Bay Area Premiere
Please note: There will be NO LATE SEATING for this performance. Please plan accordingly.
"Everybody on– and offstage constructs their reality at every moment. What fascinates me are the inevitable holes in these realities: that other people don’t easily fit into our scripts, or circumstances force us to improvise. In every performance there are hidden layers being revealed."
— Meg Stuart
Auf den Tisch! (which means "to put things on the table") is an improvisation project by internationally acclaimed dancer/choreographer Meg Stuart. The setup is a large table with four microphones that the audience and performers sit around. As the performers begin to improvise — singing, playing, dancing, talking, sometimes "on stage" (on the table) and sometimes not – the lines between performers and audiences begin to blur and the experience becomes a collaboration or negotiation where everyone has to “put things on the table” and work through the situation together. With an ever–changing cast of performers, thinkers, musicians, dancers, visual artists and audience members, each performance is a unique experience. The cast for the YBCA performances include next to Meg Stuart well–known San Francisco performer and choreographer Keith Hennessy, and composer Hahn Rowe and several other artists.
Somewhere in BetweenMar 26, 2011 2:00pm
By Pierre Coulibeuf
Post-show discussion with Jesse Hewit
An experimental 55 minute film–portrait that transposes the research of choreographer Meg Stuart into fiction, Somewhere in Between recreates the behaviors and gestures of individuals in everyday life — the strange or unusual attitudes of a couple of unconventional figures; of two girls in their flat; of a couple in a half–destroyed house; of a girl in an underground parking garage, and another who wants to settle in Switzerland and live out more or less traumatic experiences. Suggesting the vagueness of place, identity, and relationships, the film is a reflection on the body's posture in the everyday life of individuals, examining how choreographic work feeds on routine social and individual behaviors. Following the film screening of Somewhere in Between, join local performance artist Jesse Hewit as he moderates an informal discussion about the film, contextualized by Meg Stuart's self–described themes of distortion, privacy, excess, and emotion.
When describing the YBCA’s performing arts program, I often talk about my desire for the program to be a platform for bold experimentation, to support artists taking risks and to support collaborations – these values really are the underpinnings to my curatorial approach. Every year I have a long list of artists from around the world who I would love to work with and bring to the Bay Area, and Meg Stuart has long been on my list of artists to support. When thinking about which Meg Stuart project to present, and thinking of this presentation as an introduction, it made perfect sense to start the conversation with her unique project Auf den Tisch! (At the Table!)– a piece that is an embodiment of the values of experimentation, collaboration and artistic risk taking.
A cornerstone project for our big idea DARE, Auf den Tisch! is a piece that situates the audience as part of a debate, and invites the audience to observe a platform of ideas, questions and negotiations. It’s a work that reveals and illuminates the creative process in precarious motion, and brings together a local and global group of participants in a convergence of artistic and intellectual exchange in San Francisco, in this particular moment in time.
The simple parameters of this improvisation invite a complexity that I find profound and relevant to our everyday lives. The piece reminds us to be in the moment, to be present, to listen and respond. A reminder about the improvisation we engage in every day, how we all are finding ways to move through the world, adapting to constant change and challenge. This piece is a distillation of negotiation. This notion of potential is at the heart of these negotiations and exchanges – the potential for beauty and grace, for failure, awkwardness, and vulnerability. Poetic and powerful metaphors to reflect upon long after the piece has concluded.
Meg Stuart is an American choreographer and dancer living in Berlin. She was a member of the Randy Warshaw Dance Company (1986–1992) in New York and created her own Brussels based company Damaged Goods in 1994. With Damaged Goods she has created more than 20 productions and installations and in March 2010 Meg Stuart and Damaged Goods published Are we here yet?, a book in which she reflects on her own practice in dialogue with Jeroen Peeters (ed.) and former collaborators. A recurrent feature in her work is the search for new forms of cooperation, presentation contexts and the 'crossbreeding' of theatre, architecture and visual art. Her recent work was invited to MANIFESTA7 and DOCUMENTA X. She has collaborated with many artists including Hahn Rowe, Philipp Gehmacher, Gary Hill, Ann Hamilton and Benoît Lachambre. Stuart initiated multidisciplinary improvisation series such as Crash Landing (1996–1999) and the Politics of Ecstasy (2009) with Jeremy Wade. Last year Auf den Tisch! was invited to PERFORMA09 and in 2008 her body of work was honored with a Bessie Award and a Flemish Culture Prize.
Keith Hennessy is a performer, choreographer, teacher and organizer. He lives in San Francisco and tours internationally. His interdisciplinary research engages improvisation, ritual and public action as tools for investigating political realities. Hennessy directs Zero Performance, and was a member of numerous collaborative performance companies including Sara Shelton Mann's Contraband. Recent awards include two Isadora Duncan Awards (2009), the SF Bay Guardian’s Goldie (2007) and the Alpert/MacDowell Fellowship in Dance (2005).
Hahn Rowe, a New York based composer, producer, and multi–instrumentalist, has travelled freely between the rock, electronic, improvised, and new music communities for over 20 years. He has worked together with Hugo Largo, David Byrne, Glenn Branca, Moby, Foetus, and Antony and the Johnsons, as well as composed music for film and television. Hahn Rowe created the music for numerous Meg Stuart/Damaged Goods performances.
Jorge Rodolfo De Hoyos
Jorge Rodolfo De Hoyos is a San Francisco based performance artist, activist and community organizer. His work seeks to create a space to scrutinize, question, construct and deconstruct the systems that hold the personal in relationship to the social, spiritual and ecological. His work ranges from contemporary performance art for the stage, public interventions and communal ritual experiences to traditional Mexican Folklórico dance. Jorge has worked with choreographers such as Sommer Ulrickson, Mark Franko and Erika Chong Shuch as well as two of his current mentors Keith Hennessy and Sara Shelton Mann. He derives much of his energy from the vibrant communities that abound in San Francisco, especially his close friends working in queer performance and activism. Jorge was born in Los Angeles, has a BA in Cultural Anthropology from UC Santa Cruz, and is currently studying permaculture design.
Ivo Dimchev is a choreographer and performer from Bulgaria. His work is an extreme and colorful mixture of performance art , dance, theater, music, drawings and photography. Dimchev has created more than 30 performances and received numerous international awards for dance and theater. He presents his work all over Europe and North America and gives master classes occasionally. Dimchev is founder and director of Humarts foundation in Bulgaria and organizes every year a national competition for contemporary choreography. After finishing his master studies on performing arts at Dasarts academy (Amsterdam) , Ivo Dimchev moved to Brussels where he is running his own performance space Volksroom.
Jennifer Lacey is a choreographer and performer based in Paris and New York. Her work has been presented by many progressive festivals and theatres, e.g.Tanzquartier Wien, biennale d'art contemporain de Lyon, Centre Georges Pompidou, Kaaitheater, Klapstuk, P.S 122 etc. As often as possible, she participates in improvisational performances/festivals in the states and abroad. As a dancer she worked with many independent choreographers such as Randy Warshaw, Jennifer Monson, DD Dorvillier, John Jasperse, Yvonne Meier and Ellen Fisher.
Julie Phelps studies, contemplates and practices performance, holds a BA in psychology from Macalester (MN), and lives in San Francisco. She has studied with Sara Shelton Mann and Keith Hennessy – serving as provocateur for Hennessy's new work Turbulence. She works as a performer, curator, and producer: director/instigator of THEOFFCENTER, member of Jesse Hewit’s Strong Behavior; director of Too Much! a queer marathon; Program Manager of Artist Residency & Gallery at CounterPULSE. She imagines art–making as a curative force that pours through space/time collecting the silt of people and places, arriving at a cloudy release that is merely another beginning.
Maria F. Scaroni
Maria F. Scaroni is a choreographer and performer whose professional carrier features her search to make dance providing her with a diverse and complex network. She worked for Italian TV dance productions, studied post–modern dance techniques and literature and addresses herself to contact improvisation and improvisational discourses. During HAU's Politics of Ecstasy festival (2009) Maria met Meg Stuart who curated the imrov–series together with Jeremy Wade and Brendan Dougherty. Scaroni's works focus on the process of collaboration, plays with durational experiences and is featured by a crossbreeding between performance, choreography and installation. In San Francisco she creates work with Jess Curtis/Gravity since 2005 and in Berlin she is member of the artistic network AADK.
Julie Tolentino creates intimate solo movement–based installations, durational performances, one–to–one events and audio soundscapes in the U.S. and abroad. She has collaborated with artists such as David Rousseve, Ron Athey, Ibrahim Quarishi, Vaginal Davis, Catherine Opie and many others. She is co–director, with Ron Athey, of Praxis Mohave Bootcamp for Performance Artists, a bi–annual workshop. Tolentino was awarded a Franklin Furnace Performance (1999–2000), a Field Space grant (2007), a Pact–Zollverine residency (2010) and a CHIME Grant (2010) with Doran George. Most recently, she received funding from ART MATTERS 2010–11 for research/travel to the Phillippines and a Yellow House Fund/Tides Foundation grant for curatorial research and presentation in 2011. She splits her time between Los Angeles and Joshua Tree, California.
YBCA's programs are made possible in part by:
The San Francisco Foundation
National Endowment for the Arts
Adobe Foundation Fund
YBCA Performance 10–11 is made possible in part by:
The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Additional Funding for YBCA Performance 10–11:
Zellerbach Family Foundation, New England Foundation for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, and Members of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts