Lionel Popkin at Abrons Arts Center
Travelogues Dance Series curated by Laurie Uprichard
Abrons Arts Center presents the New York City premiere of Lionel Popkin’s
Ruth Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, October 29−November 1, 2015
New York, NY, September 30, 2015 – Abrons Arts Center presents the New York City premiere of Los Angeles-based choreographer Lionel Popkin’s Ruth Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, an evening-length work performed by Popkin, Emily Beatty and Carolyn Hall, with an original score by avant-garde accordionist Guy Klucevsek, performed live by Klucevsek with Mary Rowell on violin. Popkin’s performance is part of Abrons’ Travelogues dance series, curated by Laurie Uprichard. Performances will take place Thursday to Saturday, October 29−31, at 7:30pm, and Sunday, November 1, at 3pm, at Abrons Arts Center’s Experimental Theater, 466 Grand Street (at Pitt Street), in Manhattan.
Inspired in part by the career of modern dance pioneer Ruth St. Denis, Ruth Doesn’t Live Here Anymore is an evening-length work by Lionel Popkin that addresses acts of cultural sourcing, representation, and transmission. St. Denis was famed for her lavish “Oriental” dances built from her fascination with Eastern cultures and a love of elaborate costuming. Popkin delved into St. Denis’ archives in Los Angeles, New York, and at Jacob’s Pillow inquiring into the iconic artist’s work and complicated legacy. Popkin writes, “Was St. Denis’ Orientalism an act of cultural appropriation or a legitimate examination of sources of dance?” The multilayered piece serves as a way for Popkin, who is half Jewish and half Indian, to playfully wrestle with his own uncertainties and awkwardness with representations of South Asia. With wit, piles of fabric, a microphone, three dancers, two musicians, and a leaf blower, Popkin attempts to sort through it all and asks: “Can a century of perspective help a contemporary choreographer reach his own point of equilibrium?”
Laurie Uprichard notes that “Popkin’s talent lies in his ability to seamlessly blend his intellectual, personal, and kinetic approaches. He alternates between disarmingly informal narrator and highly structured creator of movement. The intermittent ‘pure dance’ sections are solidly constructed yet the audience is never at a loss for finding its place within the humorous texts.”
The creative team includes Marcus Kuiland-Nazario (costumes and set design), Christopher Kuhl (lighting design), and Cari Ann Shim Sham (video design).
Tickets are $20 and can be purchased through Abrons Arts Center’s box office at 212-352-3101, or online at www.abronsartscenter.org.
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