P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2001
December 20, 2001
Life and Times of Muhammad Ali are Subject of Work-in-Progress Showing at MASS MoCA
Yearby studied boxing with a trainer in addition to studying footage of Ali to prepare for choreographing and directing the piece. Jonas Goldstein created a backdrop of video and sound bites of Ali played in rhythm with the music and movement, adding images such as fire symbolizing Ali's fire. Golstein also included video and sound bites controlled by the live ensemble's drummer. Craig Harris composed the music for a 12-piece ensemble including Trap Kit, bass and electric guitars, keyboards, a string quartet and brass and woodwind instruments. This wide variety of instrumentation offers a flexible range of sound from the dark velvety solo viola to roaring percussion and screaming electric guitar, and gives Harris the flexibility to write music to "transpose [Ali's] physical language into a rich vibrant notated score, rhythms shadowing his footwork, melodies singing the song of his jab, and harmonies displaying the power of his combinations."
Marlies Yearby received a Tony Award nomination, a Dora Mavor Moore Award nomination, and a Drama League Award for Best Choreography for her work on Jonathan Larson's RENT. She received an Audelco nomination for Laurie Carlos' and Robbie McCauley's Persimmon Pea and a New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Award for Lisa Jones' and Alva Rogers' Stained. Her past projects include Sekou Sundiata's Mystery of Love, and Carl Hancock Rux's Geneva Cottrell Waiting For The Dog To Die in collaboration with Mabou Mines. She choreographed and directed Singing In The Womb Of Angels and Nadine Mozon's ID Please. Yearby's work has been commissioned by the Lincoln Center, the American Dance Festival, National Performance Network, Jacob's Pillow, and Performance Space 122 among others.
Composer Craig Harris began playing trombone at age 10 and continued his studies at SUNY Old Westbury. Since 1978 Harris has been performing throughout the Americas, Europe, Australia, Africa, and Asia. He has performed on Broadway with Lena Horne and was a featured performer in the American Music Theater production of Mystery of Love. Harris has led ensembles including Tailgater's Tales, Cold Sweat, and Nation of Imagination and is a founding member of Slide Ride. His awards include two Audelco awards. Harris often leads workshops for young people and has worked as the music curator for the American Center in Paris and the Firewall Arts Festival in New York and was composer/ performer in Roots Expansion at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
Jonas Goldstein was schooled in traditional visual arts at the Interlochen Center for the Arts where he studied sculpture under the direction of Eric Oberg and worked with Frank Gaylord on the Korean War Memorial in D.C. Goldstein was awarded the Waddell Sculpture Fellowship to study with master sculptor John Henry Waddell. He also studied with Mary Frank and Mags Harries before going to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston where he first began experimenting with video and computers. He was awarded a Fifth Year Fellowship in Filmmaking, and his first short film Tranquility Base was shown at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Jonas joined the fledgling Pseudo Programs Inc., the world's first internet-only television station, as Creative Director responsible for establishing a new model for television programming which reflected the flexibility of the Internet as a new medium.
The residency and work-in-progress showing are co-presented with Williams College and Aaron Davis Hall. Partial funding comes from the Bari Lipp Initiative for Dance and the W. Ford Schuman Fund for the Arts at Williams College.
The showing is part of MASS MoCA's MASS Manufacturing series. In its role as a laboratory for contemporary art, MASS MoCA established MASS Manufacturing artist residencies to provide performing artists, theatrical innovators, dancers, visual artists, and musicians the opportunity to develop and explore new works. Each MASS Manufacturing residency culminates in a public work-in-progress showing. The artists use the showings to try out new ideas and gauge audience reaction to the work and have often welcomed questions and feedback after the performance. Artists who have participated in MASS Manufacturing residencies include Laurie Anderson, Shirin Neshat, David Dorfman, Lee Breuer and Basil Twist with Mabou Mines, and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar of Urban Bush Women, among others. Upcoming residencies include Stacy Dawson later this month.
Tickets for Brown Butterfly are $7. MASS MoCA members receive a 10% discount. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office located off 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 purchased on line at www.massmoca.org.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located on Marshall Street in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings.
For Immediate Release