A San Francisco Cultural Initiative
Images of Artship Ensemble performing elements of the Tarantella show and improvising on the historic Charles Bridge in Prague.
ARTSHIP Ensemble is invited to the Prague Fringe Festival May 27-June 3rd, 2007
Malostranské námestí 13, Praha 1
www.hamu.cz zacátky predstavení vzdy v 19.00 hod.
Dancers, Actors, and Singers:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: San Francisco, March , 2007
San Francisco's Artship Ensemble to Perform at the 6th Prague Fringe Festival, May 27 to June 3, 2007
San Francisco performing arts company Artship Ensemble has been invited to present at the 6th Prague Fringe Festival in capitol of the Czech Republic, beginning on Sunday, May 27 through Sunday, June 3, 2007.
Selected competitively from numerous applications by U.S. and international companies, Artship Ensemble performances of Tarantella, Tarantula will be given on each of the eight evenings of the Festival.
The world premiere of Tarantella, Tarantula was in San Francisco over two weekends in late September and early October 2006. Conceived, directed and choreographed by artistic director Slobodan Dan Paich, with Artship Ensemble, the performance is based on the ancient self-healing dances that originated in Africa and spread around the Mediterranean basin. The productionis a contemporary exploration of dance, music and storytelling that links modern needs to passionate, age-old practices of community, ritual and healing.
Artship Ensemble will represent San Francisco at the 2007 Prague festival. Other participating US companies are from Washington, D.C., Minneapolis, St. Louis, and Long Island, New York. A total of 44 performing arts companies from the following countries will present at the 2007 festival: Australia, Austria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Hungary, India, Ireland, Scotland, USA and Venezuela.
The Prague Fringe Festival, one of the leading offshoots of the internationally acclaimed Edinburgh (Scotland) Festival, is an international, multidisciplinary performing arts event held in the Czech capitol every spring since 2001. The Festival is organized around three major performance groups: "Fringe Theater Nights." "Fringe Music Nights," "Fringe Comedy Nights."
The 2007 Fringe Festival will take place at a variety of venues in Prague, including the Palac Akropolis and the Theatre Slava, over eight days and evenings, from Sunday, May 27 until Sunday, June 3, 2007.
The Tarantella performance offers a delicate and poignant story of immigration and assimilation, rich with ancient Mediterranean folklore, a confluence of cultural elements from Africa, Europe and Asia that persists to this day, brought to America by immigrants from southern Italy. The performance flows through nonlinear dance scenarios and ancient music sequences, weaving together verbal and nonverbal narratives, revealing the "mysteries" of the Tarantella.
The performance is an immersion into the essence of the "tarantella" dance and healing process, as a poetic framework for the show's story, narrated by the single voice of a storyteller figure, the only spoken part of the production.
Original live music for the production is performed by Artship Ensemble musicians on cello, steel drum, bamboo flute and accordion for the dance and narrative sequences. Grounded in folkloric, early music and classical works, the musical repertoire includes: motifs from Mediterranean and Andalusian chants, 12th to 14th century Italian dances, the CODEX Vermel by Alfonso X, the music of Bellini and Aubers, pilgrim songs from the Monastery of Montserrat, Sicilian lullabyes, an array of tarantella music from regional traditions, and 18th and 19th century composed tarantella pieces.
From 1975 to 1980, Slobodan Dan Paich founded and was director of The Fano Arts School, an international summer school financed by the Fano Foundation, in the Puglia region of southern Italy, the apparent place of origin and one of the prominent locations for the practices of the tarantella dance and healing process. To deepen the contemporary practice of performance and visual arts at the Fano Arts School, student instruction included the uses of natural materials from the countryside and ancient manual measurement methods still practiced by local artisans and farmers.
Since 2001, artistic director Slobodan Dan Paich has been deeply reconnecting to his earlier experiences in Puglia. His research into the multiple strands of tarantella dance forms and music comprise the basis for this production. Paich presented the results of his research in an invited paper, "Magna Graecia/Tarantella," at the First International Congress on Greek Civilization, the theme of which was "The Public Festival: A Diachronic Glimpse at Its Socio-Economic and Political Role." The Congress was held in northeastern Greece in November 2005, under the auspices of the Hellenic Open University and the Democritus University of Thrace.
This forthcoming project for Artship Ensemble's 2007-08 Home Season in San Francisco will bring to life, in dance, music and drama, a major historical event from ancient times, how it affected the lives of people then, and quietly suggesting parallels to other historical periods and events threatening freedom of expression closer us today.
In the ebbs and flows of history, the times of cultural flourishing often are superseded by times of oppression and darkness.
“The loss of the ancient world's single greatest archive of knowledge, the Library of Alexandria, has been lamented for ages. But how and why it was lost is still a mystery. The mystery exists not for lack of suspects but from an excess of them. It seems that the great library was burnt more than once.”
From: The Burning of the Library of Alexandria (Chesser, P., ODU, 2006).
Alexandria was one of the most diverse cities of the ancient world, a successful model of inter-religious and rich intercultural dialogue. The book, not the sword, was its primary instrument of communication
and symbol of enlightenment. The fertility and richness of Egypt's grain fields made Alexandria a crucial commercial node of the Mediterranean region. The city became a target of the expanding Roman Empire and its uninterrupted need for basic resources — Alexandria's unlimited grain supply. To maintain a continuous flow, the Romans methodically destabilized the region. This production explores many of the complex issues and decisions our ancient ancestors faced, and which we also face today. But it does so in poetic and ephemeral movement, music, drama and dance.
For more information:
Contact: Slobodan Dan Paich, Artistic Director
Artship Ensemble, San Francisco, California, USA
Telephone: + 415-278-5793
Click "Artship Ensemble" and "Tarantella, Tarantula"
Festival Website: www.praguefringe.com
The History and Theory of Scenography – interdisciplinary making and reading of images in entertainment environments
Registration – 9.00-9.30
9.30 : Welcome
Introduction to the Transliteracy Research Project
9.50 – 11.10
The Interactive, the Comedic and the Kitchen
Scenography in Bigger Than Jesus: How Multimedia and Interactive Performance Changes the Way We See
No Laughing Matter Collaboration between theatre designer and comedian Athena Stourna
The gastronomic theatre: food, cooking and eating in 20th century theatre and performance
Break 11.10 – 11.20
11.20 – 12.20
Slobodan Dan Paich
Scenography and Genius Loci Re-investing Public Space with Mytho-Sculptural Elements for Performance
Asterion: A Journey through the Labyrinth
From "made in Greece" to "made in China": a 21st century touring revival of a 19th century Greek melodrama
12.20 - 13.20 Lunch Break
The Graphic and The BioGraphic - Visual Literacy
13.20 – 14.40
Polyphonic Dynamism - On the kinetic relations among theatrical sign systems in the image-making process
Visual Literacy and Collaboration in Design for Performance
Ketevan S. Kintsurashvili
Robert Sturua's Theatre And Collage In Post-Modern Era
Richard Negri (1927 – 1999) a life and work proposing the only way forward: follow your heart, avoid all temptations of fashion.
14.40 – 14.50 Break
14.50 – 16.10
Experience, Psychology and the Sensual
Working at the Interface of Art and Technology: The Dilemma of Theatre and Theatre Designers
Scenography As Critique of Proxemics: Spatial Subtexts, Aesthetic Resilience & The Scenographic Body
Stephen Di Benedetto
What Amusement Parks Can Teach Us: scenographic technology, sensual stimulation and aesthetic expression
16.10 – 16.20 Break
16.20 - 17.30
The Transliteracy Debate – Chair: Alison Oddey
Prepare presentation and then to the Exhibition Hall
18.30 – 20.00 – Public Presentation – PQ Lecture Theatre
Thursday 21st June
National Identity and Transliteracy
09.30 – 10.30
Creating images for the children: The contribution of scenographer Frantisek Zelenka through children's opera Brundibár in Theresienstadt.
Scenography and architecture in the Opera House of Vila Rica(1770 – 1970)
Contemporary Australian Scenography: an ethnographic approach
10.30-11.45 - Break
11.45 – 13.05
Troublesome incarnations of ambivalence: Identity and Scenography at Britain's National Theatre
Local or Global, the Scenography is always a Directional Solution
Towards a Collective Scenography for Postdramatic Text: a response to Richard Foreman's Bridge Project
Fausto Roberto Poco Viana
Recycling Materials and Transforming Lives: Notes On Contemporary Brazilian Scenography
13.05 – onwards
Lunch & Plenary