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Archive for 2008

Angel of Death in Ottawa

Posted April 11th, 2008

Nick traveled to Ottawa last weekend to see Belgian choreographer Jan Fabre’s Angel of Death, a performance piece that uses a combination of high conceptual complexity and sophisticated media to create a haunting glimpse of the artist’s psyche. Audience members sit on pillows, forming a semi-circle around a small platform where Ivana Jozic, Croatian dancer and protégé of Jan Fabre, performs throughout the forty-minute show. Jozic is an extraordinary performer—a great dancer, and a great actor with an immense stage presence. Her movement is explosive and frenetic, sending her sweat flying through the air. A pair of gargantuan screens loom behind her, where footage of the legendary choreographer and dancer William Forsythe is projected. Forsythe jumps and the film catches him in mid air, he descends in slow motion, so that we can watch every subtle muscular transition until he returns to ground. Ivana emulates his movement with fervid zeal. The contrast between Ivana, who is so alive and so real, and Forsythe, who here is seen as this two-dimensional, larger-than-life force, is overwhelming.

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This message was originally posted on 3/14/08.

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London Loves Jérôme Bel

Posted April 11th, 2008

Swan Lake it’s not. Jérôme Bel likes to play with body parts, vacuum cleaners, and pop music in the liquid landscape of a poststructuralist methodology. He also likes to make work in which dancers talk about dancing. Over the next three weeks, Sadler’s Wells Theater in London will present a retrospective on the works of Bessie Award-winning French choreographer Jérôme Bel, who will present two of his most admired works, The show must go on and Pichet Klunchun and Myself, at the 2008 Live Arts Festival. In Sunday’s New York Times, Roslyn Sulcas described Bel’s work as a “clever balancing act, on the line between the theatrical and the banal, [that] continues to elude definition.” Click here to read the full article.

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This message was originally posted on 2/25/08.

Live Arts 2008 Lineup Posted!

Posted April 11th, 2008

Our programming department is nearly finished with the lineup for 2008 Live Arts dance, theater, and music shows. This year, you’ll see some of the most provocative contemporary performance works being created at home and abroad, as well as three international collaborations between artists from France, Norway, Sweden, and Philadelphia. Live Arts shows will feature pseudo-Slovak immigrants, skaters in togas, taxidermied animal puppets, and twenty dancers who somehow manage to stand still while David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” blasts in their ears. Click here to get the full scoop at our shiny new 2008 Festival page.

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This message was originally posted on 2/14/08.

Festival Staff Member of the Week: Janice Rowland

Posted April 11th, 2008

She acts for the stage and screen. She sings and writes songs about the pros and cons of drunkenness. She loves tings and she loves to talk about them using an Irish accent. When commercial flooring expos need spokeswomen, she speaks. When marketing needs to be coordinated, she coordinates. Singer/songwriter, actress, and Live Arts and Philly Fringe Marketing Coordinator Janice Rowland embodies a rare combination of talent, creative zeal, and no-nonsense work ethic. And this week, you’ll have not one but TWO chances to see her perform live with her Philly theater cohort.

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This message was originally posted on 2/10/08.

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Miguel Gutierrez workshop at The Performance Garage this weekend

Posted April 11th, 2008

Brooklyn-based choreographer Miguel Gutierrez will be in Philly this weekend! A two-time Bessie award winner, Miguel has performed with Joe Goode Performance Group, and John Jasperse Company, among others. In 2001, he formed his own company, The Powerful People. Miguel Gutierrez and the Powerful People will present their most recent work, Everyone, at the 2008 Live Arts Festival. Click here to visit their website.

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This message was originally posted on 2/8/08.

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Jan Fabre Teaching Workshop

Posted April 10th, 2008

Last week, Marina Kaptijn and Tamara Beudeker, teaching artists from Fabre’s company, came to Philadelphia and taught a five-day workshop for a select group of Philly dancers. Fabre has a formulaic approach to choreography in which his primary aim is to create severe structures in which his dancers otherwise have complete freedom. He is interested in building situations in which chaos can be contained.

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This message was originally posted on 1/31/08.

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Dance Advance Sponsors a European Invasion

Posted April 10th, 2008

We recently received notification of our 10th consecutive Dance Advance award! We were awarded $88,000 to present two European choreographers, for the first time in Philadelphia, at the 2008 Live Arts Festival. Dance Advance is a program of the Philadelphia Center for Arts and Heritage, funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts and administered by The University of the Arts.

This message was originally posted on 1/28/08.

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Free actors + Ukrainian food = clever scheme

Posted April 10th, 2008

As if the British pound weren’t nipping us in the bud even more than usual, Rotozaza of England has figured out a way to produce quality theater without paying professional actors. Why didn’t we think of this first? Etiquette takes place at Veselka Restaurant, a Ukrainian café in the East Village. In Etiquette, the audience members (there are only two for each performance) sit at a table and listen to headphones. Here, you can see Nick, our producing director, and his wife Annie during their performance. Rotozaza’s directors pipe in various instructions, telling the viewers/performers what to do and say to each other, over a pre-designed soundscape. The drama unfolds like steam rising off a pierogie. We’re hoping to bring Etiquette to the 2008 Festival–more on that soon. Click here to watch a short video on Etiquette by UrbanEye.
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This message was originally posted on 1/18/08.

Live Arts programming staff storm the scene at APAP

Posted April 10th, 2008

Last weekend, our programming staff (Nick and Pia) traveled to New York for the annual conference of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP). APAP is a presenter of The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival, in which The Public teams up with similar venues like The Kitchen and P.S. 122 to present a “diverse kaleidoscope” of new theater from all over the world. Nick and Pia got to check out new works by former Live Arts artists Young Jean Lee (Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven, 2007) and Nature Theater of Oklahoma (No Dice, 2007) who brought their work to the Under the Radar. Past Live Arts artists Marc Bamuthi Joseph (Word Becomes Flesh, 2005) and Jay Scheib (ADDICTED TO BAD IDEAS: Peter Lorre’s Twentieth Century, 2007) also presented their work at the Festival.

This message was originally posted on 1/18/08.