Performance Space 122 and The Chocolate Factory present the world premiere of ICH, KÜRBISGEIST from Big Dance Theater and playwright Sibyl Kempson. Blending performance, text, dances and visual design, Big Dance Theater installs Kempson's play into The Chocolate Factory's crypt-like basement for an audience of just 30 per show. Directed by Paul Lazar and co-directed and choreographed by Annie-B Parson, ICH, KÜRBISGEIST is written by Kempson in an imaginary language, sounding both remote and strangely familiar.
Performances of ICH, KÜRBISGEIST will take place tonight, October 25 – November 10 at The Chocolate Factory. Specific performance dates are October 25th – 27th, 31st – November 3rd, and 7th – 10th at 8pm. Critics are welcome as of October 26th for an official opening on October 29. The running time is approximately one hour with no intermission. The Chocolate Factory is located at 5-49 49th Avenue in Long Island City, Queens. Tickets, which are $20 and $15 for students and seniors, are available online at chocolatefactorytheater.org and by phone at 212.352.3101.
Big Dance Theater is growing parts of its own set on Governor's Island. Visual artist Joanne Howard (Set Designer) along with Earth Matter have planted and will harvest nearly 70 pumpkins just in time for opening night. The costumes, crafted by visual artist Suzanne Bocanegra, are part medieval, part 1970's, and part body installation. The production features veteran Big Dance performers Tymberly Canale, Molly Hickok, Paul Lazar and Kourtney Rutherford, along with Radiohole's Eric Dyer.
ICH, KÜRBISGEIST is set in a harsh, quasi-medieval landscape facing destruction, populated by a strangely comical community speaking a rigorous, and completely invented language. Every word is semi-recognizable: an amalgam of perhaps English, Swedish, German-and Sid Caesar. The language is as tough and unforgiving as the windswept, uncultivated field in which the characters sit.
The five characters boast of surviving prior catastrophes as they bitterly recount lost times. They sing; they dance; they harvest pumpkin seeds. All the while, they feel threatened by vaguely understood, external forces from which there is no protection. They are grounded in fear and resentment: absurd and doomed.
53rd State Press will publish an illustrated edition of ICH, KÜRBISGEIST in October with original drawings by Amanda Villalobos. The book ($20) will be available online at www.53rdstatepress.com and at the box office.
Founded in 1991, Big Dance Theater is known for its inspired use of dance, music, text and visual design to expand and refract literary texts, weaving disparate sources and forms into theatrical events. Under the Co-Artistic Direction of Annie-B Parson and Paul Lazar, Big Dance Theater has created over 15 dance/theater works, generating each piece over months of collaboration with its associate artists, a long-standing, ever-evolving group of actors, dancers, composers and designers. In 2000, the company was awarded ans OBIE for its "passionate practice of the most implausible choreographic and literary concoctions," and in 2002 Co-Directors Paul Lazar and Annie-B Parson were honored with a BESSIE for their "boldly arranged marriage of dance and theater." Big Dance also received the first Creativity Award from Jacobs Pillow in 2007, and a 2010 Bessie for Comme Toujours Here I Stand. Their next works include a Chekhov adaptation for Hartford Stage, as well as a new work commissioned by BAM/Harvey Theater and Les Subsistances in Lyon, France.