The Ulysses Syndrome
Presented as part of FIAF World Nomads Festival, May 9-10, 8:00PM
The Ulysses Syndrome
Presented as part of French Institute Aliance Française (FIAF)'s
World Nomads Tunisia Festival
Florence Gould Hall
55 East 59th Street
New York, NY 10022
Thursday, May 9th at 8:00pm
Friday, May 10th at 8:00pm
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Jonah Bokaer’s “The Ulysses Syndrome” will receive its U.S. premiere at the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)'s World Nomads Festival on May 9th, in New York City. FIAF’s biennial World Nomads festival returns in May for its fifth edition to celebrate and explore the rich arts and vibrant culture of Tunisia.
The dance, whose title refers to a medical condition describing the disabling sense of alienation, dislocation, and isolation experienced by immigrants, travelers, and expatriates uprooted either by force or voluntarily from their homeland, explores the resulting physical and emotional issues related to the psychic trauma. Bokaer’s Tunisian-born father, Tsvi Bokaer, provided the text titled “Le Danseur Errant et La Mediterranée” on which the work is based.
Written over the past year, the text is comprised of 12 Cantos, strongly influenced by his father’s memories of the Mediterranean, and meditates on the transient life he lived before settling in Ithaca, NY, where he raised a family of six children. Tsvi Bokaer, 71, is a quiet onstage presence throughout the 60-minute work.
The accompanying soundscape, “The Passenger,” is a compilation of gathered sources by the Soundwalk Collective, which in 2009 followed the path of Ulysses on a boat equipped with scanners and aerial antennae, recording all the possible radio interceptions over a 40-mile area along the shores of the Mediterranean basin.
To deepen his understanding of his family’s past and its effect on him, Jonah Bokaer spent time in Tunisia in January, 2013 traveling to eight of his family’s cities and villages. His discoveries, including the rhythms of his father’s cantos, the Roman Amphitheater in Carthage, the tile works and friezes (comprised of hexagrams) at the Musée Bardot, all contribute to the structure and content of the dance, which is comprised of 12 sections.
Choregraphy & Direction: Jonah Bokaer
Screenplay: Tsvi Bokaer
Music: Soundwalk Collective
Lighting Design: Rodolphe Martin
Stage Management & Technical Supervision: Julie Seitel
Booking (Europe): Julie George & Damien Valette
Booking (Americas, Asia, Aust.): David Lieberman Artists’ Representatives
Public Relations: Ellen Jacobs Associates
Executive Producer: Chez Bushwick, Inc. / Kelly McKaig
Commissioner: Festival Les Hivernales d'Avignon, 35th Anniversary
Co-Production: CDC - Les Hivernales, Pôle Culturel Camille Claudel à Sorgues
Funded in part by FUSED (French-US Exchange in Dance), a program of the National Dance Project/New England Foundation for the Arts, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York, and FACE (French American Cultural Exchange) with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Florence Gould Foundation. New York City appearances are made possible, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA).
10th Anniversary Funding for Jonah Bokaer / Chez Bushwick, Inc. is provided by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund: NYC Pivotal Place Program.