The Seldoms, Exit Disclaimer: Science and Fiction Ahead, Marjorie Ward Marshall Dance Center, 04/24-04/27/2014.
I am very excited to bring The Seldoms dance troupe to Northwestern this coming spring (04/24-27/2014, the weekend after Earth Day) to perform their piece, Exit Disclaimer: Science and Fiction Ahead. Exit Disclaimer is a fascinating effort to create issue-based art: it explores the rancorous contemporary political debate over climate change using the body and gesture. Sounds weird, right? It is. But it is precisely its weirdness that is inspiring as an effort to push past rhetorical stalemates to deeper levels of engagement with what we owe each other and what we owe the world in which humans reside. Asking audiences to grapple with the debate over climate change at affective, democratic, interactive, experiential levels through theatrical performance grounded in movement offers new ways of feeling, sensing, thinking, perhaps even reasoning across the sciences, arts, and humanities. I am really looking forward to these performances. We will be offering a series of pre- and post-show panel discussions as well as an enhanced print program for the residency by The Seldoms. Hope to see you there!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 8, 2014
Carrie Hanson, Artistic Director
(773) 859-3030 or email@example.com
NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY DANCE PROGRAM IN THE DEPARTMENT OF THEATRE PRESENT CHICAGO DANCE COMPANY, THE SELDOMS
EXIT DISCLAIMER: SCIENCE AND FICTION AHEAD
APRIL 24-27, 2014
CHICAGO – The Seldoms perform Exit Disclaimer: Science and Fiction Ahead at Northwestern Universityʼs Marjorie Ward Marshall Dance Center Ballroom Theater on April 24, 25 and 26 at 8pm and April 27 at 2pm. A pre-performance talk with Artistic Director Carrie Hanson and The Seldomsʼ dramaturg and NU faculty member, historian Michael J. Kramer, precedes the performance on Friday, April 25 at 6:45pm. A post-performance conversation follows the performance on Saturday, April 26.
Performance tickets are $20 general admission. Northwestern University Faculty/Staff are $15. Student/Senior tickets are $10. Group discounts available; call (773) 859-3030 for information about group discounts. Tickets can be purchased online at http://theseldoms.brownpapertickets.com or at the theater on performance dates (Box Office opens two hours before each performance).
Exit Disclaimer: Science and Fiction Ahead is an hour-long dance theater work that surveys our rancorous, divisive national debate about climate change, and its divergent positions ranging from denial, skepticism and indifference to urgency. Exit Disclaimer premiered at The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago in 2012, and toured to Taipei, Taiwan. Within The Seldoms body of work, Exit Disclaimer sits alongside two previous works – Monument (2008) and Stupormarket (2011). Both of these earlier pieces (about landfills and consumption, and the current recession and opposing economic theories, respectively), and this new major work arise from a fundamental question that asks what tensions exist between our dual identities as consumer and citizen, and between private goods and the public good?
Defined by “inventive, unsentimental and arresting contemporary choreography” (Chicago Tribune), Exit Disclaimer is less about climate change itself, than the discourse surrounding it. Hanson is interested in how citizens form opinions about this pressing issue in which the science is complex and where counter- arguments by skeptics and deniers can be quite loud and well-funded. How does this political environment make comprehension, never mind political action, about the natural environment impossible, or at the very least extremely difficult? Incorporating humor, physical action, spoken word, and athletic dancing, Exit Disclaimer stages postures of denial, gestures of urgency, sequences of innovation, and stances of resistance. Hanson aims to demonstrate how dance, theater and the body might inform our thinking about this complex, serious issue and its attendant debate. At its premiere, The Chicago Reader said, “Hanson’s satirical, deadly serious piece bursts a lot of bubbles on a high-stakes subject.”
The Seldoms Artistic Director Carrie Hanson, one of Dance Magazineʼs “25 to Watch” in 2012, has made over twenty-five original works for the company that have been performed nationally and in Germany and Russia. Interested in unconventional performance settings, Hanson has previously placed dance in a cargo container, an Olympic-sized outdoor pool and an architectural salvage store. Recently her focus has shifted to issue-based work, such as the critically acclaimed Stupormarket (2011), a dance theater piece about the economic meltdown. She finds satisfaction in such projects for the inherent difficulty of
making dance speak to these subjects, and because they require research and consideration of situations beyond body/movement/performance. Hanson was a 2005 Chicago Dancemakerʼs Forum Lab Artist, has twice been awarded an Illinois Arts Council Choreographic Fellowship, and received a Ruth Page Award for Performance. In 2009 and 2011, she was named by New City as one of “The Players: 50 People Who Really Perform for Chicago”.
Mikhail Fiksel is a composer, sound designer, musician and a dj. His stage work includes composition and/or sound design for Dallas Theatre Center, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, The Geffen Playhouse, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and Second Stage Theatre as well as numerous Chicago institutions including Lucky Plush, DanceWorks Chicago, The Goodman Theatre, Writers Theatre, Redmoon, Victory Gardens, Timeline and Albany Park Theatre Project. His recent film work includes The Wise Kids and In Memoriam (Cone Films), Both/And (Silk Road Project). He is a recipient of the Joseph Jefferson, Lucille Lortel, AfterDark and The Garland awards, and was recently honored with the Michael Maggio Emerging Designer Award. He is an ensemble member of Strawdog and 2nd Story, an artistic associate with Teatro Vista, Collaboraction and Redmoon, a resident artist with Albany Park Theatre Project and on the faculty at Loyola University Chicago. In addition, he performs and records with his ensemble Seeking Wonderland and the dynamic dj duo The Ordeal or alone, sometimes under the monikers The Red Menace or dj White Russian. www.mikhailfiksel.com
In their eleventh season, The Seldoms strive to make intelligent, charged dance that is driven by inquiry in contemporary issues, the history of ideas and art, and reflection on individual experiences. The Seldoms are alchemists of artistic media who believe that movement—along with image, sound, text and location—can expand action and environment into larger restless visions. Since 2001, the company has performed widely in Chicago, notably at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, and at The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, at national venues including Joyce SoHo in New York, and internationally in Russia, Canada and Taiwan. The Seldoms has a history of presenting nontraditional performance to audiences; they have designed major multi-disciplinary site- specific performances in a variety of spaces including industrial, retail, historic, and outdoor sites. The company has built a reputation for bold, unusual collaborations and a full exploration of the other media supporting dance, working intensely with visual artists, architects, composers and fashion designers. www.theseldoms.org.
Marjorie Ward Marshall Dance Center Ballroom Theater 10 Arts Circle Drive
Support for this residency at Northwestern University generously provided thus far by the Institute for Sustainability and Energy (ISEN), History Department, Performance Studies Department, and the Mellon Dance Studies in/and the Humanities Initiative.
More at www.theseldoms.org.
(Full disclosure, I served as historical consultant for this work and I am currently a board member for The Seldoms).