Appalachian Springs Foundation's virtual World Premiere of "Thoreau's Henhawk Visits Mexico"
Appalachian Springs Foundation
Appalachian Springs Foundation announces the virtual world premiere of Thoreau's Henhawk Visits Mexico on Sunday, July 11, 2021, at 7pm ET. Tickets to the video are $20 and can be purchased online, with all proceeds benefiting The Thoreau Society. Filmmaker Clara Gibson Maxwell's dance work will be the conference finale of this year's Thoreau Society's Annual Gathering. The 80th Annual Gathering of the Thoreau Society will take place virtually from July 7-11, 2021, featuring keynote speaker Dr. Ibram X. Kendi. For more information and to register for the entirety of the five-day conference, visit thoreausociety.org.
Thoreau's Henhawk Visits Mexico is a new 39-minute choreographic/musical/video-projection/spoken-word creation by Appalachian Springs Foundation Artistic Director Clara Gibson Maxwell. The performance, filmed at a colloquium in Mexico City, revolved around an 1859 excerpt from Thoreau's journal: "What we call wildness is a civilization other than our own."
Henhawk's soaring perspective was inspired by Thoreau's saying, "It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." Students wearing GoPro video cameras filmed the live performance from different angles and heights and this footage was incorporated into the initial edited version, which was projected the following evening at the venue and followed by a deliberate discussion with these students on what they had just seen and filmed. The Virtual World Premiere includes responses about Thoreau's interest in native culture and his act of civil disobedience, in protest against the Mexican American War, from an Indigenous Mexican student activist, present at the original performance, who is engaged in a native pirate-radio project in an area suffering from water-access issues.
The July 11 video premiere will be followed by a discussion with filmmaker Maxwell and Thoreau Society members about the contemporary relevance of Thoreau's views on art, nature, Native peoples, somatic practices like yoga, and social change. Watch the trailer for Henhawk and get more information.
"Dancers nowadays process lots of questions and struggles. Movement, Martha Graham tells us, never lies; our bodies, I've found, tell us the truth, whether we like it or not," said Ms. Maxwell. "Dance is uniquely poised to catalyze conversations, so I'm thrilled that, for the first time, dance's struggles and questions will be made central to exploring Henry David Thoreau's inner life and public stances at this year's Thoreau Society Annual Gathering."
"Clara Gibson Maxwell's Thoreau's Henhawk Visits Mexico explores the intersection between modern dance and Thoreau's ecology and ethics," said Michael J. Frederick, Executive Director, The Thoreau Society. "We are so pleased that it is the featured film of this year's gathering, exploring biological and social diversity."
About the Artists
Clara Gibson Maxwell (choreographer and dancer) is a West Virginia-born, Harvard Philosophy Dept.-educated, Juilliard School-trained, and Paris-based dancer-choreographer who has been creating audaciously innovative work internationally, often in such premiere architectural venues as Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West and Le Corbusier's La Tourette monastery, since the creation of her French arts organization, Mon Oncle d'Amérique Productions, an "association loi 1901," in 1987. She starred off-Broadway (La MaMa E.T.C.) in the rock opera Ophélie Song (Hamlet from Ophelia's point of view) in 1989. Her evening-length work, "Cartesian Studies," based on the correspondence between Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia and René Descartes, was performed in collaboration with a local dancer-choreographer, the late Julie Ince Thompson, at the Firehouse Center for the Arts, Newburyport in 1996 after its 1995 premiere in Paris. Celebrating Thoreau's 200th birthday, the 2017 "Henhawk" event at the Casa de la Primera Imprenta de América (the early 16th-century House of the First Printing Press in the Americas) was a follow-up to Clara's 2011 "site-responsive," "multi-arts," ambulatory performance in the same space. That videodance has now been projected, after its 2012 World Premiere at the "Arts et Essais" Cinéma Chaplin/Denfert in Paris, in Rotterdam, Brussels, Gottingen, Guadalajara, Berlin, Loughborough University, Naples, Longueuil (Montreal), San Luis Potosi, the Cinemathéque Québécoise in Montreal, Mexico City, and was shown twice in Seoul (Chung Ang University and the Seoul Museum of Art).
Romain Garioud (cellist) is a prize winner in such prestigious international competitions as Moscow's Tchaikovsky (2001) and Paris' Rostropovitch (2002), he is also a second prize winner at Chile's Vina del Mar competition in 2002. He graduated from Paris' Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique with a First Prize in both cello (1997) and chamber music (1998). Known for his outstanding sound and sense of phrasing, Romain Garioud has had the privilege of working with such widely renowned cellists as Philippe Muller, Anner Bylsma, Natalia Chakovskaia, Steven Isserlis. Romain Garioud has won Mécénat Société Générale and Fondation Meyer awards. In 2002, he was 'Révélation' of ADAMI (French national institution for professional musicians). His career then greatly expanded, and he was invited to perform or give master-classes in many classical music venues in Europe (Festival de l'Orangerie de Sceaux in France, Colonges-Bellerive and Amadeus in Switzerland, Mantova in Italy...) and, more recently, in China and South America. In October 2013, he played Lutoslawsly's cello concerto for the Yuri Bashmet's festival of Minsk, with the television orchestra. In June 2016, he was invited to play for the "Marta Argerich Project", in Lugano and replaced Natalia Gutman in the 1st Shostakovitch's Cello concerto with the orchestra "Casa da Musica" of Porto (Portugal). He played with such conductors as Christoph Eschenbach (Orchestre de Paris), Jean-Marc Burfin (Lisbon's Metropolitan Orchestra), Stéphane Cardon, Volodymir Sirenko (National of Ukraine) and with prestigious chamber music partners like Mstislav Rostropovitch, Gilles Apap, Dora Schwarzberg, Pavel Gililov, Bernd Glemser, Andre Jussow, Philippe Entremont, Menahem Presler, Florent Héau, Eric Le Sage...in the most famous concert halls, Musikverein and Konzerthaus Wien, Berlin Philharmonie. Several of his concerts were recorded by Radio France and Music Cable TV channel Mezzo. Romain Garioud is willing to defend an eclectic repertoire. In chamber music as well as in his performances as a soloist, he is driven by a true passion for exchange. In November 2005, Romain Garioud won the 1st Prize of Bucchi's International cello Competition. From 2014, he is a founding member of the Trio "Dorogi," with the violinist Dora Schwarzberg and the pianist Giuliano Mazzoccante and, in 2016, of the "Vesna Ensemble" with the violinist Natalia Prishepenko. He plays an exceptional Nicolai Gagliano' s cello from 1760, generously lent by Gabriele & Michael Andreae-Jäckering.
About Appalachian Springs Foundation (ASF)
A 501(c)3 incorporated in 2014 under the Code of West Virginia as a "nonprofit arts and educational organization," ASF has supported dance, film, music, and educational projects. Dave Bryant's "Night Visitors" CD, the first of a three-album project bringing together Dave and other Ornette Coleman band alumni to continue Ornette's "Harmolodics" musical theory, was chosen as one of the ten-best jazz albums of the year 2020 by prominent American jazz critic Howard Mandel after Mandel designated another ASF-supported Bryant recording, Garden of Equilibria, one of the ten-best jazz albums of 2015. Other projects include: "Anagram," an experimental film by Nathaniel Draper bringing Maya Deren's choreography-for-film investigations into the digital age (just completed) and "In Vain," Anastasia Melia Eleftheriou's "poetic cinema" project using the Greek mythological figure of Tantalus to illustrate/dramatize ecological and water-access issues (forthcoming).
About the Thoreau Society
Founded in 1941, The Thoreau Society, Inc. is the largest and oldest organization devoted to an American author. The Society has members from more than twenty countries around the world, the Penobscot Nation, and all fifty U.S. states. The Thoreau Society is committed to diversity and inclusion, and welcomes people of all ages, ethnicities, gender expressions and identities, origins, physical abilities, races, religions, and sexual orientations. In Walden, Thoreau wrote, "I desire that there may be as many different persons in the world as possible." The Thoreau Society likewise recognizes that the contributions of all will continue to result in a more vital organization and a more vital world.
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