by Rogue Performers
Here are three more Rogue Performer Preview Articles-Kinetic Interludes by JuxtaPosition Dance Theatre, Never Own Anything You Have to Paint or Feed by Howard Petrick, & Steve Seabrook: Better Than You by Kurt Bodden.
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 have a preview of the Festival itself in this week’s issue. And if that wasn’t enough, we will have show reviews and video interviews during this year’s Rogue Festival.
Kinetic Interludes: Projections of the Transformative Essence in Female Strength
JuxtaPosition Dance Theatre (JPDT) was officially founded on February 19, 2013 and is coming up on its first year anniversary. However, the decision to found the company was born in September of 2012, just one month after company founder Nahyr Galaz Ruiz had given birth to her baby girl. You could say that the company had been a longtime in the making; Ruiz had dreamt of running her own dance company and choreographing her own work since she first set foot in a ballet studio many moons ago.
However, it was the birth of her daughter that “catalyzed” the decision to just go for it. Fully aware that this was no easy endeavor and that a long road lay ahead, Ruiz called her partner in crime, Karla Flores. That night while sitting in her dining room over a glass of red cabernet, (or two…ok three), we began to formulate the idea for our debut stage production which would become Kinetic Interludes: Projections of the Transformative Essence in Female Strength. Within a few months JPDT had been invited to perform at the Mission Federal ArtWalk in San Diego; the company debuted ‘Push,’ a duet of our its only two company members at the time, Ruiz and Flores. By April of 2013 JPDT was hosting its first set of auditions for dancers. Originally designed to be based out of San Diego, California, JuxtaPosition Dance Theatre has now expanded to cover San Diego, Los Angeles, and Orange County.
In Kinetic Interludes, artistic director Nahyr Galaz Ruiz joins forces with guest choreographer and performer, Karla Flores to bring audiences a multi-faceted insight to the world around us as seen through the feminine perspective. As JuxtaPosition Dance Theatre’s debut full-length stage performance, Kinetic Interludes, has set the tone for the company’s tendency to gravitate toward athletic, fast-paced, dynamic movement that, true to the company’s name; is juxtaposed with feminine, melodic, and delicate moments. In Kinetic Interludes, Ruiz has established JuxtaPosition Dance Theatre fresh, different, and new concept for contemporary/modern dance theater.
The show entails eight pieces, five of which will be performed for the Rogue, that center around themes related to the everyday life, challenges, triumphs, and realities in womanhood. It combines the complexities of intellectual concepts with those of la vie quotidienne and provokes the viewer to experience a deep reflection about our current world.
Kinetic Interludes, through pieces such as “Solo in Motherhood,” invites us as the spectators to celebrate the joyful day to day moments and reevaluate what is most important in our lives. As depicted in the “Solo in Motherhood,” after a series of acrobatics juggling feedings with diaper changes, balancing putting her newborn to sleep with cleaning a messy house; a mother realizes the most important part in motherhood is spending time with her child. “Butterflies of Juarez,” provides us with insight to one young woman’s struggle to transcend the atrocities committed against her as a victim of the Juarez Femicides.
Overall the show places the viewer in contact with the beauty in the everyday struggles and successes, and with a touch of philosophy makes us realize the value of what money cannot buy; what that is, is left for the individual viewer to figure for themselves. A colorful, fast-paced, and full sensory overload that will keep you engaged, Kinetic Interludes, gives you a fly-on-the-wall experience into the power and impact female strength has in our world and each other through evocative and innovative choreography.
You can catch Kinetic Interludes, by JPDT’s touring cast during the Rogue Festival at Diana’s Studio on March 1 at 3:30 p.m. and 11:00 p.m., March 2 at 9:30 p.m., March 5 at 9:30 p.m., and March 7 at 6:30 p.m.
Never Own Anything You Have to Paint or Feed
“Sometimes not knowing where you’re going is the best way to get there.”
Have you ever ridden a boxcar on the main line? Spent days sitting in a dive bar listening to old men telling stories about their lives? Howard Petrick has and it ended up changing his life.
At last year’s Rogue Festival, Petrick had a café venue and told stories about his teenage pre-army days riding the rails and hanging out with skid row characters in Minneapolis. His intention was to do a show about the characters he met and combine it with some of the working class stories and tall tales that he learned, many of which are being lost as time passes. Each show was different and he used the experience to see which stories worked best and threw in a few tall tales. To his surprise, many of the questions he got from audience members were about how he encountered these people.
As he continued to work on the show with his director Mark Kenward, it became clear that the story was about how Petrick met these hoboes and outcasts, and the effect they had on his life. They awakened his political and social thinking, helping to turn him into a political activist. His experiences now come to life in a sixty-minute solo show featuring seventeen of the characters he met in the summer of 1965.
“People would ask me after seeing Breaking Rank! (Rogue 2012) how I knew what to do to get under the army brasses skin the way I did. I never thought about it much, but a lot happened to me between leaving home in 1963 as a shy small town ‘farm boy’ and the government calling me an enemy of the state in 1967. I always thought the stories of these working class fighters and survivors were interesting, but didn’t know if others would until I started talking to friends about them a few years ago,” Petrick said.
Petrick thinks that hoboing and riding the rails actually helped him several ways when he was in the army. The similarities of long periods of boredom, learning how to interact with people you don’t know and the danger of messing up and being injured or killed all exist in both situations. For sure, the stories of the radical political characters he met made him want to learn more about the political fight that took place in Minneapolis in the 1934 general strike. In addition, the education he received from some of the strike participants and leaders prepared him well for opposing the war while in the army.
He decided to tell the stories last year at Rogue because the audiences are sophisticated enough to be forgiving if you are still trying to develop a show. It worked out well, as four months later at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival Petrick received rave reviews from the press and won a Best of Fest “Patron’s Pick” award.
Never Own Anything You Have to Paint or Feed will be at Dianna’s Studio of Dance, 826 N. Fulton Street on:
2/28/14 6:30 p.m.
3/1/14 9:30 p.m.
3/2/14 3:30 p.m.
3/6/14 8:00 p.m.
3/8/14 5:00 p.m.
Steve Seabrook: Better Than You
“Americans just have a love/hate relationship with self-help,” laughs Kurt Bodden. “They either have a shelf full of the books or they roll their eyes at the very mention of it.” It drove him to write and perform his own stage satire, Steve Seabrook: Better than You, coming soon to the Rogue Performance Festival.
The show recently ran for six months in San Francisco, where the Chronicle called it “Very funny! With perhaps a little enlightenment thrown in as well.” The SF Examiner said, “Bodden is pitch-perfect as the smooth-talking Seabrook,” and The Huffington Post called the show a “comically subversive monologue,”
The humor is in the sheer plausibility of it all. “Someone told me after a show, ‘This is the Spinal Tap of self-help!’ Bodden says. “I made a decision early on that my character would only say things that a real motivational speaker would say. That’s funny enough as it is.”
Bodden has the comedic chops – he was in the “improv” company at Bay Area Theatresports, trained in sketch comedy at The Groundlings in Los Angeles, and even warmed up audiences at TV-show tapings like America’s Funniest Home Videos. And he knows his way around the personal-growth world, basing the “Steve Seabrook” character on his own experience leading corporate workshops in team-building and creativity, plus his time as a consumer of personal coaching and transformation seminars.
As the show opens, “Steve Seabrook” hits the stage and addresses the audience as if we’re all here for a three-day seminar in personal growth. You might find yourself nodding along to lessons about enjoying procrastination while it lasts, or learning to live vicariously through yourself, only to catch yourself and think, “Now, wait a minute….”
These seminar portions of the show alternate with scenes where you see the private side of the character, revealing his own insecurities and aspirations. The result is more a one-man play than a mere standup-style act.
“Self-help did me some good, and I wanted to acknowledge that. But after awhile, I just had to make fun of the slick lingo, the pseudo-science, the relentless merchandising, and the contradictions. And to show that the practitioners are only human.”
Bodden has been amazed at the response to the show. “I figured it would go over well in the Bay Area – after all, that’s where the personal-growth movement was born. And I’ve had people who teach at Esalen, or were in the earliest days of Est or Landmark, say that they love how accurate the show is.” But the show also played well in New York and Minneapolis. “Everybody gets the joke. Even teenagers, because they grew up in a world of Dr. Phil and Oprah.”
Director Mark Kenward collaborated with Bodden on shaping the show. The busy Kenward directed two other shows in this year’s Rogue as well, and he consulted on another three of them.
Bodden is excited to be in the Rogue. He was scheduled to perform in last year’s festival, when he landed the run in San Francisco and had to cancel. And, in a juicy example of things coming full circle, the show has led to some companies hiring “Steve Seabrook” to give fake motivational speeches to their employees.
So will audiences actually be changed by their session with Steve Seabrook? Bodden laughs and then shifts into his “Seabrook” persona, earnestly intoning, “You won’t be the same afterward. After all, why would you want to be?”
For more information, and video clips, see steveseabrook.com.
Steve Seabrook: Better Than You will be at Mia Cuppa, 620 E Olive Ave on:
Friday, Feb. 28, 11:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 1, 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 2, 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 6, 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 8, 3:30 p.m.
No latecomers admitted!
Tickets: $10 in Rogue Bucks. Purchase in advance at Tower Theater Box Office, 815 E Olive Ave.
Watch for more Rogue performer preview articles throughout the week in our Arts & Entertainment section!