American Realness

Larissa Velez-Jackson

Star Crap Method

Presented in association with New York Live Arts

Saturday, January 9, 8:30pm
Sunday, January 10, 8:30pm
Wednesday, January 13, 10:00pm
Thursday, January 14, 10:00pm
Friday, January 15, 4:00pm
Sunday, January 17, 5:30pm

Run Time: 90 minutes

Abrons Arts Center, Experimental Theater
466 Grand Street / tickets $20

Single Tickets Festival Pass

Star Crap Method is Larissa Velez-Jackson’s compositional methodology that complicates and redefines the skill set of the contemporary dancer and functions as an absurd exposé of the inner workings of the dancer in process. Performers Tyler Ashley, Talya Epstein and Larissa Velez-Jackson collectively compose the entire work in real time, including the sound score of live vocals and digital sound. Bessie-award-winning lighting designer Kathy Kaufman improvises illumination throughout. The work is founded on Velez-Jackson’s improvisational practice that embraces technical brilliance and failure in equal measure, ushering in a form of interdisciplinary creative limitlessness with opportunities for great humor, and vulnerability.

Star Crap Method was commissioned and presented by The Chocolate Factory Theater and was made possible by the Movement Research Artist-in-Residence Program, funded, in part, by the Jerome Foundation and the Davis/Dauray Family Fund, a Gibney Dance Center boo-koo residency and residence at Spaceworks LIC. Star Crap Method is also possible by donations from the project’s 152 Kickstarter backers.

Photo by Brian Rogers

Directed and conceived by Larissa Velez-Jackson.
Choreography, performance and live sound design in collaboration with Tyler Ashley and Talya Epstein.
Lighting Design by Kathy Kaufmann.
Performance and production coordination by Lillie De.
Visual Design by Ashleigh Wilkinson.

Larissa Velez-Jackson is a Brooklyn-based choreographer and hybrid artist who uses improvisation as a main tool for research and creation, focusing on personhood and the dancing/sound-making body. She employs a deep humor to grant audiences universal access to contemporary art’s critical discourse. She has presented work at numerous NYC venues such as: Museum of Art and Design, Roulette, PS 122, New Museum of Contemporary Art, (former) Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Fall Platform ’10, American Realness Festival ‘11 at Abrons Arts Center and Chocolate Factory Theater ’14. In 2011, she launched a song-and-dance collaboration with her husband Jon Velez-Jackson called Yackez, “The World’s Most Loveable Art-Pop Duo.” Velez-Jackson was a Movement Research Artist in Residence ’12-’13, a SPARC resident ’13 with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and most recently an El Museo Del Barrio Artist in Residence ‘14. In 2012 she attended the danceWEB scholarship program of Impulstanz Int’l Dance Festival by way of the ’12 Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant. She will premiere a full-length commission at New York Live Arts in 2016 that incorporates her multimedia collaborative, Yackez with her senior aerobics students onstage.

“The Bessie nominators singled out Talya Epstein for her gonzo performance in Larissa Velez-Jackson’s Star Crap Method, an anarchic show that was improvised on the spot every night. In an 80s-inspired, Warhol-meets-Punky-Brewster wonderland, dancers Velez-Jackson, Epstein and Tyler Ashley collectively created a deliberately “amateur” spectacle by making up movement and even songs; in that mayhem, Epstein was a bizarre tornado of movement who seemed to be trying to embody Cher and Richard Simmons and Andy Kaufman…at the same time.”
- Helen Shaw, Time Out New York

“What if you threw it all out? The pretense, the fourth wall, the virtuosity (technical and/or conceptual), the things that make a show a show. No, this isn’t a Judson Dance Theater redux; this is Larissa Velez-Jackson’s infectious Star-Crap Method, which received its premiere at The Chocolate Factory. Velez-Jackson abandons the artifice of traditional performance and, with co-creators and dancers Tyler Ashley and Talya Epstein, constructs a piece in the moment.”
- Erin Bomboy, The Dance Enthusiast