World Premiere Helen, Part of Robert Moses' Kin Annual Home Season
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The last date listed for Helen was Sunday April 1, 2012 / 8:00pm.
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Smuin Ballet breaks the boundaries of traditional dance with this evening of vibrant, innovative works from some of the Bay Area's most exciting choreographers. Choreographer Garrett Ammon unleashes his own take on Tchaikovsky's iconic score in Serenade for Strings, using movement to reflect the composition's intensity and precision. In Objects of Curiosity, Smuin's choregrapher-in-residence Amy Seiwert explores the tensions between desire and restraint, pairing them with a delicate score by Philip Glass and Foday Musa Suso that mirrors her study on stage. The evening concludes with Frankie and Johnny, Michael Smuin's passionate tribute to the legendary Gene Kelly, danced to a soundtrack of some of the biggest names in Latin and mambo music. Learn More
Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from JamesRed Velvet
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Brilliant, creative choreography and beautiful performances by talented dancers! I'm often not drawn to modern dance, but I was thoroughly entertained... at times entranced... by the unconventional movement. I will indeed seek out other performances by this company. My only criticism is that I found myself working a bit hard to correlate the movement with the words (lyrics in some pieces, an interview with no music in one piece), which distracted me from pure enjoyment of the movement and the message carried by the dancers themselves. But it didn't distract me enough to take a star away.
Moses’ latest work, __Helen, __is at times a love triangle and otherwise a battle for competing ideas. Showcasing Moses’ élan for creating ferociously elegant dancing, __Helen __is a trio inspired by and set to music and spoken word by Carl Hancock Rux and poetry by E. Ethelbert Miller, with allusions to Homer’s Iliad.
Carl Hancock Rux is an award-winning poet, playwright, novelist, essayist and recording artist. He is the former head of the MFA Writing for Performance Program at the California Institute of the Arts, and has taught or been in residence at the University of California–San Diego, Stanford University, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Hollins University, the University of Iowa and Brown University. He is the author of the novel, Asphalt, the OBIE Award winning play, Talk, and the Village Voice Literary prize-winning collection of poetry, Pagan Operetta. Rux has also worked as a writer and frequent guest performer in dance, collaborating with Marlies Yearby’s Movin’ Spirits Dance Theater, Urban Bush Women, Jane Comfort & Co., Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Martha Clark. Rux received a BESSIE© award for his direction of the Lisa Jones/Alva Rogers dance musical, __Stained. __E. Ethelbert Miller is the author of nine books of poetry, two memoirs and the editor of three poetry anthologies. His work has appeared in numerous publications including Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Poet Lore, and __Sojourners. __Since 1974 he has been director of Howard University’s African American Resource Center.
Created by Moses in collaboration with visual artist Elaine Buckholtz and rock guitarist Paul Carbonara (Blondie, Mary McBride), __Scrubbing the Dog __is conceived as a new form of activated graphic novel that promises to redefine the live performance experience. A trans-disciplinary, original artistic work for the 10-member RMK company, __Scrubbing the Dog __explores how historically racist and otherwise offensive cultural iconography has become “scrubbed” of its original meanings over the course of time. The company will preview excerpts of __Scrubbing the Dog __at YBCA and the completed work will premiere later this year as part of RMK’s summer season at ODC Theater in June.
Biography, inspired by the life and work of author James Baldwin, features the 1961 audio recording of a roundtable discussion on Black perceptions of the American setting in art, featuring James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, Lorraine Hansberry, Emile Capouya, and Alfred Kazin. Hansberry excoriates the “arbitrary and superficial approach to Negro character of white writers.” Baldwin describes his sense of the polarity between being a writer and a Black American in a “state of rage.” Poet Hughes explains himself boldly as a “propagandist.”
Completing the YBCA program are the Isadora Duncan Dance Award-winning works __The Soft Sweet Smell of Firm Warm Things __– not seen in its entirety since 2003 — and Speaking Ill of the Dead, Moses’ 2007 meditation on war.
The dancers of the company are Brendan Barthel, Crystaldawn Bell, Vincent Chavez, Dudley Flores, Norma Fong, Caitlin Kolb, Dexandro Montalvo, Josie Garthwaite Sadan, Victor Talledos, and Katherine Wells.