Poster

Peabo + Jinza Thayer

June 14-17, 2012

PEABOHEMIA + Dances for Deborah & Rebecca

The third week of the New Works 4 Weeks festival features a double bill of master performers.  Original Red Eye company member Stephen Peabody returns to our stage with the premiere of his first full-length music theater mash-up, showcasing witty and oddly heart-warming takes on old pop songs.  *Also featured is the compelling artistry of choreographer/dancer Deborah Jinza Thayer, who takes a dip into the female collective unconscious, in her latest solo, which she has created in collaboration with composer Janika Vandervelde, costume designer Sonya Berlovitz and director Heidi Geier.

*PROGRAM CHANGE:

Heidi Geier, Penelope Freeh and Brinsley Davis have curated a dance tribute by colleagues and students of Deborah Jinza Thayer and Rebecca Surmont - who both were injured in an accident last week (details: Star Tribune article)  - to take the place of what was to be the premiere of Deborah's solo Diana Takes A Swim. A testament to the tremendous love and respect in the community for DJT and Rebecca, the featured artists are gifting their performances to Red Eye audiences, who also will be treated to the premiere of former company member Stephen Peabody's latest creation, "Peabohemia: Old Songs."

Here is the line up for each night's "Dances for Deborah & Rebecca" segment:

Thursday
Rueda de la Calle
Penelope Freeh with Christine Maginnis
Laurie Van Wieren
Starla Larson
Kirsten Stephens
Foxy Tann

Friday
Rueda de la Calle
Penelope Freeh with Christine Maginnis
Laurie Van Wieren
Sharon Picasso
Kirsten Stephens
Missa Kes
Foxy Tann

Saturday
Rueda de la Calle
Rosy Simas Danse (Lindsay Anderson & Denise Gagner)
Three Dances
Eli Ebbenga
Sharon Picasso
Foxy Tann

Sunday
Rueda de la Calle
Laurie Van Wieren
Rosy Simas
Elsie Martin
Three Dances
Foxy Tann

Plot Summary

A fantasia both futuristic and nostalgic, PEABOHEMIA features the signature musical re-imagination of Stephen Peabody, a Minneapolis native, original Red Eye member, and performing artist based in New York for over 20 years. Presented as an on-demand, webcast cabaret, this moody blend of music and monologue melts borders between new & old, high & low, and recorded/live as it meditates on the phenomenon of recorded music, nostalgia, and the machineries of taste. Popular music from any era is peabohemian prey, but the often austere and sonorous Peabody takes particular pleasure in performing reconstituted yet  emotionally resonant takes on ‘70s and ‘80s pop, sometimes translated  into other languages, or in a duet (or duel) with his recorded self. In OLD SONGS, a premiere of the first full-length PEABOHEMIA theater work, local actress Kirsten Frantzich joins him in asking the musical question: is looking  backward always regressive ... looking forward, never quaint?

Due to injuries - PLEASE SEE PROGRAM CHANGE NOTE ABOVE - the following piece will NOT be performed June 14-17:
Choreographer/performer Deborah Jinza Thayer collaborates with composer Janika Vandervelde in a solo performance piece, Diana Takes a Swim.   The solo was initially inspired by Thayer’s mother’s kimono as a way to explore the invisible aspects of her Japanese heritage.  However, Diana developed into a more universal exploration - a swim into the female collective unconscious - and reflected her interest in ‘altered states of being’ provoked  by breath, movement, and image.  Directed by Heidi Geier with costume design by Sonya Berlovitz, Diana uses a 30-ft red dress to shapeshift through characters, create her environment, and frame herself.  The framing was inspired by fabric-draping, used by painters and photographers in presenting the body.  How does one choose what needs to be seen and/or hidden?  Who has the power of the gaze?  The model?  The observer?  And does this power shift?  Diana explores this dynamic as she controls her own draping mechanism.  But is she ultimately trapped because she occupies a female form in the context of presentation?  Vandervelde creates an electronic sound environment sampled from footfalls, breath, the whoosh of moving air, the sound of fabric under stress -- all the acoustic traces of a body in motion.  These sounds are ‘poured’ into an architectural framework to reveal a variety of textures from transparent and ephemeral to dense and complex.

Reviews & Press

Red Eye kicks off New Works 4 Weeks Festival, preview in City Pages, 5/24/12
Freak accident sidelines choreographer Deborah Jinza Thayer, article in Star Tribune, 6/7/12
Red Eye’s Innovative Annual Series in Full Swing, article in Lavender Magazine, 6/28/12

Photos

Collaborators

Stephen Peabody was raised in Prospect Park by pioneers of the local modern theatre scene, earned a B.A. in Theatre Arts from the U of M,  and became an original member of Red Eye, collaborating as performer,  director, composer, musician or writer for some 15 original  theater/music/media works over 5 years. Since moving to New York in 1990, he has worked with Lee Breuer, Mabou Mines and dance artists, and  appeared in a dozen television dramas and films as disparate as a  Museum of Modern Art selection, an indie that garnered a Golden Globe,  and a star vehicle drama in wide release. In more recent years, his ongoing theater project PEABOHEMIA has emerged, a “brand” of sonically spare, stark-yet-sweet musical meditations that has been seen in New  York at CB’s 313 Gallery, Dance New Amsterdam, and Dixon Place.

After spending the first six years in Japan and Southeast Asia, Deborah Jinza Thayer grew up in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland in 1984; trained in dance in New York City from 1984-93; and received an MFA in Dance from George Mason University (GMU) in Fairfax, Virginia in 1997.  She has presented her choreography, Movement Architecture – a blend of dance and theater in structured environments - and has created approximately 60 original works in New York City, Washington DC metro region and Minneapolis.

Thanks

Photo Credits
Diana Takes A Swim images - Xavier Tavera
PEABOHEMIA images provided by Stephen Peabody

Additional photos:

Sharon Picasso - credit: Ted Roseen
Brinsley Davis of Three Dances
Grasses by Elsie Martin - credit: Jim Smith
Alice by Rosy Simas Dance
Rosy Simas
Penelope Freeh - credit: Sean Smuda

Special Thanks
To all the amazing dancers who are gifting their performances in tribute to Deborah and Rebecca, and especially to Heidi, Penny, Brinsley and Rosy for organizing and publicizing this portion of the evening.

The New Works 4 Weeks festival is supported with project grants from the Jerome Foundation and Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, as well as by general operating support from the Kaemmer Fund of HRK Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, Minnesota State Arts Board with funds appropriated by the Minnesota Legislature, Target and Red Eye's small business and individual donors.

Diana Takes a Swim is underwritten in part by the American Composer's Forum's Live Music for Dance Minnesota program in partnership with the American Music Center, with funds provided by the McKnight Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.