American Realness


Over the past three years American Realness has established itself as “spunky, smart” and “a stronghold of forward-thinking, category-defying performance” (The New York Times). tbspMGMT is thrilled to announce programming for the 2013 edition of the festival, which will run January 10-20 at the Abrons Arts Center.

The 2013 American Realness program will feature three New York premieres including:

• Jeanine Durning’s solo performance inging, which investigates the limits of language and the body as a bridge from language into a deeper somatic comprehension and communication.

• BodyCartography Project’s Super Nature, a work engaging the wild and civilized aspects of human nature with idiosyncratic movement drawn from bodily impulses and social interactions. This new work, co-presented as a part of Performance Space 122’s annual COIL Festival, was made in collaboration with composer and musician Zeena Parkins, who will perform live with the work.

• Frankfurt-based American dancer and performer Tony Rizzi’s An Attempt to Fail at Groundbreaking Theater by Pina Arcade Smith. Rizzi, an accomplished dancer who worked with Ballet Frankfurt and the Fosythe Company, brings his hilarious and poignant performance concerning the impossibility of transcendence in a vacuum and the possibility of transformation through collaborative acts of theater to the New York stage for the first time.

The 2013 program also features the return of Trajal Harrell’s 2012 Bessie-winning Antigone Sr./Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at the Judson Church (L), along with Harrell’s Judson Church is Ringing in Harlem (Made-to-Measure)/Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at The Judson Church (M2M) as a part of MoMA PS1’s Sunday Sessions. American Realness has nurtured the seven-part Twenty Looks… series over the course of its development. These presentations continue the program’s commitment to the series, which investigates the imagined historical convergence of the 1960’s Judson Church post-modernist movement with that of the Voguing Ball scene prevalent in Harlem at the same time.

American Realness will present encore performances of Maria Hassabi’s sculptural and affecting SHOW, Keith Hennessy’s shifting and fully transparent Turbulence (a dance about the economy), Neal Medlyn’s raucous Wicked Clown Love, Jack Ferver’s personal and vulnerable Mon Ma Mes and Faye Driscoll’s duet performance examining the self / other relationship, You’re Me.

The 2013 edition of American Realness places special focus on the relationship between improvised music and dance with two unique engagements. The first features Miguel Gutierrez in collaboration with Mind over Mirrors, the musical moniker of Jaime Fennelly, whose musical specialty is the electric harmonium. The two will present Storing the Winter, an ecstatic reveling in sound and the kinetic energy it inspires. AR welcomes new introductions in the pairings of musicians Chris Cochrane and Jassem Hindi with dancers Enrico D. Wey and Jen Rosenblit in …or and animal… These artists will share a new collaborative practice on the occasion of the festival.

AR 2013 welcomes back the Show & Tell series with three presentations of performances in progress. Jennifer Monson will present material from her anticipated New York premiere, Live Dancing Archive. Juliana May will share a section of material from her forthcoming work Commentary = not thing. New York favorite Tere O’Connor will present his recent work poem, which is being restructured and melded with three other recent choreographies for a new work in the fall 2013.

Continuing AR’s expansion into gallery-based programming, the festival welcomes The Bureau for the Future of Choreography to animate Abrons Arts Center’s Culpepper and Upper Main Galleries with The Flowchart Project: Mapping a History of Contemporary Dance and Choreography. Through this exhibition festival-goers will be invited to participate in the authorship of a decade-to-decade timeline of contemporary dance, 1960-2020.

Of course American Realness would not be complete without a party. This year AR has invited independent dance organizers and activists AUNTS to take over all three performance spaces at Abrons Arts Center for an all night extravaganza of unabashed experimentation.

To round out the 2013 program, AR takes on two new endeavors. The program’s first workshop offerings will give NYC dancers an up close and personal encounter with the choreographic approach of BodyCartography Project. In conjunction with MoMA PS1’s Sunday Sessions, AR will celebrate the book launch of DANCE, edited by Andre Lepecki, with a discussion about dance in the art world with Mårten Spångberg, Jenn Joy, André Lepecki, Trajal Harrell and others.

The closing night of the festival program offers IN THE 212, a mixed bill evening of American Realness and NYC favorites featuring Yvonne Meier, luciana achugar and Levi Gonzalez, and Neal Medlyn with Michelle Boulé and Luke George, among others.

If it all feels like too much, fear not! Ann Liv Young’s alter ego Sherry will be swinging by the Abrons Arts Center with The Sherry Truck to offer you a pink latté and a touch of Sherapy, her own fabulously unlicensed form of festival overload therapy.

The 2013 program also offers audiences two discounted festival passes. The $100 pass gives audience members a choice of six performances. The $200 pass gives audiences a ticket to all productions on site at Abrons Arts Center. Both passes exclude MoMA PS1’s presentation of Trajal Harrell’s Judson Church is Ringing in Harlem (Made-to-Measure)/Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at The Judson Church (M2M) and IN THE 212.