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You Took A Part of Me (formally called Demon in the Heart)

A transdiciplinary collaboration exploring ghost stories, Japanese Noh theater, feminism, performance and MIT Media Lab Research and design.

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You Took A Part of Me (formerly called Demon in the Heart)

Posted on June 8, 2018 by Karole Armitage/ Armitage Gone! Dance

You can see the dancers who will perform You took A Part of Me from June 12-16, 2018 at New York Live Arts (219.W. 19 St.) nightly at 7:30 on the program, WOMEN CREATE- A Festival of Dance. For this production we are presenting Donkey Jaw Bone: 

Donkey Jaw Bone, inspired by Mexican’s theatrical wrestling form, Lucha Libre, sits at the border of sport, dance and ritual, invoking connections between sometimes contradictory domains: rural and urban, tradition and modernity, ritual and parody, machismo and feminism, politics and spectacle. The Traditional music is performed live on pre-Columbian instruments, the teponaztli (a pitched slit-log drum), the hueheutl (an upright tubular drum), ayoyotes (an Aztec percussion instrument made from the shells of the ayoyote tree tied around the ankle), the quijada, (a donkey jawbone) and the jarana (a guitar-like instrument from the Veracruz region of Mexico). The dance draws on Balanchine’s Agon, (the ancient Greek term for struggle or contest), pre-Columbian and contemporary minimalism, drag queen style and re-enacts documentary Lucha wrestling matches portrayed with a nod to the traditional characters of Lucha Libre – the Tecnico or good guys, the rudo or heels and the Exotico or campy, effeminate wrestlers.

Overview

You Took A Part of Me (YTP) is a transdisiplinary collaboration to create a contemporary Noh inspired, wired production that combines the minimalist rigor of traditional Ghost Noh with emergent technologies. Noh, the Japanese music drama performed since the 14th century, is the oldest theater art still performed today. Choreographer, Karole Armitage, Harvard professor of Japanese Culture, Melissa McCormick, MIT Media Lab designers, Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao and Jifei Ou, costume designer, Peter Speliopoulos, lighting designer Clifton Taylor and composer, Reiko Yamada are creating a dreamlike work inspired by the idea of intertexuality —the concept that all texts have relationships to other texts. The work extends this concept to a theory of movement positing that patterned movement is a text made of body language and thus, becomes a part of dance meaning, in conversation with other dance and music texts across different historical eras and cultures. YTP incorporates expressive, new technologies adapted for the stage to explore erotic entanglement, unresolved attachments and the search for harmony that are hallmarks of Noh Theater.

YTP will premiere at Japan Society in New York in April 2019 during a season that coincides with the Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition of The Tale of Genji . The Tale of Genji, authored by the female writer Murasaki Shikibu in the early eleventh century is an immensely complex psychological work. Called the world’s first novel, it is also a primary the source of Noh Theater.

The philosophic underpinnings of Noh imply that a ghost is a person caught between two worlds. Like our own search to understand where we came from and where we have arrived, Noh’s protagonists reckon with emotional attachments and grudges from the past while seeking enlightenment. Inspired by the austere rigor of Noh, the creative team is using the constituent of air/breath as an actuator and metaphor to link the collection of techniques, skills and processes that make up . Air/breath give shape to a wired trance of altered consciousness: costumes warp; an upswept hairstyle unwinds in slow motion; a threshold morphs to block the way; skin changes color; choreography is shaped by the geometry of airflow; breath propels music and movement. Yamada will create an otherworldly sonic environment making use of space, several Japanese traditional instruments (using her background in Japanese traditional music) and electronics. The instrumental part will be complemented by live electronics that ‘read’ dancers through sensors and, subtly reacting to them, act as a shadow for both musician and dancers. YTP is a stripping away, at once a feminist and a spiritual reckoning leading to a transcendent experience.

The process began in January 2018 when Armitage worked at the MIT Media Lab with the designers. In fall 2018 the team rehearse in New York and at Harvard during McCormick’s “Noh & Modern Dance” class. Armitage works again at the MIT Media Lab in 2019, completing the final rehearsal process in New York, before the world premiere.

Project Media

Mask Your Sonic Story
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Mask Your Sonic Story, is an experimental opera by Reiko Yamada. Rather than the explicit storyline of traditional operas, Mask Your Sonic Story offers its audience a collection of hints in the shape of words, onomatopoeia, movements, and costumes, which are left open to interpretation. Audience members can move freely around the set to follow characters during the performance, which allows them to hear their own”secret song”. As a result, Mask Your Sonic Story creates as many narratives as there are audience members.

Start and End Dates

05/02/201804/15/2019

Location

New York, New York

1 update
Last update on June 8, 2018

Project Created By

New York, New York
Karole Armitage is the Artistic Director of the New York-based Armitage Gone! Dance Company. Known as the “punk ballerina,” Armitage is renowned for pushing the boundaries to create contemporary works that blend dance, music, science and art. She is inspired by disparate, non-narrative sources, from 20th century physics, to 16th century Florentine fashion, to pop culture…

In Collaboration With

Composer
Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS
MIT Media Lab

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