Marc Bamuthi Joseph Premieres /peh-LO-tah/ at BAM
By Marc Bamuthi Joseph/The Living Word Project Directed by Michael John Garcés
Choreography by Stacey Printz
Composed by Tommy Shepherd
Set and video design by David Szlasa Lighting design by Tom Ontiveros Sound design by Rob Kaplowitz Costume design by Meghan Healy
New York Premiere
BAM Harvey Theater (651 Fulton Street)
Oct 18—21 at 7:30PM
Tickets: $25, 35, 45 (weekday); $30, 40, 55 (weekend)
(prices subject to change after July 23)
“The two places on earth I actually feel free aren’t coordinates, they’re moments. The first is inside of dance, somewhere between rising up against gravity and a sensation that the air beneath my body is falling in love with its weight, carrying me so that I might never come down. The second place is after scoring a goal on the soccer pitch, wherein my body floods with the chemical they bottle up in EpiPens to revive the dead. I am weightless...raceless...”
–Marc Bamuthi Joseph
/peh-LO-tah/, a performance work by award-winning poet-performer Marc Bamuthi Joseph, explores the links between dance and sport, as well as the complexities of soccer—the world’s most popular game—as a source of both joy and exploitation. Based on the artist’s own experiences playing the game as an American child of Haitian immigrants, as well as his travel journals from visits to World Cups in South Africa and Brazil, /peh-LO-tah/ deftly mines the political, economic, and social significance of the spinning ball (pelota). It is, per Joseph himself: “a dance about the economy, choreographed to the rhythm of the beautiful game.” /peh-LO-tah/ combines Joseph’s signature spoken word and charismatic storytelling with live music and choreography inspired by South African and Brazilian movement styles and techniques from the soccer field. The production also encompasses silhouette and shadow play, filmed imagery and video production, and of course the powerful physicality of the production’s dancers and musicians, delivering a multi-dimensional theatrical experience both immersive and illuminating.
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