Festival Highlights Progressive Approach to Performance

on .

Vermont Performance Lab takes audience members on unique evening tour

Guilford, VT (May 17, 2011) -- The Vermont Performance Lab (VPL) has a reputation of promoting artistic experimentation and pushing the expectations of music and dance enthusiasts. Their patented Lab Program offers artists in residency the chance to develop new works and share it with small audiences in a retreat-like setting. But on three nights in June, the work of three emerging choreographers will be the focus of an art tour, that really moves.

The Progressive Performance Festival will feature three premieres: “Theater in the Head” by Adele Myers;  “Significant Figures” by Candice Salyers; and “The Thank-You Bar” by Emily Johnson. The event invites audience members to become an active part of the performance experience by visiting three performance sites in one night. The goal is to create a non-traditional performance experience that brings artists and audiences together in a new way.

Each night, audiences of 70 will gather at the Blue Moose Café for conversation, food, and refreshments. The group will then travel by bus to three performance sites at various venues in Brattleboro.

Musical duet BLACKFISH, who perform live with Johnson in her piece “The Thank-You Bar”, will host a late-night concert on the closing night of the festival. Admission can be paid at the door or by purchasing a VIP add-on with the Festival ticket, which also includes reserve seating at the dance performances.

Festival tickets can be purchased in person at the Blue Moose Store + Café and on-line at brownpapertickets.com. More information about the Progressive Performance Festival, including tickets options and prices, is available at vermontperformancelab.com.

Progressive Performance Festival Information:
WHEN: Thursday, June 2; Friday, June 3; Saturday, June 4, 2011. 6:15-10:15PM, nightly
WHERE: various venues in downtown Brattleboro, starting at the Blue Moose Store + Café, 29 High Street, Brattleboro
WHAT: Join Vermont Performance Lab for a unique festival featuring new work by three emerging choreographers and musicians, whose works bridge, stretch, and deepen the definition of contemporary performance. Ignite your imagination and experience performance in a new way. Each night audiences of 70 will gather at the Blue Moose Cafe to pick up tickets and chat over tapas and refreshments, before traveling by bus to three performance sites around Brattleboro. More info at www.vermontperformancelab.com

Funding for the Progressive Performance Festival is made possible in part by the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts, and by the New England States Touring program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program and the six New England state arts agencies. NDP is supported by lead funding from the Doris Duke Foundation, the Community Connections Fund of the Metlife Foundation, and the Boeing Charitable Trust. The Progressive Performance Festival is proud to be an advocate of The Strolling of the Heifers. More information at www.strollingoftheheifers.com

Adele Myers is the Artistic Director of Adele Myers and Dancers, a five-member contemporary dance company that combines robust athleticism, theatricality, and social commentary. The company is dually based in CT and NYC. The mission of Adele Myers and Dancers is to create engaging dances that are accessible to a wide range of audience members. In addition to directing Adele Myers and Dancers, Myers is a Professor of Dance at Connecticut College. Her choreography has been presented at national venues and events.

Candice Salyers is a solo performer and choreographer who creates kinetic installation pieces that juxtapose slow-moving body transformations with visual environments. Her melding of dance and conceptual art results in provocative and inviting performance works that bridge the visual and performing arts. Her works challenge the assumption of the female body as objectified by a viewer’s gaze. Salyers is currently based in Northampton Massachusetts and also teaches and is pursuing a Ph.D. from Texas Woman’s University.

Emily Johnson is a director/choreographer/curator, originally from Alaska and currently based in Minneapolis. Since 1998 she has created work about the experience of sensing and seeing performance. Her pieces often function as installations, engaging audiences within and through a space and environment – sights, sounds, smells – as well as a place's architecture, history, and role in community. Johnson works to blur distinctions between performance and daily life and to create work that reveals and respects multiple perspectives. Her work has toured across the USA and in Montreal and Russia.

BLACKFISH is James Everest (Minneapolis, MN) and Joel Pickard (Portland, OR) performing live improvised duets in a surround-sound installation series of concerts that accompany live performances of Emily Johnson’s “The Thank-you Bar”. Joel Pickard plays pedal steel guitar and James Everest plays nylon and steel string acoustic guitars through a myriad of effects and looping pedals to create spontaneous sounds and songs that span from the intricate and spare to massive, layered orchestral explosions.

The Lab Program is at the heart of Vermont Performance Lab’s (VPL) mission to support the creation and development of new work by contemporary performing artists. Each year VPL selects three to four artists to participate in the Lab Program – a creative residency where artists have access to various kinds of creative space in a small rural Vermont community. In this retreat-like setting, artists can concentrate on research and experimentation and test performance ideas with small audiences. VPL often partners with local organizations to host such residencies and create meaningful connections between artists and communities.