Danza y cultura en red | Dança e cultura em rede
by ANABELLA LENZU/DANCEDRAMA
BARYSHNIKOV ARTS CENTER
450 W 37TH Street, 6TH Floor
NEW YORK CITY
Friday, September 30, 2011 at 7:30PM
Saturday, October 1, 2011 at 7:30PM
General Admission: $20 / Tickets at the door
RSVP recommended: firstname.lastname@example.org
Immigration. Roots. Discrimination. Memory.
Conceived and directed by Argentinean choreographer Anabella Lenzu with photographic projections created by Todd Carroll, “The Grass is Always Greener…” is a gripping, polemical piece of dance theater that hashes the personal, practical, and political struggles of immigrants to the United States. The piece moves in between the turn of the twentieth century, during the great waves of immigration at Ellis Island, and modern day. In a non-linear approach, the work weaves in scenes from our current conflict on US immigration policy, bringing the contemporary debate into sharp relief against historical, forgotten experiences.
Five women travel through time, across borders, and along the roads of memory and anticipation. Each carrying her own suitcase filled with memorabilia, images of home, and hopes for a new life, these voyagers are archetypal immigrants caught between cultures. The women arrive in a new land, carrying old traditions to which they no longer relate, finding fault with the home to which they do not yet belong. Past and present are superimposed, the lines of individual narratives blur. As the women unpack their suitcases to share their stories with the audience, Lenzu unpacks the question of what it means to be an immigrant, whether in 1900 or 2011.
Deported before becoming a legal resident in 2005, Lenzu offers the audience insight into the minds of immigration’s advocates and adversaries through words and motion. Lenzu reconstructs physical drama using contemporary movement and character development; her movement vocabulary originates from rustic primal gestures with accents of sweeping lyrical action, which transports the audience to a vibrant physical and emotional space. While movement and poetry work on the audience’s subconscious in the piece, Lenzu exposes the spectrum and radicalism of the debate in text taken not only from immigrants but also from anti-immigration organizations. Carroll’s photographs illuminate the personal stories unfolding on stage, while pointing to the constancy of the concerns of immigrants. Connecting the personal and political sides of immigration, Lenzu strives to redefine the relationship between audience and performer, encouraging emotional engagement with the work. As it follows the five protagonists, the audience becomes witness to the extremes of the debate; tableaus and text provoke lasting impressions, carried far beyond the performance space.
Choreography: Anabella Lenzu
Music: A. Piazolla, Cantica Popularia, F. De Andre, C. Gardel, Verdi, Bach, E. Avitabile and Traditional Pizzicas.
Dancers: Lauren Ohmer, Trina Mannino, Julia Lindpaintner, Debra Zalkind & Anabella Lenzu
Photographic Projections: Todd Carroll
Light Design: Stephen Petrilli