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π=3.14…First Reading with Three Actresses
November 20, 2015 @ 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm EST
An event every day that begins at 2:30 pm, repeating until November 21, 2015
An event every day that begins at 2:30 pm, repeating indefinitely
CRS (Center for Remembering & Sharing) presents a new play with video by Yoshiko Chuma & the School of Hard Knocks in the White Room at CRS. The text is taken from the π=3.14 series of works that journeyed from 2000 – 2015 through Sarajevo, Macedonia, Manipur, Romania, Fukushima, Ramallah, Amman, Kabul, Berlin and New York.
Design, Direction and Concept/Dry Tech: Yoshiko Chuma
Cast: Miriam Parker, Saori Tsukada and Heather Litteer
Live Video Painting: Kit Fitzgerald
Unfinished Series Film and Documentation: Megumi Eda
Designed by Clouds AO, winners of the recent NASA competition to design the first inhabitable structure to be built on Mars, and opened in June of this year, the White Room at CRS was named by Homes to Love as one of nine studios around the world to “achieve design nirvana.” This performance will be the first theatrical event to be held in the space.
Performances will take place on Friday & Saturday, November 20 & 21, 2015 at 7:30 pm and 9 pm. The performance is 70′ in duration. Tickets are $20 ($15 for students and seniors), and there are only 15 seats available for each performance.
Yoshiko Chuma, artistic director of The School of Hard Knocks (SOHK), has been a creative force in postmodern performance, traveling and interacting with artists in relatively isolated parts of the world since the 1980’s. She has assembled her newest project, π=3.14…First Reading with Three Actresses, through a creative process called “Dry Tech” that emphasizes verbal communication between the artists. Dry Tech traditionally refers to a theatrical rehearsal without the performers, in which the design and technical staff run through the operation of all the technical elements of production, stopping and starting to make adjustments. In contrast, the Chuma-style Dry Tech consists of a meeting, usually not in the performance space, that includes the entire team including performers wherein Chuma leads the team exclusively through the verbal calling out of the technical cues and action and extensive discussion of the work. The method—often interview style—investigates the artists’ perspectives and stories—both artistic and personal. This creative process mines material from the team members’ sharing about how they understand the work and how they view themselves in the context of making the work. Elements of this material may then be incorporated into the production, enabling a multiplicity of distinct and at times conflicting voices and viewpoints to emerge and co-exist.
ABOUT THE TEAM
YOSHIKO CHUMA (conceptual artist/choreographer/artistic director of The School of Hard Knocks) has been a firebrand of New York’s downtown dance scene since arriving in 1978. She has created more than 60 full-length company works, commissions and site-specific events for venues in 35 countries, constantly challenging the notion of performing for both audience and participant. Her work has been presented in such diverse venues as Joyce Theater, the Eiffel Tower, Newcastle Swing Bridge, City Center, Lincoln Center, the former National Theater of Sarajevo, the perimeter of the Hong Kong harbor, and an ancient ruin in Macedonia, and in Jordan, among others. She has received fellowships and awards for choreography and career work from John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, NEA, New York Foundation for Artists, Japan Foundation, Meet the Composer Choreographer/Composer Commission and Philip Morris New Works. Chuma has led workshops and master classes and been commissioned to create new work in East and West Europe, Asia, Russia and the U.S. She received a 1984 BESSIE award for choreography and four more Bessies were awarded to her productions in 1992 and 1998. In 2007 she received a Bessie for Sustained Achievement. Chuma was Artistic Director of the Daghdha Dance Company in Limerick, Ireland from 2000-03 and continues to work in Ireland as a guest teacher/choreographer in the Dance MA program of the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance.
THE SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS [SOHK] (Founded in 1984) is an award-winning collaborative effort of choreographers, dancers, actors, singers, musicians, designers, and visual artists working under the artistic direction of Yoshiko Chuma. The School of Hard Knocks, which takes its name from the American idiom meaning to learn things the hard way, was the title of the company’s first production, a collaboration between Yoshiko Chuma, Jacob Burckhardt (filmmaker) and Alvin Curran (musician) presented at the 1980 Venice Biennale. Over the course of the company’s history, more than 1,000 people have performed under Chuma’s direction in situations ranging from theatrical dance concerts to street performances, parades, large-scale spectacles and intimate Living Room Projects, Chuma’s signature program which brings post modern music and dance performance to homes, businesses and community centers. Living Room Projects have been performed in homes in Budapest, a car show room in Nagoya, and gardens in the East Village of New York City. Since its foundation in 1984, the company has created and performed original works in the U.S., Europe and in Asia and has welcomed over 1,000 performers to participate in theatrical dance concerts, street performances, parades, and large-scale spectacles.
The School of Hard Knocks has created and performed original works in their annual New York season, and on tour in the United States, Asia, and Europe, with a particular focus on Eastern European countries, including Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, the Baltic Republics, and Bosnia. In the last five years, The School of Hard Knocks has made a commitment to offering young dancers from Japan international exposure and opportunity.
MEGUMI EDA born in Nagano, Japan, Megumi had her professional debut with the Matsuyama Ballet Company at age 14 in Tokyo where she appeared in many of the ballet classics in repertoire. She appeared successfully in the Prix de Lausanne Competition in 1991 and was invited to join the Hamburg Ballet School, where soon after she joined the company working with Mats Ek and choreographer/director John Neumeier. She spent 15 years in Europe (Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam, Rambert Dance Company in London etc..), worked and toured all over the world constantly with these companies and participated in the creation of 30-40 new works with various artist/ collaborators including Christopher Bruce, Jiri Kylian, Lindsey Kemp, William Forsythe, Hans van Manen, David Dawson, and Redha.
A decade ago she moved to NY to joined Armitage Gone! Dance. In 2004 she received a Bessie Award for her performance in the company’s inaugural piece and has continued a close collaboration with Karole Armitage to this day. Now, as a freelance artist, she has begun to incorporate other art forms including sculpture, video and graphics into her installations and performances. She has been working/collaborating with Yoshiko Chuma since 2014 as a Dancer and filmmaker. Most recently she performed with The School of Hard Knocks in June 2015 at the La Mama Theatre in NYC. www.megumieda.com
KIT FITZGERALD is a media artist and director. Her video, multimedia installations, and performances have been seen worldwide. She has collaborated with composers Max Roach, Peter Gordon, and Ryuichi Sakamoto; choreographers Donald Byrd, Bebe Miller, and Bill T. Jones; poets Sekou Sundiata and Bob Holman, and theater companies The Talking Band and Northern Netherlands Theatre. She is a pioneer in live video performance where she brings the immediacy and ensemble possibilities of live performance to video in her live video painting. Kit also directs music videos, documentaries on art and artists, dance videos, and creates digital paintings and album covers. Her work has twice been in the Whitney Biennale. She is the recipient of prizes at international film and television festivals and awards from The Rockefeller Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, and Japan Foundation. Her work is distributed by Electronic Arts Intermix, New York.
HEATHER LITTEER is a member of Caden Manson’s Big Art Group touring internationally and in the states. She also assistant produced the Special Effects Festival and Curated an Evening of Performance called Night Bazaar and her own reading series W.O.(e). R.D. She has been and avid performer in the NYC since the early 90’s in all performance mediums from stage, screen and smokey chanteuse. Her daring film choices include working with Darren Aronofsky,Jane Campion and Mary Harron and most recently playing the sexual revolutionary Queen Bee in John Reed’s latest film “ReVo” and Vicky a killer for hire in “Dumbo” by Brazilian director Gustavo Von Ah. She is the recipient of the 2014 Fox Fellowship with La MaMa. She studied Playwriting with Brandon Jacob Jenkins this Summer at La MaMa Umbria and her one woman show, Lemonade,I’m not a Hooker I just play one on TV premiering at La MaMa in spring 2016. Ms. Litteer is also a member of the legendary Jackie Factory where she was known as Jessica Rabbit Domination. heatherlitteer.com
MIRIAM PARKER is a New York City born and bred dancer/performance artist and arts organizer. She feels very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with the School of hard knocks for the past 4 years. She lived in Europe and Israel from 2002-2007 at which time she worked and studied with Choreographers Amanda Miller, William Forsythe, and The Saarbruken ballet. In recent years she has been building her reputation in collaborative performance art, working with the artist Jo Wood Brown on a interdisciplinary project “InnerCity Projects”. She has collaborated with, Katy Martin, Alain Kirili and Anita Glesta. Miriam Parker’s work has been presented in numerous Vision Events in New York and Paris as well as at Under the Bridge Festival etc. In this past years she has danced with choreographer Sally Silvers and Andrea Miller.
Described as a “charismatic mover with astounding precision,” SAORI TSUKADA harnesses her ability in theater, dance, in between and beyond. Tsukada was nominated for Best Actress twice at Dublin Fringe Festival. She is a member of X-ID REP company at the New Museum. Her silent film performance project Club Diamond (with Nikki Appino) will be presented at The Public Theater as part of 2016 Under The Radar Festival’s INCOMING! series.