WHO ARE YOU?
name is Miguel Gutierrez. I am a dance and music artist and poet based in
Brooklyn. In 2001 I began making group pieces under the moniker Miguel
Gutierrez and the Powerful People (MGPP). Since then I’ve alternated between
making solos and group works. MGPP is not a traditional dance company but an
ever-shifting group of incredible artists –dancers, designers, composers and
visual artists – who I assemble for specific performance projects.
My performances straddle the line between the categories of dance and performance. I create emotional and sensory rich pieces that deal with love, connection, the various crises we encounter, and the search for meaning in our lives. The performers in my work look like real people. They are extraordinary and heroic artists, but they retain their vulnerability and frailty as humans. I am interested in the way movement layers with sound, words and light to engage our senses in poetic and challenging ways. I love that live performance is a unique situation between the performers and the audience to pay attention to what is happening. I am fascinated by this strange and rare agreement. I like to use this unique set-up to create pieces that acknowledge the turbulence, complexity, and power that we have as individuals and as a group, to take time to consider our places in the world and what our time together means.
My work has been invited to various festivals and venues across the country and
throughout the world, such as TBA/Portland Institute of Contemporary Art in
Portland, Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington, Festival
D’Automne in Paris, ImPulsTanz in Vienna, Festival Universitario in Bogota and
Barranquilla, and Festival Transameriques in Montreal. I’ve been tremendously
lucky to receive funding support for my work from Creative Capital, Jerome
Foundation, Rockefeller MAP Fund NYFA, NEA and NPN. In 2010 I received
fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Foundation for Contemporary
Art, and United States Artists. I have also received three New York Dance and
Performance "Bessie" awards.
Besides my stage pieces I do a lot of other kinds of projects. I sang back-up for Antony and the Johnsons’ show “Turning,” I made and performed the dance that went viral in Le Tigre’s video for "Aerobicon", I choreographed and performed in Holcombe Waller’s video for "Hardliners". 53rd State Press published my book WHEN YOU RISE UP, a collection of performance texts from shows I made between 2005 and 2008. I am also the “inventor” and primary disseminator of DEEP AEROBICS, an absurdist workout for the radical in all of us. I feel incredibly lucky to be living my life full out as an artist! To check out more about my work and MGPP go to www.miguelgutierrez.org
WHAT IS THIS PROJECT?
And lose the name of action is a new
evening length dance/performance piece with six amazing performers and four
fantastic design collaborators.
A few years ago my dad starting having neurological problems, which led me to think about how we define communication, personhood and identity. How do you maintain a sense of who you think a person is and who he has been to you when that person is no longer himself? At the same time I was reading a lot of contemporary philosophy, which deals with dismantling the Cartesian idea of the mind/body split. All of these different writers were talking about how perception is not a result of disembodied thinking but rather embodied experience, an engagement with the world. As someone who works in dance and somatics, the idea of embodied perception seems obvious. Why isn’t it obvious to others? I began to realize that these fields - neurology, philosophy, somatics and dance – were all poking at similar questions but were not really in conversation with each other. I started to wonder if my performances could be a place where these different areas of knowledge could interact. And just to complicate it further I thought I’d research a topic where bodies are invisible and entirely mysterious: ghosts.
The result of these questions have led me to our new piece And lose the name of action. This piece presents and reconciles a lot of the questions that have come up for me in the last few years about family, communication, dance and the body, about who owns knowledge and whose perception is the most important, and most of all, how to find meaning inside of a difficult experience.
WHAT IS THIS MONEY FOR?
have been working on And lose the name of
action for over a year and a half. We’re about to enter the final rehearsal
period. Between August 12th and the world premiere performance at the Walker
Art Center on September 19th, we will be in residence at Museum of Contemporary
Art Chicago, the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography and Walker Art
Center. During this time the creative team will be working to finalize and tie
together all the production elements - the lighting by Lenore Doxsee, sound
design by Neal Medlyn and film projection installation by Boru O’Brien
O’Connell - into the final form that the work will take.
Getting to have production residencies to work on the technical elements of the show is an incredible opportunity. It’s also very expensive. The money you contribute will help us to: a) purchase set materials for the final stage version of the piece b) purchase high quality video projectors that we use in the show c) help to transport people and materials between three different cities d) pay the incredible people involved in this project a fair wage!
WHY SHOULD I SUPPORT THIS?
is extremely rare that an American-made evening-length dance work is granted
the opportunity to have such an extensive time for multiple aspects of
production. And lose the name of action
is, “technically speaking,” the most sophisticated work MGPP we’ve ever made.
Your help can help us to realize this new work and help to make it as great as
it can possibly be.
This project is also unique in that we know it will be touring across the US in the next year so there are already opportunities on the way to connect with the project, not only by lending your support here, but also by coming to see the finished piece in a city near you!
September 19-22, 2012 *World Premiere
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
19 & 20, 2012 *European Premiere
Oktoberdans, BIT Teatergarasjen, Bergen, Norway
8 & 9, 2012
Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, Burlington, VT
31, 2012 - February 3, 2013
MCA Chicago, Chicago, IL
On the Boards, Seattle, WA
WHO IS INVOLVED?
Michelle Boulé (performer) is a dance artist, teacher, and BodyTalk Practitioner. She has worked with MGPP since 2001 and has also danced with Deborah Hay, John Scott, David Wampach, Neal Medlyn, Neal Beasley, Christine Elmo, John Jasperse, Donna Uchizono, Beth Gill, Judith Sanchez-Ruiz, Doug Varone (Metropolitan Opera), and Gabriel Masson. Her choreography has recently been shown in NY at Dance and Process at the Kitchen (Dec 2011). She will be showing a new solo at Issue Project Room in Brooklyn (Nov 2012) and as part of 'Il Faut Pour Brillar' in France (Sept 2012). She is a 2012-14 Movement Research Artist-in-Residence.
Hilary Clark (performer) has been a part of process and performance since 1992, and in New York since 1998. With dedication to being an active and vital participant, she has been involved through creating, performing, learning, teaching, curating, and conversation. In 2008, Clark was honored with New York Dance and Performance Award, a Bessie, for her body of work as a performer with Tere O'Connor, Fiona Marcotty, and Luciana Achugar. She has danced with choreographers Tere O'Connor, Luciana Achugar and also with Jon Kinzel and Larissa Velez. She presently is working with Young Jean Lee's Theater Company in the "Untitled Feminist Multimedia Technology Show."
Luke George (performer) is a dance artist and his practice as a performer, choreographer, teacher and collaborator takes him to many places in Australia, North America, Europe and Asia. He is best known for his performance work with Phillip Adams BalletLab, Jo Lloyd and Chunky Move. He was recently honored with a Greenroom Award for his body of work for performance in 2011. Luke first met and began working with Miguel Gutierrez in 2007. Luke's own choreographic works have been presented by many Australian venues and festivals and will tour to Norway and the Netherlands in 2012.
K.J. Holmes (performer) is a dance artist and singer, actor, poet, director and teacher. All this creates the parameters for her to get lost in creative process and find what there is to confront and illuminate about being alive through performance. She has been fortunate to work with forerunners of dance improvisation such as Steve Paxton, Karen Nelson, Lisa Nelson and Simone Forti among many other outstanding artists. She is a certified yoga teacher, a graduate of the School for Body-Mind Centering (BMC) (1999) as well as the William Esper Studio (Meisner acting) (2007), of which the play between is essential to her current practices. K.J. is currently a 2012-13 Movement Research Artist in Residence.
Ishmael Houston-Jones (performer) is a choreographer, author, performer, teacher, and arts activist. His improvised dance and text work has been performed in New York City, across the United States, in Europe, Canada, Australia and Latin America. Houston-Jones and Fred Holland shared a "Bessie Award” for their Cowboys, Dreams and Ladders. He recently revived THEM, his 1985/6 collaboration with writer Dennis Cooper and composer Chris Cochrane for which he was awarded his second New York Dance and Performance “Bessie Award”. THEM is currently touring nationally and internationally with upcoming engagements at TanzImAugust in Berlin, Germany (Aug 2012); REDCAT, Los Angeles (Nov 2012); TAP Poitiers, Poitiers, France (Apr 2013).
Lenore Doxsee (lighting design) is a lighting designer for theater, opera, and dance. She is the resident lighting designer for Target Margin Theater and has designed in many New York theaters including New York City Opera, La Mama, HERE Arts Center, Dance Theater Workshop, and The Kitchen. Regionally and abroad Lenore has designed for Lyric Opera of Chicago, Glimmerglass Opera, Spoleto Festival USA, Boston Early Music Festival, Singapore Repertory Theatre, and many others. Lenore received Bessie Awards for her designs for MGPP’s Retrospective Exhibitionist/Difficult Bodies and Last Meadow.
Neal Medlyn (sound design) is a New York based performance artist who deals a lot with pop music and pop music figures. His work has appeared at Dance Theater Workshop, the New Museum for Contemporary Art, PS122, the Andy Warhol Museum, Joe's Pub, and around the U.S. and in Europe. He has danced with Adrienne Truscott and David Neumann and used to make cassette tape recordings in his bedroom.
Boru O’Brien O’Connell (multi-channel film installation & writing) is an artist based in Brooklyn, NY who works with film, video, photography and writing. Recent exhibitions and projects include Invisible Exports (New York), Night Gallery (Los Angeles), and a new work commissioned by Triple Canopy for Frieze NY. He recently curated Meeting Point at Mount Tremper Arts (Mt. Tremper, NY), an exhibition including choreography, sound, performance, writing, and visual art. Boru's work has been featured in Blind Spot, Triple Canopy, Bidoun, and Vice, among other publications. He received his MFA from Bard College in 2011, and his BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.
David Tabbert (styling) has made his mark in many different areas of media. As a fashion stylist he has collaborated with photographers and editors on publications such as The Advocate, Boulevard and City Magazine and done personal styling for celebrities such as Joan Jett and Lance Bass. Over the past few years he transitioned into moving media and has costumed music videos such as “Lying is the Most Fun...” for Panic! At The Disco and most recently chart topping artist, Boys Like Girls “Love Drunk” featuring High School Musical star Ashley Tisdale. His most recent work can currently be seen on the big screen in Glenn McQuaid’s film “I Sell the Dead” starring Ron Perlman. David was awarded a New York Dance and Performance "Bessie" Award for his costumes for MGPP's Last Meadow (2009).
Video shot and edited by Marin Sander-Holzman
Lead commissioning and developmental support for And lose the name of action has been provided by Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography at Florida State University in Tallahassee and Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York. Additional project support was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Dorris Duke Charitable Foundation and additional funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Boeing Company Charitable Trust and The MAP Fund, a program of Creative Capital supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation. And lose the name of action is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation Fund Project co-commissioned by MCA Chicago in partnership with Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, On the Boards, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, Brooklyn Academy of Music and NPN. Major contributors of NPN are the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, Nathan Cummings Foundation, MetLife Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency). For more information: www.npnweb.org. Additional co-production support has been provided by On the Boards and BIT Teatergarasjen. And lose the name of action has been supported by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council through a residency at Building 110: LMCC's Arts Center at Governors Island. Additional residency support provided by Baryshnikov Arts Center.
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