“Fall of the Rebel Angels” manifested as a series of ten performance chapters created for different casts and different sites betwen 2012-2015. The earlier chapters were more like studies, running between 15-30 minutes in length, while the later ones (#8 and #10) were evening-length productions. All of the chapters were inspired by the Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens, and created by Catherine Galasso with music and sound design by Adam Bach. Using Rubens’ paintings as thematic scaffolding, the project investigates visceral physicality, sensuality and the spectacular.
Fall of the Rebel Angels #8: Vespers
“Vespers” the 8th iteration in my “Fall of the Rebel Angels” series created in 2014 afforded a direct connection to a community that I continue to think about. This took place in a vacant four-story pre-Civil War residence in a mixed-race neighborhood of Fort Greene. We offered comp tickets to neighbors, resulting in a diverse turnout not typical of dance venues. Audiences lingered afterward, strangers conversed, neighbors met each other for the first time. The creative freedom of the production model, coupled with the diversity of the audience, was deeply catalytic for me.
“Vespers” was completely self-produced. Suspended in time with deteriorating interiors, the temporarily vacant venue (and generous owners) provided us with a rent-free, unconventional and unequivocal space with which to develop a unique performance experience for intimate audiences.
The production values and DIY approach for this work were integral to its potency. The choreography engaged with the architectural idiosyncrasies and natural mise-en-scene of the building, while the lighting was all hand-held, designed collaboratively and executed manually by the artistic team using work lights, power-strips, and household dimmers. Funded by donation-based ticket sales and promoted through personal invitation and word-of-mouth, this experiment in artistic autonomy marked a pivotal moment in my practice. The project provided a glimpse of a new model of economic self-sufficiency, which, to me, proved highly empowering.
This experience afforded me an environment to experience and approach risk without worrying about catering to the expectations of a specific venue, aesthetic, or ticket sales. What did materialize was a focus on the collective energy present; a way to forefront the presence of an audience as something much more than a transactional endeavor. This act, like much of my work, is about people and place: crafting spaces to create an environment ripe for lingering and witnessing, as well as continuing to learn how to ensure they remain accessible to anyone who desires to be present.
More video excerpts available on the news page.
most recent episode:
Fall of the Rebel Angels X
starring Meghan Frederick, Keith McDermott, Kristopher Pourzal, Saori Tsukada & Mei Yamanaka
Nolan Park Houses, Governors Island
River to River Festival, New York
Click to view video excerpt
Fall of the Rebel Angels is supported by Truckstop Media, The Watermill Center Residency Program, the Bossak/Heilbron Charitable Foundation, the Chez Bushwick Residency, the Dance New Amsterdam Artist-in-Residence Program, and ODC Theater San Francisco.
Study #10 June 26-28 2015
Study #9 June 23, 2014
Performances at Zona D Studio in Bucharest Romania, created on site with three local performers: Elena Copuzeanu, Georgiana Dobre, Bogdan Drăgănescu,
Study #8 May 30-31 2014
Performances in Fort Greene Brooklyn.
Evening-length all new material created on site in a vacant pre-Civil War four-story house. Starring: Rosalie Elkinton, Niko Tsocanos, Saori Tsukada, Mei Yamanaka.
Study #7 September 11-12 2013 Performances at Center for Performance Research. Performed by Edith Freyer, Sarah Sandoval, Austin Selden and Saori Tsukada.
Study #6 August 15 2013 Chez Bushwick Residency Showing. Performed by Edith Freyer, Keith McDermott, Sarah Sandoval, Austin Selden and Saori Tsukada.
Study #5 July 5 2013 Art Southampton Opening Party. Performed by Matty Davis, Alice MacDonald and Sarah Sandoval.
Study #4B April 1 2013 Movement Research at the Judson Church in New York. Performed by Edith Freyer, Alex Romania, Austin Selden, Saori Tsukada and Buck Wanner.
Study #4A February 23 2013 Watermill Center in Southampton, New York as part of the Watermill Center Residency Program. Performed by Edith Freyer, Melinda Lee, Mickey Mahar, Bessie McDonough-Thayer, Honey McMoney, Austin Selden and Saori Tsukada.
Study #3 December 2012 Dance New Amsterdam. Performed by Edith Freyer, Honey McMoney and Adam Bach.
Study #2 October 2012 92nd Street Y in New York. Performed by Edith Freyer, Honey McMoney, Kyleigh Sackandy, Mercedes Searer.
Study #1 June 2012 ODC Theater San Francisco (Walking Distance Dance Festival-SF). Performed by Juan De La Rosa, Esmeralda Kundanis-Grow, Pavel Machuca-Zavarzin, Sarah Sandoval, Olivia Sparkuhl, Eli Tamondong.