American Realness

luciana achugar

OTRO TEATRO: The Pleasure Project

Theatrical Premiere

TUES JAN 13, 6:00 PM
THURS JAN 15, 6:30 PM
SAT JAN 17, 4:30 PM

Run time: 80 minutes

466 Grand Street / tickets $20

Single Tickets Festival Pass

OTRO TEATRO: The Pleasure Project is the culmination of a three-month-long procession of public space interventions made throughout NYC and Biel/Bienne, Switzerland, that seek to viscerally activate the passive spectator. Anti-spectacular yet super-natural, it is less a performance and more of a practice of moving performance closer to ritual. A ritual of growing ourselves a new and much-needed ‘post-civilized’ body; a collective body with audience and performers; a collective utopian body, a sensational body, a connected body, a decolonized body, an anarchic and animal body, that is full and filled with pleasure, with love and magic. The Pleasure Project is a performance as an intervention for a theater in ruins.

The Pleasure Project was originally presented as part of Arts East River Waterfront initiative, a project of Lower Manhattan’s Cultural Council and commissioned by ‘le Mouvement-Performing the City’ Festival in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland. OTRO TEATRO: The Pleasure Project was developed in part through an LMCC artist residency in 2014 as part of their Extended Life Dance Development Program; and through the Hatchery Project, a collaborative residency initiative between the Chocolate Factory, Live Arts Brewery/Philadelphia Live Arts Festival, Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography at Florida State University, and Vermont Performance Lab made possible with major funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and additional support by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Photo by Alex Kangangi.

luciana achugar was born in Montevideo, Uruguay and upon graduating from Cal Arts in 1995, she moved to New York City. After dancing with several influential choreographers including Jeremy Nelson, Will Swanson, Maria Hassabi, Chameckilerner and John Jasperse, and collaborating closely with Levi Gonzalez, achugar has emerged as a choreographic force of her own.

Since 2002, she has created eight independent works, for which she has garnered two BESSIE Awards: the first in 2006 for her first evening-length piece Exhausting Love at Danspace Project and more recently in 2010 for PURO DESEO – a piece that was also chosen as one of TimeOUT NY’s Best of Dance for 2010. Her work has been presented by most venues showing contemporary dance in NYC including The Kitchen, Dance Theater Workshop (now New York Live Arts), Danspace Project, The Chocolate Factory and Abrons Arts Center as well as at the CANADA Gallery; in Cambridge, MA at the Green Street Studios; in Minneapolis, MN at the Walker Art Center; in Los Angeles at ShowBoxLA and in numerous theaters in Uruguay.

achugar was a 2010 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grantee and one of Dance Magazine’s 2011 “25 to Watch.” Her work has received support and recognition from several foundations including the New York Foundation for the Arts; the Jerome Foundation; the Multi-Arts Production Fund; The Field Dance Fund; NEFA; a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council 2009 President’s Award and a Brooklyn Arts Exchange “Passing it on” Artist Award from Tere O’Connor. Her most recent achievements include being named as a 2013 Creative Capital Grantee, received a prestigious 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship and was nominated for a 2014 BAX Artist Award and a 2014 and 2015 Alpert Award.

Jennifer Kjos is originally from South Florida where she began performing ballet and flamenco. She currently resides in Brooklyn and Big Indian, NY. Jennifer has danced for RoseAnne Spradlin, Walter Dundervill, chameckilerner, Heather Kravas, and is currently in process with Caitlin Cook. Her lengthy working relationship with Achugar spans several years and has enabled her to deepen her persistent love and practice of improvisation. Lately Jennifer seeks inspiration in the early work of Phil Collen, Joe Elliot and also Herbert Ross. Thank you many times over
to Luciana for opportunities past and present.

Gillian Walsh is a dance artist from Brooklyn, NY. She is invested her own choreographic research and has had the pleasure of working with luciana achugar, Laurie Berg, Neal Medlyn, Ishmael Houston-Jones, and Adrienne Truscott among others

Rebecca Wender has danced for many wonderful artists, including Alexandra Beller, Martha Clarke, Juliette Mapp, Jennifer Monson, Parker Pracjek, RoseAnne Spradlin and others, and was a featured dancer in John Turturro’s film Romance and Cigarettes. In addition to working with luciana, Rebecca currently works with Antonio Ramosand Sarah White-Ayon, is a massage therapist, sometime arts administrator, and Managing Editor of the Movement Research Performance Journal.Deepest thanks and appreciation to luciana and everyone for this beautiful experience.

Molly Lieber lives in New York and dances for Neil Greenberg, Maria Hassabi, Juliette Mapp, and Melinda Ring. She has been working with Eleanor Smith since 2006, and their dances were commissioned by PS122 (for COIL 2015), Roulette in Brooklyn, Danspace Project (Judson Now Platform), and The Chocolate Factory Theater.

Nikima Jagudajev, a dance artist. Working to alter perception and find an acceptance within the unknown. She has shared her work with a small portion of New York City and will continue to expand and infiltrate, forever fighting for feminist politics. Currently working with esteemed artists including luciana achugar, Marina Abramovic and Gillian Walsh. Take class with her through classclassclass, or read her words in BOMB Magazine’s online publication.

Oren Barnoy is thrilled to be working with luciana achugar along with this wonderful community/cast. Barnoy has shown dance choreography at La MaMa Experimental Theater, PS1 MoMA, The Kitchen, Danspace Projects, Joyce Soho, Potsdam Film School, Dixon Place, and New Dance Alliance – Performance Mix Festival. Barnoy was a Studio Series artist in residence at New York Live Arts in 2011 and in 2012/2013 an artist in residence at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center. His instillation work has been presented by Art Basel, Miami. Barnoy released a reggaeton album on Koch Records and was a featured Dj at the Ultra Music Festival in 2007 and 2008. Barnoy has had the honor to dance for DD Dorvillier, Sarah Michelson, Heather Kravas, and the Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company. As a teaching artist he has worked for Movement Research Dance Makers program as well as being a guest artist with the Daniel Gwirtzman dance company, teaching creative dance in the New York City public schools and summer programs. Barnoy received his BFA from California Institute of the Arts.

Marýa Wethers is a dancer and arts manager based in NYC since 1997. As a dancer, she has worked with luciana achugar, Deborah Hay, Daria Faïn, Faye Driscoll and Yanira Castro. Her own work has been supported by The Chocolate Factory, Danspace Project, Movement Research, BAAD, The Yard, and Kelly Strayhorn Theater (Pittsburgh, PA). In her role as arts manager, Marýa is the Managing Director & Producer of company nora chipaumire and a Producing Consultant for international projects in Eastern/Central Europe and Africa.

Laurel Atwell has been dancing and making dance in New York since 2008, most recently presenting her own work at Dixon Place as well as carting an inflatablecouch around town in collaboration with Tess Dworman.Laurel is a student of qi gong with Melanie Maar and
frequently works with Gordon Landenberger,Kirstan Clifford, and Aya Sato (with whom she has recently started an interview project).

Elliott Jenetopulos works in design and production of dance and performance, and as a collaborator on Sarah Maxfield’s Nonlinear Lineage, an artist-driven archive of experimental dance and performance. As a lighting designer, Elliott has worked with Jen Rosenblit, Anna Sperber, Marissa Perel, luciana achugar, Lorene Bouboushian, Ursula Eagly, niv Acosta, Tess Dworman and others

Michael Mahalchick was born in Pottsville, PA and lives/works in Brooklyn, NY. His work has been reviewed in Artforum, Frieze, Art Review, and The New York Times, among others. In 2010, he received a BESSIE Award for his work in luciana achugar’s PURO DESEO, and has also worked with Jeremy Wade, Yve Laris Cohen, Larissa Velez Jackson, Discoteca Flaming Star, and the Hotel Savant and Science Project theater companies. In March 2014, he will be opening an exhibition of new work at Louis B. James Gallery (NYC). His work is currently represented by CANADA (NYC).

It was an experience of another time with other bodies, it was an experience of a space that held all the bodies and it was also a mass revolt. (…) It was our task to be in this together, to allow ourselves to overcome, and to surrender to sensation.”
By Marisa Perel, drunken boat, Published May 6, 2014

“Vagina Punk and Hippie Apocalypse”
By Eva Yaa Ansantewaa, InfiniteBody, Published April 3, 2014

“No work, I believe, stirred up and vexed people’s sense of duty more than luciana achugar’s The Pleasure Project”
By Chris Sharp, Movement Research, Published October 10, 2014

“It was an enlightening kinesthetic experience described best by achugar: ‘To be more in the flesh is liberating. Question this idea of the soul being caged in the body and you may reach an ecstatic, transcendent experience.’ ”
By Elena Light, Culturebot, Published September 23, 2014