Big Dance Theater + Sibyl Kempson
October 25 – November 10, 2012
Co-commissioned and presented by The Chocolate Factory and Performance Space 122.
Moving from large scale performance frames, to the intimacy of the crypt-like basement of The Chocolate Factory, Big Dance Theater teams up with playwright Sibyl Kempson (Crime or Emergency) to install their signature blend of performance, text, and visual design for an audience of just 30 per show. Kempson’s Ich, Kurbisgeist is set in a harsh quasi-medieval landscape facing destruction, populated by a community speaking a rigorous, specific, and completely invented language. Every word is semi-recognizable: an amalgam of English, Swedish, German – and Sid Caesar. The language is as tough and unforgiving as the windswept, uncultivated landscape.
The five characters, costumed by visual artist Suzanne Bocanegra, 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: absurd and doomed.
Written by Sibyl Kempson. Directed by Paul Lazar. Co-Directed and Choreographed by Annie-B Parson. Set: Joanne Howard. Video: Karinne Keithley, Josh Higgason, Jeff Larson. Music: Karinne Keithley, Ben Williams. Lights: Joe Levasseur. Sound: Jamie McElhinney. Costumes: Suzanne Bocanegra. Production Manager: Brendan Regimbal. Produced by Aaron Rosenblum. Performers: Paul Lazar, Tymberly Canale, Molly Hickok, Kourtney Rutherford, Eric Dyer.
“What’s Afoot in a Garbled Pumpkin Patch” – Claudia La Rocco, New York Times