No More Nomads

zhannagoldsmNomadic and impoverished societies are credited with being the “taste makers” and originators of cultural ideas, movements, and images. With the recent rise in nationalism, many such cultures have been forced to settle in bricks and mortar residences. The technologies that bind them to a country also allow people to travel the world in an “e-madic” way. New media and digital remediation will never, however, replace the power of physically traveling. No More Nomads will serve to honor these great nomadic cultures.

This performance-installation will combine flamenco, sculptural set pieces, experimental music and movement, the culinary arts, live video, and conceptual apparel. A unique marriage of tradition and innovation, it will be a contemporary passion play, telling the stories we have already lost in this digital age, and the stories we think we know because we read them online.

LaurasmNo More Nomads will mark a conceptual turning point for performance artist and musician Mark Southerland, from the surreal to the fantastic. By telling stories with an epiphany that have cultural and moral relevance, he aims to present this work to a larger audience, thereby expanding his community.

In the performance, a dancer will perch on top of a carved pulpit, with the long train of her flamenco dress stretching out some 10 yards, and becoming the skin of a shanty tent village. Every motion she makes will shift and tip the structures under and around her dress. The rhythms of her feet and curling of her hands will be captured on live feed video and projected onto the walls and the fabric. The performers under her dress will be choreographed to her gestures, and a host of movers and musicians will prop up the tent and live inside her shifting train. Moving through this tent village will become it’s own self-conscious act – a secondary auditory and visual performance. During the performance, static and live images of the dancer will layer the stage and be posted to the Internet, and the audience will have the option of listening to the performance through sculptural ear horns. Peinetas, decorative hair combs, cast from sugar, will be passed to the audience.

inthetentsmNo More Nomads is highly collaborative, conceived with several key artists and performers in mind. Hadley Anne Johnson, recent graduate Parsons Paris, will design and fabricate the expanding dress center-piece along with other garments. Peregrine Honig, recent OMI Fellow, will advise on concept, story arc, and all visual elements. Laura Frank, student of Roberta Carreri, Odin Theatre Denmark, will choreograph and perform. Beau Bledsoe, founding member of Bach Aria Soloists, will compose and accompany the lead Flamenco performer, Zhanna Saparova. Matt Tady will contribute as performer and installation artist. The strength of this piece is it’s cross-disciplinary innovation and the exceptional artists Southerland has assembled to create it.

Southerland intends No More Nomads to live outside traditional venues, in parks, gymnasiums, and community centers – so that each location will both challenge the piece and challenge each artist. Some spaces he has envisioned so far include a boat ramp, a parking lot or an empty swimming pool.

 

MarkSoutherlandMark Southerland has used the saxophone as a medium for exploring sound and performance for over 30 years. By reinterpreting the assumed stage presence of a jazz musician, Southerland’s work has run the gamut, from experimental pop music and Rahsaan Roland Kirk tributaries, to wearable horn sculptures and nomadic tent installations. His reinvention of woodwind instruments, circuit-bent electronic toys, and eight track “scratching” turn his stage work into an Alexander Calder-esque circus of visual and sound possibilities. His “bastardized” horns and costumes have been displayed as free-standing sculptures at the Dolphin Gallery, the OSP in Boston, and Art Basel Miami.

A Kansas City native, Mark Southerland has played locally, nationally, and throughout Europe for over 15 years. Southerland recently finished residencies in both New Orleans and New York, performing with a range of international musicians – Helen Gillet, Allison Miller, James Singleton, Skerik and Simon Berz. He appears regularly with the award winning Owen Cox Dance Ensemble and has produced several major performance installation pieces with collaborators like Jane Gotch, Brian Haas, David Ford, Beau Bledsoe, and Peregrine Honig. Southerland continuously extends his possibilities, pushing the improvisatory envelope of visual and auditory standards.

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HadleyJohnsonuploadHadley Anne Johnson  is a garment designer and fabricator who is a recent graduate of Parsons Paris. She was named designer of the year for the class of 2010. Hadley shows her collections internationally, and was a contributor to the Kansas City installation based performances of WE! and See Saw.

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Paul Andrews PhotographyPeregrine Honig is an artist, designer and artistic director, whose work is included in the collections of the Fogg Art Museum, the Whitney Museum, Yale Museum of Art and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. She is also a recent Art Omi graduate, and she has contributed to previous productions including See Saw and Simple Myth. Her work can be seen at http://www.peregrinehonig.com

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LauraFrankuploadLaura Frank is a director of movement and a performer who studied at Odin Theater in Denmark under Roberta Carreri, and has performed at the DAH Theatre of Belgrade, and NaCl Theatre of New York. She has previously participated in WE! and Moonbears and Sister Wives

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BeauBledsoeuploadBeau Bledsoe is a composer and performer, and a founding member of Bach Aria Soloists, Alaturka,  and Flamenco Mio. He is a Charlotte Street Performing Fellow and a Lighton Grant co-recipient to perform and study flamenco in Spain. His work can be seen at http://www.beaubledsoe.com

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MattTadyMatt Tady is an Installation artist and performer. He runs Level Projects – an artisan leather and woodcraft company, and performs regionally with the Cosmic Tady Brothers. Past collaborations include WE!, See Saw, & Moon Bears and Sister Wives

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ZhannaSaparovaZhanna Saparova is a Flamenco performer and choreographer. She performs regularly with Al Andaluz, and both studies and performs Flamenco internationally.

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