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la Esquina
Kansas City, MO
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Charlotte Street Foundation presents STRANGER FRIEND, a multi-media performance featuring choreography and video by Leralee Whittle, music compositions by Paul Sprawl, and
performed by Leralee Whittle, Paul Sprawl and Stephanie Fellner.

"In our dreams we are free to befriend strangers in a kaleidoscopic fantasy world, while in our waking lives we keep most strangers at a distance. There are exceptions. The troubadour, the messenger, the bard, the lone cowboy or the outsider may be allowed to inspire our everyday lives with stories of the great beyond, whether distant land, or psychic depth. These iconic strangers inadvertently disrupt the status quo, causing us to think in new ways and broaden our horizons. This kind of stranger is, in fact, a friend. On the other hand, a person we regard as a friend may be excessively self important and obsessed with the task of belonging. She is actually a stranger."

In STRANGER FRIEND, dancers, activated by music, excavate memories about union and separation, and re-contextualize standards of friendship and intimacy. The piece includes dances about female identity and the social dynamics between two "friends," in which a female subconscious is contrasted with superficial identity induced by mass marketing's homogenizing influence.  The ultra-material world here exists as a force of modern animism, revealing its power through trappings in "dances of possession."  

Ultimately, STRANGER FRIEND challenges imposed standards for intimacy by activating and entering a world of strangers, where truth is told and the imagination thrives.

About the artists:
Leralee Whittle is a choreographer from the San Francisco Bay Area, based in Minneapolis. Her dances reveal typically unexpressed subtexts. Performers follow social impulses to relate or retract into solitary, reflective worlds experienced within a ritualized sense of time to imbue images for viewing on stage or video.

Whittle has presented her work at galleries, colleges, theaters, gymnasiums, amphitheaters, art centers, dance studios and residencies all over the US. She's been the recipient of a Theatre Bay Area grant (2008) for innovative dance, a Rocket Grant (2010) awarded by Andy Warhol Foundation, Charlotte Street and the Spencer Museum for innovative interdisciplinary performance and a Puffin grant (2011) for the creation of performance to advance progressive social change.

New works include PARTS (2011), a solo performance and STRANGER FRIEND (2011-12), a collaboration with composer Paul Sprawl and dancer Stephanie Fellner (created in part at Charlotte Street's Urban Culture Project Performance Studio Residency in Kansas City). Recent works include WorkArtOut (2010), You're Really Something (2010) & Occupied (2009) .

Paul Sprawl is an original, working in genres Heavy Wood, Psychedelic Americana and Experimental music. Percussive guitar techniques with bottleneck, tapping, and harmonica carve out untrendy grooves that accompany forward thinking lyrics. His songs tell stories of politics, love and romance, the down trodden, and the interesting lives of those he meets all over the world.

He's put out nine cds of his songs in the last ten years and has toured six to eight months a year for the last 11 years, performing in 40 states in the USA with shows in Canada and Germany. Since his 1999 cd, Blue Suitcase, produced by Lee Townsend (Bill Frisell, etc.) for the German label, Intuition, he's put out seven more full~length cds on his own labels, Vagabond Music and Blue Moon Scarecrow.

Stephanie Fellner is the recipient of a McKnight Fellowship for Dancers, the Sage Award and was voted "best dancer" in the Minneapolis City Pages 'Best of...' edition. She's been a member of the Minneapolis based company, Ballet of the Dolls since 1992. She's also worked with James Sewell Ballet, T.U. Dance (founding member), Cathy Young Dance, Ballet Arts, Fash Bash/Glamorama and Dance Council, The Children's Theatre Co., The Minnesota Opera, Northstar Opera, The Minnesota Orchestra and has danced in a variety projects with many independent choreographers in Minneapolis. From time to time, she will find herself in a musical production or doing industrial/commercial work.



la Esquina (View)
1000 West 25th Street
Kansas City, MO 64108
United States

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Arts > Dance
Arts > Performance
Music > Experimental

Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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