Six Creative Capital Awardees perform in "American Realness" at the Abrons Art Center in New York

Jan 08 2015 - Jan 18 2015


Abrons Art Center
466 Grand St
New York, NY




Performing Arts

Miguel Gutierrez, luciana achugar, Tere O’Connor, Michelle Ellsworth, My Barbarian, and Neal Medlyn perform in the American Realness Festival at the Abrons Art Center.

January 8-10: Age & Beauty Part 1: Mid-Career Artist/Suicide Note or &:-/ is the first of a suite of queer pieces Miguel Gutierrez is creating over the course of three years that addresses the representation of the dancer, the physical and emotional labor of performance, tropes about the aging gay choreographer, the interaction of art making with administration, the idea of queer time and futurity, and mid-life anxieties about relevance, sustainability, and artistic burnout. Part 1 is a duet for 43-year-old Gutierrez and 24-year-old performer/dancer Mickey Mahar and follows from a packed set of precise unison dances to an irreverent and celebratory corruption of orderliness, suggesting modes of communication and relations where hyper-emotional affect is not only the conceptual and choreographic core of the performance, but also the only hope for continuing in this fucked-up world.

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January 9, 11: Sister re-embraces an idea first developed by Tere O’Connor in his work Four Sister Dances that premiered at The Kitchen in 1989.   “I tried to escape the omnipresence of theme and variation in dance by immersing myself in what I call ‘variation and variation.’  I looked to sisters as a metaphor for duplication, sameness, and difference. I was attempting to validate a different idea regarding ‘development’ in a dance, one that didn’t offer an anchoring point.“  In Sister, hyper-intricate rhythmic systems provide the chatter between the performers as they are propelled into an increasingly mysterious cascade of events.

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January 12-14: Preparation for the Obsolescence of the Y Chromosome attempts to prepare (both on a micro and macro level) for the end of men. Simultaneously committed to conservation and archival efforts, Michelle Ellsworth works in the tradition of folklorist Alan Lomax.  Using web technology, replacement apparatus (including a male gaze simulator), choreography (including gratitude-inspired token gestures), and the latest data from the Whitehead Institute at MIT, this work both combats and fuels rumors about the implications of the Y Chromosome’s reputed shrinkage.

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January 12-14: In Undersweet, Tere O’Connor works from the supposition that formalism might result from repressed sexual desire. The work is a choreographic meditation on how this paradox finds expression in dance, or possibly even generates it. Undersweet was created on and with Michael Ingle and Silas Riener. It premiered in an earlier iteration at the River to River Festival in June 2014.

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January 12-18: Age & Beauty Part 2: Asian Beauty @ the Werq Meeting or The Choreographer & Her Muse is the second installment in a suite of queer pieces that addresses the representation of the dancer, the physical and emotional labor of performance, tropes about the aging gay choreographer, the interaction of art making with administration, “queer time,” futurity, and mid-life anxieties about relevance, sustainability and artistic burnout. Part 2 deals with Miguel Gutierrez’s long-term creative/work relationships and features performer/choreographer Michelle Boulé, arts manager Ben Pryor, and lighting designer Lenore Doxsee. The piece uses retrospection and archive to demonstrate how relationships, money, and flights of fancy are at the center of all art making.

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January 13, 15, 17: OTRO TEATRO: The Pleasure Project is the culmination of a three-month-long procession of public space interventions made throughout NYC and Biel/Bienne, Switzerland, that seek to viscerally activate the passive spectator. Anti-spectacular yet super-natural, it is less a performance and more of a practice of moving performance closer to ritual. A ritual of growing ourselves a new and much-needed ‘post-civilized’ body; a collective body with audience and performers; a collective utopian body, a sensational body, a connected body, a decolonized body, an anarchic and animal body, that is full and filled with pleasure, with love and magic. The Pleasure Project is a performance as an intervention for a theater in ruins.

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January 15-17: Over the course of eight years, Neal Medlyn constructed a series of performance pieces built around the music, lives and personae of a series of pop stars: Lionel Richie, Phil Collins, Prince, Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, Insane Clown Posse and Michael Jackson. Using and often re-imagining and re-purposing their songs, combined with intuitively related outside sources like fairy tales, literature, and personal biography, Medlyn’sPop Star Series creates a new world and mythology from the loud noises, contradictions and fevered intensity of pop culture. Seen only once in their entirety in Germany, this is a new, intimate version of all seven of thePop Star Series shows.

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January 15, 17, 18: My Barbarian, a collective consisting of Malik Gaines, Jade Gordon, and Alexandro Segade, will perform The Mother and Other Plays. This live adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s The Mother, first performed in 1932, includes musical numbers and improvised content, and also maintains the Brechtian concept of the Lehrstück, or learning-play, by inviting audience members to participate in select scenes.

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