Tag Archives: Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA (CAP UCLA)

DIMITRIS PAPAIOANNOU — THE GREAT TAMER

Dimitris Papaioannou started out as a painter and comics artist, but now he does it all—director, choreographer, performer, costumer, and set and lighting designer.

Last year he premiered Since She at Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, the first choreographer invited to do so since Bausch’s death.

THE GREAT TAMER—his mysterious evening-length performance work in its U.S. premiere this week at Royce Hall—is a dreamlike journey through time and the underworld, with references to Rembrandt’s Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus, Michelangelo’s David, the myths of Orpheus and Eurydice, and Kubrick’s use of “The Blue Danube.”

Performers for the Los Angeles and Ann Arbor dates include Pavlina Andriopoulou, Costas Chrysafidis, Dimitris Kitsos, Ioannis Michos, Evangelia Randou, Kalliopi Simou, Drossos Skotis, Christos Strinopoulos, Yorgos Tsiantoulas, and Alex Vangelis.

DIMITRIS PAPAIOANNOU—THE GREAT TAMER

Friday, January 11, at 8 pm.

Royce Hall, UCLA

10745 Dickson Court, Los Angeles.

Friday and Saturday, January 18 and 19, at 8 pm.

Power Center, University of Michigan

121 Fletcher Street, Ann Arbor.

The Great Tamer. All photographs by Julian Mommert.

BILL T. JONES — ANALOGY TRILOGY

Arnie Zane [and I] built this company out of the same troubled milieu that we’re all living through right now—racism, sexism—and we have been able to make an organization that expressed my belief that art could save us.” — Bill T. Jones

As an innovator of post-modern dance since the 1970s and survivor of the American cultural wars of the ’80s, choreographer Bill T. Jones has endured catastrophes both political and personal. He lived through the disgrace of the government’s non-response to the AIDS epidemic, and lost Zane to the disease in 1988.

With his company—the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company—Jones’ created Still/Here (1994), a mixed-media, performance-art dance piece incorporating videotaped footage of terminally ill patients speaking into the camera. In an infamous attack on a work she declined to see firsthand, the New Yorker dance critic Arlene Croce railed against what she dismissed as foundation-dependent “victim art”:

“By working dying people into his act, Jones is putting himself beyond the reach of criticism. I think of him as literally undiscussable… because he has taken sanctuary among the unwell. Victim art defies criticism not only because we feel sorry for the victim but because we are cowed by art.”*

An uproar immediately followed, with Tony Kushner, Camille Paglia, Hilton Kramer, and Joyce Carol Oates weighing in from both sides. The author and activist bell hooks wrote:

“To write so contemptuously about a work one has not seen is an awesome flaunting of privilege—a testimony to the reality that there is no marginalized group or individual powerful enough to silence or suppress reactionary voices. Ms. Croce’s article is not courageous or daring, precisely because it merely mirrors the ruling political mood of our time.”*

After the publication of “Discussing the Undiscussable,” Croce’s output decreased significantly, while Jones—who recently dropped “dance” from his company’s title: “We are a contemporary performance ensemble”—has moved from strength to strength.**

This weekend at Royce Hall, CAP UCLA will present two complete performances of Jones’ ANALOGY TRILOGY, a durational work “focusing on memory and the effect of powerful events on the actions of individuals and, more importantly, on their often unexpressed inner life.” During the performance, musical accompaniment will be provided by composer Nick Hallett, pianist Emily Manzo, baritone Matthew Gamble, and the dancers.***

The trilogy can be seen in one daylong event, or as separate afternoon and evening performances:

ANALOGY/DORA: TRAMONTANE is based on the World War II experiences of French Jewish nurse Dora Amelan, the mother of Jones’ partner and company creative director Bjorn Amelan.

ANALOGY/LANCE: PRETTY aka THE ESCAPE ARTIST takes as its subject Jones’ nephew Lance Briggs. Art, in this case, could not save a life of promise after Lance quit dancing and turned to drugs and hustling.

ANALOGY/AMBROS: THE EMIGRANT draws from the W.G. Sebald novel The Emigrant to show how “trauma can go underground in the psyche of an individual and direct—consciously and unconsciously—the course of that individual’s life.”

 

BILL T. JONES/ARNIE ZANE COMPANY

ANALOGY TRILOGY

Saturday and Sunday, November 3 and 4.

ANALOGY/DORA and ANALOGY/LANCE begin at 2 pm, with an intermission between parts.

ANALOGY/AMBROS begins at 7 pm.

The event breaks for dinner from 5:30 pm to 7 pm.

 

*Arlene Croce, “Discussing the Undiscussable,” in Writing in the Dark, Dancing in The New Yorker (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2000), 708–719.

Croce’s article was originally published in the December 26, 1994–January 2, 1995 issue of The New Yorker.

The responses by bell hooks and others ran under “Who’s the Victim? Dissenting Voices Answer Arlene Croce’s Critique of Victim Art” in the January 30, 1995 issue of the magazine.

**Gia Kourlas, “Bill T. Jones is Making Room in Dance for More Than Dance,” New York Times, September 18, 2018.

***Dancers performing during the Royce Hall engagement include Vinson Fraley, Jr., Barrington Hinds, Shane Larson, I-Ling Liu, Penda N’Diaye, Jenna Riegel, Christina Robson, Carlo Antonio Villanueva, and Huiwang Zhang.

Color photographs: Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, Analogy Trilogy. Photographs by Paul B. Goode. Image credit: CAP UCLA.

Black and white photograph: Bill T. Jones (left) and Arnie Zane. Image credit: New York Live Arts.

JULIAN ROSEFELDT AND CATE BLANCHETT IN LOS ANGELES

On the occasion of JULIAN ROSEFELDT—MANIFESTO—, the West Coast premiere of the work as a 13-channel film installation, Cate Blanchett and CAP UCLA director Kristy Edmunds will join the artist in conversation.

Drawing on the writings of Futurists, Dadaists, Fluxus artists, Suprematists, Situationists, and Dogme 95—including Yvonne Rainer, Claes Oldenburg, Wyndham Lewis, Kazimir Malevich, André Breton, Kurt Schwitters, Elaine Sturtevant, Sol LeWitt, and Werner Herzog—Rosefeldt directed Blanchett through her investigation of thirteen different personas, “from a factory worker to a television news anchor to a homeless man, performing various historical artists’ manifestos.

“The work pays homage to the long tradition and literary beauty of public statements made by artists, and serves to provoke reflection upon the role of the artist as an active citizen in society today.”*

JULIAN ROSEFELDT, CATE BLANCHETT, and KRISTY EDMUNDS IN CONVERSATION*

Saturday, October 27, at 3 pm.

Hauser & Wirth

901 East 3rd Street, downtown Los Angeles.

Exhibition catalogue

(In 2017, Manifesto was commercially released as a 95-minute film, and played locally at the Monica Film Center.)

Cate Blanchett in Manifesto (3). Image credit: Julian Rosefeldt.

REBECCA SOLNIT IN CONVERSATION

“I have been fascinated by trying to map the ways that we think and talk, the unsorted experience wherein one can start by complaining about politics and end by confessing about passions, the ease with which we can get to any point from any other point…

“The straight line of conversational narrative is too often an elevated freeway permitting no unplanned encounters or unnecessary detours. It is not how our thoughts travel, nor does it allow us to map the whole world rather than one streamlined trajectory across it.”

“I wanted more, more scope, more nuance, more inclusion of crucial details and associations that are conventionally excluded. The convergence of multiple kinds of stories shaped my writing in one way; this traveling by association shaped it in others.” — Rebecca Solnit*

This week, CAP UCLA presents the essential author and activist Rebecca Solnit, in conversation with UCLA professor and LENS founder Jon Christensen.

REBECCA SOLNIT IN CONVERSATION WITH JON CHRISTENSEN

Thursday, October 25, at 8 pm.

Royce Hall, UCLA, 10745 Dickson Court, Los Angeles.

See Solnit on Christine Blasey Ford.

On Kavanaugh.

On the October 2018 IPCC report on climate change.

*Rebecca Solnit, Storming the Gates of Paradise (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007), 2.

Below: Rebecca Solnit. Photograph by Adrian Mendoza. Image credit: CAP UCLA.

Book cover image credits: Haymarket Books, and Penguin (A Field Guide to Getting Lost).

GERMAINE ACOGNY IN LOS ANGELES

Germaine Acogny—the mother of contemporary African dance and co-founder with her husband of L’Ecole des Sables, a school devoted to its practice—will make a rare local appearance this week as part of the CAP UCLA 2018–2019 season, performing MON ÉLUE NOIRE—SACRE #2.

Choreographed by Olivier Dubois, this tribute to Igor Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps will run for three nights at the university’s intimate Kaufman Hall, with unreserved general-admission seating.

 

GERMAINE ACOGNY—MON ÉLUE NOIRE: SACRE #2

Friday and Saturday, October 5 and 6, at 8 pm.

Sunday, October 7, at 7 pm.

Kaufman Hall, UCLA, 120 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles.

Germaine Acogny in Mon élue noire.

Above © François Stemmer.

Below image credit: Brooklyn Academy of Music.