Portrait of myself as my
Continues through September 17 at BAM Fisher, 7:30 pm: $25.
Choreographer Nora Chipaumire, born in Zimbabwe and based in Brooklyn, takes the medium of traditional African dance and dresses it up in the masculine garb of a boxing ring in this piece that explores and explodes traditional notions of black masculinity through the spirit of her estranged father. He will appear in multiple forms, symbolically summoned as a “specter” through two dancers, Kaolack (also known as Senegalese dancer Pape Ibrahima Ndiaye) and the Jamaican-born Shamar Watt. The three performers will step into the ring, don their gloves, and fight it out. Or dance it out. Or maybe there’s less of a difference than we think.
Thursday, September 15 at Panoply Performance Lab, 8 pm doors, 9 pm show: FREE.
Berlin and Copenhagen-based dance and performance artist Miriam Kongstad will be sailing over to Williamsburg’s odd little Panoply Lab for her hourlong piece “Holy Progression,” which “explores current propensities, tendencies, and fashions.” Sure, this sounds a little vague at first, but think about it. Do we walk differently than we did last year or ten years ago? How does a cup of coffee or first date nerves affect how our hands move through space? When examined this way, it may seem that there are so many movements to cover, they wouldn’t possibly be able to fit into a performance lasting only 60 minutes. Kongstad agrees, which is why her research-based piece escalates into a “hyper body” that exists between the lines of human, machine, and animal. What does a hyper body look like, anyway? Is it holy? Guess you’ll just have to see for yourself.
You’re Going To Hell If You Laugh
Friday, September 16 at Dixon Place, 10 pm: $15 advance, $18 doors, $12 students.
We often take everyday tasks for granted, and how we can accomplish them with ease. This is largely because the world was made with us in mind: that is, those with able bodies. However, mainstream product design (and one might even say, life) simply does not cater to all, and sometimes we need a little reminder of that. Enter Jessy Yates, friend of mine and performer with cerebral palsy, and her solo show. Using elements of clown and burlesque and a very mighty attempt to throw a tea party, it explores and leans into the many ways disabled bodies can be a “spectacle” to onlookers even when performing basic tasks, as well as how the disabled body is often seen as asexual—and how that can be very, very wrong. Insert winking emoji?
The Fainting Room
September 16-17 at The Brick, 5 pm (Sept 16 performance at 9 pm): $18.
So, most of us probably know that when a woman is called “hysterical,” aside from being fairly misogynistic (duh, we’re all crazy!!!) it has historical ties to a medical condition of the same name. It has origins as early as the fourth century B.C. up until the early 1950s, and was an epidemic that mystified doctors, and led them to some rather unconventional methods of treatment—including vibrators. Performer and physical comedienne Becca Bernard, who I mainly know as someone that can tear a phone book in two with her bare hands to the shrieks of an adoring crowd, has created a comedic piece chronicling the odd ups and downs of hysteria and the world’s often misguided attempts to understand it. This is also the story of a modern woman who finds herself in an existential standstill after running away at the altar. And it’s also part of The Brick’s Clown Theater Festival, so who knows—maybe there will even be some vibrators with red noses! I sure hope so.
Sunday, September 18 at MoMA PS1, 5 pm: FREE.
This performance will be an intimate affair, taking over the recesses of PS1’s Vault, which only seats 45 people. Part of Printed Matter’s 11th Annual New York Art Book Fair, it coincides with the release of Lamar’s new book Funeral Doom Spiritual. The title echoes a multimedia exhibition/performance he had at USC a few months ago that takes on “doom spirituals,” or “Negro Spirituals that call for the end times,” simultaneously looking towards the possibilities of the future while never (ever) forgetting the past. At this event, Lamar, who often fuses elements of theater, opera, metal, blues, and black radicalism in his work, will perform a musical piece entitled “We have always risen up from the Dead.”