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Performing Arts

Ceremonious/Unceremonious - A duet by Brontez Purnell and Sophia Wang

Ceremonious/Unceremonious - A duet by Brontez Purnell and Sophia Wang


KUNST-STOFF arts, October 10 and 11, 2014 at 8pm

Ceremonious/Unceremonious combines fierce physicality with an episodic narrative structure that expands the vocabulary and syntax of signifying movement. The work juxtaposes the language and form of mixtape-influenced happening, folkloric dance, and contemporary swagger. It is an evening length dance set to 25 minutes for the AIRspace residency program. This will be its debut public showing.

The piece essentially picks up where the Brontez Purnell Dance Company's The Episodes left off. Though instead of exploring the everyday as ritual, Ceremonious will distort, honor, and challenge the "Rite of Passage" in culture as we know it.

The two dancers position themselves as both the Masters of Ceremony and the party crashers. They both perform the rights, while never being afraid to ask "what makes this all so goddamn special" not, mind you, in a mode of disrespect but to explore the nuances of ceremony as led by the archetypal figure of The Trickster.

This new work finds form through text, movement, and the liberation of a field of white balloons that, as with rituals and rites, comes to signify what we need them to mean. The piece begins with physical exertion in conversation with meaning, and builds slowly and surely. We manifest the fundamental resistance and listlessness of the human psyche which begs "can we PLEASE get on with this already?!?!" Resistance becomes a crucial rite in itself: acknowledging both the appeal and the tyranny of our shared cultural scripts.

A celebration. It's in the air.

About Brontez Purnell Dance Company

Since 2010, the Brontez Purnell Dance Company has been presenting experimental dance and movement theatre works with a radically open understanding of the forms, bodies, and idioms of dance. Brontez Purnell, author of the cult zine Fag School and frontman for his band The Younger Lovers, along with founding company member Sophia Wang, build works that combine punk rock subversion, free jazz improvisation, and a company comprised of movers and artists of all disciplines. The company has performed its original works at Oakland's Lobot Gallery, The Berkeley Art Museum, The Garage, Counterpulse, SOMArts, and at Kunst-Stoff Arts, as part of Fresh Festival 2014.

About AIRspace

The oldest, longest running residency program for queer performance in the United States, AIRspace was founded in 1986 by the former Jon Sims Center for the Performing Arts (JSC) in San Francisco. When the JSC closed in 2007, SAFEhouse for the Performing Arts began curating the program, serving approximately twenty artists per year. Over the last twenty-seven years, the program has served hundreds of emerging queer performance artists in the Bay Area and launched the annual National Queer Arts Festival, staged in partnership with the Queer Cultural Center.

AIRspace is a performing arts residency that supports the creation of new queer experimental theatre, contemporary dance, spoken word and multidisciplinary performance. By providing free rehearsal and performance space as well as critical feedback and artistic development opportunities for emerging LGBTQ artists in the Bay Area, we strive to strengthen and elevate queer Bay Area artistic voices, especially those artists that are least represented in the mainstream, including women artists, transgender artists and artists of color.

Ticket price: $15 to $20

Friday, October 10, 2014 from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM