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Posts Tagged ‘Festival’

Fringe at 20 Profile: Dito van Reigersberg

Posted September 23rd, 2016
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Dito Van Reigersberg in Zero Cost House (photo by JJ Tiziou)

Name: Dito van Reigersberg, sometimes Martha Graham Cracker

Type of Artist: Actor/Cabaret Performer

CompanyPig Iron Theatre Company, Co-Founder

This is a partial list of Fringe shows I’ve participated in:
Cafeteria, Pig Iron, 1997 (First Fringe!) – Charlotte the cafeteria lady
The Lorca Cycle, Pig Iron, 1999 – Federico
Shut Eye, Pig Iron, 2001 – Clark
Hell Meets Henry Halfway, Pig Iron, 2004 – Henry
Isabella, Pig Iron, 2007 – Angelo
Welcome to Yuba City, Pig Iron, 2009 – Tom White/Joaquin
Takes, Nichole Canuso Dance Company, 2010
Oedipus at FDR Park, 2010, – Messenger
Twelfth Night or What You Will, Pig Iron, 2011 – Orsino
Zero Cost House, Pig Iron, 2012 – Present Okada
Pay Up, Pig Iron, 2013 – Scene 21

Fringe show I’m participating in for 2016: I’m mostly watching this year but then closing the festival with a Martha Graham Cracker show at FringeArts on the 24th of September, with some special guests I’m very excited about. I’ll also be doing sprints to prepare for scaling the steep seating risers of the FringeArts theatre. I have lovingly dubbed those FringeArts stairs “the K2 of alternative theatre.”

First Fringe I attended and highlight: I moved to Philly just in time for the first Festival in 1997.  During that first Fringe I remember meeting the incredible members of Headlong Dance Theater and New Paradise Labs, who by now have become lifelong friends (I think Whit McLaughlin let us Pig Ironers watch a dress rehearsal of Gold Russian Finger Love, a sort of James Bond fantasia which was deliciously odd and unforgettably beautiful); I guess that was the moment I realized that, as the Talking Heads might say, “this must be the place.”

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from Cafeteria (photo by JJ Tiziou)

First Fringe I participated in: So when we arrived in Philly in 1997, we had rehearsed all summer at Swarthmore College to make a wordless piece about the American life-cycle called Cafeteria. The piece is set in junior high, a corporate and then a retirement home cafeteria, and all the dramatic action in the show is told in movement. We had no audience in Philly, no sense of what kind of reach the Fringe might have, and also we had this new, weird, hard-to-categorize piece to try to sell. Thankfully we were veterans of the Edinburgh Fringe, so we shamelessly flyered for the show all over town like mad people and hoped for the best.

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Fringe at 20 Profile: Brenna Geffers

Posted September 19th, 2016
Geffers with Actors

Geffers with Shadow House performers Anthony Crosby, Kayla Grasser, and Michael Linehard (photo by Mickey Herr)

Name: Brenna Geffers

Type of Artist: Theater-maker and Director

Companies: I am a freelance artist, but have been proud to call Theatre Exile, EgoPo Classic Theater, Thom Weaver’s Flashpoint, and Rebel Theater in NYC my artistic homes in the past. Currently I am an artist-in-residence at The Powel House with the Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks (PhilaLandmarks). I am also a member of the Philadelphia Opera Collective, which just means that I hang out with some gorgeous artists and singers for a few months out of the year.

List of Fringe shows I’ve participated in:
Mother Courage and Her Children, Wandering Rom, 2006 – Director
Planetary Enzyme Blues, New Paradise Laboratories, 2007 – Assistant Director
Masque of the Red Death, Wandering Rom, 2007 – Creator/Director
Mud, Wandering Rom, 2008 –  Director
Woyzeck, EgoPo, 2009 – Director
Marat/Sade, EgoPo, 2010 – Director
The Oresteia Project, Philadelphia Artist Collective, 2011 – Creator/Director
The Consul, Philadelphia Opera Collective, 2012 – Director
Opera Macabre, POC, 2013 – Librettist/Director
A Doll’s House, EgoPo, 2013 – Creator/Director
By You That Made Me Frankenstein, POC, 2014 – Creator/Director
Jump the Moon, Philadelphia Opera Collective, 2015 – Creator/Director

Geffers - Mud

Joe Canuso, Megan Snell, and Robert Daponte in Mud (photo by John Margolus)

Fringe show I’m participating in for 2016Shadow House, an immersive opera and theater piece where 10 different storylines across 200 years are connected by a single location. Audience members follow characters and stories by moving around the historic Powel House, chasing what interests them to put the pieces together. There is music and movement and mystery happening in all the nooks and crannies of the house. I am the creator and director for the piece and was commissioned by the Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks.

First Fringe I attended and highlight: I started seeing Fringe shows before I moved to Philadelphia, so the shows that I saw, like the epic Black Party Pink Palace and the achingly delicate Hell Meets Henry Half Way loom large in my mind. They inspired me to move to Philadelphia and be part of the strange and beautiful scene here.

First Fringe I participated in: The first show that I was actually hired to be a part of – rather than using the money I saved up all summer from shady telemarketing jobs – was Planetary Enzyme Blues with New Paradise Laboratories. I was the AD for the show and cherished every moment I was in the room with those artists; you don’t spend hours watching Mary McCool create work and leave unchanged. I learned a lot that summer, about art and collaboration and risk. I cried at the final moments of that show every time I watched it.

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An Antihero Returns

Posted September 12th, 2016
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Peter Smith and Kyle Yackoski (photo by Plate 3 Photography)

Pow! Blam! Zip! Bang! These are just a few of the terms found emblazoned on comic book panels, and sometimes, across our movie screens. They represent and highlight the violence that takes place in these fictional stories of heroes versus villains, but the Earth-shattering showdowns and the impending doom our heroes are trying to upend can be aggressively severe. Recent, mainstream silver screen adaptations have indulged fans with a chance to revel in the chaos of cities crumbling, bullets flying, and punches landing as our defenders in tights attempt to save the day. These films and colorful comics have arguably painted violence in an inconsequential light. Audiences have become all too unfazed and that’s a serious problem according to the Tribe of Fools, a Philly based physical theatre company, and the architects behind Antihero.

Antihero uses dynamic fight-movement comedy to explore the depths of society’s fascination with violence and vigilantes, and how it ties into violence as entertainment in superhero films and comic books. Tribe of Fools aims to shine a light on this polarizing topic once again by bringing Antihero back to Fringe, after 3 years. “This show looks at how easy violence can become and the permanence of its consequences,” explains Tyler Brennan, the show’s director.

Brennan’s interest in the subject arose from looking at his own personal life. “What really got me interested in the subject was how often I would find myself thinking of my daily struggles in life in similar terms as the entertainment I was consuming. I would always envision myself destroying whatever problem I encountered. When you’re dealing with an insurance company or some sort of technology problem, it’s really no big deal, in some ways it helps. When I was dealing with people though, it became a huge problem. Everything was an argument and I always needed to win. It never escalated to violence in my personal life, but I would find myself enraged all the time.”

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Festival MVP Brett Mapp’s 2016 Schedule

Posted September 7th, 2016

Opening night of the Festival is tomorrow, can you believe it? It will no doubt be an incredible couple weeks of inspired performances, but if you’re like me you haven’t quite locked down your festival schedule yet. I mean, who has times for puzzles these days? It might seem overwhelming to fit all these amazing shows into just little more than two weeks, but thankfully there’s hope. Fringe Festival veteran, Old City District director of operations, general man about town, and self-described “hardcore Fringer” Brett Mapp has been kind enough to share his 2016 Fringe Festival schedule with us. If you’re looking for some guidance on what to see and how to fit it all together, it can’t hurt to start here.

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Tomas Dura, Bob Schmidt, and Tina Brock in Eugene Ionesco’s The Chairs (photo by Johanna Austin @ AustinArt.org)

9/7
Eugene Ionesco’s The Chairs @ 7:30pm

9/8
CITIZEN @ 7pm

9/9
Exile 2588 @ 7pm
Feed @ 8:30pm
Anithero @ 10pm

9/10
Raphstravaganza The Kinetic Experience @ 12pm
Levée des conflits @ 8pm

who would be king

Rebecca Lehrhoff, Rachel Wiese, Jesse Garlick, and Veronica Barron in Who Would Be King (photo by Chris McIntosh)

9/11
Who Would Be King @ 2pm
They’ll Be Callin Us Witches @ 4:30pm
Notes of a Native Song @ 8pm

9/12
The Sincerity Project @ 7pm

9/13
Gala @ 8pm

9/14
I Fucking Dare You @ 8:30pm

9/15
Animal Farm to Table @ 6pm
Wroughtland @ 9pm

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Fringe at 20 Profile: Bobbi Block

Posted September 2nd, 2016
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Bobbi Block (photo by JJ Tiziou)

Name: Bobbi Block

Type of Artist: Theater Artist; Producer; Director; Dancer; Drummer

Companies: Tongue & Groove Spontaneous Theater; LunchLady Doris; ComedySportz; P3: People’s Percussion Project; Unidos da Filadelfia

List of Fringe shows I’ve participated in: I have produced and performed in every single Fringe Festival since the first one, including many years when I produced and performed in multiple shows. There was only one year when I didn’t produce, though I did perform with my band one night that year, so I’m counting that as participating in every single Festival! My memory sucks, so thank god the Fringe Guide Archive is online or I would not have been able to make this list!

  • The Improv Marathon, 1997 – producer, performer, host [Got every improv group that existed at that time to perform back to back, I think it was a grand total of 5!]
  • Debut of LunchLady Doris at the Quarry Street outdoor stage, 1998 — artist, co-producer [LLD was a 5 member longform improv company (the first in the city) that ran for 12 years, with Dave Jadico, Karen Getz, Kelly Jennings, Kevin Dougherty.]
  • Bingo Bedlam, BbBb Productions, 1999 – director, producer, actor [A 10-minute play in which ALL of the words start with the letter B; featuring Jen Childs, Tony Lawton, Pete Pryor]
  • Birth-day!, P3: People Percussion Project, 2002 – co-producer, co-choreographer, dancer [The debut of P3 as part of the curated Fresh Moves series, co-founded with Judy Freed]
  • Late Night Cabaret, 2002 — MC
  • P3: People Percussion Project, 2003-2004 – co-producer, choreographer, dancer
  • LEAP! The Actors’ Improv Experiment, produced by LiveArts, 2007 – conceived and directed [w/ Megan Bellwoar, Catharine Slusar, Ben Lloyd, Tom Byrn, Joe Guzman]
  • In Bed, Tongue & Groove, 2007 – producer, director actor [Fringe Debut of Tongue & Groove Spontaneous Theater*]
  • LunchLady Doris, 1998-2008 – actor, co-producer
  • Secrets, Tongue & Groove, 2008-2009 – producer, director, actor
  • UnSpoken, Tongue & Groove, 2010 – producer, director, actor
  • Six, Tongue & Groove, 2011 – producer, director, actor
  • Le Grand Continental, LiveArts produced, 2012 – dancer
  • WHO, Tongue & Groove, 2012 – producer, director, actor
  • Secrets, Tongue & Groove, 2014 – producer, director, actor
  • Unidos da Filadelfia, 2012-2015 – drummer
  • Groove, Tongue & Groove, 2015 – producer, director, actor [A collaboration with blues dancers and musicians]
  • Before I Die, Tongue & Groove, 2016 – producer, director, actor

*Current and Past Tongue & Groove ensemble members: Fred Andersen, Megan Bellwoar, Beth Dougherty, Adam Gertler, Noah Herman, Matt LydonJennifer MacMillan, Carol Moog, Ed Miller, Eoin O’Shea, Seth Reichgott, Josh Rubinstein, Fred Siegel, Rebecca Sharp,Carrie Spaulding, Jordan Stalsworth

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Tongue & Groove (photo by Aaron Oster)

First Fringe I attended and highlight: I was there at the very start (go on, Grandma). The highlight was the exciting community vibe in Old City. The first several years, with everything taking place within several blocks, it was just so much fun to hop from show to show. You’d bump into people, ask what they were about to see or what they just saw, and just dash off to the next performance without planning. You felt you could take a chance on just about anything, cause everything was only 5 bucks. There was no on-line sales back then, so the ticket-buying process was in person and very communal – the box office was the place to see and be seen. I also loved the cabaret in the old days when you would see snippets of shows as teasers and then decide whether or not you wanted to see the full production. The cabaret was one big love-fest, kinda like a family — with Scott Johnston as a very weird ‘Dad’ of us all — plus you never know what might happen there. You wouldn’t think to miss a night of the Cabaret or you might miss something everyone would be talking about the next day!

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Fringe Festival 2016 Spotlight: Messing with Shakespeare

Posted August 25th, 2016

Drawing inspiration from the immortal works of the Bard of Avon, these shows provide fresh interpretations for the well trodden material. If you’re looking for unique perspectives on some of Shakespeare’s classics, be sure to check them out!

bedlam

(photo by Rachel O’Hanlon-Rodriguez)

Bedlam: Shakespeare in Rehab @ St. John the Baptist Church
Manayunk Theatre Company

Bedlam: Shakespeare in Rehab takes everything you know about classic theater and turns it on its head. Shakespearean Heroines are ripped out of their respective stories and thrown into a haunting, run down institution. Characters and audience alike are immersed in a world of mental health. More info and tickets here.

omeletto body

(photo by Oreste Montebello)

Omeletto: Like Hamlet, Only Scrambled @ Liberty Lands Park
Ombelico Mask Ensemble

Told through the lens of commedia dell’rte, the story of Hamlet gets a deconstructed re-imagining that only Ombelico Mask Ensemble can deliver. Come and see your favorite commedia characters’ (Arlecchino, Pantelone, Capitano, and the rest) take on the Bard. Performed in English, Italian, and French. More info and tickets here.

ophelia fringe

 

Drowning Ophelia @ The Iron Factory
Ensemble Atria and EagerRisk Theater

Jane doesn’t know what to do with the literary character who has taken up residence in her bathtub. She doesn’t want Ophelia interrupting the obsessive order of her life with obnoxious songs. Ophelia doesn’t care about what Jane wants, only what she needs. But, how do you move on when reconciliation is not an option? More info and tickets here.

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The Sincerity Project Photo Diary: Jenna in VT

Posted August 24th, 2016

In 2014, an ensemble of seven intrepid Philadelphia performers gathered at FringeArts to present the first of what will be 13 iterations of the same structured performance. The Sincerity Project is a radical experiment in bringing honesty to a space familiar with artifice, a theatrical anti-play ritual from Team Sunshine Performance Corporation that will be recreated biennially for 24 years. FringeArts is proud to present the second iteration of this ambitious endeavor as part of the 2016 Fringe Festival. Each cast member has shared a collection of photographs from the last two years of their lives, and in anticipation of the premiere we will be presenting a selection of them over the course of the next few weeks.

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Tuce Yasak covering me in clay in an installation up at the Shakleton’s in Woodstock, VT — Jenna Horton

 

View More: http://eileenmenyphotography.pass.us/vermont-2015

Drying off and warming up after nearly going into shock from getting hosed off post being covered in clay for an hour. VT, July 2015 — Jenna Horton

Fringe at 20 Profile: Jess Conda

Posted August 10th, 2016
Above Photo: Conda with Red 40 and the Last Groovement (photo by Chris K Photography)

 

Media Fine Imaging Eternal Glamnation

Conda in BRAT’s Eternal Glamnation (photo by Media Fine Imaging)

Name: Jess Conda

Type of Artist: actor, cabaret singer

Company: freelance, free love art maker; I get down a little bit with everyone

List of Fringe shows I’ve participated in:
The Lazy Activist, BRAT Productions, 2003 – ensemble performer/creator
Pay Up, Pig Iron, 2005/2013 – ensemble performer/creator
Eye 95 Re-Tarred, BRAT Productions, 2006 – ensemble performer/creator
Armageddon at the Mushroom Village, Tribe of Fools, 2009 – ensemble performer/creator
Water Bears in Space, Transmissions Theatre, 2011 – ensemble performer/creator
Heavy Metal Dance Fag, Tribe of Fools, 2011 – ensemble performer/creator
Festival Bar, RUBA Club, 2011 – programming director
Eternal Glamnation, BRAT Productions, 2012 – ensemble performer/creator
99 Breakups, Pig Iron, 2014 – ensemble performer/creator
Purgatory, Gunnar Montana, 2015 – performer
The Lid, BRAT Productions, 2015 – ensemble performer/creator

Fringe show I’m participating in for 2016: Performing back vox and raps with Red 40 and the Last Groovement opening night of the Festival

First Fringe I attended: 2003. Highlight was was walking to rehearsal and seeing all of this ACTION, in the box office, postcards flying around everywhere, Greg Giovanni performing Noh theater in the street in a kimono, artists all a flutter with this Olde City Fringe hub bub that made me giddy to be a part of this weird and amazing new art life.

First Fringe I participated in: Ranch-O Trivio show was a game show about George W Bush that BRAT played in the street. It was memorable to see how little regular folks knew about their politicians. Some things never change…

Babydoll

Conda as Babydoll in Eye 95 Re-Tarred (photo by JJ Tiziou)

First show I produced/created at the Fringe: I was pretty proud of programming the Festival Bar in 2011, even though every day was 16 hours of hard, down and dirty work: rehearsing other shows, booking everyone for the bar, and working with the technicians to get the Festival Bar space physically ready. On Opening Night of the Festival I was sweaty, covered in saw dust, wearing electrical tape around my wrists and my phone was in my bra ringing and glowing away. I had brought this whole gown and heels ensemble to wear to host that night but I was so tired I was like, “Fuck it, this is how I’m going on stage.” I riffed about how this is what Art Warriors REALLY look like and it was one of the most connected times on stage I’ve ever experienced.

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Fringe at 20 Profile: Bethany Formica

Posted August 5th, 2016
Above photo:  Bethany Formica in Multi-Family Garage Sale (photo by JJ Tiziou)

 

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Bethany Formica in Babel (photo by Alan Kolc)

Name: Bethany Formica

Type of Artist: Dance/Theater Artist, Choreographer, Wood Artisan

Company: Currently dancing with Cardell Dance Theater

List of Fringe shows I’ve participated in:
Love After Death, Julia Ritter’s Performance Group, 2000 – Dancer/Actress
The Gathering, Melanie Stewart Dance Theatre, 2003 – Dancer/Actress
Multi-Family Garage Sale, Reactionaries and The Bald Mermaids, 2004 – Dancer/Collaborator
Babel, Melanie Stewart Dance Theatre/Benchtours, 2004 – Dancer/Actress
Fervor, Blur, Bluff, Megan Bridge & Andrew Simonet, Late Night Cabaret, 2005 – Dancer/Creator
New Slang- Everything Looks Perfect From Far Away, Reactionaries and The Bald Mermaids, 2005 – Co-Director/Dancer/Choreographer
Philadelphia Live Arts/Fringe Festival, 2005-2010 – Production Crew
P’s and Q’s, Directed by Lee Ann Etzold, 2006 – Actress
Contest, Jeb Kreager/BrownSquad, 2006 – Dancer/Singer
Voyeur, BoanDanz Action, 2007 – Dancer
Wandering Alice, Nichole Canuso Dance Company, 2007 & 2008 – Dancer/Singer
Factor T., Dada von Bzdülöw Theatre, 2008 – Dancer/Co-Choreographer
Kill Me Now, Melanie Stewart Dance Theater, 2009 – Dancer/Actress
Decadere, BoanDanz Action, 2010 – Dancer
Le Grande Continental, Choreographed by Sylvan Emard, 2012 – Performer/Rehearsal Assistant

First Fringe I participated in: Fringe 2000, in a show called Love After Death with Julia Ritter Performance Group. Our show was performed in an outdoor venue in what was called the Ethearal Theater on Elfreth’s Alley next to the National Building. That was also home to the box office that year. I still lived in NYC at the time but was moved by the warm and welcoming community in Philadelphia. I was impressed by the $5 rush tickets that allowed participating artist to see each others work. This is also how I met Melanie Stewart, who was our dramaturge. I would go on to teach for her at Rowan University and perform with her in Philly for the next ten years.

2008 Philadelphia Live Arts Festival - Nichole Canuso's "Wandering Alice" rehearsal - with Nichole Canuso, Meg Foley, Bethany Formica, Makoto Hirano, Jaamil Kosoko, Rainey Lacey, Lorin Lyle, Scott McPheeters, Heather Murphy, Dito van Reigersberg, Christina Zani, Mike Kiley, James Sugg - also Suli Holum, Lee Etzold, Andrea Alessi, Anna Drozdowski Photo must be credited to "Jacques-Jean Tiziou / www.jjtiziou.net" adjacent to the image. Online credits should link to www.jjtiziou.net. Photo may only be used as permitted by the photographer.

Formica with Scott McPheeters in Wandering Alice (photo by JJ Tiziou)

First show I produced/created at the Fringe: Co-Director of New Slang, Everything looks Perfect From Far Away, in 2005.  This was a huge, messy, and wonderful collaboration between REACTIONARIES (Mark O’Maley and myself) and The Bald Mermaids (Becca Sloan) and our kick ass cast and crew.

The Fringiest show, venue, action, or moment I ever experienced: I did a lot of tech crew in order to pay my bills as a performer. There were so many fringy moments. I often think about the hundreds of abandoned spaces we revitalized as performers and crew members.

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Sherry Truck

Posted September 14th, 2015

“It is not hard to find a therapist in the city, but it is hard to find a good match–someone to help you drop your guard and pinpoint what’s bothering you.

Enter Sherapy: A character therapist, Sherry, in a roaming retro truck, who gives free, on-the-spot sessions to anyone curious enough to walk inside her domain, which she describes as safe and “elegant trashy,” not kitschy bad taste. ” – Natalie Rin, Brooklyn Magazine 

 

The Sherry Truck is a mobile boutique, a cafe, a therapy office, and a flexible performance platform. Sherry has grown too big for the churches, theaters, and galleries of the bourgeoisie, and is now taking her messages of presence and self-awareness to the streets. The Sherry Truck can traverse the social, political, and geographical restrictions of the art worlds and allow Sherry to help people who often do not have access to help. Sherry and her helpers serve pink lattes, offer manicures and pedicures, individual or couples Sherapy sessions, performance relics, and much more. Sherry also invites other artists and artisans to display their works in collaboration with her.

Follow @sherry_truck

 

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Ann Liv Young‘s creations are essentially a reflection of her life, inspired by her experiences with her dancers, family, collaborators and passersby. The ultra-personal becomes the material she molds for performance. Young’s mission is to create work that is honest in its inception, creation and execution. Her work combines text, music and choreography to build scenes that set up ideas, images and relationships and then destroy them. Young’s text is explicitly sexual, emotional and blunt, but it is always delivered in a manner that is not. The overt drama of her work is subdued by the realness of this text. Her work exemplifies constant contrast in all its layers. Audiences are provoked and forced to examine their role in the presentation of dance and performance. They must determine their place as supporters, mockers, posers or subjects.

Young creates fantastical sets for the comfort of her dancers and in an effort to take the audience to a unique space that is not necessarily the stage. She often works with live animals on stage, forcing natural and odd relationships between these animals and the performers. A key component of Young’s process maintains that all rehearsals must take place in her apartment. The stage is then set in the manner of her apartment with its atypical decor. In this way, the work is created with life surrounding it; her dog is walking around, roommates are doing laundry and the phone rings. The sense of focus for the performers and the work is more immediate and real than that created in a studio.

Ann Liv Young’s work, creation process, titles and intentions are forward and literal resulting in layered, provocative, contrived and thoughtful work that breaks barriers in dance performance. (Source)

 

 
Check out the entire 2015 Festival Late Night lineup!