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ReCreation Fund Awards

Posted: Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010 at 6:59 pm in News

The National Performance Network Awards $79,000 towards the Remounting and Touring Of Five Seminal Performance Works in Celebration of its 25th Anniversary

In celebration of its 25th Anniversary, the National Performance Network (NPN) is supporting the remounting and touring of five works by artists who have been active in the Network during its 25-year history. By supporting the restaging of these significant works, NPN aims to preserve, reinvigorate and bring a contemporary interpretation to each piece while introducing them to a new generation of audiences.

Each work will receive a minimum of $15,000 towards the remounting of the work, be presented at a minimum of three “sponsor” sites with NPN Residency support, and be featured at NPN’s 2010 Annual Meeting in Dallas December 9 – 13, 2010. The five awarded projects include:

    First Woman on The Moon by Elia Arce (Houston), sponsored by MACLA (San Jose CA), DiverseWorks (Houston) and Links Hall (Chicago) leads the audience through a series of places both physical and emotional, from the dark, lush jungles of her Costa Rican roots to the barren, lunar landscape of her adopted desert home, using body, language, sound and visual images. First Woman, originally commissioned in 1991 by Highways Performance Space (Los Angeles), is historically important because it was one of the earliest performance pieces to give a different voice to the Latino identity movement, focusing more on issues of class and spirituality rather than race and ethnicity. 

    Faith Triptych: Faith, Sleep, and Tattoo by Pat Graney Company (Seattle), sponsored by On the Boards (Seattle), Myrna Loy Center (Helena MT), and Flynn Center for the Performing Arts (Burlington VT) involves the remounting of three works that helped establish the contemporary dance scene in Seattle in the mid-‘90s. Triptych explores the female sensibility in contemporary culture. The re-mounting of Triptych also celebrates a 30-year partnership between Pat Graney Company and On the Boards.

    Word Becomes Flesh by Marc Bamuthi Joseph (Oakland CA), sponsored by La Peña Cultural Center (Berkeley CA), Youth Speaks (San Francisco), Painted Bride Art Center (Philadelphia) and Dance Place (Washington DC) is considered the seminal work of Marc Bamuthi Joseph and The Living Word Project. Word Becomes Flesh, originally  commissioned by La Peña in 2003 and recently published by the Theatre Communications Group, is an evening-length choreopoem presented as a series of performed letters to Bamuthi’s unborn son. The piece uses poetry, dance, live music and visual art to document nine months of pregnancy from a young single father’s perspective.

    Fierce Love: Stories from Black Gay Life by Pomo Afro Homos (San Francisco), sponsored by Theater Offensive (Cambridge MA), Flynn Center for the Performing Arts (Burlington, VT), REDCAT (Los Angeles), and Dance Place  (Washington DC) is a jazzy mix of wicked humor and personal narratives exploring the joys, conflicts, pleasures, pains and contradictions of African-American gay life in the United States. The work was first performed at the Theatre Offensive in 1991. The published scripts of the Pomos are regularly taught in African-American, LGBT, and American theatre history classes in colleges across the US, Canada and Europe.

    Faith Healing by Jane Comfort Company (New York City), sponsored by Flynn Center fort he Performing Arts (Burlington VT), Florida Dance Association (Miami), and North Carolina State University Center Stage (Raleigh NC) is a deconstruction of Tennessee Williams’ classic American work, The Glass Menagerie. Faith Healing embodies Comfort’s long history of using dance theater to make social commentary, in this case on the cultural fabric of the American South. The issues of nostalgia, regret, fantasy, hope, anger and unrequited love addressed in Williams’ play are given form in movement and performance theater. Originally produced at Performance Space 122 (New York City) in 1993, Faith Healing “stretched the limits of what was customarily meant by dance or drama to achieve a truly new form: a physicalized version of a play,” (Washington Post).

Arnie Malina, artistic director of The Flynn Theatre in Burlington VT which serves as commissioning partner on three of the five pieces, was a particular champion for this ambitious program of remounting historical works. Malina remarked, “The five works are a reflection of the artistic strength and diversity that the NPN has nurtured over the past 25 years. The artists are socially and artistically provocative. They create multidisciplinary work that makes you think and feel, that stays with you long after.”

The remounting and presentation of these works is made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts American Masterpieces in Dance Program. Additional support comes from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Ford Foundation.

The National Performance Network (NPN), a diverse network of 61 artist-centered presenting organizations, integrates the arts into public experience, furthers artistic pluralism, and acts as an advocate for cultural equity and social justice by supporting artistic activities that demonstrate its values. NPN annually leverages nearly $3,000,000 in financial support to the creation and touring of contemporary performance work. NPN is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency), the Ford Foundation, the MetLife Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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