International Collaboration to Launch Vermont Performance Lab 2015 Season

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Guilford, Vermont – Vermont Performance Lab (VPL) announces its 2015 line up of events comprised of a diverse range of artists, performance experiences and community partnerships. Highlights include VPL’s Open Lab event on Saturday, May 30th featuring a community picnic, open studios, workshops, talks and film and the return of VPL’s Progressive Performance Festival over the Labor Day weekend.

Since 2006, VPL has been fostering experimental approaches to supporting and presenting the performing arts in Southern Vermont. VPL’s Lab provides artists with residencies to research and develop new work in dance, theater, film and music and creates non-conventional ways for audiences to engage with artists and experience performance.

Sara Coffey, Founder and Director of VPL says, “This year we are privileged to be working with such a vibrant group of artists and community partners to present a diverse range of projects that we hope will capture the public’s imagination and foster civic dialogue. The projects planned for this season are a testament to the vibrancy of artists working today and our community.”

The season kicks off on March 30th with an international collaboration between New York City-based contemporary choreographer Wally Cardona and Myanmar-based classical Burmese dancer Myint Mo. Cardona and Mo will be in residence at VPL for a five-day workshop intensive where Cardona will continue his training in classical Burmese dance. Cardona has a long time interest in investigating the role of dance in culture. For his current multi-year project, THE SET UP, he is immersing himself in unfamiliar cultures and dance traditions, by studying with several master artists from around the world. His most recent dance encounter was with Saya Lei, a master of Mandalay style of classical Burmese dance. VPL audiences will have a special opportunity to get a close up look at this encounter through an IN THE WORKS showing of THE SET UP: Saya Lei on Monday, March 30th at The Whittemore Theater at Marlboro College.

For those interested in getting a deeper view of THE SET UP, VPL is pleased to announce the return of the popular VPL Performance Club series. Like the familiar book club, VPL’s Performance Club brings people together to discover contemporary performances in the region and creates a forum for discussion over good food and drink. The Performance Club will gather on Saturday, March 28th at 6:30pm for a Lab Talk with Wally Cardona and Myint Mo and Marlboro College Asian Studies Professor Seth Harter for an interview style artist talk, followed by a Dim Sum Dinner. Space is limited and reservations are required. $35 ticket includes the artist talk and dinner on March 28th and VIP reserved seating to the showing at Marlboro College on March 30th.

On Saturday, May 30th, VPL will launch its very first Open Lab, a fun and informal one-day event that starts with an afternoon picnic followed by open rehearsals, workshops, films and talks. VPL invites audiences of all ages and experiences to visit the studios and meet three dance artists who are developing new work in our Lab: Wally Cardona, Beth Gill and Jennifer Monson. Audiences will enjoy reserving a picnic lunch in advance, and strolling throughout the beautiful Marlboro College campus in between activities. VPL’s Open Lab event is sponsored by Ryall Porter Sheridan Architects.

In partnership with Green Mountain Crossroads and CineSLAM – Vermont’s only LGBT Film Festival, VPL will bring back performance art icon Carmelita Tropicana and filmmaker Ela Troyano to be one of the highlights of Pride Weekend in Vermont – June 19-21. During the festivities, CineSLAM will screen Troyano’s film “Your Kunst is Your Waffen” as part of the 7th Annual CineSLAM Film Festival. On Saturday and Sunday the artists will participate in an afternoon artist talk and Italian picnic at the Tree Frog farm in Guilford, and offer a “Writing and Performing Autobiography” workshop to teens and adults.

Labor Day weekend marks the return of the Progressive Performance Festival (PPF), a festival remembered for pushing performance expectations by presenting performances in unique and often surprising spaces in downtown Brattleboro. The 2015 Progressive Performance Festival features: The Rounds, an unusual site work by the French choreographic duo Martin Chaput and Martial Chazallon of Projet In Situ, that will involve local residents in the creation of a work that uses the smartphone as a choreographic tool to create a journey through downtown Brattleboro; Schwanze-Beast, a hybrid theater work that is part performance and part scientific lecture, written and performed by Carmelita Tropicana with film and direction by Ela Troyano; and 2125 Stanley Street, a dance and sound installation by Northampton-based choreographer Dahlia Nayar that taps into notions of cultural memory in the context of home.

Support for VPL’s 2015 Lab Season is made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the New England Foundation for the Arts, the Vermont Community Foundation, the Vermont Arts Council, the Foundation for Contemporary Art, the Samara Fund of Vermont and VPL’s Creation Fund Donors.

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ABOUT VERMONT PERFORMANCE LAB:
Vermont Performance Lab (VPL) is a laboratory for creative research and community engagement. Since 2006, 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, young professionals, 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
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VPL EVENTS SCHEDULE AND INFO:

VPL PERFORMANCE CLUB: Wally Cardona + Myint Mo
Lab Talk + Dim Sum Dinner + VIP Reserved seating to THE SET UP: Saya Lei showing
WHEN: Saturday, March 28th at 6:30pm
WHERE: Cai’s Dim Sum Teahouse, 814 Western Avenue, West Brattleboro, VT 05301
WHAT: A Lab Talk with the artists Wally Cardona and Myint Mo and Marlboro College Asian Studies Professor Seth Harter followed by a delicious dim sum dinner
TICKETS: $35 includes Lab Talk, Dinner + VIP reserved seats to the March 30th showing. Visit www.vermontperformancelab.org/events or Call 802-257-3361

VPL IN THE WORKS: THE SET UP: Saya Lei
Presented by VPL in association with Marlboro College
WHEN: Monday, March 30th at 7:00pm
WHERE: Whittemore Theater, Marlboro College, Marlboro, VT
WHAT: Join NYC-based post-modern dancer Wally Cardona + Myanmar-based classical Burmese dancer Myint Mo for a dance encounter
TICKETS: Free. No reservations required.

VPL OPEN LAB: Wally Cardona, Beth Gill, Jennifer Monson
Presented by VPL in association with Marlboro College
WHEN: Saturday, May 30th picnic at Noon + Open Lab at 1-4pm
WHERE: on the campus of Marlboro College, Marlboro, VT
WHAT: Join us for a one-day event featuring a picnic and workshop, open rehearsals and conversation featuring 3 VPL Lab Artists at work: Beth Gill, Jennifer Monson and Wally Cardona. Order a picnic lunch through VPL or bring your own. Rehearsals and talks are FREE.
TICKETS: Available May 1st. Visit www.vermontperformancelab.org/events or Call 802-257-3361

VERMONT PRIDE WEEKEND: June 19-21 various locations in Southern Vermont
Friday June 19th at 7:00pm: Opening Night CineSLAM Vermont’s only LGBT Film Festival screening of short films including Ela Troyano's film featuring Carmelita Tropicana "Your Kunst is your Waffen"
WHERE: The Latchis Theater, Brattleboro, VT
TICKETS: $10 available at www.cineslam.com

Saturday June 20th at 2:00pm: Artist talk and Italian picnic: "A Journey into Film and Performance" features VPL Lab Artists Carmelita Tropicana & Ela Troyano, John Scagliotti and Sara Coffey for a show and tell on the topic of hybrid form of performance and film. Featuring films excerpts from a new work in development Schwanze Beast.
WHERE: Organ Barn at Tree Frog Farm, Guilford, VT
TICKETS: $12 includes the talk and an Italian picnic available at www.cineslam.com

Sunday June 21st: VPL, Greenmountain Cross Roads + CineSLAM Film Festival offer a workshop "Writing and Performing Autobiography" with performance art icon Carmelita Tropicana and filmmaker Ela Troyano. Many contemporary artists use autobiography to write and perform their work: Lisa Kron, Spalding Gray, John Leguizamo, etc. This workshop introduces participants to writing and performing autobiography. Open to teens and adults – no previous performance or writing experience required. Limited to 15 people.
REGISTRATION + MORE INFORMATION: Available April 1st. $15 fee includes workshop + lunch + a CineSLAM Festival pass – pre-registration is required. Visit greenmountaincrossroads.org

VPL PROGRESSIVE PERFORMANCE FESTIVAL: Projet In Situ, Carmelita Tropicana + Ela Troyano + Dahlia Nayar
WHEN: Thursday September 3 – Sunday September 6
WHERE: various locations in downtown Brattleboro including New England Youth Theater and The Dianich Gallery
WHAT: Join us for a four-day festival featuring a variety of artists and performance experience that calls attention to the place and time that we live in.
TICKETS: Available August 1st. $15-$20 ($10 students). Visit www.vermontperformancelab.org/events or Call 802-257-3361