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April Thibeault
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Five Angels Theater - The 52nd Street Project
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Alison Chase/Performance Returns for Second NYC Season, Jan.14-17

by April Thibeault
December 9, 2015
Five Angels Theater - The 52nd Street Project
789 10th Avenue
New York, NY 10019
(212) 333-5252
A modern dance giant, choreographer/director Alison Chase celebrates the second New York City season of her dance theater company Alison Chase/Performance in a four-day performance series January 14-17 at Five Angels Theater. Bringing a highly kinetic element to dance adding multidimensional storytelling to create a signature style, Chase continues to morph the direction of American dance. This diverse program features eight dancers performing four pieces: world premieres of "In the Forest of the Night" and "Tracings," and a retrospective of Chase’s work from the past 15 years including "Red Weather" (2013) and "Monkey and the White Bone Demon" (2001).

Cited by The Village Voice as “grace meets physical agility to create movement that is lyrical as it is astonishing,” Chase’s choreography uses the human body in unpredictable ways and a uniquely recognizable and inventive corpus of dance pieces. As the former co-founder and artistic director of the revolutionary dance companies Pilobolus (1973- 2005) and Momix, Chase created more than 50 works for the stage that have been seen by audiences around the world for over 35 years. Winning international acclaim for her unique ability to blend narrative, kinetics, and visuals into rich metaphoric worlds, Chase continues to push boundaries of dance and imagination.

Chase and her eponymous company return with a quartet of works that explore psychological and social subtext within group dynamics. Leading the program is the world premiere of "In the Forest of the Night," set to a haunting, original score by world- renowned multi-instrumentalist and composer Franz Nicolay. Responding to the current diaspora, "In the Forest of the Night" explores the complexities of life and the relationships across borders both real and imagined. The scenography of light created by the dancers underscores the unexpected alliances made on a daring journey where there is no turning back. The evening continues with the world premiere of "Tracings," set to an original score by Christine Southworth that interweaves the hermit thrush song with Morse code creating a hypnotic sonic landscape. "Tracings" was created as a physical tone poem where a soloist exists in a terrain of moving bodies that invokes the rugged beauty of the coast of Maine (where Chase currently resides).

A semi-abstract dance for six, "Red Weather" (2013) features intimate and gravity defying partnering that exemplify the social and psychological fault lines of embedded relationships. Subdivisions within the larger group are revealed as connections and emotions come in and out of focus. The eerie sounds of violinist/composer Rob Flax provide a distinctive and mystifying aural framework for the frenetic movement.

The ensemble’s physicality is on full display in "Monkey and the White Bone Demon" (2001). Described by the Boston Globe as “visually arresting and delightfully imaginative,” this campy piece reinterprets the Buddhist legend with high-flying heroes and vivid acrobatic invention. Set for a quintet, three travelers on a religious pilgrimage are rescued from the wily White Bone Demon by the fearless Monkey. Characters leap and pole vault over imagined landscapes, repeatedly escaping the Demon’s snares and disguises, until he meets his death in a battle of swords.

About Alison Chase/Performance

Founded in 2009 by Alison Chase, Alison Chase/Performance is a dance theater company dedicated to the development of dramatic forms of physical expression, breaking down the barriers between the traditionally separate fields of dance, theater, and performance art—bringing together accomplished dancers and actors, musicians, and artists to create innovative works for the stage and site-specific locales. The company creates both repertory dances and full-length multi-media dance theater pieces for proscenium and black box theaters, as well as site-specific installation works. Through performances, educational outreach programs, creativity and movement classes, Alison Chase/Performance seeks to engage and inform audiences in communities throughout Maine, New England, and beyond. The company is based both in Brooksville, Maine, and New York City.


Thursday, January 14 & Friday, January 15 at 8pm; Saturday, January 16, at 2pm & 8:00 p.m. Sunday, January 17, 2016 at 2:00 p.m.


Choreography by Alison Chase

"In the Forest of the Night" *world premiere*
Performers: Jessica Bendig, Beau Dobson, Mark Fucik, Mistral Hay, Ocean Hooks- Camilleri, Kenneth Neil and Shane Rutkowski
Music: Franz Nicolay
Costumes: Grier Coleman
Lighting: Nathaniel Wiessner

"Tracings" *world premiere*
Performers: Jessica Bendig, Beau Dobson, Kenneth Neil and Matt Walfish Music: Christine Southworth
Costumes: Grier Coleman
Lighting: Nathanial Wiessner

"Red Weather" (2013)
Performers: Jessica Bendig, Mark Fucik, Mistral Hay, Jenna Liberati, Kenneth Neil and Shane Rutkowski
Music: Rob Flax
Costumes: Alison Chase/Performance
Lighting: Nathanial Wiessner

"Monkey and the White Bone Demon" (2001)
Performers: Jessica Bendig, Beau Dobson, Mark Fucik, Shane Rutkowski and Matt Walfish
Music: Paul Sullivan
Costumes: Grier Coleman based on original design by Angelina Avellone Lighting: Nathanial Wiessner based on original design by Stephen Strawbridge


Five Angels Theater, 789 10th Avenue, New York City | Train: C/E 53rd Street, B/D/N/Q/R 7th Avenue


General admission tickets $30 and may be purchased online at http://acpnyc2016.eventbrite.com


For more info, please visit AlisonChase.org./nyc2016
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