EIGHT WORLD AND AMERICAN DANCE, MUSIC AND THEATER PREMIERES HIGHLIGHT PEAK PERFORMANCES SEASON
SEPTEMBER 17, 2011-MAY 5, 2012
Seven years ago, an unsuspecting New Jersey township, population 37,569, became the epicenter of the international avant-garde. The culprit is named Peak Performances. Refusing to rent celebrities or Hollywood names to sweeten the lure, Peak chose not to blink and to go hardcore.
Peak Performances continues its radical mission this coming season when it brings some of the world’s most original and challenging artists from across the globe to brighten the stage of the Kasser Theater. Jedediah Wheeler is Peak’s Artistic Director.
WHERE: Montclair State University’s Alexander Kasser Theater, located at 1 Normal Avenue.
Here are the offerings through December:
From the Steppes to the City: A Celebration of Music from Inner Mongolia
WHEN: September 17 at 8 PM, September 18 at 3 PM
The mysterious history and bejeweled riches of Mongolian culture will be revealed and vividly celebrated through the haunting and joyous music of the nation that has been a crossroads of commercial and cultural exchange since the beginning of recorded time. AnDa Union, created to ensure the preservation and share the wealth of this artistic treasure trove, will present an evening of instrumental and vocal music, which includes the sounds of the morin huur (horseheaded fiddle), the double-sided Mongolian drum, Mongolian lute and power of hoomai (throat singing). A 2010 documentary that embodies the visual power and dramatic sweep of the
Mongolian landscape and culture will be interwoven throughout the performance.
COMPANHIA URBANA DE DANÇA | SONIA DESTRI
ID:ENTIDADES and Chapa Quente
WHEN: September 22, 23 at 7:30 PM, September 24 at 8 PM, September 25 at 3 PM
When Companhia Urbana de Dança | Sonia Destri made its U.S. debut last fall, the eyes of even the most been-there-saw-that critics opened wide with amazement. Her boldly original mix of contemporary Brazilian dance and hip hop infused both forms with new rigor, meditative one moment, explosive the next. Locating the true heart of hip hop, Destri strips it of its easy tricks, bringing it back to its original emotional depth, expressive range and poetic integrity. For her company’s Peak shows, Destri will present the American premiere of Chapa Quente (Portuguese for Hot Plate), in which samba is interwoven with hip hop and ID:ENTIDADES, which had its
New York premiere last fall.
Trilogies (Squiggle Zipper, Ebb Cast and Double Trio by Colin Riley/Log, Line, Loud
By Graham Fitkin)
WHEN: OCTOBER 1, 8 PM
Piano Circus, a sextet of pianists dedicated to new music, obviously cannot avoid a challenge. For its Peak Performances debut, the band of music adventurers will present the witty and provocative Trilogies, three pieces of music by Colin Riley and three by Graham Fitkin, which use six keyboards and two baby grands, plus visual art by William Simpson and Simon McCorry. Riley describes the six cameras suspended from the ceiling, which project onto a giant screen, allow audiences a new perspective on piano playing as “a choreography of hands.” Piano Circus began life 22 years ago when the musicians joined together to play Steve Reich’s Six Pianos.
PICK UP PERFORMANCE CO(S) | DAVID GORDON: DANCING HENRY FIVE
WHEN: October 6, 7 at 7:30 PM, October 8 at 8 PM, October 9 at 3 PM
David Gordon has the rare gift of slyly slipping profound commentary into what appears a wacky good time. Example: DANCING HENRY FIVE, which will be revived after four years at Peak Performances this fall. Using physical staging, movie, music and select bits of Shakespeare’s own language, this severely condensed version (from five hours to one hour) of the Bard’s anti-war play takes on contemporary relevance through its veiled, and sometimes not-so-veiled, allusions to politics, love and war, proving some things never change.
NATIONAL CHAMBER CHOIR OF IRELAND
Paul Hillier, Artistic Director and Conductor, Tarik O’Regan’s Acallam na Senórach: An Irish Colloquy
WHEN: October 16, 3 PM
The 17-member National Chamber Choir of Ireland, under the direction of conductor Paul Hillier, will present the regional premiere of Acallam na Senórach: An Irish Colloquy, an English language work by Tarik O’Regan that combines ancient lore and contemporary religion. The hour-long epic
tale tells us of St. Patrick’s encounter with Caílte and Oisín, the last of Fionn mac Cumhaill’s legendary band of warriors.
NĀ KINIMAKALEHUA | HŌKŪLANI HOLT
Kūlanihāko’i: Living Waters
WHEN: October 20, 21 at 7:30 PM, October 22 at 8 PM, October 23 at 3 PM
N! Kinimakalehua, a consortium of Kumu Hula (Hula Masters), created to ensure the future and preserve the past of the sacred dance/music form, will present the premiere of K"lanih!ko’i: Living Waters when the group of dancers and musicians make their Peak Performances debut. The work was inspired by centuries of Hawaiian stories and poetry in which the cycles of water are revered as the connection between man, his gods and his environment.
WAYNE MCGREGOR | RANDOM DANCE
WHEN: October 27, 28 at 7:30 PM, October 29 at 8 PM, October 30 at 3 PM
Inspired by Roy Porter’s Flesh in the Age of Reason, Wayne McGregor’s FAR is a kinetic exploration of the relationship between the mind and the body. Set to an original score by Ben Frost, the dance, which explores a wide range of movement and contrasts classical purity with sexual aggression, demands super human physical skill from its performers whose blazing electricity and bold power defines McGregor’s singular style. The lighting, which is integral to the production, is by Lucy Carter. In addition to being artistic director of Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, McGregor is Resident Choreographer at The Royal Ballet in London.
Selections from Porgy and Bess featuring guest artist clarinetist Michel Lethiec
WHEN: December 17, 8 PM
What would inspire the Shanghai Quartet to take on Gershwin’s 1935 classic opera, Porgy and Bess is less a question than a tribute to the imagination and wide-ranging musical interests of the group. The program includes “Summertime,” “It Ain’t Necessarily So,” and “I Got Plenty of
Nuthin’.” Clarinetist Michel Lethiec will join violinists Weigang Li and Yi-Wen Jiang, violist.
More info about the rest of the season to follow in a later post! Stay tuned!