A Postcard from Marisa Gruneberg, Director, white road Dance Media
In Preparation for the Premiere of NEON BRAVE
In a few weeks, my company white road Dance Media will premiere our latest full-length work, NEON BRAVE. Opening night is Thursday, February 19 at the new Triskelion Arts in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
To say that I feel excited is an understatement – “excited” doesn't begin to capture the roller coaster range of emotion as we enter the final weeks of preparation and rehearsal. These last stages of process have stirred up a deluge of feelings – giddiness, extreme focus followed by extreme lack of focus, lightheadedness, amazement, gut churning and vulnerability. Not a new story to anyone involved with the creative process, for sure, but always an adventure! Because of the way we’ve chosen to perform NEON BRAVE, one show a week over the course of three weeks, with no rehearsals in between, this emotional up and down is likely to continue for me and the performers until closing night.
The performances of NEON BRAVE have been scheduled with space in between showings in order to allow the work to evolve and find its true essence. The aim is for the core of the work to reveal itself. I’m attaching GoPro cameras to the performers for an added projectional layer that will hopefully offer a different type of audience immersion.
NEON BRAVE is a work fixed on courage and brightness of being, investigating both the after effects of libertine actions and the strength needed to move forward. Can you accept your history and its consequences, your restlessness and driving desire to be more than the sum of your parts? Can you become the most powerful core version of yourself - locate and electrify your own neon bravery?
Some source materials that guided me in the early stages of framing the piece include Jean Genet’s Our Lady of the Flowers, written in prison on paper bags that were destroyed by guards, prompting Genet to rewrite his whole book; YouTube videos of women base jumping in heels; the story of Nellie Bly, a reporter who had herself committed to a madhouse in the 19th century; Nina Simone’s album Black Gold; Top Floor, a poem by writer Eleanor Lerman; interviews with musician Peter Doherty… a grouping that may well seem all over the place at first. For me, bravery was the common denominator, and the still point around which each of these works spun.
Most recently, challenges in my own life have informed the development of NEON BRAVE. After a years-long struggle with addiction, I decided to hold up the mirror and proactively shape my next chapter, to let the many fault lines shift under me and settle, and to find out if there is a brighter truth to live. Now I ask myself, can you accept your history and its consequences, your restlessness and driving desire to be more than the sum of your parts? Can you become the most powerful core version of yourself?
I look forward to witnessing the four strong women who will perform NEON BRAVE asking and answering these questions within the context of the environment we’ve built together. I hope I’ve challenged them as much as I feel challenged. Let's see what happens!
Performances will take place on Thursday February 19, Friday February 27 and Saturday March 7, all at 8pm, at Triskelion Arts, 106 Calyer Street (new location for 2015), Brooklyn NY 11222. Tickets may be purchased online at Brown Paper Tickets.