Free write inspired by The People's Republic of Valerie May 5, 2017

by Daemond Arrindell

in the dark present, one of the 7 calls out to us
and speaks of steps forward and an elegant gown
and as the brightness chases the darkness into the past
we see there is no dress

no pomp or circumstance or ceremony
just the being
just the being
just the being
an echoed reminder that every moment is unfolding
with us at centerstage, there is only right now
just the being
just the being
just the being

being, not just a reason, not just a place
not science fiction or religion
this is no spaceship, this is not a dream
we are being, just being, right now, together

we accept the challenge
don't interface, don't interfere

where are we?

we have bigger problems than the where
and the only thing that matters
is that it is happening right now

we learn to be invisible
it is survival to blend into the masses
but we still want the risk of standout

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Ambassador Note on The People's Republic of Valerie: Kristen Kosmas May 5, 2017

by Koushik Ghosh

“…The desire of the moth for the star,
Of the night for the morrow,
The devotion to something afar
From the sphere of our sorrow?…”

– P.B. Shelley


Kristen Kosmas, spoke to me with a candor that I found deeply endearing. She spoke to me of sadness and shock at what she has seen recently. She spoke of human conflicts, announcements of bombings and escalating violence, impending destruction of habitat, the epidemic of banal assertion of power by state actors. Yet, through it all what was striking, was her intuition of hope and possibility. 

Kristen always begins with herself and her thoughts that leap or are flat and slowly translates it to text. As the company of her thoughts begin to feel solitary and confining she reaches out larger and larger, expanding, and including, a director, she admires (Paul Budraitis), a scenographer (Peter Ksander) she loves collaborating with, and finally, the actors (seven; seemed like an...

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On the Cartography Apr 24, 2017

by Kristen Kosmas

I met Leon Finley at a Sarah Schulman reading at the Seattle Public Library in January. He was sitting in front of me, and I noticed that we were nodding emphatically— like, with our whole bodies— at all the same lines from the book (Conflict is Not Abuse), and at all the same points in the conversation between Schulman and Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore that followed the reading. Naturally I wanted to meet this person who agreed whole-heartedly, and whole-bodily, with everything I agreed with, so I introduced myself to him after the event and we exchanged contact information. Then we actually contacted each other! And we met for coffee. And while we were having coffee, Leon showed me some pictures of his artwork, and I loved it immediately. 

For a long time I had the idea that this...

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Symphony of Sorrowful Songs: A Review of The Institute of Memory (TIMe) Apr 21, 2017

by Natalie Singer-Velush

Psychologists have known for a long time that serious trauma, such as that imprinted through violence and in wartime, can create mental and physical illness that can be passed down genetically through generations. But how this happens is still being understood. Just this week new research was released that shows that certain molecules, altered by traumatic stress and in turn causing depression and other effects, are transferred via sperm.

I became interested in inherited trauma while researching and writing my own memoir, which explores a legacy of being interrogated and my Jewish ancestors’ experience being hunted. How much is remembered in the cells? I have wondered, feeling many times as though I am wandering a kind of wilderness of loneliness, where that came from?

Lars Jan, with his Early Morning Opera lab and the versatile and emotionally sharp performances of Andrew Schneider and Sonny Valicenti, is hunting this ambiguous inheritance of trauma, too. In his...

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Lars Jan’s "The Institute of Memory (TIMe)": A realistic amount of hope  Apr 21, 2017

by Koushik Ghosh

Hope. Is that as important as breath to a child? Is Hope an elastic concept? Is Hope, qualified by reality, just hopeless? How does a child cope with life, when his/her father possesses a 'realistic amount of hope?' 

In The Institute of Memory (TIMe), Lars Jan, recalls his father and remakes him. He invites us to a discovery and then to his invention. Lars Jan seems to say that that recalling parents, our parents who lived with caution, who lived, marked by dread, we memorize them, only to erase and rewrite them. Maybe we want to imbue them with a hope they never professed. Maybe we want to gift them with a different life, in death, a life they never knew when they were alive. Yes, children too can resurrect their dead parents, make them saints, sinners or wave the magic wand of deep generosity and endow them with an infinite grace that they may not have known in life. 

It’s an infinitely touching and generous piece of work, that explores love...

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Coming Together: Program Notes Apr 6, 2017

A sneak peek at the program notes for this weekend's performance, Andriessen | Tenney | Rzewski: Coming Together, at 8 pm on Saturday, April 8th. Tickets available here




When a group of people sit down to play music together, they can’t know what will happen next. It doesn’t matter how thoroughly they’ve prepared beforehand; the second a new performance commences, players swim directly into the undertow of the present, with all of its destabilizing uncertainty and rapidly forking paths. As the path behind recedes, entropy looms, and the only real question becomes “OK, what next?"


Some composers fight chaos tooth and nail, penning scores so thick with details and instruction they resemble battle plans. Others simply acknowledge...

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from vision to inapathy Apr 2, 2017

by Imana Gunawan

A series of free-writes after witnessing Heather Kravas’ visions of beauty:




Bodies are beautiful, but I wonder which bodies and why. I’ve known that visions of beauty was a restaging/reconstruction/reimagining of another piece that had an all female-bodied cast. It also refers to other works and concepts to which Kravas has experienced. And now it’s an eight-male-bodied-plus-one-female-bodied-person cast. I wonder whether the cis-ness of the cast matters. I wonder if it was necessary to have penises dangling for this piece to be recognized as what it is.


I see forehead on bare ass, cheek on floor, shoulders on tummies. This knot of bodies was beautiful and harmonious, like a slowly moving relief carved on the side of a temple. I would imagine that’s what someone’s ancestors would carve on a temple...

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Program Notes for Heather Kravas: visions of beauty Apr 1, 2017

by jayme

Only two more chances to see Heather Kravas: visions of beauty! If you're interested in reading a brief introduction by Jenn Joy, author of The Choreographic (MIT Press, 2014), or learning more about Heather, the performers, and the crew, here's a downloadable PDF of this week's program

This week we also included a short note about what the NEA means to OtB. It has a list of resources and links for you to learn more about this critical issue. Click here for the downloadable PDF



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