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Pratt Manhattan Gallery presents


Friday, September 14, 2012 - 9:00am

Artichoke Dance Companyas Plastic People of the Universe in the Art in the Age of Political Absurdity exhibition

Pratt Manhattan Gallery


Artichoke Dance Company’s Plastic People of the Universe

in the

Art in the Age of Political Absurdity exhibition

October 30, 2012 at 7:00pm


Plastic People of the Universe uses driving movement, poignant dialogue, whimsical video, innovative design, and satire to address the nature, exponential growth of, and hazards associated with polyethylene, the most commonly used plastic in the world. This deconstructed version of the work, first performed at the Irondale Center in Brooklyn, NY in 2011, locates sections in spaces defined by the set, which is constructed out of 5000 plastic six-pack holders and hangs in panels that bisect the Pratt Manhattan Gallery space. Throughout the performance, the panels are dismantled leaving the gallery floor gleaming with plastic. The work is said to bring, “a consciousness of humanity’s impact that was tinged with purposeful optimism.” (Las Vegas Dance Insider)


Following the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of dul-tson-kyil-khor, sand mandala ritual creation and destruction, director of Artichoke Dance Company Lynn Neuman, who choreographed the work, also creates the set for each performance by crocheting the six ringed plastic shapes into layered patterns. A simple pull of the string, which holds them together, causes the set to unravel. “This act reflects the impermanence of life and is in juxtaposition to the very permanence and persistence of plastics in our world, which are now becoming more present in our bodies as plastics work their way into a prevalent place in the food chain,” deliberates Neuman, who also performs a farcical theatrical role in the piece as a character named Polly.


Costumes for the performers are also made of plastic six-pack holders and are designed by Olek.



When: October 30 at 7:00pm

Where: Pratt Manhattan Gallery: 144 West 14th Street (between 6th and 7th Avenues) New York, NY

Tickets: This event is free and open to the public. No reservations are required. No tickets are required.

Performers: Malinda Crump, Aidan Feldman, George Hirsch, Lynn Neuman, and Sandra Passirani

Choreography, Direction and Set: Lynn Neuman

Costumes: Olek


View video clips of Plastic People of the Universe

Request high-resolution photos



Artichoke Dance Company, based in Brooklyn, NY, is known for its humorous theatrical athleticism, intricate partnering, and confronting contemporary social issues as well as integrative community programs. Under the direction of Lynn Neuman, the Company creates unique dance works, presents public performances, and offers participatory educational experiences in dance and dance making by using the interactive, cooperative, and community building aspects of dance to develop physical, creative, and social skills and artistic and cultural understanding.


Lynn Neuman is a choreographer, director, arts educator, and performer. Her work has been presented under the auspices of Artichoke Dance Company since its inception in 1995 at New York venues including Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church, The Joyce SoHo, and Dance Theater Workshop (now New York Live Arts), at the New York and Philadelphia Fringe Festivals and the Piccolo Spoleto Festival. Her works have also been performed internationally in Adelaide, Toronto, Seoul, and Turks and Caicos.


Ms. Neuman has been the recipient of Dixon Place’s Mondo Cane! Commission, has been commissioned to create several multimedia works combining video and live performance, and has directed six operas. Recently she was co-commissioned by the Brooklyn Arts Council and DUMBO Improvement District to create PUBLIC (2011), a site-specific work. She has served as guest mentor for Dance Omi, an international collaborative artist residency, and has been in residence at White Oak, Omi International Arts Center, and the Citadel Dance Center.


Ms. Neuman has designed and implemented educational engagement programs for seniors, inner city youths, survivors of domestic violence, and the general public that have provided interactive arts experiences for thousands of New Yorkers across generational, racial, and socio-economic lines. In New York, Ms. Neuman has taught at Peridance, the Joffrey Ballet School, Leon Dance Arts, and Ballet Arts. She is currently teaching at Florida Gulf Coast University.

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