Not content to merely think outside the box with its Performance Series, the Contemporary Arts Center plans to physically travel outside the box — the confines of its Black Box Theatre, that is — for several of its 2014-15 programs.
How far outside? For one piece scheduled for April 24-25, 2015 — the U.S. premiere of Night Tripper, a collaboration between dancers and musicians — the location will be in a forest right at sundown. Drew Klein, CAC’s performance curator, says he’s trying to make arrangements to use Mount Airy Forest. The Scandinavian artists who created the piece are choreographer Ingri Midgard Fiksdal, composer Ingvild Langgard and set designer Signe Becker. It’s $15 for CAC members; $20 public.
For a free piece called Borrowed Landscape (Feb. 21-22, 2015), Klein needs a supermarket. The aim is for the work’s creators, Heine Avdal and Yukiko Shinozaki, to create a shopping-related art experience. Participants can follow what’s occurring while others, perhaps those just in the store to buy some milk, will wonder what’s happening. Local dance performance group Pones Inc., will play a role in the event. Avdal and Shinozaki’s collaborator, Fabrice Moinet, will be composing soundscapes for the action. The overall purpose is to “insert poetry into those spaces that define our personal and political lives,” according to CAC’s announcement.
And The Blind Date Project (March 5-7, 2015; $10/$15) will occur around the in-house bar at Over-the-Rhine’s Know Theatre. Ticketholders will watch as Bojana Novakovic, a Serbian-Australian actress and writer, meets a blind date. She and the date will take cues from the show’s director, via text messages and phone calls, as they decide how they want the night to proceed. Since this show will have a three-day engagement, different actors will play the blind date each night.
Now, here’s a look at the rest of the Performance Series season; CAC stated several of these Performance events earlier when it revealed its 2014-15 exhibition season.
Breadcrumb Trail (6:30 p.m. July 10; $5/$7) — This is a documentary by Lance Bangs about Slint, Louisville, Ky.’s groundbreaking Alternative Rock band, and the vital music scene that grew up there in the wake of the band’s 1991 release, Spiderland. Two band members will participate in a post-film discussion with Ken Katkin, host of WAIF’s Trash Flow Radio show.
Taylor Mac (Sept. 18-19; $15/$20) — Veteran drag artist/cabaret performer/Obie Award-winning playwright and his band present a portion of his 24-Decade History of Popular Music, focusing on the years 1939-2014. Those are the years the CAC, currently celebrating its 75th anniversary, has been in operation. In performance, he uses the pronoun “Judy” to identify his persona.
Ben Frost (Oct. 19; $10/$15) — A composer/musician whose progressive work encompasses Modern Classical, Avant-Garde, Electronica and Rock, Frost will be performing music from his fifth album, Aurora. A multi-hyphenated talent, like friend Nico Muhly, Frost has recently composed an opera, The Wasp Factory, and produced a multi-channel video/sound installation, “The Enclave,” for the Venice Biennale.
Nils Frahm/Dawn of Midi (Nov. 17; $15/$20) — These two acts, both of which take Modern Classical music in new and cutting-edge directions, are sharing a bill at CAC. Frahm, a German composer, can play several keyboard instruments during a song, athletically moving between them as the mood hits. His most recent album is Spaces. Dawn of Midi is a Brooklyn trio — pianist Amino Belyamani, bassist Aakaash Israni and percussionist Qasim Naqvi — that wowed a crowd at this year’s Big Ears Festival with its minimalistic, rhythmically repetitive approach that stretches acoustic Modern Classical and Jazz into a hypnotic kind of almost-dance music.
1979 by Deru featuring EFFIXX (Jan. 24, 2015; $10/$15) — This combined music/visual art event is a performance of a concept album by Electronic-music composer and sound designer Deru (Benjamin Wynn) called 1979. The Chicago native’s nine songs will be accompanied by nine short films from Anthony Ciannamea (EFFIXX), whose work uses a handheld projector known as an Obverse Box.
Victoire/Glasser/Noveller (May 10, 2015; $15/$20) — For everyone delighted by Modern Classical composer Missy Mazzoli’s appearance here last year for the Constella Festival, she’s bringing her contemporary chamber-music ensemble Victoire to CAC in a program with two other women — Brooklyn-based composer/electric guitarist Noveller (Sarah Lipstate) and Manhattan-based singer-songwriter/Synthpop creator Glasser (Cameron Mesirow), whose work has been compared to the Cocteau Twins. Each act will play a solo set; the finale will be a collaboration.
For more information about the CAC’s PERFORMANCE SERIES, visit contemporaryartscenter.org/programs/performance-film.