Sky Plots: A Chaos of Ritual Presented by La Mama ETC
Smack Melon Studio in Brooklyn, November 13, 1999 (original title Hyperbolic)
La Mama ETC Annex Theater in NYC December 17-19, 1999
Physical Arts Center, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, October 5-7, 2000.
Central European Tour, Fall of 2000, with 13 performers at venues including: Kabelwerk in Vienna, Austria, Casa De Schock in Neuchatel, Switzerland, Die Klubbaus in Saafeld, Germany, The Hirsh in Nueremberg Germany, N.S. Stubnitz in Rostock, Germany, The Spannwerk in Berlin, Germany
In Sky Plots (a name taken from an Andre Breton poem) everything happens at once: A mosaic of simultaneous stories told in a surrealist language with multimedia tools. Born in the dynamic overlapping world of the city, Sky Plots was a work that celebrated, explored and cultivated an awareness of how our lives, raised to the vocabulary of dreams, intimately and impersonally tangle and unfold. We abandoned a set stage in favor of using the totality of the warehouses and theaters where we performed, including the exterior of the theater itself. A poem "inside the outside" led people to the door. Once inside they were gathered closely together in a waiting area then taken back outside by four members of the cast (Death, Jesus, the Normal Man and the Master of Ceremonies, a whigged and zoot suited gameshow trickster), for a series of spirited competitions--a tug of war, a race, a firing line. These games and the reversal of "going inside to the show" engaged and disrupted, introducing conflict and choice, while also introducing several of the archetypes in the piece. Returning to the inside, everyone was fingerprinted at the gate.
As the main act began, performers on bungis, trapezes, cargo nets, ladders, pulleys, and clotheslines, within geodesic sanctuaries, with fire tools, on television stages and roaming in the crowd each lived his or her own independent story. Chance encounters between these elements created layers of surreal interactions. A momentum and suspense was born of coincidences from the overlapping of those performances. From a sense of chaos, patterns emerged and stories converged. From performance arose ritual. Throughout the piece, an audio score composed of environmental sounds untied the performers' spacial sensibility and moved the mood from highways to deserts, from night to day, sun to rain. The audio, performed live over a quadraphonic system, acted as the universal atmosphere and timekeeper. The audience, freed of chairs, began as if bystanders on the streets, bearing witness to the world before them. From inside the performance, they brought it new life, able to effect the progression of the piece at any one time. Based on their own vantage point, their choice of attention, and the dynamics of each unique night, each person would see as well as create a different story than another. The piece resolved into the most ubiquitous of all rituals: the presenting of a cake and the entire cast and often the audience singing "Happy Birthday" to the white whigged master of ceremonies who'd greeted all comers at the door by demanding their fingerprints.
Traveling Cast: Zemi17 (The Timekeeper), Kaesha KvK (The Ballerina), Agent mT Geoff Kuffner (Master of Ceremonies), Sean Clute (Jesus), Despina Stamos (Gameshow Dancer), Fumiko Rose (Gameshow Dancer), Erin Kelly (Girl in White), Kendra Floyd (Country Wife), Tim Schettino (Death), Evelyna Dann (Web Woman), Mara Smaldone (Leaf Dancer), Stephano Zazzera (Web Keeper), David Alexander Siegel (The Normal Man)
NYC Additions: Wenn Shun (Gameshow Dancer), John Sully (Web Keeper), Keren Shani (Web Woman), Victor Attar (Krapp's Last Tape), Victoria Hanna (Singing Bride), Kirk Peterkin (Bungeed Flier), Kogomo Dsi (Drum and Gongs), Loud Josh (OX), Chris Doorley (Secret Agent), Loki Kevorkian (God of Mischief), Nayouli
GALA opening, Kultur Im Spannwerk, April 16, 2002
Schloss Brollin, Brollin Germany May 19, 2002
The Resonant Wave Festival, K.I.S. Berlin June 1 - 5, 2002
The Fractal Seed was conceived as a mythic exploration into the nature of resonance, the intuitive necessity (beyond logical forms) of the inner warrior's path and its impact on the depths of the receptive world. The performance commenced with an outdoor parade composed of quirky, mischievous, jovial and childish characters. The parade led into the performance space to a barrier of metal strings,styled as giant full-body harp. As the flying seed in the form of the meek man passed the barrier, the characters broke through the resonant sound of ht harp and joined the prophet on the northern wall, all the characters began their unique pilgrimage to the south. Passing through an alien field of light characters ascended sound-producing monolithic steel sculptures with the eyes of surveillance cameras, the ridge fo the 12 meter high rafters, before making a slow inverted descent into burning symbols on the found painted in fire. Others danced with suspended rocks, than were hung by their ankles and dragged by anthropomorphic jaguars into the rites of fire. As the characters all lay in a virtual death within the symbols fo fire, the barefoot seed walks through the flame. The characters ascend and follow him to the great trees of the south in a procession of silence and darkness. They transform into a weightless dance, flowing into the an open celebration of light posing around an ancient charred tree.
Dance Performance: Kathi von Koerber, Erin Ellen Kelly, Evelyna Dann, Kendra Floyd, Despina Stamos, Enrique Lunaholder, Oren Ber-Noy, Juan Merchan
Sound Performance: Gregory Sciullo, Taylor Kuffner, Shazad Ismily, Qasim Naqvi, Kevin Daly
Video: Eyal Ben-Zwi and Kathi von Koerber
Sculpture/Set: Ryan O'Connor, Touch
Aerial Design/ Rigging: Taylor Kuffner