Posts Tagged ‘Magda San Millan’

The Loop of Integrity and Light-Up Sneakers : an Interview with Chelsea & Magda

Posted May 25th, 2016

“What would it be like to research yourself like an academic or test yourself like a scientist?”

Chels and Magda-246

Chelsea & Magda have been collaborating in Philadelphia for the past three years making dance theater duets. The Shame Symposium explores the link between shame and pleasure. Their research involves female friendships, public perception of aggression, the loop of integrity, Lisa Frank and light-up sneakers.

We caught up with Chelsea & Magda to find out more about their research process and work on The Shame Symposium.

FringeArts: How did you come up with the title The Shame Symposium?

Magda San Millan: We were in rehearsal sitting on the floor and talking about if we should stretch and start dancing or try to get some administrative work out of the way and we slipped into a title decision conversation. We were almost going to call it Recent Developments, Discoveries and Theories because our work is going away from the “show” format, with a unified theme, and towards a presentation of research. As an artist, what if I could present all of my interests and practices in one evening without trying to make it have a narrative or a cohesive-ish-ness? But admittedly much of our research has focused on shame and we want to give people the heads up—not everyone is interested in watching shame transformation.

Chelsea Murphy: I like the word “symposium” because it puts our work in an academic arena. It lets people know that we will be presenting research, experiments, and demonstrations. It will be a collection of performances, photographs, thoughts, and experiences around being a person with shame, which is every person. I agree with Magda, not everyone is interested in watching people explore their shame. So in that way I think this title is scary for us. It feels like it is really putting the vulnerable thing out there for everyone to see.Chels and Magda-300

FA: Describe the shame/pleasure cake.

MSM: This term originated in an improvisational movement and text score that we developed at our Yard residency this past summer. The importance of the term now resides in the linking of shame and pleasure. We are not interested in shame that is action based or traumatic. Like: I was mean to this girl and I feel guilt about it and it made me think I was a bad person, etc. We are interested in shame that is linked to pleasure and reveals something about the personality that culture condemns. So, I often feel that I am an “aggressive woman.” I feel shame because people have shamed me about it. Telling me I’m too intense, etc. I feel shame because it implies that I want to hurt others, which I don’t want (to be clear). But I also feel pleasure in the experience of power, in the act of domination, in the explosiveness and playfulness. I don’t believe these qualities are inherently bad or harmful. And the question we pose to others is: Is there an aspect of your identity that causes you pleasure and shame? Let’s look at that. Let’s celebrate that. Because when we do we are going to see your full flawed and complex self onstage. And we are going to break the cycle of idealization to shame to idealization to shame . . .

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Jumpstart, A Recap of our Artist Interviews

Posted May 13th, 2013

Jumpstart, a showcase that identifies new and emerging talent, rocked the Painted Bride on Monday and Tuesday nights. We at FringeArts Blog had the pleasure of interviewing each of the lead artists who created and are performing short works. Here’s a quick run down of the artists and shows with some choice quotes and links to the full interviews.

Alyesha Wise. Photo: SP Photography.

Photo: SP Photography.

A Denzel Theory by Ms. Wise

Alyesha Wise: A Denzel Theory is named after my kid brother, Denzel. Growing up in my hometown didn’t necessarily pave an easy road to success. Denzel made it look quite the opposite, remaining focused, engaging in sports and academics, then getting a full scholarship to college. This piece is about how our old city eventually swayed him in the opposite direction. This piece is about how this happens to many youth in environments like ours. This poem is a cry. And it’s a theory. Not sure when it came to me; but it’s one of the fastest poems I’ve ever written. READ THE WHOLE INTERVIEW

Higher Art by Seth Lapore

Seth Lapore: I started [doing one-man shows] in college. I like being all the characters in a play that I’ve developed, being able to just switch it up all of a sudden and be someone else fully. I enjoy being in a studio and just talking something out, getting to know a character and letting them lead the lines and then furiously writing them down. READ THE WHOLE INTERVIEW

Hello Etna Mounting!

Mounting, Etna by Jenna Horton

Jenna Horton: The title is intentionally multivalent, as is a lot of the poetry in the show. For starters, there’s the physical action of mounting, as in mounting Etna as if she were a horse—your horse—or a person—your person [as in belonging to you]. Or you could be mounting her on your wall like you would a painting. Or maybe she’s doing that to you. Mind you, I’m also mounting the show of Etna. Not to mention, there’s a volcano on the east coast of Sicily named Mount Etna that’s very active and provides for the fertile soils surrounding the area. My parents also live in Etna, New Hampshire; but that’s more of a coincidence. READ THE WHOLE INTERVIEW

Scott and JennThe Living History Project by the Groundswell Players

Scott Sheppard: On one level, the piece is a story about a failed pedagogy that glorifies reenactment as a way of understanding historical events more intimately. On another level the piece is about two performers trying to process their relationship to history, to race, to acting, and to each other. One question I’ve been asking myself is, “aren’t we engaged in the very same project of re-living history that our piece seeks to critique?” I think so, and that puts us in the driver’s seat to say something powerful. READ THE WHOLE INTERVIEW

THe name of this artists is Marina Libel. Photo: Joshua Simpson.

Photo: Joshua Simpson.

The Supervisors by Marina Libel

Marina Libel: In The Supervisors, we had to embody the machine we’re in—the helicopter—and actually be in it. And express who the characters are and how they function as people. We needed both movement and text to do that, there is no other way. It often goes like that for me. I don’t necessarily start out saying I have to have gesture, dialogue, and choreography but I usually end up with some combination of the three. If you think of a gesture as a word or of a dialogue as a movement phrase, the performance can open up new possibilities and very often reveal something very real about human beings that would never be revealed in an ordinary interaction. READ THE WHOLE INTERVIEW


Photo by David Brick.

Photo by David Brick.

Rooster and Snowball by Chelsea Murphy and Magda San Millan

Chelsea Murphy: It’s a great collage of many forms that we’ve both been exposed to. There’s modern dance in there, and the critique of modern dance. We both went to the American Dance Festival this past summer and HATED it. But that’s another conversation. There is clowning and more performance presence stuff, which is important to us—the level of awareness we bring to the performance of each moment, and playing with that level of energy.READ THE WHOLE INTERVIEW

Monday May 13 + Tuesday May 14 at 7pm
Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
$18 / $12 Students + 25 and under

Rooster and Snowball, Two Crazy Mofos Come To Jumpstart!

Posted May 8th, 2013

On May 13 and 14, FringeArts presents our second annual Jumpstart, a showcase designed to identify new and emerging talent in the field of live performance. 2013 will feature six artists/companies performing short works, and we here at FringeArts Blog thought we’d catch up with them. Chelsea Murphy and Magda San Millan will be performing their dance-theater work Rooster & Snowball, in which, as they explain, “Two crazy motherfuckers try to change the modern dance world right before your very eyes.”

Well, let’s find out more!

The Snowball and the Rooster. Photo by David Brick.

The Snowball and the Rooster. Photo by David Brick.

FringeArts: Why is your show title Rooster & Snowball?

Magda: The title is the names of our characters and the names came from the hats: I found this hipster looking hat with a mohawk made of yarn and Chelsea’s is a round white thing. We wore our hats during tech and afterwards I was talking to David Brick [of Headlong Dance Theater] about the characters and the names came from the shapes of the hats. But in a great way the hats influenced the characters, crystallized their essence into this direction they were already going. The hats made the men, so to speak.

Chelsea: You keep saying “characters” but when people have called them “characters” in the past we’ve corrected them. I don’t think they are characters what we are doing. They’re more like . . . what’s that word?

Magda: Personas? Personalities? Essences?

Chelsea: I just think there isn’t any acting involved in this situation. These are the goofy, exhausted, angry-about-stuff versions of ourselves that come out when we are in rehearsal together.

Magda: Right, but to differentiate between the two: Rooster is more aggressive, explosive and Snowball has this icy exterior and weapon metaphor going on. Rooster throws the Snowball.

Chelsea: Why didn’t we think that??

Magda: I just did, I just did think of it.

Chelsea: Okay, but we also wanted to talk about the shared character trait between them: the “failed Rebel” we call it. Both of our performances are about this failed rebel.

Magda: Someone who projects rebel but follows all the rules on a daily basis.

Chelsea: Or not even that they project the rebel image, but other people perceive them that way.

Magda: But they still get nervous about jaywalking.

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