Culturebot’s Ultimate Real-Time January Festival Live-Blog

collageWelcome to Culturebot‘s live-blog of the January shit-show (COIL, American Realness, Under the Radar, Prototype, and so on). For the next couple weeks (or until burn-out) we’ll be updating this multiple times per day with news, advice, brief responses, and gossip. As always, Culturebot is welcomes responses from readers–to suggest ideas for or add comments to this page, email jeremymbarkerNYC(at)

Friday, Jan. 9 – 3:50 p.m.

In anticipation of Tere O’Connor’s duet Sister I interviewed David Thomson and Cynthia Oliver about their experience dancing in the work. The full interview will be posted soon, but since the performances are tonight and Sunday, here is an excerpt from Oliver on how Sister came to be:

At my 50th birthday party, we were all there chatting and Tere asked how long we had known each other. We said, “Forever.” He asked if we had ever worked together and we looked at each other quizzically and realized that in all this time we hadn’t. At that moment he said, “Well, I’ll make something for you both.” —Stormy Budwig

Friday, Jan. 9 – 1:oo p.m. Cynthia Oliver opened Live Artery yesterday afternoon with an excerpt of her 2014 duet “Boom!” She and Leslie Cuyjet match, counter and complement one another within several shared sequences. Stormy already responded to the full work here but I wanted to share that it was good to see these women de/reconstructing lived realities. When they’re speaking and moving through a shared “I’m a punish you…” monologue, it became clear that the “I” was Life in all of her demanding, supportive, evasive, and mercurial ways. And, despite an extended bout of crying, the take away from both of them is all power. The two of them can (and do) simply stand and the energy surge is so formidable. I’m looking forward to seeing Oliver in another duet on Sunday, in Tere O’Connor’s “Sister” with David Thompson for American Realness.

Also, Teddy Nicholas and I should have a transcription of our post Faye Driscoll at COIL/Danspace Thank you for coming: Attendance discussion up soon.  Also also, catching Darrell Jones’ Bitch Tracks Salon at Danspace at 2pm (Free) tomorrow and Marjani Forte at 4pm (Free) at Winterworks at Gibney. —Maura Donahue

Thursday, Jan. 8 – 4:02 p.m Also up: an interview on Ryan Holsopple’s datapurge, also at COIL. This one is really provocative, I think: a live-streamed performance where Holsopple–a fantastic performance technologist who’s done a great deal of smart work–will help “purge” part (he promises not all) of our digital footprint, the accumulation of means tech companies use to track us through our phones, tablets, and computers. —Jeremy M. Barker

Thursday, Jan. 8 – 2:57 p.m. As promised, Culturebot is exploding with material about the artists at Under the Radar–particularly the Incoming series presenting works-in-process by the inaugural group of artists supported through the Public’s Devised Theater Initiative. Check out pieces on Royal Osiris, Lucy Alibar, and Stan’s Cafe. Plus more on Daniel Fish and his epic David Foster Wallace show. —Jeremy M. Barker

Wednesday, Jan. 7 – 6:11 p.m. Well Wednesday’s been a bit of a bummer, obviously, with the horrendous events unfolding in Paris. I’m sitting in my secondary office on Union Square East, where in less than an hour people will be braving the bitter cold for a vigil in honor of the 12 people massacred at Charlie Hebdo. Otherwise, little to report as the festivals kick-off tonight. I plan to swing by the Public. Otherwise, please check our our previews of Adrienne Truscott and Andrew Schneider. —Jeremy M. Barker

Tuesday, Jan. 6  – 9:42 p.m. What a day! Halfway through a draft of an interview with Adrienne Truscott–whose Asking for It play Thursday late and Friday painfully early (enjoy them shots she serves 11 a.m. peeps!)–at the Wild Project as part of the abbreviated Special Effects Festival. And then what happens? I realize my damn transcriptions are on a piece of paper at my office. Now I could just make up with Adrienne said, but being a good journalist I won’t (Stephen Glass always had all the fun…). In any event, now I guess I’m done for the night well before intended, and should mention some news. I’ve long been an advocate of Ubu Sings Ubu from Tony Torn, featuring Dan Safer and Julie Atlas Muz, which is being presented independent of festivalia at the Slipper Room Sunday night (against PS122’s Red and White Party, which you should definitely go to because I’m on the invite committee and said so!), Monday night at 11 (so late…) and now Monday at 8. But–there’s a “but”!–they’re now arranging a split-bill Monday. If you so dare, you can now meet over at the Slipper Room around 6 p.m., catch a bus to NJ where my good friends from Radiohole are performing Myth or Meth? and then come back at 11 p.m. for Ubu Sings Ubu. Radiohole, Tony Torn, Dan Safer, an unhealthy amount of booze on Monday night, and interstate travel (likely a federal offense, given what you’re transporting). How’s that for January in NYC?

Jeremy M. Barker

Tuesday, Jan. 6 – 1:16 p.m. Can’t be in NYC for Under the Radar but wanna watch Culturebot’s conversations and the UTR Symposium? Our friends over at Howlround will be livestreaming it. See here for more info. Also, Meiyin Wang of UTR offers insight into the Incoming Series, and its ties to the Devised Theater Initiative she’s helmed at the Public. There’s not a lot being written about these structural attempts to support the creation and dissemination of new work tied to these festivals and their intersections with APAP. So this is a good corrective.

Jeremy M. Barker

Monday, Jan. 5 – 8:46 p.m. Andy Horwitz just forwarded me details on Culturebot’s Scanning the Landscape public discussion series at Under the Radar. Times and topics have been available for a while, but here’s the updates including participants.

Same Planet, Different Worlds – Saturday 1/10/15 from 1PM – 2:30PMAll theater is by definition local. Or is it? How does theater’s site-specificity change in a massively interconnected global society? How do we address not just issues of language but larger contextual issues and cultural assumptions in translating work from one place to another? How do we grapple with cross-cultural and intercultural translations in work that is made collaboratively across borders or online? Join invited guests Abigail Browde, Doug Howe, Kate Loewald, Erwin Maas, Aya Ogawa, Mariano Pensotti and Dan Rothenberg for a freewheeling conversation about the challenges and opportunities of thinking globally and creating locally in 2015.

Beyond Therapy: The Art of Acting in Contemporary Theater – Sunday 1/11/15 from 1PM – 2:30PMFor more than a century the dominant technique for acting has been based on Stanislavski, The Method and Psychological realism. How do actors do what they do in a post-Freudian, post-psychological, mediated, world of ensemble and collaborative work, post-dramatic theater, contemporary performance and multimedia immersive experiences? Join invited guests Birgit Huppuch, Juliana Francis Kelly, Tony Torn, Kate Valk and Paul Zimet for an informal and wide-ranging conversation on the state of the art of acting in 2015.

Jeremy M. Barker

Monday, Jan. 5 – 6:31 p.m. Working, working. Completed draft of an interview with Andrew Schneider for his show at Coil, and halfway through one with Adrienne Truscott for Asking for It at the Wild Project as part of the Special Effects Fest Caden organizes via the Contemporary Performance Network, the neglected little one that will hopefully grow to replace the dear departed Other Forces, which went down with the ship that was the Incubator.

–Jeremy M. Barker

Monday, Jan. 5 – 3:15 p.m. I wanted to share one work that I think is not necessarily on dance people’s radar quite as much as others: Cynthia Hopkins at American Realness. I was blown away seeing her in Annie-B’s show at BAM—she went from being the most believable Dr. Zhivago ever to crooning a self-written folk song. I couldn’t get over how drastically both her voice and face changed according to what character she was embodying; her ability to abruptly switch to a new mode was bizarre and jarring and wonderful. On first impression, she’s one of the most virtuosic performers I’ve ever seen, so I can’t wait to see her one-woman show, A Living Documentary.

–Elena Light

Monday, Jan. 5 – 2 p.m. So I’ve been idly searching for good preview information and news about January shows and…there’s not much. Yet. We’ll be doing a lot at Culturebot (which I’ll be rapidly linking to here!) but otherwise there’s a nice cluster from the NY Times. Tina Satter at the Kitchen. That song-cycle Courtney Love’s in for Prototype. Jack Ferver in American Realness. Mike Iveson’s contribution to PS122’s COIL.Marian Pensotti at UTR. I mean, I’m avoiding the standard issue round-ups here. Eliza Bent did a nice interview with Vallejo Gantner in American Theatre.

I’ve already done an early-bird round-up on my personal website, which will be neglected for the next month. But really, to get in the mood, can’t we all just re-read Claudia La Rocco’s “APAP Smear” from Art Forum last year? My appreciation for it only grows over time.

Jeremy M. Barker

Monday, Jan. 5 – 10 a.m.

Forever and anon ago, way back in the prehistoric year of 2012, I put together Culturebot’s first live-bloggy January festival page for the simple purpose of putting together a one-stop-shop to both guide the uninitiated and entertain the embittered veterans of #apapsmear or the “January shit-show on ice” (choose the derogatory handle of your preference). It proved popular, and so I’ve been asked to resuscitate it. Over the course of the next two weeks (or until we burn out), this page will be updated in reverse chronological order with bits of information: links to responses and newsy bits (on Culturebot and elsewhere) regarding shows at UTR, COIL, and elsewhere, as well as brief (and occasionally gossipy) tidbits from our correspondents. Need to know if the 7 train service will screw your visit to the Chocolate Factory this weekend? I’ll be checking. Want round-ups of press? I’ll do my best. Want the best and most insightful on-the-ground reporting from the first and best website devoted to contemporary performance? We’ve got you covered. It’s a frustrating, exciting, depressing, exasperating, inspiring time of year. Here’s to getting it going!

–Jeremy M. Barker

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