REDCAT's annual New Original Works Festival (NOW Fest) is back for the 11th year with performances starting on Thursday, July 24. The festival, which runs on three consecutive weekends and showcases some of the most genre-bending performances in Los Angeles, includes two works by CalArtians.
Program One: July 24-26
The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance faculty Rosanna Gamson premieres Still, a choreographic work for six dancers inspired by the natural history and science of dreaming. Viol, cello and violin music ranging from works by 17th century court composer Marin Marais to new world post-rock band instrumentals accompany the dancers who "tackle each other to wrestle, or to kiss, floating through a changeable landscape of veils, shadows and changing light."
In 2013, Gamson traveled to Lithuania to do research on the architecture and science of dreams, laying the foundation for Still. She further developed the work through CalArts' own Evelyn Sharp Summer Choreographic Residency. [Above is a video excerpt from Still.]
Choreographer Wilfried Souly delivers a performance of dance, music and spoken word in Saana/The Foreigner. Drawing from traditions from his native Burkina Faso and collaborating with multi-instrumentalists Julio Montero (aka Cuñao) and Tom Moose—both of whom are also immigrants to the United States—Souly weaves a tale of personal journey and of creating a new life in a new land.
The collective Overtone Industries presents Iceland, a new musical composed by artistic director and acclaimed composer O-Lan Jones, with lyrics by Irish indie-folk band The Prayer Boat's Emmett Tinley. Iceland follows Vala, who, in trying to run to Northern Ireland to escape a bad relationship, finds herself in a place inhabited by sea dragons and mermaids.
Program Two: July 31-Aug. 2
Radiolaria—single-celled oceanic organisms, as depicted by 19th century biologist, philosopher and artist Ernst Haeckel—are the inspiration behind Carole Kim's (Film/Video MFA 03) experimental video projection The Singing Head. The multilayered projection of scrims and costume pieces are brought to life by dancers Oguri and Roxanne Steinberg, while vocalist and CalArts alumna Carmina Escobar (Music MFA 10), bassist Mark Dresser and sound designer Paul Chavez provide ambient music.
In Marsian de Lellis' Object of Her Affection, Andrea, who falls in love with inanimate objects, discovers that the Golden Gate Bridge has been cheating on her.
Performance artist d. Sabela Grimes' Electrogynous mixes poetry, street dance and otherworldly soundscapes to question stereotypes of masculinity and femininity in Black culture.
Program Three: Aug. 7-9
Closing out the festival is, first, a solo performance by artist John Fleck, who re-invents the gothic horror genre in Blacktop Highway, a "horrifyingly hysterical tale of taxidermy, transformation and caged creatures."
Israeli choreographer Danielle Agami's Ate9 dANCEcOMPANY presents For now, a new work that "plays between instinct and precision, subtlety and prowess, with jarring physicality and stillness, humor and subtle innuendoes." Agami collaborates with underground hiphop musician Omid Walizadeh to bring a rare soundtrack to the choreographic work for 10 dancers.
New Original Works Festival
July 24 through Aug. 9
631 W. 2nd St., Los Angeles
Tickets: general $20, members/students $16, CalArts affiliate $14
Festival passes to see all programs are available for $40.