American Realness

Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble

The Art of Luv (Part 6): Awesome Grotto!

Presented by Abrons Arts Center

Friday, January 4, 4:00pm & 8:00pm
Saturday, January 5, 8:00pm

70 minutes

Abrons Arts Center
Experimental Theater
466 Grand Street

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The Art of Luv (Part 6): Awesome Grotto! is a transformative ritual based on the obsessive recreation of a single unpopular shopping “haul” video that was posted to YouTube on Labor Day 2013 and later deleted by its creator.

Drawing on the Ancient Greek Mysteries of Eleusis, and making use of a giant reverse camera obscura, Awesome Grotto! ceremonially reimagines an act that has become totally mundane: looking into a lens and sharing a story with the world. It is a moving meditation on what it means to be a person in the age of social media and the global economy.

The Art of Luv is a multi-part, multi-year, multi-disciplinary series addressing the mythologies behind normative 21st Century codes of romantic conduct. Episodes have taken a range of forms: public ritual-performance, video, sculpture, installation, lecture, and party.

The Art of Luv (Part 6): Awesome Grotto! is commissioned by Abrons Arts Center with funding from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. The Art of Luv is a project of Creative Capital.

photo by Maria Baranova.

Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble [ROKE] is a musical priesthood that explores the metaphysics and mythologies of love, desire, and connectivity in the the VHS and Internet Ages. Formed by artists Tei Blow and Sean McElroy and joined in 2016 by director/designer Eben Hoffer, ROKE generates contemporary ritual out of found media, synthesizing video, meme, party, opera, theater, social practice, and installation.

John Gasper is a theatermaker, musician, and sound designer. He has performed and made sounds with St Fortune, Advanced Beginner Group, 7 Daughters of Eve Thtr & Perf Co, New Saloon, Trusty Sidekick Theater Company, Bentertainment, Designated Movement Company, Major Magics, Czech Neck, Tender, and beloved others. His far-in new age project John Dwayne can be found at MFA: Performance and Interactive Media Arts, Brooklyn College.

Shea Leavis is a director, performer, and musician. Most recently he was the stage manager/assistant director for Joe Diebes’s opera oyster which premiered this year at Roulette Intermedium (Phil Soltanoff). Recent directing credits include Edward Albee’s Fragments (Skidmore JKB Blackbox), the original piece Dalí Project (Skidmore JKB Studio), and Charles L. Mee’s Life is a Dream (Tang Teaching Museum). At Skidmore College he worked as assistant director on Who Will Carry the Word (Rebecca Marzalek-Kelly), and performed in Peter Handke’s Kaspar (Kaspar), The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Satan), and Blood Wedding (Lorca). Shea has been a summer technical assistant at Mass Live Arts and the Bushwick Starr, and graduated from Skidmore College with a BS in Theater.

Hyung Seok Jeon is a South Korean multi-disciplinary theatre artist based in NYC. 2018 he created and performed a solo piece ‘A Held Posture’ at Theatre Lab, a meditation on generational loss in relation to sensation of sinking into deep water. Recently he projection designed David Neumann on his upcoming piece ‘Distances Smaller Than This Are Not Confirmed’. He is a recipient of 2015 Fulbright graduate study award and received MFA in Theatre at Sarah Lawrence College.

Annie-B Parson co-founded the OBIE/Bessie award-winning Big Dance Theater in 1991 with Molly Hickok and Paul Lazar. Big Dance most recently appeared at BAM, Berlin and The Old Vic in London. Outside of her work with Big Dance Theater, Parson has made dances for the work of: David Byrne, David Bowie, St. Vincent, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Anne Carson, Esperanza Spalding,  The Martha Graham Dance Co., Laurie Anderson, Salt ‘n Pepa, Jonathan Demme, Ivo van Hove, Sarah Ruhl, Wendy Whelan, Lucas Hnath, Suzan-Lori Parks, David Lang, Mark Dion, and Nico Muhly. Her most recent choreography/staging for David Byrne’s American Utopia, is currently on world tour. Parson’s choreography has appeared at The National Theatre, The King’s Cross Theater, Sadler’s Wells and The Royal Ballet/Lynberry: London, The Steven Colbert Show, The Jimmy Kimmel Show, at Signature Theater, The Public Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, Soho Rep and many other theaters. She has made dance for opera, string quartets, symphony orchestras, museums, objects, 1,000 amateur singers, and now for 4 men who claim to embody the form of Ancient Egyptian gods of the afterlife.

Erica Sweany: Broadway: Honeymoon in Vegas, M. Butterfly  NY: How To Transcend a Happy Marriage (Lincoln Center Theater), Hadestown (NYTW)  Tours: Cats, The Who’s Tommy  Regional: Chicago (Flat Rock) My Paris (Long Wharf), Cabaret (Arena Stage) Film:  Edward Norton’s Motherless Brooklyn, It Had to be You (avail iTunes/Amazon), How the Light Gets In TV:  “The Blacklist”, “Eye Candy”, “Late Night w/ David Letterman”, “I Love You, But I Lied”, “Law & Order: SVU”  Other:  Red Dead Redemption 2,  On the Town with the Boston Pops, and varied design commissions.

“Equal parts heartbreaking and hilarious”

“A conceptually heavy, extraordinarily reflexive, and ultimately mind-expanding piece that questions our contemporary understandings of intimacy and love through our use of the Internet as both a means of communication and a means of reflexivity.”