• A Letter Compiled From All Letters

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    Premiere New Hazlett Theater | June 13-15, 2019 https://newhazletttheater.o......

    Concept Maree ReMalia, Gigi Gatewood, Lillian Cho
    Director/Choreographer Maree ReMalia
    Made in collaboration with David Bernabo, Natalia Gomez, Joseph Hall, Susan Kuo, Moriah Ella Mason, Jil Stifel, Emily Vallozzi
    Teaser David Cherry

    A Letter Compiled From All Letters (ALCFAL), an evening-length, contemporary dance work merging live performance and video projection, began with letter-writing. Collaborators Maree ReMalia (director/choreographer), Gigi Gatewood (multimedia artist), and Lillian Cho (performer) wanted to investigate connection and communication in an era of digital media. So they asked friends and acquaintances to write them letters sharing moments of significance and the impacts of digital communication in their lives. The answers were profound, mundane, and hilarious. Aspects of the letters influenced the initial development of improvisational scores to generate movement and conduct early experiments with video, music, sound, text, and set design for the work. Since these early stages, the work has evolved in unexpected ways.

    The collaborative team works with cross-disciplinary cast members David Bernabo, Joseph Hall, Moriah Ella Mason, and Jil Stifel. In a moment in which we often perceive scarcity of time and the ability to be in constant contact and simultaneously distant, the artists consider the currency of attention and experience of intimacy. While feeling into the physicality, pace, and content of analog letter writing alongside the fleeting communication that exists in virtual spaces, they question what we hold dear and what is disposable. The performance migrates between minimalist moments and amplified scenes and movement that is almost-pedestrian and semi-virtuosic. Dancers vocalize and visual artists move. Stop-motion videos and oversized projections help magnify what is compelling and toy with the distance between carefully-curated selves and true realities. Live and recorded sound rove between hymn-like vocalizations and sparse tones indicating spaciousness and fullness of time. The performers activate a mobile, wooden set designed by visual artist, Natalia Gomez and are costumed by designer, Emily Vallozzi. Wood, paper, pencil, devices, objects, movement, sound, and text collapse and meld and affect each other as human bodies try to resist, succumb, absorb, utilize, control, and react to them. The creative team invites theater-goers, artists across disciplines, and those who are new to live performance to experience the resulting abstracted portrayals that are tender and unpredictable, offering escape from, and new angles into our dialogue with each other and our ever-evolving technologies.

    This project is presented in partnership with New Hazlett Theater through a new pilot program aimed at helping artists shift beyond emerging status. A Letter Compiled From All Letters is made possible with generous support from the Opportunity Fund, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (a state agency), The Heinz Endowments Small Arts Initiative, The Pittsburgh Foundation A.W. Mellon Grant and Investing in Professional Artists Creative Development Grant, Amherst College Guest Artist Series, Kelly Strayhorn Theater Fresh Works Residency, and PearlArts Studios PearlDiving Movement Residency and New Sun Rising donor, Courtney Harris.

    Concept Maree ReMalia, Gigi Gatewood, Lillian Cho
    Director/Choreographer Maree ReMalia
    Movement generation and composition the performers, Natalia Gomez, and Susan Kuo
    Performers David Bernabo, Lillian Cho, Gigi Gatewood, Joseph Hall, Moriah Ella Mason, Maree ReMalia, Jil Stifel
    Understudy Sarah Friedlander
    Projection Design Gigi Gatewood and David Bernabo
    Soundtrack Design David Bernabo
    Live Music David Bernabo and Joseph Hall
    Text Writer Moriah Ella Mason
    Set Design Natalia Gomez
    Costume Design Emily Vallozzi
    Lighting Design Forrest Trimble
    Video Documentation and Teaser David Cherry
    Promotional Photography Gigi Gatewood
    Grant Writers Maree ReMalia and Lisa Ferrugia Atkinson
    Administrative Assistant Ally Ricarte
    Contributors to Text for Marketing Adil Mansoor
    Artistic Advisors Adil Mansoor, Bebe Miller, Krista Miranda, Michael J. Morris, Staycee Pearl

    Letter Contributors Alaina, Ann, Anna, AnnaJo, Candace, Courtney, Dee, Ditty, Donnie, Heather, Huirong, Jenn, Jim, Jose, Keri, Lorenzo, Lynn, Megan, Michael, Pam, Paul, PinLing, Rachel, Sarah, Taylor, Will, Zac Show less
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