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bumbershoot: info on ps 122

PS 120-Who?

Saar Harari & Jye-Hwei Lin in Geisha
(photo by Justin Bernhaut

It’s new to Seattle, but this New York arts center has been around since 1979 (when Charles Moulton took over an old public school for rehearsal space), and they’re still bent on innovating and presenting cutting-edge performance. Their press release says they’re “N.Y.C.’s hotbed of contemporary performance” so it should be a good show.

PS 122 is bringing the following pieces to Bumbershoot: [cribbed directly from their press release]

“Witness Relocation: The Panic Show
Combining dance and theatre with the energy of a rock concert, “The Panic Show” attacks mass hysteria, hyper-ventilation, stress, and self help techniques. Dark confessions, confetti, and real time performance tasks will whip the audience and performers into a lather. Co-commissioned by Dance New Amsterdam.

Reggie Watts / Tommy Smith: Radio Play
Sonic auteurs Reggie Watts & Tommy Smith model “Radio Play” after radio programs of yesteryear, gathering a group of actors, musicians and sound-effects artists to create a surreal sonic entertainment – performed in the dark!

LeeSaar The Company: Geisha
A woman and man are locked in a sensual duet interwoven with a surreal concert performance by an over-the-top Celine Dion-esque diva. Navigating a world that is alternately disturbing and seductive, intimate and extroverted, Geisha opens the door to an intensely voyeuristic and hypnotic experience.

31Down radio theatre: THE SCREAM CONTEST
A startlingly cathartic installation of alt-punk proportions: 31 Down challenges you to The Scream Contest, with music written by punk band Japanther and performed live by the duo Breelah (featuring members of TacocaT). Sign up to read a short radio theatre scene ending with a blood curdling scream provided by YOU. Like a sideshow at a county fair where people test their strength by pounding a hammer and ringing a bell, The Scream Contest rewards the best set of lungs. The winner is decided by the SCREAM-o-METERTM.”

More about Performance Space 122 & the companies presented…

[copied directly from their press release]

“Performance Space 122 is New York’s ultimate destination for cutting-edge theatre, dance, music, live art and multi-media. PS122 is dedicated to supporting and presenting artists who explore innovative form and provocative content and who rigorously challenge the boundaries contemporary performance; PS122 is committed to a steadfast search for pioneering artists from a diversity of cultures, nations and beliefs.

For thirty years, Performance Space 122 has been a hub for contemporary performance and an active member of the East Village, as well as the wider cultural community in N.Y.C. and across the globe. In just the past 4 years, under the curatorial vision of Artistic Director Vallejo Gantner, PS122 has opened the curtain on more than 2,100 performances, welcomed more than 100,000 visitors, and supported the work of more than 1,800 artists, performers, choreographers, playwrights, directors and designers.

Performance Space 122 passionately advocates for U.S. artists in New York and across globe. Our organization and the artists we present are reclaiming their relevance to wider social discourse by engaging artists, audiences and other community leaders in cultural, economic, and environmental debates about what it means to live in contemporary society.

More about…

Witness Relocation
Witness Relocation combines dance & theater with the energy of a rock show, exploding contemporary culture into intensely physical, outrageous, poetic, and sometimes brutal performances in order to question the assumptions of the modern day experience.

The company formed in 2000 and is led by director/choreographer Dan Safer. They’ve created over ten original productions, engaged in a two year residency at the renowned Patravadi Theatre in Bangkok, and performed in theaters, nightclubs, rock videos, and on a Thai TV Soap Opera. They are based in New York City, and work internationally.

Reggie Watts / Tommy Smith
REGGIE WATTS (performer) and TOMMY SMITH (director) create absurd experimental comedic theatricals for modern performance spaces. Recently, they won the 2008 MAP Fund Award and 2009 Creative Capital award for their new work, Transition, which played at the 2008 Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s Time Based Art Festival and the 2009 Under The Radar Festival at The Public Theater. Their previous theatre piece Disinformation was seen at the 2008 UTR Festival, PICA: TBA 07, The Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago) and The Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh). Reggie and Tommy regularly host Occurrence, a cabaret of alternative performers, which has been seen at Ars Nova, Galapagos, The Tank, Leftbank (Portland) and various unconventional spaces. Other shows include Radio Play, which premiered at Ars Nova (New York). They live in Brooklyn, NY. Please visit a short video sample of RADIO PLAY at:

LeeSaar The Company
LeeSaar The Company was established in Israel in 2000 by the actress and writer Lee Sher and dancer/choreographer Saar Harari. The company uses the different disciplines and training of theatre and dance to create original dance and theater performances. The company members are from Germany, Italy, Taiwan, Korea, the United States and Israel. In 2004, after residency in Sydney, Australia, and two seasons in Tel Aviv, the company moved to NYC where it is currently based. In 2005, Lee and Saar received American green cards awarded for excellence in the performing arts. Lee and Saar Received the Six Point Fellowship for 2007-2009. They received the Guggenheim fellowship in Choreography for 2008 and the New York Foundation for the Art Fellowship for 2008.

31Down radio theatre
31Down radio theater creates audio based performance works with an emphasis on imagery and mood. Japanther is a punk rock band consisting of Ian Vanek — who plays drums, cassettes, and sings and Matt Reilly — who plays bass, a Casio SK-1, and also sings. Both groups were formed in 2001 and are from Brooklyn, NY.”

Hope you can make it to Bumbershoot. SeattleDances will be there for PS 122 and PNB…reviews to follow.