American Realness

Miguel Gutierrez

Age & Beauty Part 1: Mid-Career Artist/Suicide Note or &:-/

April 1-3, Les Substances, Lyon France
April 7-9, Centre national de la danse, Pantin France

Age & Beauty Part 1: Mid-Career Artist/Suicide Note or &:-/ is the first of a suite of queer pieces Gutierrez is creating over the course of three years that addresses the representation of the dancer, the physical and emotional labor of performance, tropes about the aging gay choreographer, the interaction of art making with administration, the idea of queer time and futurity, and mid-life anxieties about relevance, sustainability, and artistic burnout. Part 1 is a duet for 43-year-old Gutierrez and 24-year-old performer/dancer Mickey Mahar and follows from a packed set of precise unison dances to an irreverent and celebratory corruption of orderliness, suggesting modes of communication and relations where hyper-emotional affect is not only the conceptual and choreographic core of the performance, but also the only hope for continuing in this fucked-up world.

Age & Beauty Part 1 : Mid-Career Artist / Suicide Note or &:-/ est la première d’une série de pièces « queer » que Miguel Gutierrez a créée ces trois dernières années. Miguel Gutierrez, 44 ans aujourd’hui, a incarné la relève d’une danse underground new-yorkaise festive, homosexuelle, non-conformiste jouant sur le kitsch, le bigarré mais aussi sur une extraordinaire technique de danseur, chanteur et chorégraphe.

Radical et pop en somme. Cette partie 1 – Notes sur un suicide – magnifique duo avec le jeune danseur Mickey Mahar 25 ans, interroge les particularités des temps queer, l’imbrication entre le mode de vie et la position artistique : il traite sans concession de rêves de gloire et de compromission, de la transformation du corps, de vieillesse et d’amour.

Age & Beauty Part 1: Mid-Career Artist/Suicide Note or &:-/ was commissioned for the 2014 Whitney Biennial and was made possible with support and developmental residencies from the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography at Florida State University, the ]domaines[ program at Centre Chorégraphique National de Montpellier Languedoc-Roussillon in Montpellier, France, and Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.

Photos by Ian Douglas

Created by MG in collaboration with Mickey Mahar
Music by Jerry Goldsmith, Chuckie and Silvio Ecomo and MG
Text by MG
Set Design by MG with Mickey Mahar
Costume creations by Dusty Childers
Lighting by Lenore Doxsee
Production Management by Sarah Lurie
Management by Ben Pryor/tbspMGMT

Miguel Gutierrez creates performances known for their weaving of dance, song, text and use of emotion as a conceptual and choreographic driver. He uses the conceits of theater – character, dramaturgy, costume, light – to engage and structure persistent questions about the search for meaning. His work joins a legacy of process-focused experimental dance while drawing on influences such as endurance-based performance art, noise music, ecstatic experience in social and religious rituals, the study of mind-body somatic systems, and various histories of spectacle including Broadway and queer club performance. Gutierrez says that his work is “philosophical inquiry disguised as performance.”

His pieces include freedom of information (2001), enter the seen (2002), I succumb (2003), dAMNATION rOAD (2004), Sabotage (with Jaime Fennelly 2001-2004), Retrospective Exhibitionist and Difficult Bodies (2005 Bessie Award), myendlesslove (2006, remounted in 2013), Everyone (2007), Nothing, No thing (2008), Last Meadow (2009 Bessie Award), HEAVENS WHAT HAVE I DONE (2010), And lose the name of action (2012) and Storing the Winter (2012, with Mind Over Mirrors). His most recent piece Age & Beauty Part 1: Mid-Career Artist/Suicide Note or &:-/ premiered as part of the 2014 Whitney Biennial. He has created work for Philip Adams’ Melbourne, Australia based company BalletLab, Sydney, Australia based collaborative trio The Fondue Set and San Francisco based artist Fauxnique.

His work has been presented by venues such as American Realness in NYC, Festival D’Automne and the Pompidou Centre in Paris, ImPulsTanz in Vienna, Festival Universitario de Danza Contemporanéa in Colombia, Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MCA Chicago, PICA’s TBA Festival in Portland, the Flynn Center in Burlington and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, Foundation for Contemporary Art, United States Artists, Lambent Foundation, and New York Foundation for the Arts, as well as support from MAP Fund, Jerome Foundation, Creative Capital, and the NEA. He has been an artist in residence at Fisher Center for the Arts at Bard College, MANCC, LMCC, Baryshnikov Arts Center, CCN Montpellier (France), and Mount Tremper Arts.

He received an additional Bessie Award for his work as a dancer in John Jasperse Company. He has choreographed and performed in music videos for Diane Cluck, Holcombe Waller and Le Tigre (which went viral and produced various copycat videos), has performed as a singer with Justin Vivian Bond, Nick Hallett, Antony and the Johnsons, Vincent Segal, and Holcombe Waller, and has released a self produced EP under the moniker The Belleville. He leads workshops in his approach to creative practice all over the world. He is a current faculty member of Hollins University’s MFA dance program and NYC’s Movement Research.

His book WHEN YOU RISE UP is available from 53rd State Press. He invented DEEP AEROBICS, an absurdist workout, which most recently has been used to warm up audiences for The Knife. He is training to become a practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method. His newest piece, Age & Beauty Part 2: Asian Beauty @ the Werq Meeting or The Choreographer & Her Muse or &:@& premieres in the 2015 AMERICAN REALNESS Festival at Abrons Arts Center in NYC. In addition he is working on a collaborative project with choreographer Alex Ketley based on their travels throughout the American south where they met and interviewed strangers and performed for them.

Mickey Mahar is a dance artist originally from Wisconsin now living and working in New York City. He graduated cum laude with a degree in Women’s Studies from Vassar College in 2012 where he was a member of the Vassar Repertory Dance Theater, performing in works by Paul Taylor, Doris Humphrey and Larry Keigwin among others. Since moving to New York, Mahar has had the pleasure of working with Adrienne Truscott, Gillian Walsh, Ryan McNamara and Miguel Gutierrez, collaborating with Gutierrez on his latest work, Age & Beauty Part 1: Mid-Career Artist / Suicide Note or &:-/, which premiered in New York City as a part of the 2014 Whitney Biennial. His work with these artists earned him a 2014 New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” award nomination as an Outstanding Performer. Mahar was most recently a recipient of the prestigious DanceWEB scholarship at ImPulsTanz, the international dance festival in Vienna, Austria. He is currently collaborating with Viennese directors Adia Trischler and Andreas Waldschuetz on an experimental film installation and working with French choreographer David Wampach on his newest dance piece.

Lenore Doxsee is a lighting designer for theater, opera, and dance. Designs with Miguel Gutierrez include And lose the name of action, Last Meadow (Bessie Award), Retrospective Exhibitionist and Difficult Bodies (Bessie Award), and many others. Other designs for dance include Morgan Thorson’s Heaven and Spaceholder Festival, Devouring, Devouring for Netta Yerushalmy (set design also), and Karen Sherman’s Copperhead and Cold Comfort. Her designs for theater include Target Margin’s The Tempest, Uncle Vanya, and many other productions.

Sarah Lurie is a lighting designer and manager for live performance. Recent credits include: touring lighting director for Mike Birbiglia’s My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend, lighting designer for Colin Quinn’s Unconstitutional (Cherry Lane), A Dream Play (HERE Arts), The Red and the Black (Theatre at St. Clements), The Birthday Party (14th St Y), and stage manager for 2 Kilos of Sea (Baryshnikov Arts Center).