Witness Relocation combines dance and theater with the energy of a rock show, exploding contemporary culture into intensely physical, outrageous, poetic, and sometimes brutal performances in order to question the assumptions of the modern day experience.
Started in 2000 and led by director/choreographer Dan Safer, the critically acclaimed, award winning company has made over 10 original productions, engaged in a 2 year residency at Patravadi Theater in Bangkok, performed in night clubs, theaters, rock videos and Thai soap operas. Lately they work in the US and internationally.
|Dancing Vs. The Rat Experiment
| Open: 08/08/09 Close: 08/15/09
Please refer to below for performance dates and locations.
East River Park, Manhattan -- August 8 at 8pm
St. Mary's Park, Bronx -- August 14 & 15 at 8pm
Combining theater, dance, and installation art, Dancing vs. The Rat Experiment is a genre-defying theater piece by the company Witness Relocation. It is a wryly entertaining commentary, circa 2006 in the USA. Its first part plants the suggestion that human behavior may be linked to that of so-called lower orders more than we like to imagine, and its second part sneakily and satirically proves the point. A winner of three New York Innovative Theater Awards in 2007, director/choreographer Dan Safer provides a constant stream of surprises for the audience.
Presented by CityParks Theater.
FREE THEATER PERFORMANCE
For more information, visit: http://www.cityparksfoundation.org/arts
|Five Days In March
| Open: 05/06/10 Close: 05/23/10
"Five Days in March" by Toshiki Okada is set in the days before the U.S. began its war against Iraq in March 2003. Two Japanese urban hipsters meet at a post-rock show and get swept up into a one-night stand that turns into five days’ continuous sex. Oblivious to the imminent invasion of Iraq, the slackers obsess over the details of their love affair, perfectly capturing the irony and impotency of Generation Y in Japan today.
The story unfolds through actors who slip in and out of character while casually narrating and playing out scenes. The play, a winner of the prestigious Kishida Kunio Drama Award, is at once anticlimactic and devastating. Such ground-breaking and modern works by Okada's chelfitsch Theater Company (always spelled with a small "c") have made them the most talked-about theater company in Japan. They are characterized by seemingly insubstantial narrative accompanied by exaggerated fidgeting gestures-turned-choreography
Witness Relocation, under the direction of Daniel Safer, will create an American version of this story using an English translation by Aya Ogawa, making it resonate for an American audience by applying their unique, pop-culture dance/theater methodology to it. Witness Relocation’s productions combine dance and theater with the energy of a rock show, exploding contemporary culture into intensely physical, outrageous, poetic, and sometimes brutal performances in order to question the assumptions of the modern day experience.
This unique fusion of forms connects Witness Relocation to Okada and his chelfitsch company: both are known for crossing and combining disciplines and for being equally adept at theater and dance. The New York Times wrote that Witness Relocation’s work “aggressively blurs genres and makes high-low culture distinctions obsolete.” This production of "Five Days In March" will be no exception.
| Open: 03/19/09 Close: 03/29/09
Witness Relocation (http://witnessrelocation.org), whom Performing Arts Journal dubbed "a dance-theater anarchist's utopia," will perform "Haggaddah," a work based on the Passover Seder, March 19 to 29 in La MaMa's Annex Theater. The project will link post-modern dance, narrative storytelling, rock concerts, lectures, and dramatic scenes into a vibrant artistic rendering of one of the world’s most ancient holidays, presenting the story in a way that anyone from any culture can get inside it.
Audiences will be seated at a 50 foot long table, with the show happening on and around it. The traditional Seder is a ritual telling of the Exodus from Egypt on an intimate scale. This show examines the ritual in a large, post-modern context. There will be a spectacle combining dance, theater, music and design to immerse the audience in an intense re-envisioning of both the story and the act of coming together to tell it.
Though the word Seder literally means "order" in Hebrew, Dan Safer's retelling of the Haggaddah will rely more on chaos with the potential for order to arise from it. There will be a montage of forms, including (but not limited to) narrative storytelling, rock concerts, lecture/demonstration·and dramatic scenes. Safer promises "an all out, dance/theater/spectacle, full of sex, violence, blood, guts, avenging angels, oceans splitting in half, slavery, plagues, etc." He adds, "Lots of times the Seder can be incredibly dull, but its story kicks ass.
|The Blue Bird
| Open: 01/07/09 Close: 01/24/09
The play was partly inspired by a 1980 Japanese Anime series by Hiroshi Sasagawa, "Maeterlinck's Blue Bird: Tyltyl and Mytyl's Adventurous Journey," which was in turn is based on the famous 1908 play by Maurice Maeterlinck. "Now we are bringing it back into a Western culture," says Dan Safer, comparing the process to "a snake biting its own tail." He adds, "We will allow ourselves to be fascinated by what's foreign about it; colliding with the script."
"The Blue Bird" will be performed by Sam Pinkleton, Laine Retmer, Mike Mikos, Aubrey Chamberlin, Abigail Browde, Orion Taraban, Joe Baker, Damaris Webb, Randy Thompson, Sam Pinkleton, and Wil Petre. Guest artists will include Neal Medlyn, Clarinda Maclow, Randolph Curtis Rand, Laura Berlin Stinger and more. Set and lights are designed by Jay Ryan. Sound design is by Ryan Maeker. Costume design is by Laura Berlin Stinger. Video and Projection Design are by Kaz Phillips.
Mikuni Yanaihara (playwright) is a choreographer and director of Nibroll (www.Nibroll.com), a company she created in 1997. Since high school, when she began to dance, Yanaihara has won numerous awards for her work, including the NHK Award at a national high school dance competition. After graduating from university with a degree in dance, Yanaihara turned her sights on film and enrolled in film school. She has taken Nibroll to a range of festivals including the Oregon Dance Festival, the San Francisco Butoh Festival, and the Berlin Fusion Festival..