Chez Bushwick Presents: Layard Thompson and Rebecca Patek
Curated by Wanda Gala / Presented by Chez Bushwick
By donation: $10 or 15 suggested (price on a sliding scale, general admission)
Spelling Flashhhh Lightsssss
created and performed by Layard Thompson
Spelling Flashhhh Lightsssss is crafted spontaneitya solo performance and sly theatric defined by verbal, phenomenal, and action-oriented play. In this dance of light and language, Layard Thompson's experimental questioning shifts forms through poetic libretto, performance portmanteau and musing clownish camp. Feint glimpses, enticing shadows, and the space imagined in the dark, shed light on potential shades of meaning. In a strong review titled "An Otherworldly Wildness This Way Comes", Claudia La Rocco of The New York Times congratulates, "Here's to dancers being heard, not just seen." With words, gesture, and raw expression darkly wrought, Spelling Flashhhh Lightsssss wickedly illuminates the potential subjectivity of staged meaning-making performance.
Layard Thompson is a performing artist working through the medium of voice, movement, elaborate costumes, sets and a performance process which calls into question a theatrical world of sensory experimentation. As a movement explorer he clownishly investigates non-attached states of performance by crafting spontaneous choreographies that attempt to vivify non-dualistic perceptual awareness for both audience and performer alike. His work has been presented to critical acclaim at such venues as Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project, Abrons Arts Center, The Irondale Theater, Joyce Soho, among others, as well as through such festivals as American Realness and the Movement Research Festival. He is a Bessie Award winning performer lauded for his adaptations of four quixotic solos by post-modernist pioneer Deborah Hay, as well as for his high-heeled camp antics with gender-fuck clowns, the Pixie Harlots. In 2010, he re-performed four of Marina Abramovic's seminal works during her ground-breaking retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, The Artist is Present. Otherwise, he has had the pleasure to be featured in the work of artists Justin Vivian Bond, Juliette Mapp, Taylor Mac, Julie Atlas Muz, Hana van der Kolk, J. Mandle Performance, among others.
Current projects include an expanded version of Spelling Flashhhh Lightsssss to include a supporting cast of vocal players, as well as an emergent duet collaboration with Bessie Award winning performer, Scott Heron. Layard lives in rural Tennessee amidst a thriving community of queer homesteaders on an artist-owned and operated community center and informal arts retreat known as Sassafras. layardthompson.com
created and performed by Rebecca Patek
There are un-choreographed events in the performance environment that are experienced but not publicly acknowledged; inter-relational dynamics both onstage and between audience and performer, power dynamics, and emotional subtext. Patek is interested in these elements of performance which are frequently dismissed or considered wrong, awkward, and uncomfortable. This is an integral part of her work; to reveal the discomfort and embarrassment of the performer, and create situations onstage of emotional conflict which are funny and absurd, but also frightening or disturbing. She is continually exploring her limits as a performer, and also the cultural limits and limits within the art community, in terms of what is socially acceptable, what is "right or wrong", aesthetically and personally.
Using satire to incorporate those marginalized facets of performance, they become the central focus of the work, which allows movement between sincerity and cynicism until the line between the two becomes blurred for audience and performer alike. Seeking to create active experiences for the audience in contrast to passive viewing, Patek subverts traditional notions of performance structure aiming to call into question assumptions and reflexive ways of perceiving. In these moments of disorientation and discomfort lies the opportunity for transformation. This is the ultimate goal of Patek's artistic work.
Rebecca Patek is a Brooklyn based choreographer and performance artist creating work that is a synthesis of dance, theater and comedy. Patek is currently a 2011-12 Artist in Residence at Movement Research. Patek was awarded a 2010-11 residency at Dance Theater Workshop (now New York Live Arts) as part of Fresh Tracks Performance and Residency Program. Her work has been presented at Dance Theater Workshop, The Joyce Soho, Movement Research at Judson Church, Dixon Place, Mulberry Street Theatre, The Tank, Aunts, Triskelion Arts, White Wave Dance Festival, The LoFt, The Overture Center (Madison WI), Brickyard Pond (NH), and Nexus Foundation for Today's Art, among others. In 2005 Patek along with Liza Clark founded Mascher Space Co-operative, a low cost artist run rehearsal and performance space in Philadelphia. In 2008 she worked with Master Artist Susan Marshall as Associate Artist in Residence at Atlantic Center for the Arts. Patek's film collaboration, The Princess and The Vagicorn, was shown at Philadelphia Dance Project's Motion Pictures 2009. This coming season Patek will be presenting new work at The Chocolate Factory, The Joyce Soho, 92nd Street Y, Brooklyn Arts Exchange and Movement Research at Judson Church.
Chez Bushwick, an artist-run organization based in Brooklyn, is dedicated to the advancement of interdisciplinary art and performance, with a strong focus on new choreography. www.chezbushwick.net
The program is supported by Mertz Gilmore Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, Prospect Hill Foundation, and in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
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