Vermont Performance Lab Leaps into Spring with an Impressive Line-up of Performing Artists and Regional Collaborators

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Guilford, Vermont – Since 2006 Vermont Performance Lab (VPL) has been fostering experimental approaches to research and performance while often partnering with organizations that further expand artists' resources. This spring season VPL will support residencies for new VPL Lab Artists including New York City-based choreographer Beth Gill, writer/performance artist Alina Troyano (aka Carmelita Tropicana), French Vietnamese choreographer Thierry Thieû Niang and returning VPL Lab Artist Los Angeles-based choreographer Victoria Marks.

Sara Coffey, Founder and Director of VPL says, "each year we expand our web of partnerships to bring nationally and internationally known artists to research and develop work in our rural community. This spring we are partnering with Mass MoCA, The Hatchery Project, Marlboro College, Youth Services of Windham County and the Massachusetts International Festival for the Arts to deepen support for artists and to extend the creation of new work beyond the walls of the studio or theater and into the community."

The Winter/Spring Season will launch with a co-presentation of Beth Gill by VPL and Mass MoCA on Saturday, January 18th at 8pm in North Adams, MA. Named one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch" in 2012, Gill won the first annual Juried Bessie Award and "Outstanding Emerging Choreographer" in 2011. Working with an all-star team of dancers and designers, Gill will be in residence at MassMoCA to develop New Work for the Desert – an impressionistic dance inspired by the light and the natural landscape of the American Southwest desert.

Beth Gill is one of four artists selected for The Hatchery Project – a new three-year collaborative residency initiative with The Chocolate Factory (Long Island City, NY), RED Arts (Philadelphia, PA), Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography at Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL), and Vermont Performance Lab (Guilford, VT). VPL's partnership with Mass MoCA during Gill's residency will further expand audiences and the support for choreographers and the creation of new dance works.

On Wednesday February 26th VPL teams up with Marlboro College to host "History/Herstory" featuring VPL Lab Artists writer/performance artist Carmelita Tropicana (a.k.a. Alina Troyano)" and writer/director/actor Ain Gordon. The pair will discuss Tropicana's use/abuse of personal history in a 30-year career that spans Cuba, revolution, coming to America, coming out, the rise/fall of performance art, "downtown" NY in the 80's + 90's and the multi-decade overlaps of their creative lives. Made possible with support from the Marlboro College Lecture Series and the National Endowment for the Arts.
On Thursday, March 6th internationally known Los Angeles-based choreographer Victoria Marks will return to the Bellows Falls Opera House for the premiere of the docu-dance film, Action Conversations: Bellows Falls – a film screening co-presented by VPL and Youth Services of Windham County at 7pm at the Bellows Falls Opera House. In the summer of 2012 Marks and filmmaker Ann Kaneko worked with five teens and five adult women from Bellows Falls over 6 weeks in a project co-produced by VPL in association with Youth Services and the Rockingham Arts & Museum Project. Based on the belief that dance can become a civic conversation that can participate in the life of a town, the film captures an "action conversation" with five teens and five adult women from the greater Bellows Falls community.

On Tuesday, April 1st at 7pm, at The Whittemore Theater, Marlboro College, VT - VPL's IN THE WORKS presentation of Schwanze-Beast marks the culmination of a semester-long residency with theater/performance artist Alina Troyano. In collaboration with filmmaker Ela Troyano and actor/director Susanne Sachsse, Tropicana will present a work-in-progress showing of her newest theater work. Part psychological sci-fi thriller and part performative scientific lecture, Schwanze-Beast delves into biotech, bio-politics and civil rights, posing the question: "what separates human from beast?"

In May of 2014, VPL will partner with the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts (MIFA) to bring Thierry Thieû Niang to New England for a three-week workshop and residency in du Printemps. Niang will work with 25 local participants ages 60-90, to stage a powerful reimagining of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring (Le Sacre du Printemps). In Niang's du Printemps, his use of senior dancers inverts the youth orientation of this iconic work and challenges viewers' assumptions and prejudices about vitality, sexuality and aging. VPL and MIFA will seek non-dancers from the community in the "autumn" of their lives to participate in this work. du Printemps will be presented at the Serkin Center at Marlboro College on Wednesday, May 28th at 7pm and at MIFA on Saturday, May 31st at 8pm.

This residency with Thierry Thieû Niang is funded in part by FUSED: French-US Exchange in Dance, a program of the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, and FACE (French American Cultural Exchange), with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and additional funding from the Florence Gould Foundation.

VPL SPRING EVENTS:

IN THE WORKS: New Work for the Desert
by choreographer Beth Gill
presented by VPL in association with MASS MoCA
WHEN: Saturady, January 18 at 8pm
WHERE: MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA
WHAT: Bessie-awarding winning choreographer Beth Gill is in North Adams to develop her latest piece, New Work for the Desert. With an all-star cast of dancers and designers in tow, Gill is devoted to her mission of "building a space in which light is alive and space is vast."
TICKETS: www.massmoca.org

LAB TALK History/Herstory with Carmelita Tropicana (aka Alina Troyano) and Ain Gordon presented by VPL in association with Marlboro College Lectures Committee
WHEN: Wednesday, February 26 at 7pm
WHERE: Whittemore Theater, Marlboro College, Marlboro, VT
WHAT: Writer/performance artist Carmelita Tropicana (aka Alina Troyano) in performed conversation with writer/director/actor Ain Gordon. The pair discuss Tropicana's use/abuse of personal history in a 30-year career that spans Cuba, revolution, coming to America, coming out, the rise/fall of performance art, "downtown" NY in the 80's, 90's - its relocation to Brooklyn – its possible demise, multiple languages and the multi-decade overlaps of their creative lives.
TICKETS: No tickets/reservations required

VPL ON SCREEN: Action Conversations: Bellows Falls
by choreographer Victoria Marks and filmmaker Ann Kaneko
co-presented by VPL and Youth Services of Windham County
WHEN: Thursday, March 6 at 7pm
WHERE: Bellows Falls Opera House, The Square, Bellows Falls, VT
WHAT: In the summer of 2012 choreographer Victoria Marks and documentary filmmaker Ann Kaneko embarked on a six week dance/film project that brought five teens and five adult women from the Greater Bellows Falls community into an "action conversation." Join us for the premiere of Action Conversations: Bellows Falls - a docu-dance film that captures the stories and reflections of these Vermont women and their community.
TICKETS: www.vermontperformancelab.org/events

IN THE WORKS: Schwanze-Beast
by writer/performer Alina Troyano (aka Carmelita Tropicana) in collaboration with filmmaker Ela Troyano and actor/director Susanne Sachsse
presented by VPL in association with Marlboro College
WHEN: Tuesday, April 1 at 7pm
WHERE: Bellows Falls Opera House, Bellows Falls, VT
WHAT: Part psychological sci-fi thriller part performative scientific lecture, Schwanze-Beast delves into biotech and bio-politics and civil rights and poses the question: "what separates human from beast?"
TICKETS: www.vermontperformancelab.org/events

IN THE WORKS: du Printemps
By choreographer Thierry Thieû Niang
Presented by VPL and Massachusetts International Festival for the Arts
WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday, May 27 @7PM at Marlboro College, Marlboro, VT
Saturday, May 31 @8PM at MIFA, Holyoke, MA
WHAT: Vermont Performance Lab (VPL) and Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts (MIFA) team up to bring French choreographer Thierry Thieû Niang to New England for a three week workshop and residency. Working with 25 local participants ages 60-90 Niang stages a powerful re-imagining of Stravinksy's Rite of Spring.
TICKETS: www.vermontperformancelab.org/events

ABOUT VERMONT PERFORMANCE LAB:
Vermont Performance Lab (VPL) is a laboratory for creative research and community engagement. Over the last seven years, VPL has brought artists of regional, national and international stature to the grange halls, studios and classrooms of rural Vermont through its innovative artist residency program. Last year VPL's community and education programs served more than 1,700 students, families and seniors in Windham County through workshops, informal performances and art-making experiences. VPL often partners with local organizations to host such residencies and create meaningful connections between artists and communities. www.vermontperformancelab.org
Follow Vermont Performance Lab on Facebook and Twitter.

ABOUT OUR PARTNERS

THE HATCHERY PROJECT:
The Hatchery Project is a new three-year collaborative residency initiative with The Chocolate Factory (Long Island City, NY), RED Arts (Philadelphia, PA), Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography at Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL), and Vermont Performance Lab (Guilford, VT).

MASSACHUSETTS MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART (MASS MoCA):
MASS MoCA is one of the world's liveliest (and largest!) centers for making and enjoying the best new art of our time, across all media: music, art, dance, theater, film, and video. Hundreds of works of visual and performing art have been created on its 19th-century factory campus during fabrication and rehearsal residencies in North Adams, making MASS MoCA among the most productive sites in the country for the creation and presentation of new art. More platform than box, MASS MoCA strives to bring to its audiences art and shared learning experiences that are fresh, engaging, and transformative. massmoca.org.

MASSACHUSSETTS INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS (MIFA):
MIFA's cultural programming adheres to its founding vision as a showcase for worldwide innovative and directional arts. MIFA also functions as a vehicle for community reclamation and historic and architectural preservation in the Connecticut River Valley Region. MIFA presents an annual festival of the performing, visual and literary arts and spearheads community development projects, focusing recently on Holyoke, specifically the restoration and reopening of the historic Victory Theatre in downtown Holyoke. A key feature of MIFA is its Education Program (MIFA EP) that introduces elementary, secondary and higher education students to the arts. Over the past 19 years, MIFA festival programming has presented 162 events with 1,313 artists from 47 international and national companies including 28 company debuts in America and 12 world premieres. mifafestival.org