Home / News / American Realness 2017 runs Jan 5-12 in NYC ~ 53 performances of 16 productions over 8 days!

American Realness 2017 runs Jan 5-12 in NYC ~ 53 performances of 16 productions over 8 days!

Founded, Directed and Curated by Thomas Benjamin Snapp Pryor, American Realness returns January 5-12, 2017, for its eighth consecutive season. Now under the leadership of Gibney Dance with Pryor as its new Director of Performance & Residencies, American Realness will continue to work with founding partner Abrons Arts Center, as well as other institutions throughout the city. The festival’s PERFORMANCE program utilizes theaters at Abrons and Gibney Dance’s Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center and includes an off-site engagement presented by MoMAPS1 as part of VW Sunday Sessions to construct a constellation of dance and performance works featuring five world premieres, four U.S. premieres, and seven encore engagements for a total of fifty-three performances of sixteen productions over eight days. The program additionally includes a PROCESS program featuring new works in development and a DISCOURSE program curated by Ali Rosa-Sales that features public conversations and commissioned essays for READING, the American Realness online journal.

American Realness calls attention to new artistic production from socially and aesthetically marginal and subversive artists tearing at the boundaries of form and wrestling with the realities of identity. Through visual, visceral, and text-based explorations of perception, sensation, form and attention, the artists of American Realness propose ruptures in the fabric of contemporary thought. Exploring fugitivity, empathy, incscripture, erasure, the labor of being the other, the breakdown of white-supremacist hierarchies, the thumping bass of pop-culture, and the economy of performance, American Realness celebrates the artistic practice and value of the other in an American-focused, globally minded context. This is realness as resistance.

American Realness 2017 Presents:

PERFORMANCE

Five World Premieres

Big Dance Theater, Cage Shuffle

Ni’Ja Whitson / The NWA Project, A meditation on tongues

Mx. Oops / Wendell Cooper, Carrying Capacity

AmeriSHOWZCircle of Champions 2017 Co-Presented with Mount Tremper ArtsIvo Dimchev, Songs and Book

Four US Premieres

Meg Stuart, An evening of solo works Co-Presented with Goethe-Institut and the Federal Foreign Office of Germany
Dana Michel, Mercurial George
Ligia Lewis, minor matter Co-Presented with Lumberyard, formerly American Dance Institute/ADI
Karol Tyminski, This is a musical

Eight Encore Engagements

Will Rawls, The Planet Eaters: Seconds

Jen Rosenblit, Clap Hands

Kimberly Bartosik, Étroits sont les Vaisseaux

Juliana May, ADULT DOCUMENTARY

Latifa Laâbissi, Self Portrait Camouflage presented by MoMAPS1 as part of VW Sunday Sessions
Tina Satter/Half Straddle, Ghost Rings
Trajal Harrell, Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at the Judson Church (S)

EXHIBITION

Franklin Evans, XLtime

The Bureau for the Future of Choreography, US in the US

PROCESS

Cynthia Oliver, Virago-Man Dem

Big Dance Theater, 17c

In the Works, Studio Showings from Gibney Dance’s Dance in Process resident artists and guests

DISCOURSE

READING, Commissioned essays from Katie Brewer Ball, Maya Harakawa, Danielle Jackson, Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi, and Kieran Swann

Artist/Admin 5: Marketing, Moderated by David Borgonjon

Aesthetics live within the structure of whiteness just like we do, A Workshop with Jaime Shearn Coan

shift/shape, Tara Willis with Ligia Lewis, Dana Michel and Ni’Ja Whitson

The Incomprehensible Negro, M. Lamar in conversation with Jaamil Olawale Kosoko

PARTY

Trajal Harrell, Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at the Judson Church (XL) / The Publication


Will Rawls

The Planet Eaters: Seconds

Thursday, January 5, 7:00pm

Friday, January 6, 8:30pm

Monday, January 9, 7:00pm

Tuesday, January 10, 10:00pm

Run Time: 55 minutes

Abrons Arts Center, Underground Theater, 466 Grand Street

466 Grand Street / tickets $20 / AbronsArtsCenter.org

Part-dance, part-song, and part-travelogue, The Planet-Eaters: Seconds explores a duet as an intimate exchange of rhythms. In this reconfiguration of his previous work The Planet-Eaters, Will Rawls and musician Chris Kuklis inhabit Balkan folklore in a series of attempts to become self and other. What starts as a game of counting for two moves through further encounters that are epic, incidental, singular, plural and neither here nor there.

The Planet-Eaters: Seconds was developed as part of LMCC’s Extended Life Dance Development program made possible in part by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The first iteration of The Planet-Eaters was originally produced and presented at The Chocolate Factory Theater.


Meg Stuart

An evening of solo works US PREMIERE

Co-Presented with Goethe-Institut and the Federal Foreign Office of Germany

Thursday, January 5, 8:30pm

Friday, January 6, 10:00pm

Saturday, January 7, 7:00pm

Run Time: 60 minutes

Abrons Arts Center, Playhouse

466 Grand Street / tickets $20 / AbronsArtsCenter.org

“How to translate sensations and inner monologues into movement? Is it possible to track the hesitation before speaking, the movements not chosen, the spaces we travel to when we are daydreaming, the memories and projections that cloud our awareness of the present?” – Meg Stuart

In her solo works, Meg Stuart ventures into the monologue of movement, exploring everyday gestures, physical conditions and emotional states through improvisation. An evening of solo works presents a selection of Stuart’s body of solo works including XXX for Arlene and Colleagues (1995), soft wear (2000) and Signs of Affection (2010), as well as excerpts from evening-length performances. The evening offers an intimate and telling exposure to an American ex-pat, critically acclaimed overseas and rarely seen in the US.

An evening of solo works is produced by Damaged Goods (Brussels). Meg Stuart & Damaged Goods are supported by the Flemish Government and the Flemish Community Commission. Performances of An evening of solo works for American Realness 2017 are presented in collaboration with, and generously supported by the Goethe-Institut and the Federal Foreign Office of Germany.


Dana Michel

Mercurial George US PREMIERE

Thursday, January 5, 10:00pm

Friday, January 6, 8:30pm

Monday, January 9, 4:00pm

Tuesday, January 10, 7:00pm

Run Time: 55 minutes

Abrons Arts Center, Experimental Theater

466 Grand Street / Tickets $20 / AbronsArtsCenter.org

Where does identity come from? How do you find it for yourself and how is it placed on you? How can one’s identity register or fail to cohere in relationship to objects, feelings and affectation?

In Mercurial George, Dana Michel is “wading through the hairy rubble of a preliminary anthropological dig” asking “What is the smell of a plethora of someones that you have been avoiding your whole life? What do you do with the body?” Through fragmented gestures, loose and loaded signifiers, sounds and songs, this solo work provides the “ground to test skins” of Michel’s identity; “ideas that may or may not have been imposed.”

Mercurial George was co-produced by Festival TransAmeriques, Tanz Im August, CDC Atelier de Paris-Carolyn Carson, ImPulsTanz, and Chapter with residency support from Usine C, Dansmakers, ImPulsTanz, Actoral/La Friche Belle de Mai, WOOP, CDC Atelier de Paris-Carolyn Carson. Additional support from Conseil des Arts et des Letters du Québec, Canada Arts Council.

Dana Michel receives administrative/development support from Daniel Léciellé danse company as a part of its sponsorship project.


Karol Tyminski

This is a musical US Premiere

Friday, January 6, 5:30pm

Saturday, January 7, 8:30pm

Tuesday, January 10, 4:00pm

Run Time: 45 minutes

Abrons Arts Center, Underground Theater

466 Grand Street / Tickets $20 / AbronsArtsCenter.org

This is a musical, presents a laboring body in the production of a visceral, discordant and deeply queer electronic fantasy. Karol Tyminski’s body is the instrument for the sample, the electronic music he wields comes into being through a brutal choreography. This musical is a layered archive of the body’s desire, building towards a massive trance-like space of madness and pleasure.

This is a musical was supported by Open Latitudes, Instytut Sztuk Performatywnych. Tanzfabrik Berlin, and Center in Motion Choreographers Workspace. Performances of This is a musical for American Realness 2017 are supported by the Trust for Mutual Understanding.


Jen Rosenblit

Clap Hands

Friday, January 6, 5:30pm

Saturday, January 7, 8:30pm

Monday, January 9, 10:00pm

Tuesday, January 10, 1:00pm

Run Time: 65 minutes

Abrons Arts Center, Experimental Theater

466 Grand Street / Tickets $20 / AbronsArtsCenter.org

Clap Hands is a mating call, an over-crowded solo, looking to hail, disguise, displace, reveal and track the disappearance of the body. A large stack of fuchsia felt installs the space. Meaning hovers and a still-life emerges.

Clap Hands is concerned with the politics of coming together as we maintain autonomy. Something is lost or forgotten, but we continue with the burden of carrying on. How can we consolidate a skeleton of logic through our individual labors? Can we locate intimacy in non-human forms?

Clapping hands is a phenomenon we do together, to celebrate, mark or culminate. Clap Hands is something we have to sit alone with, to recall being together.

Clap Hands is a commission of New York Live Arts, The Invisible Dog Art Center, and Atlanta Contemporary and made possible, in part, through a residency at the Chinati Foundation, Marfa, Texas; a residency at Tanzhaus Zürich; with support from the exhibition Greater New York at MoMA PS1; with funding from the Jerome Foundation; with support from Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory; through The Movement Research Artist-in-Residence Program, funded, in part, by the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Davis Dauray Family Fund, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; and was developed as part of Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace program (LMCC.net).


Kimberly Bartosik

Étroits sont les Vaisseaux

Friday, January 6, 5:00pm & 7:00pm

Saturday, January 7, 5:00pm & 7:00pm

Run Time: 30 minutes

Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center

280 Broadway Entrance at 53A Chambers Street / Tickets $20 / GibneyDance.org

Curated by Craig Peterson

Étroits sont les Vaisseaux, a duet for Joanna Kotze and Lance Gries, is titled after Anselm Kiefer’s 82-foot long, wave-like sculpture of concrete and exposed rebar. Bartosik’s work collapses an oceanic tidal cycle into minutes and seconds (from hours and minutes), creating a narrow timeframe where the performers navigate waves of sound, light, vibrating presence. Like the tide, Étroits’ beginning and ending are cyclical, its shifts from trembling to tenderness are imperceptible yet transformational, leaving unsettling remnants in its wake. Created in collaboration with designer Roderick Murray, Étroits works with the resonant intimacy of Gibney Dance’s Agnes Varis Performance Lab.

Étroits sont les Vaisseaux was created with commissioning support from Gibney Dance with funds provided by the Howard Gilman Foundation and was supported in part by the Center for Performance Research’s Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Artist in Residence program.


AmeriSHOWZ

Circle of Champions 2017 WORLD PREMIERE

Co-Presented with Mount Tremper Arts

Friday, January 6, 8:00pm

Saturday, January 7, 8:00pm

Sunday, January 8, 8:00pm

Run Time: 60 minutes

Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center

280 Broadway Entrance at 53A Chambers Street / Tickets $20 / GibneyDance.org

Curated with Craig Peterson and Mathew Pokoik

Founded in 2010, AmeriSHOWZ is one of the world’s largest direct performance-selling businesses, offering performances, professional development, show creation and workshop opportunities in more than 70 countries and territories worldwide.

This life-changing event will transcend beyond the weekend, creating massive momentum in your business for months to come. In addition to an exhibit hall and networking lunches, this year will also feature breakout session Master Classes in: How to Meet People and Power Inviting. Plus, there will be an AmeriSHOWZ “tweet-up” and lots of other surprises.

We’ve pulled out all the stops to ensure you receive the most relevant, powerful, and intense training yet. It’s exactly what you need to build in today’s economy.

AmeriSHOWZ is commissioned by Gibney Dance and Mount Tremper Arts.


Trajal Harrell

Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at the Judson Church (S)

Friday, January 6, 7:00pm

Saturday, January 7, 10:00pm

Tuesday, January 10, 5:30pm

Run Time: 55 minutes

Abrons Arts Center, Playhouse

466 Grand Street / Tickets $20 / AbronsArtsCenter.org

Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at The Judson Church is Trajal Harrell’s epic series of works presenting a new critical position on postmodern dance aesthetics emanating from the Judson Church period. “What would have happened in 1963 if someone from the voguing ball scene in Harlem had come downtown to perform alongside the early postmoderns at Judson Church?” is the central question of the series. From 2009 to today Harrell has developed seven works as an imaginary meeting between the aesthetics of Judson and those of a parallel historical tradition, that of Voguing. Rather than illustrating a historical fiction, these works transplant this proposition into a contemporary context, here and now. With this body of work Trajal Harrell re-writes the minimalism and neutrality of postmodern dance with a new set of signs.

A solo for Harrell, (S)/Small is the first work in the series.

Twenty Looks or Paris Burning at the Judson Church (S) was co-produced by Workspace Brussels/Working Title Festival, Danspace Project, The New Museum, Crossing the Line Festival 2009. Additional support provided by the 2009-2010 Danspace Project Commissioning Initiative with support from the Jerome Foundation, The Alfred Meyer Foundation, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and The Map Fund/Rockefeller Foundation. Residency support for Twenty Looks or Paris Burning at the Judson Church (S) has been provided by Workspace Brussels and Tanzhaus Düsseldorf.


Big Dance Theater

Cage Shuffle WORLD PREMIERE

Saturday, January 7, 4:00pm & 7:00pm

Sunday, January 8, 4:00pm & 7:00pm

Run Time: 50 minutes

Abrons Arts Center, G05

466 Grand Street / Tickets $20 / AbronsArtsCenter.org

In Cage Shuffle Paul Lazar speaks a series of one-minute stories by John Cage from his 1963 score Indeterminacy while simultaneously performing choreography by Annie-B Parson. The stories are spoken in a random order with no predetermined relationship to the dancing. Chance serves up its inevitable blend of strange and uncanny connections between text and movement. With live tape and digital collage scored and performed by composer Lea Bertucci.

“…Read all ninety stories in order or select a smaller number, using chance procedures or not.”

Indeterminacy performance instructions by John Cage

Cage Shuffle is a production of Big Dance Theater and made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Additionally, the production received funding from the Starry Night Fund; the W Trust; the McGue Millhiser Family Trust; Mertz Gilmore Foundation; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; Andrew W. Mellon Foundation New York Theater Program; and was also funded, in part, by the Big Dance Theater Creation Circle, lead individual contributors committed to the development and support of the company’s newest works.


Ni’Ja Whitson

A Meditation on Tongues WORLD PREMIERE

Saturday, January 7, 5:30pm

Sunday, January 8, 8:30pm

Monday, January 9, 4:00pm

Run Time: 70 minutes

Abrons Arts Center, Underground Theater

466 Grand Street / Tickets $20 / AbronsArtsCenter.org

A Meditation on Tongues is a live interdisciplinary adaptation of Marlon T. Riggs’ iconic film Tongues Untied (1989). Both abstract performance ritual and live historic document, this layered work (re)images Black and Queer masculinities. It struts and snaps as it frames new questions about loss at the height of the AIDS pandemic, while challenging constructions of Black love of/as revolution.

A Meditation on Tongues was made possible, in part, through the Brooklyn Arts Exchange and Movement Research Artist-in-Residence programs with additional support from The Jerome Foundation and Mertz Gilmore Foundation.


Juliana May

ADULT DOCUMENTARY

Saturday, January 7, 5:30pm

Sunday, January 8, 8:30pm

Monday, January 9, 1:00pm

Tuesday, January 10, 10:00pm

Run Time: 60 minutes

Abrons Arts Center, Experimental Theater

466 Grand Street / Tickets $20 / AbronsArtsCenter.org

In ADULT DOCUMENTARY five performers share their real and imagined histories. Through a repetitive and distorted coo-coo clock choreography of fragmented text, sound, gesture and movement, the piece works audiences through a full sensory experience that addresses the relationship between form and trauma or the trauma of form. How does the so-called “aboutness” and shape of a word or gesture disrupt its meaning, and how does the form i.e., repetition, space and time rupture or repair these seemingly hermetic relationships. ADULT DOCUMENTARY delves deep into sensation and psychology offering a uniquely felt choreographic experience.

Adult Documentary was commissioned by The Chocolate Factory Theater and received support from The MAP Fund, supported by the Dorris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Gibney Dance’s Dance in Process Residency, The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and the Jerome Foundation.


Latifa Laâbissi

Self Portrait Camouflage

Presented by MoMAPS1 as part of VW Sunday Sessions

Sunday, January 8, 2:00pm

Run Time: 60 minutes

Performed in French with English supertitles

MoMA PS1, VW Dome

22-25 Jackson Ave / Tickets 15 / MoMAPS1.org

Curated by Jenny Schlenzka

In her stark and highly personal full-length solo performance, choreographer Latifa Laâbissi—who was raised in France by Moroccan-born parents—uses tropes of caricature and the grotesque to conjure the silent aggressions and tensions at the heart of some immigrant experiences. Performing the piece naked, in bright spotlight against a sterile white backdrop, fully exposed to the world, Laâbissi becomes an object to be gazed at, studied, and scientifically dissected—evoking the imperialist custom of exhibiting indigenous people at World’s Fairs. Against the backdrop of recent anti-immigrant populism in the U.S. as well as the rest of the Western world, Laâbissi’s themes of 19th century representational politics and marginalization acquire new relevance.

A conversation with the artist follows the performance.

Latifa Laâbissi, Self Portrait Camouflage is supported by Institut Français, Ville de Rennes and Rennes Métropole and The Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States.

VW Sunday Sessions is organized by Jenny Schlenzka, Associate Curator; Alex Sloane, Curatorial Assistant; Taja Cheek, Curatorial Assistant; Rosey Selig-Addiss, Associate Producer; and Lucy Lie, Production Coordinator.

VW Sunday Sessions and the VW Dome at MoMA PS1 are made possible by a partnership with Volkswagen of America, who have supported the program for five years since its inception.


Ligia Lewis

minor matter US PREMIERE

Co-Presented with Lumberyard, formerly American Dance Institute/ADI

Sunday, January 8, 5:30pm

Monday, January 9, 7:00pm

Tuesday, January 10, 4:00pm

Run Time: 65 minutes

Abrons Arts Center, Experimental Theater

466 Grand Street / Tickets $20 / AbronsArtsCenter.org

With minor matter, choreographer Ligia Lewis articulates a sensitive argument for minoritarian politics. Can we institute a practice of togetherness in the minor? Can the black box be host to a black experience that goes beyond identity politics? Three performers work towards a regime of time and space that builds on minor aesthetics through a dynamic interplay of the theater’s parts. Between light and shadow, reference and imagination, affect and embodiment, the work opens up a vital celebratory space where engrained symbols are twisted by the intimate poetics of the performative moment. In a time
of anti-blackness, minor matter inhabits the black box saturated with the fugitivity of black expression.

minor matter is the second part in Ligia Lewis’ ongoing triptych BLUE, RED, WHITE. Whereas sadness and the color blue stood in the foreground of Sorrow Swag (part one/BLUE), in this new work Lewis turns to the color red, materializing thoughts between love and rage.

minor matter is a production by Ligia Lewis in coproduction with HAU Hebbel am Ufer with additional support from the Governing Mayor of Berlin – Senate Chancellery – Cultural Affairs and Fonds Darstellende Künste e.V. Performances of minor matter for American Realness 2017 are made possible with support from Lumberyard, formerly American Dance Institut/ADI.


Ivo Dimchev

Songs and Book WORLD PREMIERE  

Sunday, January 8, 5:30pm

Monday, January 9, 10:00pm *

Tuesday, January 10, 7:00pm

Run Time: 60 minutes

Abrons Arts Center, Underground Theater

466 Grand Street / Tickets $20 / AbronsArtsCenter.org

Bulgarian performer Ivo Dimchev is known for breaking taboos in his provocative and boldly physical pieces. While his work blends performance art, dance, theater, and visual art, Dimchev’s enormous musicality and his remarkable vocal gift are at the center of each of his productions. For this new concert evening Dimchev performs songs from his body of work as well as new songs composed for the event. He will additionally share excerpts from his recently published Ivo Dimchev Stage Works 2002-2016. The evening presents Dimchev’s prodigious talent in a stirring concert that leaps between the feral and the virtuosic.

*Book reception to follow Monday, January 9 performance


Mx. Oops / Wendell Cooper

Carrying Capacity WORLD PREMIERE

Sunday, January 8, 7:00pm

Monday, January 9, 5:30pm

Tuesday, January 10, 8:30pm

Run Time: 60 minutes

Abrons Arts Center, Playhouse

466 Grand Street / Tickets $20 / AbronsArtsCenrer.org

Beyond identity is the plasma of oneness; a dream space, both physical and energetic, that can hold the fullness of we. Carrying Capacity is a speculative journey mixing the sacred and profane. It asks—what is the connection between our capacity to love ourselves as simultaneously sexual, spiritual, and social beings with our collective future on this dusty rock? Mx. Oops / Wendell Cooper performs a multimedia ritual using sound meditation, urban dance, video projection, and rap, within an installation by sculptor Jasmine Murrell; featuring guest choreography and performance by Slim Ninja. The soul is invoked, gender is rendered ephemeral, and together we contemplate, in celebration, the sometimes unfortunate profundity of embodiment. For a preparatory guided meditation, visit mxoops.com.


Tina Satter / Half Straddle

Ghost Rings

Sunday, January 8, 10:00pm

Monday, January 9, 2:30pm & 8:30pm

Tuesday, January 10, 2:30pm

Run Time: 60 minutes

Abrons Arts Center, Playhouse

466 Grand Street / Tickets $20 / AbronsArtsCenter.org

In Ghost Rings a narrative of friendship and family-making unfurls through a pop song cycle that burrows and soars with a mix of deadpan magical realism and a thoroughly feminist worldview. Playwright and performer Tina Satter, songwriters and performers Chris Giarmo and Erin Markey and performer Kristen Sieh form a family band of yesteryear as they offer a tender and harrowingly funny, visual and sonic experience that traverses unexpected layers of romance.

“This is the sky for you.”

Ghost Rings was commissioned by New York Live Arts for its 50 & Change Commission series with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Additional support provided by the Doris Duke Impact Artist Award and Foundation for Contemporary Arts. Ghost Rings was created through residencies at the Performing Garage, the Orchard Project, and Pataphysics Playwriting Workshop.


EXHIBITION


Franklin Evans
XLtime 

Thursday January 5 – Sunday, January 22, 2017

Abrons Arts Center, Main Gallery
466 Grand Street / FREE / AbronsArtsCenter.org

Franklin Evans creates painting installations with the artist’s studio as his subject. Evans collaborated with Trajal Harrell on the scenic design for Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at the Judson church (S). American Realness 2017 presents the release of the digital publication of Trajal Harrell’s Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at The Judson Church (XL). The release is accompanied by an installation, entitled XLtime, created by visual artist Franklin Evans made in collaboration with (XL).


The Bureau for the Future of Choreography

US in the US

Thursday, January 5 – Sunday, January 22, 2017

Abrons Arts Center, Upper Gallery

466 Grand Street / FREE / AbronsArtsCenter.org

The Bureau for the Future of Choreography will propose a score for political action. The Bureau will engage visitors to the American Realness Festival in several choreographic structures inherent to democratic process.


PROCESS


Cynthia Oliver

Virago-Man Dem

Saturday, January 7, 6:00pm

Run Time: 60 minutes

Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center

280 Broadway Entrance at 53A Chambers Street / FREE / RSVP GibneyDance.org

Curated by Craig Peterson

Virago-Man Dem navigates black masculinities through movement, and spoken language and visual design. Troubling the term “Virago”’s reference to characteristically male behaviors and female cultural transgressions, Virago-Man Dem is a nuanced study in the multiplicities of masculinity within cultures of Caribbean and African American communities. The work is based on the lives of its performers, Duane Cyrus, Jonathan Gonzalez, Shamar Watt, and Niall Noel Jones, and moves from their specific experiences to broader cultural trajectories.


Big Dance Theater

17c

Wednesday, January 11, 8:00pm

Thursday, January 12, 8:00pm

Run Time: 60 minutes

Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center

280 Broadway Entrance at 53A Chambers Street / FREE / RSVP GibneyDance.org

Curated by Craig Peterson

17c is the newest Big Dance Theater ensemble work, built around the problematic 17th century diaries of Samuel Pepys. Pepys danced, sang, strummed, shopped, strove, bullied and groped—and he recorded all of it in his diary, completely unfiltered. Using all the data to be found—the copiously prolific diaries themselves, Margaret Cavendish’s 17th century radical feminist play The Convent of Pleasure, three centuries of marginalia, and the ongoing annotations of the web-based devotees at www.pepysdiary.com – 17c dismantles an unchallenged historical figure and embodies the women’s voices omitted from Pepys’ intimate portrait of his life. Big Dance Theater continues its formal fascination with building systems of dance that challenge theater, while allowing the structure of the work itself to bring contemporary meaning to the making and un-making of our subjective past.

17c is produced by Big Dance Theater and co-commissioned by Carolina Performing Arts/UNC Chapel Hill, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Philadelphia FringeArts, the Old Vic/London, The Yard (Chilmark, MA), Diane and Adam E. Max, Virginia and Timothy Millhiser, the Starry Night Fund, and the Heimbinder Family Foundation. 17c is supported in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the National Endowment for the Arts. 17c is also funded, in part, by the Big Dance Theater Creation Circle, individual contributors committed to the development and support of the company’s newest works.


In the Works

Gibney Dance’s Dance in Process Resident Artists and Guests

Sunday, January 8, 10:00am – 4:00pm

Gibney Dance Choreographic Center

890 Broadway / FREE / GibneyDance.org

In the Works features informal showings from Gibney Dance’s Dance in Process resident artists and guests. Participating artists include Melinda Ring, Monstah Black, Larissa Velez-Jackson, Antonio Ramos, Tere O’Connor and Yanira Castro among others. Gibney Dance Company will share an excerpted presentation of Gina Gibney’s recent premiere Folding In.

Dance in Process is made possible with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


DISCOURSE


The American Realness 2017 DISCOURSE series has been curated by Ali Rosa-Sales. Across five writing commissions for READING and four public conversations, Rosa-Salas offers festival audiences ruminations, critiques and public dialogues across a range of issues and ideas presented in the performance program and facing the world at large. Taking the shape of performance lectures, workshops, and artist talks, DISCOURSE emphasizes the urgency of critical artistic practice, viewership and scholarship as they concern race, aesthetic politics, cultural equity, and more. Life is more real than ever these days, and the work is palpable. Let’s talk it out.


READING

Curated by Ali Rosa-Salas, READING offers commissioned essays by Katie Brewer Ball, Maya Harakawa, Danielle Jackson, Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi, and Kieran Swann. The pieces situate the American Realness 2017 performance program within an interdisciplinary dialogue and consider the political, conceptual, and aesthetic strategies brought to bare in the work of the festival artists.


Artist/Admin 5: Marketing

Moderated by David Borgonjon

Friday January 6, 11:00am – 1:00pm

Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, Studio H

280 Broadway Entrance at 53A Chambers Street / FREE / RSVP to AmericanRealness@gmail.com

Culture is as mediated as ever. Social media has amplified the documentation and reception of cultural production, while also providing more and more granular ways of quantifying the success of a work. What are ways that artists and administrators think about marketing as a cultural practice? How can differing versions of work be presented to different audiences (or, say, markets) and to what extent does this liberate or hamper artistry?

Artist/Admin is a space for artists and administrators to discuss + create new forms of the cultural institution. Readings and/or viewings will be circulated beforehand.


Aesthetics live within the structure of whiteness just like we do

A Workshop with Jaime Shearn Coan

Saturday January 7, 11:00am – 1:00pm

Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, Studio G

280 Broadway Entrance at 53A Chambers Street / FREE / RSVP to AmericanRealness@gmail.com

How does whiteness function as an unacknowledged critical construct when it comes to interpreting performance? How does proximity to whiteness shape outcomes—in dance training, casting, curation, fiscal support, criticism? How does whiteness affect whether or not a performance work even enters into the field of aesthetics? What is the correlation between how/if we racialize the dancing body and the aesthetic frame that we apply (or don’t)? Are white dance-makers making work “about race”? Can dance operate pedagogically to expose and examine whiteness? How does a failure to decolonize our aesthetic framework hurt the field/the form(s) of dance? This workshop will include presentations, dialogue, and guided activities in an effort towards identifying action steps we can make in our performance practices and communities. All participants will receive a course reader.


shift/shape

Tara Willis with Ligia Lewis, Dana Michel and Ni’Ja Whitson

Monday January 9, 11:00am – 1:00pm

Abrons Arts Center, Underground Theater

466 Grand Street / FREE / RSVP to AmericanRealness@gmail.com

A conversation bringing together performance-makers Ligia Lewis, Dana Michel and Ni’Ja Whitson, who contend with the symbolic, corporeal and affective terms of blackness, each from distinct approaches to practice and performance. Bodies navigating through (and as) the emotional and historical landscapes of racial politics; shape-shifters activating and fragmenting recognizable identity signifiers and the stage’s familiar conventions. How do black bodily experiences arrive in the intimacy (and alienation) of the present moment in performance?


The Incomprehensible Negro

M. Lamar in conversation with Jaamil Olawale Kosoko

Tuesday January 10, 11:00am – 1:00pm

Abrons Arts Center, Underground Theater

466 Grand Street / FREE / RSVP to AmericanRealness@gmail.com

“I came to theory because I was hurting—the pain within me was so intense that I could not go on living. I came to theory desperate, wanting to comprehend-to grasp what was happening around and within me. Most importantly, I wanted to make the hurt go away. I saw in theory then a location for healing.”

—Teaching to Transgress by bell hooks

Structured as a conversation collapsing strategies of performance as life practice, theory, and public discourse, The Incomprehensible Negro reveals the internal life worlds and creative practices of two artists whose creative work have been deeply inspired by the black radical tradition. Over the course of a 75 minute performance-discussion, artists M. Lamar and Jaamil Olawale Kosoko expand upon how Black theory, scholarship, literature and music have influenced them as performance makers and thinkers.

*The Incomprehensible Negro is a concept coined by M. Lamar


PARTY

Trajal Harrell

Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at the Judson Church (XL) / The Publication

Publication Release Party

Friday, January 6, 11:00pm

Abrons Arts Center, Main Gallery

466 Grand Street / FREE / AbronsArtsCenter.org

American Realness 2017 presents the release of the digital publication of Trajal Harrell’s Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at The Judson Church (XL). (XL), co-edited in collaboration with Thibault Lac and Tom Engels, is the final work in Harrell’s epic Twenty Looks… series, all of which has been seen at American Realness between 2010 and 2017. The release is accompanied by an installation, entitled XLtime created by visual artist Franklin Evans made in collaboration with (XL).


CALENDAR


THURSDAY, JANUARY 5

5:00pm – 7:00pm

Members of the House Opening Night Toast

AAC CLP

7:00pm – 8:00pm

Will Rawls, The Planet Eaters: Seconds

AAC UDG

8:30pm – 9:30pm

Meg Stuart, An evening of solo works

AAC PLY

10:00pm – 11:00pm

Dana Michel, Mercurial George

AAC EXP

FRIDAY, JANUARY 6

11:00am – 1:00pm

David Borgonjon, Artist/Admin 5: Marketing

GD 280 H

5:00pm – 5:30pm

Kimberly Bartosik, Étroits sont les Vaisseaux

GD 280 A

5:30pm – 6:30pm

Jen Rosenblit, Clap Hands

AAC EXP

5:30pm – 6:30pm

Karol Tyminski, This is a musical

AAC UDG

7:00pm – 7:30pm

Kimberly Bartosik, Étroits sont les Vaisseaux

GD 280 A

7:00pm – 8:00pm

Trajal Harrell, Twenty Looks… (S)

AAC PLY

8:00pm – 9:00pm

AmeriSHOWZ, Circle of Champions 2017

GD 280 H

8:30pm – 9:30pm

Dana Michel, Mercurial George

AAC EXP

8:30pm – 9:30pm

Will Rawls, The Planet Eaters: Seconds

AAC UDG

10:00pm – 11:00pm

Meg Stuart, An evening of solo works

AAC PLY

11:00pm – 1:00am

Trajal Harrell, Twenty Looks… (XL)/ The Publication

AAC GAL

SATURDAY, JANUARY 7

11:00am – 1:00pm

Jaime Shearn Coan, Aesthetics live within the

GD 280 G

structure of whiteness just like we do

4:00pm – 5:00pm

Big Dance Theater, Cage Shuffle

AAC G05

5:00pm – 5:30pm

Kimberly Bartosik, Étroits sont les Vaisseaux

GD 280 A

5:30pm – 6:30pm

Juliana May, ADULT DOCUMENTARY

AAC EXP

5:30pm – 6:30pm

Ni’Ja Whitson / The NWA Project,

AAC UDG

A Meditation on Tongues

6:00pm – 7:00pm

Cynthia Oliver, Viagro-Men Dem

GD 280 C

7:00pm – 8:00pm

Big Dance Theater, Cage Shuffle

AAC G05

7:00pm – 7:30pm

Kimberly Bartosik, Étroits sont les Vaisseaux

GD 280 A

7:00pm – 8:00pm

Meg Stuart, An evening of solo works

AAC PLY

8:00pm – 9:00pm

AmeriSHOWZ, Circle of Champions 2017

GD 280 H

8:30pm – 9:30pm

Jen Rosenblit, Clap Hands

AAC EXP

8:30pm – 9:30pm

Karol Tyminski, This is a musical

AAC UDG

10:00pm – 11:00pm

Trajal Harrell, Twenty Looks… (S)

AAC PLY

SUNDAY, JANUARY 8

10:00am – 4:00pm

In the Works, Process showings at 890 Broadway

GD 890

2:00pm – 3:00pm

Latifa Laâbissi, Self Portrait Camouflage

MoMA PS1

4:00pm – 5:00pm

Big Dance Theater, Cage Shuffle

AAC G05

5:30pm – 6:30pm

Ligia Lewis, minor matter

AAC EXP

5:30pm – 6:30pm

Ivo Dimchev, Songs and Book

AAC UDG

7:00pm – 8:00pm

Big Dance Theater, Cage Shuffle

AAC G05

7:00pm – 8:00pm

Mx. Oops / Wendell Cooper, Carrying Capacity

AAC PLY

8:00pm – 9:00pm

AmeriSHOWZ, Circle of Champions 2017

GD 280 H

8:30pm – 9:30pm

Juliana May, ADULT DOCUMENTARY

AAC EXP

8:30pm – 9:30pm

Ni’Ja Whitson / The NWA Project,

AAC UDG

A Meditation on Tongues

10:00pm – 11:00pm

Tina Satter / Half Straddle, Ghost Rings

AAC PLY

MONDAY, JANUARY 9

11:00am – 1:00pm

Tara Willis, shift/shape

AAC UDG

1:00pm – 2:00pm

Juliana May, ADULT DOCUMENTARY

AAC EXP

2:30pm – 3:30pm

Tina Satter / Half Straddle, Ghost Rings

AAC PLY

4:00pm – 5:00pm

Dana Michel, Mercurial George

AAC EXP

4:00pm – 5:00pm

Ni’Ja Whitson / The NWA Project,

AAC UDG

A Meditation on Tongues

5:30pm – 6:30pm

Mx. Oops / Wendell Cooper, Carrying Capacity

AAC PLY

7:00pm – 8:00pm

Ligia Lewis, minor matter

AAC EXP

7:00pm – 8:00pm

Will Rawls, The Planet Eaters: Seconds

AAC UDG

8:30pm – 9:30pm

Tina Satter / Half Straddle, Ghost Rings

AAC PLY

10:00pm – 11:00pm

Jen Rosenblit, Clap Hands

AAC EXP

10:00pm – 11:00pm

Ivo Dimchev, Songs and Book

AAC UDG

11:00pm – 12:00am

Ivo Dimchev, Book Release Party

AAC UDG

TUESDAY, JANUARY 10

11:00am – 1:00pm

M. Lamar in conversation w/ Jaamil Olawale Kosoko

AAC UDG

The Incomprehensible Negro

1:00pm – 2:00pm

Jen Rosenblit, Clap Hands

AAC EXP

2:30pm – 3:30pm

Tina Satter / Half Straddle, Ghost Rings

AAC PLY

4:00pm – 5:00pm

Ligia Lewis, minor matter

AAC EXP

4:00pm – 5:00pm

Karol Tyminski, This is a musical

AAC UDG

5:30pm – 6:30pm

Trajal Harrell, Twenty Looks… (S)

AAC PLY

7:00pm – 8:00pm

Dana Michel, Mercurial George

AAC EXP

7:00pm – 8:00pm

Ivo Dimchev, Songs and Book

AAC UDG

8:30pm – 9:30pm

Mx. Oops / Wendell Cooper, Carrying Capacity

AAC PLY

10:00pm – 11:00pm

Juliana May, ADULT DOCUMENTARY

AAC EXP

10:00pm – 11:00pm

Will Rawls, The Planet Eaters: Seconds

AAC UDG

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11

8:00pm – 9:00pm

Big Dance Theater, 17c

GD 280 H

THURSDAY, JANUARY 12

8:00pm – 9:00pm

Big Dance Theater, 17c

GD 280 H

LEGEND

AAC UDG

Abrons Arts Center Underground Theater

AAC PLY

Abrons Arts Center Playhouse

AAC EXP

Abrons Arts Center Experimental Theater

AAC GAL

Abrons Arts Center Main Gallery

GD 280 A

Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center at 280 Broadway, Studio A

GD 280 C

Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center at 280 Broadway, Studio C

GD 280 G

Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center at 280 Broadway, Studio G

GD 280 H

Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center at 280 Broadway, Studio H

GD 890

Gibney Dance: Cho

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, play guitar, music geek, movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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