The Great Green At Rogue 2014

Feb 20, 2014 | 2014 Articles, Arts & Entertainment

by Joanna Rotkin

Between now and Rogue Festival 2014 we will be featuring several of the performers who will be at this year’s festival, so keep watching for more! Also, we will have a preview of the Festival itself. And if that wasn’t enough, we will have show reviews and video interviews during this year’s Rogue Festival. So keep an eye on our Arts & Entertainment section to catch them all! Also check out our Rogue Performer Event page for fliers and press releases for more of the performers!

The Great Green is a thorny narrative of social codes, false pretenses, quirks and incongruities. Amid the uproar of vexing topographies, this solo work unearths, disputes, and relishes in a skewed conversation of gluttony and greed. By investigating the demarcation of ownership through landscape and power, The Great Green is a world that traverses between absurd stand-up comedy, starving despair, and choreographic upheaval. Through rich imagery, dialogue, repetition, and fourth wall break down, The Great Green codifies personal, familial, and cultural gesture using an illogical and bizarre theatrical arc to convey the vast disconnect between the grandiose power of greed and ownership with everyday existence in our consumer driven culture. The Great Green exists in a slanted and irrational world, using the body as a site for political negotiation.

The process of creating The Great Green began as a series of dreams. The first dream was of Joanna vacuuming a piece of sod that was laid out on her living room floor in the middle of winter. This image was the impetus for the creation of this 45 minute solo performance. As Joanna continued to work on The Great Green, more dreams began to inform and shape the contours of the piece. By employing an emotional tension, gritty complexity, and explosive collision of politics and movement, The Great Green unleashes a rapid-fire chain of surreal images.

This work asks its audiences to investigate their own relationship to their bodies, money, aging, kinship, and culture. The Great Green engages audience members in an inventive and idiosyncratic manner by inviting them to witness and experience the body softening into new pathways and particularities of dancing. This work is a movement towards deeper connection, involvement, and transparency within the process of art making, employing subversions of the body as well as grotesque humor to serve as a catalyst for narrative and metaphor. Ripe with tender and unapologetic sensibilities, The Great Green allows for atypical relationships to emerge through the body, providing a vivid and distinct frame through which one might view human instinct and condition.

Joanna is an interdisciplinary dance artist based in Jamestown, Colorado (population before the flood of 2013 – 352; population after the flood of 2013 – 95). She is the artistic director of TinHOUSE dance, bringing contemporary and experimental dance to diverse audiences through performance, creative research, and education. TinHOUSE dance has received multiple awards from the Boulder International Fringe Festival (including their 4th Encore! Award this past September for their sold-out run of The Great Green); Most Innovative Performance at the Jamestown Arts Festival; and Best Performance in Flagstaff, Arizona. This past May, TinHOUSE was one of five performance companies invited to create an original work for the Boulder Fringe’s community building project, Five fifth’s MacBeth. In November of 2010, Joanna was invited to be part of a month long site-specific dance project that traveled down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, resulting in the dance film DanceDownRiver.

The Great Green - symmetrical dance

Joanna’s work is rooted in juxtaposing the virtuosic nature of dance with the bizarre nature of what it means to be human. She gathers her physical research through improvisation, collaboration, somatic practices, and site-specific studies. Past performances have used washtubs filled with corn meal, hanging parasols, food that is duct taped to a dining room table, and dances performed in alternative spaces (i.e., creek beds, mountain tops, strip malls, coffee shops, art galleries, buses) to evoke the sublime hilarity and pathos that comes from living in an unstable world in an irrational body. Joanna Rotkin and her company, TinHOUSE dance, have been invited to bring their latest work, The Great Green, to both the RAD Fest in Michigan and Foro Performatica in Puebla, Mexico. Joanna holds an MFA in Contemporary Performance from Bennington College and a BFA in Dance and Improvisation from Prescott College.

The Great Green
A solo dance work conceived, created, and performed by Joanna Rotkin
As Part of The 2014 Rogue Festival
Saturday, March 1 at 12:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 1 at 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday, March 5 at 8:00 p.m.
Friday, March 7 at 9:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 8 at 12:30 p.m.

at Dianna’s Studio of Dance
826 N Fulton St
Fresno, CA 93728
$10 in Rogue Bucks
Purchase tickets in advance at Tower Theater Box Office: 815 E Olive Ave, Fresno, CA 93728


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