“[Yara Travieso’s] intrinsic pursuit of storytelling manifests as stage performance, installation and video; it’s culturally inspired, and an amalgam of genre and influence.” – Kaitlyn Parks, 1985 Artists
As part of the twelfth edition of PS122’s Coil festival, BRIC, Dance Film Association, and Performance Space 122 presents the world premiere of La Medea, Yara Travieso’s re-imagining of Euripides’ violent tragedy into a dance-theater performance and feature film á la Latin-disco-pop variety show. Directed, performed, filmed, edited and streamed in real time, La Medea comes to life not only as a live performance in Brooklyn but also as a feature film for audiences watching, interacting and participating online around the world.
Embracing the complexity of conflicting cultural lenses, La Medea reconsiders the sensational and problematic mystification of female archetypes such as the “abandoned heroine”, “the hysterical woman” and “the dangerous foreigner.” As the Greek chorus helps to humanize Medea’s shocking actions in her quest for justice, La Medea demystifies Medea herself, and asks cinema to look in the mirror and re-consider its gaze, exposing real chaos under the skin of a classic myth.
La Medea centers around the story’s protagonist in a wild mash-up of genres and storytelling tropes, seamlessly shifting between dance and music, talk show and telenovela melodrama, scripted on-camera action and unscripted behind-the-scenes plot twists. Everyone becomes a performer, subject to the high-stakes immediacy and vulnerability of live TV, bringing theater to cinema and vice versa.
The live studio audience enters a large film stage with multiple mirrored sets, live musicians, camera operators, and an exposed editing booth. Six performers, as well as a five-piece band performing Sam Crawford’s original composition, personify the characters of La Medea in a spectacle that upends any attempt to pin it down.
About the Artists
Yara Travieso is a NYC-based director and choreographer creating hybrid works of film, dance installations, musicals and opera. She is a 2016 Creative Capital Awardee, a Performance Space 122 Ramp artist, BRIClab residency artist, and a 2015 National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures grantee through the Ford Foundation and the Surdna Foundation. Born in Miami FL, Travieso co-founded the Borscht Film Festival in 2005 and produced various award winning short films, all while attending and graduating from NYC’s Juilliard School (Dance BFA, 2009). Her films and live performances have been presented across national and international venues as well as various galleries, museums, and festivals. Outside of institutional support, Travieso has been commissioned to direct original short films for Hermes of Paris, Glamour, GQ and Elle, as well as music videos for female centric bands. Having been selected as a 2005 YoungArts award winner, Travieso will return to Miami in the spring of 2017 to create an original work for the YoungArts’ “Outside The Box” series, taking over their entire campus in a large scale outdoor production.
Sam Crawford completed degrees in English and Audio Technology at Indiana University in 2003. A move to New York City led him to Looking Glass Studios where he worked on film projects with Philip Glass and Björk. His recent sound designs and compositions have included works for the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company (Venice Biennale, 2010), Kyle Abraham / Abraham.In.Motion (Pavement, 2012), and David Dorfman Dance (Lincoln Center Out of Doors, 2012). He currently holds positions as Sound Supervisor for the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and Music Director for David Dorfman Dance. He also plays lap steel and banjo in various groups, including Bowery Boy Blue (Brooklyn) and Corpus Christi (Rome).
Brookhart Jonquil was born in Santa Cruz, CA in 1984. Raised in Portland, OR and Tucson, AZ, he received a BA in Art History and a BFA in Studio from the University of Arizona and went on to earn his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he was awarded a graduate fellowship. Jonquil uses architectural materials such as steel, mirrors, glass, cement, and fluorescent tubes, to engage reflections and refractions of light, creating delicately immaterial forms within physical structures, with a palpable presence of gravity and tension. His work has been shown at Eyebeam in New York, the Bass Museum of Art, the De la Cruz Collection, the Frost Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tucson, and The Orlando Museum of Art. In 2015 he was a recipient of the South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship for Visual and Media Artists.
Tuce Yasak graduated from the Department of Industrial Design at Middle East Technical University in Turkey in 2004. She worked for XXI Architecture and Design Magazine for five years as the Editor of Industrial Design. Following the magic of light, she moved from Istanbul to New York in November 2009. She designs for dance, theater and concerts. She is interested in site-specific performances and light installations. She has been to NOLA Fringe Festival with Enthusiast Theater Company’s site-specific piece ‘the Decay of the Cities” in November 2013. She has been involved with Lumensentient Projections since 2011 and has performed in “LAMP”, the urban light festival in New Haven in October 2013 and at MassBliss Festival in July, 2015. Also, she was a contributing participant in Gutai Card Box exhibited at the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, NYC as a part of Gutai: Playground retrospective exhibition in February/March 2013. In August 2013, she was a resident at MANA Contemporary Art Center, NJ with choreographer Nikki Holck. She worked as a contributor writer ofPLSN Magazine and made interviews with lighting designers. She has been collaborating with choreographer Korhan Basaran since 2011 in both NYC and Istanbul (Gatherings, Untitled, RAU, DRT, RAU2, Unfold, Unsettled). She has also collaborated with Vicky Araico, actress and playwright from Mexico City, on her solo show “Juana in a Million” including the performance at the Yerba Buena Arts Center in San Francisco as a part of MEX I AM festival, in July 2014. The same year in August, she was a resident at the Bates Dance Festival with Korhan Basaran,where she got the opportunity to light “Unsettled”, a collaborative work by Korhan Basaran Dance Company and the David Dorfman Dance that was commissioned and produced by DanceMotionUS and BAM performed at Brooklyn Academy of Music, NYC in August, 2014. She has been a creative collaborator to choreographer Raja Feather Kelly of the Feather Theory in his recent works including Color Me Warhol in April 2015 and “37 Other Reasons to Cry” in October 2015.
Jonathan David Kane combines light and sound to convey narratives. His work as a film director, producer, and cinematographer has screened at festivals and institutions worldwide including Sundance, Toronto International, SXSW, Rotterdam, Clermont-Ferrand, Sheffield Doc Fest, New World Symphony (Miami), Contemporary Art Center (New Orleans), CERN (Geneva), the MoMA (New York), and the Brooklyn Museum. Kane is a 2015 John S. and James L. Knight Arts Challenge grant recipient and a 2016 Berlinale Talents program alumni.
Performance Space 122 (PS122) provides incomparable experiences for audiences by presenting and commissioning artists whose work challenges boundaries of live performance. PS122 is dedicated to supporting the creative risks taken by artists from diverse genres, cultures and perspectives. We are an innovative local, national and international leader in contemporary performance.
Beginning in 2011, PS122 embarked on one of the most unusual and potentially radical shifts in its history, including a re-structuring of artist support, a business model overhaul, and the renovation of our building. As PS122’s East Village home undergoes a much-needed interior renovation supported primarily by the City of New York, DCA and DDC, PS122’s core activity continues to be providing audiences with contemporary live performance.
For over 3 decades, Performance Space 122 has been a hub for contemporary performance and an active member of the cultural community. Under the curatorial vision of Vallejo Gantner (Artistic Director 2005 – present) PS122 has developed a set of programs designed to re-establish the value of live performance, provide singular experiences for audiences that inspire critical thinking, and sustain the creative process for artists throughout their career. Largely in partnership with peer organizations, PS122 currently presents artists in all disciplines in spaces all over the city during an annual fall & spring season and the Coil festival in January.
In addition to the commissioning and presenting of artists from NYC across the US, and around the globe, PS122 has increased our activity off the stage to provide audiences with a variety of access points and context for the work on stage. These activities include both talkbacks with the artists as well as in depth conversations that bring together luminaries from non-arts disciplines to discuss a variety of topics including everything from religion, to migration, to queer real estate and cultural diplomacy. PS122 encourages the asking of questions and debate of contemporary society’s issues in both artistic practice and audience experience.
BRIC is the leading presenter of free cultural programming in Brooklyn, and one of the largest in New York City. We present and incubate work by artists and media-makers who reflect the diversity that surrounds us. BRIC programs reach hundreds of thousands of people each year. Our main venue, BRIC Arts | Media House, offers a public media center, a major contemporary art exhibition space, two performance spaces, a glass-walled TV studio, and artist work spaces. Some of BRIC’s most acclaimed programs include the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival in Prospect Park, several path-breaking public access media initiatives, including BRIC TV, and a renowned contemporary art exhibition series. BRIC also offers education and other vital programs at BRIC House and throughout Brooklyn. In addition to making cultural programming genuinely accessible, BRIC is dedicated to providing substantial support to artists and media makers in their efforts to develop work and reach new audiences. BRIC is unusual in both presenting exceptional cultural experiences and nurturing individual expression. This dual commitment enables us to most effectively reflect New York City’s innate cultural richness and diversity.
About Dance Films Association
Dance Films Association, Inc. (DFA), a New York-based nonprofit arts organization since 1956, is dedicated to furthering the art of dance film. Connecting artists and organizations, fostering new works for new audiences, and sharing essential resources, we are the catalyst for innovation in and preservation of dance on camera. DFA and the Film Society of Lincoln Center annually co-present the Dance on Camera Festival, the longest running dance film festival in the world, celebrating our 45th anniversary at the upcoming festival February 3-7, 2017. Alongside the Dance on Camera Festival, we produce year-round programs such as Dance Films Presents, Dance Film Lab, as well as Capturing Motion NYC, and offer Fiscal Sponsorship and Production Grants to our members.