant-garde dancer was conceived as a hilarious yet sincere caricature of a downtown artist. Through a sequence of events – sometimes harrowing, sometimes funny – the clueless New Age-y diva evolved into a provocative, Borat-like figure through whom her creators set to unmask the power structures in the contemporary art scene and our society at large. Over the last few months, Celine’s experiences unveiled through a long series of disarmingly pretentious social media posts, a mystifying art film, and surprising live appearances — all of which inspired unexpected reactions from the audiences.

As part of the project, two events were presented:

MAGNUM OPUS: Resurgere Ex Cineribus, a film screening at the Kickstarter HQ, February 12, 2019

MAGNUM OPUS: A Retrospective, a multidiciplinary performance at the Brooklyn Studios for Dance, April 11-13, 2019

Interview with Celine (née De La Croix)

Kate Landesheim and Cecilia Lynn-Jacobs about the project (video)

“It certainly left me thinking, and I always have a soft spot for events that combine film and dance – as well as excellent use of lighting – while keeping your attention from beginning to end.” – Anthony Piccione, Onstage Blog on MAGNUM OPUS: Resurgere Ex Cineribus

“The self-seriousness with which [Celine] takes herself, the unabashed diva behavior, the strutting, the sliding, the slamming and swooning, it all humorously abuts the idea of the Void, the relative lack of attention she gets for her antics. The delusion of capital-r Romance and of maintaining a Pure Artist’s soul in the throes of this cruel world, should she gain wide visibility, would no longer be delusion. I felt the privilege of inhabiting space with her as she just begins her career. ” – Audrey Moyce, Culturebot on MAGNUM OPUS: A Retrospective

“With sharp comedic timing, Lynn-Jacobs embodies Celine, an avatar of self-indulgence and woo woo wonderment…. Celine dances like Isadora Duncan after too many chai lattes… While this isn’t quite true across the board, Celine proves that satirizing it makes for fine art indeed.” – Erin Bomboy, DancEnthusiast on MAGNUM OPUS: A Retrospective

June Is The First Fall

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Chun Cho and Alton Alburo in JUNE IS THE FIRST FALL. Photo by Maria Baranova.

Written by Yilong Liu
Directed by Michael Leibenluft
Produced by Yangtze Repertory Theatre

March 31–April 20, 2019
New Ohio Theatre

The award-winning contemporary play by Yilong Liu exploring the themes of identity, sexuality, and immigration. Directed by the 2016 OBIE winner Michael Leibenluft, the play tells a story of a gay Chinese man who comes back home to Hawaii and begins a journey of reconciliation between his chosen identity and the heritage he left behind. The production features dramaturgy by Gaven D. Trinidad, set design by Jean Kim, costume design by An-Lin Dauber, lighting design by Cha See, and sound designby Michael Costagliola. Casting by Wayne Chang. The performers are Alton Alburo*, Chun Cho, Stefani Kuo, Fenton Li*, and Karsten Otto.

*Equity Member appearing with the permission of Actors’ Equity Association without the benefit of an Equity contract in this Off-Off-Broadway production.

Yilong Liu interview by Adam Szymkowicz (I Interview Playwrights)

Michael Leibenluft and Yilong Liu in conversation with Culturebot’s Ned Moore

“We can’t ignore the magnitude of the gift a piece like June Is the First Fall delivers: bridging the cultural divide with a reminder that it’s our familiar stories that connect us.” – Elyse Orecchio, Theatre’s Leiter Side

“In the relatively small New Ohio Theatre, the creative team has done an excellent job… Well directed by Michael Leibenluft, this story is smoothly paced to unravel this family’s secrets and hopes and learnings.” – Joe Lombardi, BroadwayWorld

“While many plays deal with issues of race, culture, and sexuality, few weave them all together – and leave the same potent emotional impact – that this play manages to do. Without a doubt, it’s already a strong contender for the best play I’ve seen so far in 2019.” – Anthony Piccione, Onstage Blog

“Compelling… a wonderful slice of life.”– Tami ShaloumRound The World Stage

“Well acted and finely presented… In addition to steering sensitive performances, director Michael Leibenluft’s staging is technically accomplished with scenes fluidly flowing to various locations and time periods with clarity.” – Darryl Reilly, Theatrescene.net

“Written with sensitivity toward all its players, the piece offers a compassionate window into the intersection of Chinese culture, queerness, and gender roles… June is the First Fall is a tight, compact evening of drama.” – Caroline Cao, Exeunt Magazine

“A worthy play that addresses immigrant, LGBTQ and cultural issues.” –  Debbie Gray Bloom, Motherhood Later.com

“Ambitious drama…Yangtze Rep should be commended for making a much-needed space for a uniquely queer Asian story.” – David Kennerley, Gay City News

“The  performances,  framed by Cha  See’s expressive  lighting design, are  uniformly outstanding… June  is the  First Fall   is  a funny,  affecting and  affectionate, and  well-observed family  drama that addresses timely  issues with deep historical roots.” –   Leah Richardson and John Ziegel, Thinking Theatre NYC

 

 

 

The Moving Memory Project

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Christine Bonansea in A, MY NAME IS… Photo by Gaia Squarci

Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Aaron Davis Hall at The City College of New York

The Moving Memory Project is a new festival devoted to memory and forgetting, co-curated by choreographer Stefanie Nelson of Stefanie Nelson Dancegroup and bestselling author David Shenk (The Forgetting). The inaugural event featured Stefanie Nelson’s A, MY NAME IS…, a dance piece inspired by a family experience with dementia, along with the selection of short films from David Shenk’s Living With Alzheimer’s Film Project. Nelson and Shenk’s vision for this festival is to bring together artists, caregivers, and seniors, to create a community of care surrounding issues connected to memory loss, and to destigmatize the diagnosis of dementia with the ultimate goal of increasing awareness to increase funding until a cure is found.

A, MY NAME IS… was performed by Christine Bonansea, Becca Loevy, Cameron McKinney, and Emily Tellier, with additional ensemble dancers. Additionally, Nelson brings together a team of international collaborators: the work features a stop-motion video with photos by Elisa D’Amico (Italy), original music by composers Sahand Rahbar (Iran/Canada) and Jonah Kreitner (US), with light design by Kevin Scott (US).

Interview with Stefanie Nelson on Sandi Klein Show

A, My Name Is… is centered around loss. However, the end reminds us that with a change of perspective, something lost is also something else gained…We must value our everyday, because life is too short to not do so. If anything else, as a gift to the rest of the world, we should live fully and openly. Because even if we don’t remember what we do, somebody else will.” – Jimmy Barr, Bodies Never Lie

“Nelson and her fine collaborators, committed to the poetics of their ravaging subject matter, engage our imagination and inspire understanding and empathy…many of the attendees, caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s, were moved to tears.” – Christine Jowers, DancEnthusiast

 

 

 

 

 

Up Close Festival 2018, New Ohio Theatre

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An Immersive Festival About New York For New Yorkers Of All Ages.


New Ohio Theatre’s Theatre for Young Minds presents the inaugural (and first-ever-of-its-kind) UP CLOSE Festival an immersive theater festival for the entire family, inspired by the community organizing legacy of Jane Jacobs. The event – held at the venue’s underground theatre, located in a landmark building that once housed the National Archives Record Center –  brings together leading NYC experimental theatre artists, musicians, physical comedians and clowns for two programs, each consisting of an interactive pre-show and four short stories that bring Greenwich Village history to life.  Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Curated and co-directed by Peter Musante and Summer Shapiro, the festival features Trusty Sidekick Theater Company; Bated Breath Theatre Company; Lauren Sharpe; Marisol Rosa-Shapiro; Jono Waldman; Christina D. Eskridge; Peter Musante, and is hosted by Summer Shapiro.

December 20 –31, 2018
New Ohio Theatre, 154 Christopher Street, NYC

The Best Immersive NYC Theater pick, Time Out New York

The Best ThingsTo Do In NYC This Week pick, Gothamist

Interview with curator Peter Musante, No Proscenium

David Sauvage’s EMPATH at Theaterlab

 

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David Sauvage and an audience member in Empath. Photo by Mark Abramson.

 

In EMPATH, writer/performer David Sauvage chronicles his own spiritual coming-out as the titular empath – a person hypersensitive to the emotions of others to the point of experiencing them as his own. Part story of personal discovery and healing, part performance art piece featuring live readings with audience members, the show follows the past decade of its creator’s life. Tracing his transformation from skeptical empiricist into purposeful performer-healer, Sauvage’s work is about bringing people back to the truth of who they really are.
Theaterlab | 357 West 36th Street, 3rd floor | New York NY 10018
Nov 29 – Dec 9, 2018

“Thoughtful and insightful… It will keep you curious and interested. Sauvage is quite a person. He has an excellent sense of humor, is beautifully sensitive and has a winning inquisitiveness and honestly seeks truth.” – Isa Freeling, Medium.com

 
“Profound yet understated, Empath highlights human emotion through personal experience… Belief systems notwithstanding, the show’s message is universal: while our feelings may seem difficult, oppressive, or inexplicable, we have the right to each one of them and to choose how we approach them. In a tense and disconnected world, this acknowledgement is profound, as much a reassurance as an affirmation of our power.” – Emily Cordes, Theatre Is Easy (BEST BET)

 
“Sauvage is a charismatic man and he definitely has a gift for writing, speaking and healing… The direction by Catie Davis was well done as well as the fabulous lighting and sound design is by Broadway’s Jake DeGroot.” – Suzanna Bowling, Times Square Chronicle

 
“Empath’s success doesn’t rest solely on the believability of the titular psychic…Skeptics likely won’t leave the theatre believing in divination, but for those with an interest in the supernatural, [it] is a must‑see.” (****) – James Bartholomew, All About Solo

 
“Sauvage has a charm and likeability that puts viewers in the stark, white, intimate space, readily at ease…If personal growth is your hot button, we can all take a piece of that with us and have a higher consciousness of both our inner emotions and how we emote.” – Robin Gorman Newman, MotherhoodLater.com