2014 is thick, ya’ll. THICK.

Hello and bless you.

here’s what’s happening in art projects:

Right now I am in Stolzenhagen, Germany. At Ponderosa. I’m in a sort of residency OF LIFE. yes, there’s a studio and I’m making a solo. But I’m also cooking and chopping wood and living communally which is WEIRD and probably excellent. The solo is kind of more of a study right now. I’m trying out some really disciplined approaches to generating theme and content: basically working with this question of possession/dispossession of the body. J. Butler explains it well here:

We are not simply visual phenomena for each other – our voices must be registered, and so we must be heard; rather, who we are, bodily, is already a way of being “for” the other, appearing in ways that we cannot see, being a body for another in a way that I cannot be for myself, and so dispossessed, perspectivally, by our very sociality. I must appear to others in ways for which I cannot give an account, and in this way my body establishes a perspective that I cannot inhabit.

–from Judith ButlerBodies in Alliance and the Politics of the Street

So I’m gratefully drawing upon  techniques I’ve practiced this year, especially with Sara Shelton Mann and Amara Tabor-Smith, where I work extensively to map the architectural and spiritual points of the room/space I’m in and allow those presences to be the meaning-makers/directors of the movement and content from my body. So far the solo is about an animal trying to explain it’s desire to live.

Here’s a picture of the studio here at Ponderosa:

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In a month, I get to go back to the States and go teach FREEDOM Practice at Whitman College in Walla Walla Washington, with Larry.  And I’m SO into this, because I love teaching Freedom Practice.

After that Larry and I go to Portland, where PICA and FLOCK will host us to teach FREEDOM PRACTICE and to do a Field Guide about our work in conversation with the project THREE CHANTS MODERN by Andrea Geyer. I love Portland, and as I read more about Andrea Geyer and get to know her work, I’m kind of falling in a particular kind of love with her too, so….cool.

After that, I get to come HOME to the Bay and dance my little butt off, re-mounting my solo, PETER 5641_10151589969589180_695692040_nmade my Sara Shelton Mann and myself, as part of her EYE OF HORUS project. April 24th, 26th, and 28th. I get to dance alongside Sara and a group of really outrageously amazing artists: Sherwood Chen, Jorge De Hoyos, Christine Bonansea, and Sara Yassky. I really love this work. Sara Mann is like…my compass.

 

 

Then, in May/June I have the deep pleasure to re-unite with my sisters and brothers of Turbulence (a dance about the economy) 29Sep2012_0318 and smearing that extremely important work all over the walls at donaufestival in Krems, Austria and at Theater der Welt in Manheim, Germany.

 

Then, I get to do some rad residencies and teaching back here in Germany and also in L.A., but more on that later.

2014 feels like a shifty year, people. I won’t lie. I think that the next time I update this blog, I might be coming out to you as a barber or an elementary school teacher, or maybe even a star. The learning curve us particularly steep during this 33rd year of life. I’m holding on tight.


death death death

the latest:

Larry and I are PSYCHED to have received funding from both the Zellerbach foundation and the Rainin foundation for KILLERS.

To add a few cherries on top, we will also be working in residencies at both Headlands Center for the Arts and Ponderosa TanzLand, both in 2013.

we feel blessed blessed blessed.

KILLERS is gettin’ in me for sure. Death and dying feel like they are just camping out on my shoulder right now. There’s a darkness…and relationship to endings and fear….maybe its these short days and grey skies. In any case, we’re using our imaginations in weird ways and cobbling together our most difficult questions and images…and trying to feel the prettiness and tenderness of dying, and feel how that’s important too.

Additionally, I’m collaborating with Sara Shelton Mann, to expand the solo material she and I made on me in Berlin this past summer. And let’s just say there’s alot of talk of losing one’s breath, guns, and songs about last chances. Lordy…

 


Hittin’ the ROAD, ya’ll. (and other news)

Oh man oh man.

So for the next three and a half months, I am packin myself up and touring with the wild and really fantastic collaborators of Keith Hennessy’s Turbulence: a dance about the economy. (http://circozero.org/performances/turbo/index.html)

This work is a big one and we’ve been definitely blessed to get alot of support to be in residencies and have performing gigs around the U.S. and Europe all summer, so…I’m feeling strong that this is gonna be a deep and complicating work experience and I’m ready. :)

That said, I’ll be back on the map in Ocotber, after our last currently scheduled engagement at NYLA in New York.

And then….I’m beyond happy to be digging into a new Strong Behavior work.  Shawnrey and I have been tossing around the idea of making a duet together for years. For a while, we thought it might be some interpretation of Waiting for Godot with some bizarre physical worlds like tanks of water or something. But…after much thought and some fucking bona fide crazy stuff having gone down in each of our art and personal lives, we wised up and saw what was right in front of us: which is….US! ME AND SHAWNREY!
What we are working on is a performative conversation about our friendship. It is about two adults, one white man and one black woman. Both are intrinsically kind of lonely, both work ferociously in physical mediums of performance, both practice being children and animals whenever possible because they have to in order to not just be crying all the time. We both use eachother.

We know that the racial and social permutation of us as a pair is looked upon with curiosity, with longing, with challenge, and with lots and lots of projected narrative. We engage with it in some ways, and then again we don’t.

Most remarkably, however, is who we are together in a studio. In a studio, we tear our skin, throw up our food and our trauma and play in it, compose swiftly, create new languages, laugh for days straight, and move together without talking. It’s hard to decide how to present our friendship to the world. It’s hard to know how important our gender and our race is to our friendship. But we’re making this work because it feels generous and clear and like it has alot of poetic and political points of access for both us and our audiences. Yeah we think we’re so interesting blah blah blah.

But really…it’s the relationship that we think is interesting, so…we’re doin it.

So…Stay tuned!

 


The Dog Show – Dec 8th-11th

 

 


 

THE DOG SHOW
Laura Arrington and Jesse Hewit/Strong Behavior
Thursday, December 8 – Sunday, December 11 at 8pm
Z Space.
tickets: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/204566The Dog Show is a shared evening of two premiere performance works; Wag by Laura Arrington and Freedom by Jesse Hewit/Strong Behavior.

Wag and Freedom are interrogations of domestication, love, and our constantly fluctuating ability to create our own selves. We dig through the catastrophic nature of power, invert the ways that dominant narratives about us have become formed and locked, and work to subvert the muddying fear of our deep and dynamic capabilities as animals/doers/creators/killers. We’re fighting to learn more about our roles, and simultaneously, we’re fighting to get free.

Both works are made possible through funding from the New Stages for Dance pilot award, The Zellerbach Family Foundation, Theater Bay Area’s CA$H Grants, and production support from Z Space, CounterPULSE, TheOffCenter, and Dancers’ group. Space/residency support from Kunst Stoff Arts, Headlands Center for the Arts, and ODC.

About Arrington’s Wag:
The fox has been domesticated; friendlier and with a new coat. The dog knows to wag his tail before we get in the door. Love is a competition on TV, and queers demand the right to fight in the army and get legally married. We make shows for granting institutions and write press releases for folks we don’t know. We all work in systems and systems are always working on us. Wag measures the spaces between obedience and loyalty, exploring how we create structure in society, love, and family. Influenced by the foxes new coat and the feeling of a broken heart, Wag’s process has been one of cultivating discipline and obedience, pushing past duty in an attempt to find something else, to transcend the score, and move beyond the structure.

Laura Arrington directs Atosa Babaoff, Rachael Dichter, Mica Sigourney, and Liz Tenuto in a new performance work with lighting by Darl Andrew Packard.
Wag imagines that the world is ending. It has always been ending. It’s just happening very slowly.

About Hewit’s Freedom:
Freedom investigates the possibility of inverting dominant narratives about media-created “monsters.” It is a visual and sonic reproach to assumptions about who is good and who is evil and why. In Freedom, we embark on the execution of large visceral actions, and reconsider why our responses to such actions come out looking like they do. Are we jealous of the manifestation of impulse? Are we antagonized by sexuality? Are we quite afraid of our own selves and what we are capable of? How do “monster” narratives keep us safe from ourselves, but also securely trapped in a political system fueled by demonization, assumed pathologies, and constant moral panics? How is it that we are and are not free?

Jesse Hewit directs and choreographs in collaboration with performers Melecio Estrella, Evan Johnson, Shawnrey Notto, and Loren Robertson, with lighting by Jerry Lee Abram, sound by Robbie Beahrs, and looks by Dia Vergados.
Freedom is a contemporary confession/act of defiance about how wild and violent and capable we really are.