THE MOVING MEMORY PROJECT Festival, featuring Stefanie Nelson Dancegroup's “A, MY NAME IS…”
Stefanie Nelson Dancegroup
A launch event for a new festival devoted to memory and forgetting
THE MOVING MEMORY PROJECT
Using Our Bodies to Connect to the Past
Stefanie Nelson Dancegroup’s
“A, MY NAME IS…”
and films from
“The Living with Alzheimer's Film Project”
curated by David Shenk
Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Performances at 11am and 6:30 pm
Post-show discussion following each performance
Reception at 8:00pm
Aaron Davis Hall
at The City College of New York
129 Convent Avenue (West 135th Street)
(The venue is wheelchair accessible)
Co-curators: choreographer Stefanie Nelson of Stefanie Nelson Dancegroup and bestselling author David Shenk (The Forgetting) present the launch of a new festival devoted to memory and forgetting. The inaugural event will feature Stefanie Nelson’s A, MY NAME IS…, a dance piece inspired by a family experience with dementia, using several short films from David Shenk’s Living With Alzheimer’s Film Project. It will take place on January 23, 2019, at Aaron Davis Hall at The City College of New York (129 Convent Avenue at West 135th Street), with performances at 11:00 am and 6:30 pm. Both shows will be followed by a discussion with invited panelists including Meredith Wong from CaringKind’s Connect2Culture program, and a reception (evening show only). Tickets are $20 and can be purchased HERE.
Nelson and Shenk's vision for this festival is to bring together artists, caregivers, and seniors, to create a community of care surrounding issues connected to memory loss, and to destigmatize the diagnosis of dementia with the ultimate goal of increasing awareness to increase funding until a cure is found. The inaugural event focuses on Alzheimer’s, preceded by a series of “Memories in Motion” workshops for seniors and caregivers at the Union Settlement Senior Center in East Harlem.
The title A, MY NAME IS… refers to a children’s alphabet rhyming game designed to coordinate physical and verbal skills. New York-based Nelson tells a story of memory and forgetting in a dance featuring three female performers in different stages of life – and a male figure personifying life’s unpredictable circumstances. This multidisciplinary piece is a playful exploration into the absurdity of memory loss inspired by the choreographer’s personal encounter with a family member’s dementia. Increasingly organized phrases peak and subsequently dissolve into disorientation – a visual metaphor for memory loss. Nelson makes ample use of apple imagery to evoke the loss of beauty and innocence, the passage of time, the inexorability of gravity, and the inevitability of decay.
Says Shenk: “We need this piece – desperately. I'm so grateful to Stefanie for confronting dementia with such passion and curiosity. Works like this can help the world think and talk about Alzheimer's in important new ways.”
The Huffington Post praised it as “the only depiction of insanity… that makes any sense,” adding: “See the work for yourself. Whatever price you pay, it’s worth it.
A, MY NAME IS… is performed by Christine Bonansea, Becca Loevy, Cameron McKinney, and Emily Tellier. Additionally, Nelson brings together a team of international collaborators: the work features a stop-motion video with photos by Elisa D'Amico (Italy), original music by composers Sahand Rahbar (Iran/Canada) and Jonah Kreitner (US), with light design by Kevin Scott (US).
Nelson’s piece will be intertwined with the short films UNDONE, directed by Hayley Morris, and VILLA MNEMÓSINE, directed by Ruben Salazar.
UNDONE, a stop-motion animation featuring a drifting man struggling to pull objects from the sea below him, was the winner of 2016 Living With Alzheimer’s Film Competition Jury Prize.
VILLA MNEMÓSINE is a dreamlike story of a lonely woman who is concerned over some phenomena that occur in her increasingly more strange house.
More titles will be announced at a later date.
The Moving Memory Project is made possible in part with funding from the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation administered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC.) This program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the Manhattan Community Award Program (MCAP) from Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer's Office through the NYC Department for the Aging.
A, MY NAME IS… is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; in part, with public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council; with additional support by the Barnard College Department of Dance, Exorto Danza, the Comune di Agropoli, Parco Nazionale del Cilento, Albumi e Vallo di Diano, BCC Comuni Cilentani, and Dance Italia.
Photo: Maria Baranova.
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