P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2005
November 2, 2005
MASS MoCA Announces Winter/Spring Season
Highlights include theatre from Mabou Mines, opera from David Lang and Mark Dion, dance from Dean Moss and Anouk van Dijk plus Soulive in concert
Dance parties, Extreme Documentary film series, Projections Film Forum and more round out busy season
(North Adams, Mass.) As the leaves vacate the trees and second home-owners shutter their cottages for the winter, MASS MoCA gears up for a full season of performing arts offerings from a broad spectrum of disciplines. Music, theatre, dance, and opera will all grace the Hunter Center stage, and Club B-10 will host many alternative cabarets and an exciting documentary film series. Featured main stage artists include: Soulive, Mabou Mines, and Anouk van Dijk, plus collaborations from composer David Lang and visual artist Mark Dion as well as choreographer Dean Moss and visual artist Laylah Ali.
The first event in the Hunter Center is Synapse Productions' puppet musical version of Orwell's classic Animal Farm on Friday, December 9. The New York Times said, "With delightful life-sized puppets and songs ranging from anthems to music hall ditties, there's not a weak link in the entire barn." For Anouk van Dijk's STAU on January 20 and 21, 2006 the Hunter Center will be transformed into an intimate dance space for a piece that dissolves traditional theatrical boundaries and transforms the experience of contemporary dance to examine the relationship between audience and performer. On February 11 and 12, Dean Moss brings Laylah Ali's intimate disturbing paintings to life in Figures on a Field, also performed in a reconfigured (and smaller) Hunter Center. On April 7, director Lee Breuer and Mabou Mines present their latest deconstruction of classic theater text in DollHouse. Delightfully funny, genuinely thought-provoking, and winner of two Obie Awards, DollHouse is "a dizzying visual commentary on sexual politics" and "a wonderland of mismatched proportions" (New York Times). In Mabou Mines version women are Amazonian six-footers while men's roles are portrayed by actors under four-and-a half feet tall. By giving physical form to the equation of power, status, and scale that underscores Ibsen's text, Breuer dramatizes the absurdity of the patriarchal men's attempts to domineer their female counterparts, while also giving fresh nuance to the relationships by revealing touching vulnerabilities.
The musical highlight of the season will be Soulive in concert on February 17. People magazine said, "Soulive is not your average jazz band... they favor danceable, groove-heavy jams, thumping bass lines, and frenetic energy. Break Out, their sixth album, brings on the funk so strong it's probably illegal in a dozen states. Soulive's mix of Sly Stone-esque riffs, instrumental originals and Hendrix intensity keeps things both entertaining and tight."
Dance music is back this season with two parties featuring bands guaranteed to keep the audience on their feet. On Saturday, January 28, Brooklyn-based R&B masters Memphis Train will heat up a winter night while for Williamstown JazzFest on Friday, April 21, renowned swing band Arthur Baron & the Duke's Men will play favorites from the big band era including new interpretations of Ellington (Baron played with the Ellington Orchestra, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and Stevie Wonder, among others.) As part of JazzFest, MASS MoCA will also screen Romantico, a bittersweet documentary about the lives of two mariachi players in San Francisco, on Thursday, April 20.
MASS MoCA's series of artist residencies - MASS Manufacturing - continues with some old friends. On February 9, Liz Lerman will visit MASS MoCA to conduct a "town meeting" titled Stem Cell Research, Politics, and Religion in conjunction with her newest piece, Ferocious Beauty: The Genome Project. Composer David Lang (a co-founder of Bang on a Can) and artist Mark Dion (who created Becoming Animal's aviary) will be in residence for several weeks in February and March to collaborate on a new opera titled Anatomy Theater. The opera concerns the practice, common until the 20th century, of publicly-and festively-dissecting criminals to find forensic evidence of their moral corruption. Dion and Lang ingeniously use this grisly subject matter to tell a compelling human story. The residency culminates with a work-in-progress showing on Saturday, March 4, at 8:00 P.M.
The Alternative Cabaret series offers something for everyone, beginning with chanteuse Keren Ann on Saturday, December 3, witty playwright turned musician Ethan Lipton on December 17, funky Martha Redbone on February 4, spoken word artist Roger Bonair-Agard on February 25, and the legendary Toshi Reagon on March 25. Alt Cabarets are performed in MASS MoCA's Club B-10, a 200-seat theater with tables, chairs, and comfortable couches as well as food and drink available before, during, and after the performances.
The Cinema Lounge series takes on a theme and a partner this season. The theme is Extreme Documentary: Alternative Vérité, and the partner is Williams College's Oakley Center. Capped by a two-day conference and a panel discussion at MASS MoCA on April 8 with filmmakers like Werner Herzog, Frederick Wiseman, and Jonathan Caouette, the films in the series will be screened at MASS MoCA all winter and spring. The series kicks off with Tarnation on December 1. Filmmaker Jonathan Caouette will attend the screening and discuss his revolutionary filmmaking technique - he assembled the famously low-budget film about his troubled childhood with a mentally ill mother from home movies and other media. Wiseman's classic Basic Training follows on January 12, with The Fall of Fujimori on January 26, Werner Herzog's The White Diamond on February 2, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster on February 16, and Touching the Void on February 23.
Five filmmakers will also be in residence on March 16 - 20 as part of the second annual Projections Film Forum. In partnership with Working Films, MASS MoCA brings documentary filmmakers together to explore community activism through film. Three films which address issues of social justice will be screened, followed by panels with activists, directors, and more.
Kids will enjoy three mornings of fun with some of the visual and performing artists at MASS MoCA. On January 21, Mark Stewart, a member of Bang on a Can and a dedicated inventor of musical instruments, will help kids craft their own wind instruments from items they can find around the house. Roger Bonair Agard leads kids through a session on writing and performing poems on Saturday, February 25, and last but not least, kids can learn to swing dance at a session on Friday, April 21 - a break from Spring break!
STAU is funded in part by the Netherlands Culture Fund, Consulate General of The Netherlands in New York, Theater Instituut Nederland, and the National Dance Project (NDP) of the New England Foundation for the Arts. Lead funding for NDP is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Additional funding provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and The Ford Foundation. Mabou Mines' DollHouse is funded in part by the New England Foundation for the Arts.
More information on all performances is available from the MASS MoCA box office or by visiting www.massmoca.org. Lickety Split generally opens one hour before all shows, serving full dinners and snacks. Café Latino, a full-service restaurant and bar on the MASS MoCA campus, is also open before and after shows. Tickets to all events are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office located on Marshall Street in North Adams from 11 A.M. until 5 P.M. (closed Tuesdays). Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours or online at www.massmoca.org.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located off Marshall Street in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Katherine Myers
(413) 664-4481 x8113
Your Title Here