PUSH

Push Up Something Hidden

Author: Amy Lewis

16 ELECTRAS

PREMIERED AT SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL, BLACK POINT BATTERY, FORT MASON, SAN FRANCISCO, CA (2017)

CHOREOGRAPHY:
Amy Lewis
MUSIC:
Agnes Szelag
LYRICS:
Compiled by Amy Lewis from sixteen versions of the Electra myth (see references
below)
DANCERS:
Amelia Bonvento, Katherine House, Joyce Lien Kushner, Mary Katherine
Patterson, Daphne Zneimer

Photo: Robbie Sweeny; Dancers: Amelia Bovento, Katherine House

ABOUT

16 Electras began with Lewis’ research for the project My Obsession with Hamletmachine.  Seeing as Electra is a key character in Müller’s play, Lewis read all of the versions of the Electra myth that were written in or translated into English.  Though each version referenced is slightly different, one characteristic remains the same: Electra’s conviction and determination. She holds her her own truth, refuses to change her mind, and finds whatever way she can to take action.  Lewis took words or phrases from sixteen of these, listed below, to be used as song lyrics that dictates an extremely simplified version of the Electra myth.  Using many of Lewis’ original lyrics–some were cut–Agnes Szelag created six songs that outline Electra in her many phases: princess, outcast, mourner, coercer, murderess, and criminal.    Early on Lewis wanted to set 16 Electras in a public, outside space, which she believed symbolized and celebrated two ideas: 1) the original Electra, by Sophocles, is in the public domain and can be accessed by all, and 2) the power inherent in unwavering belief in oneself.  The San Francisco International Arts Festival offered several outside spaces to Lewis; she felt that the beauty and peace of the Black Point Battery site, along with its violent connotations (the  huge cannon in the center of the space), represented Electra perfectly.

Photo: Robbie Sweeny; Dancers: Amelia Bovento, Katherine House, Joyce Kushner, Daphne Zneimer

ARTISTS

Amelia Bonvento
Katherine House
Joyce Lien Kushner
Mary Katherine Patterson
Agnes Szelag
Daphne Zneimer

REFERENCES

1.  Aeschylus. Libation-bearers. Trans. Hugh Lloyd-Jones. Cambridge: Harvard
University Press, 1988.
2.  Alfaro, Luis. “Electricidad.” Trans. Helen E. Moritz. Text and Presentation. Ed. Stratos E. Constantinidis. Jefferson: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2007.
3.  Euripides. “Electra.” Trans. Elizabeth Wyckoff. The Complete Greek Tragedies. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968.
4.  Galdós, Benito Pérez. Electra. Charleston: Bibliobazaar, 2008.
5.  Giraudoux, Jean. “Electra.” Trans. Phyllis La Sarge. Three Plays. New York: Hill and Wang, 1964.
6.  H.D. “A Dead Priestess Speaks”. Collected Poems, 1912-1944. New York: New Directions Books, 1983.
7.  Hofmannsthal, Hugo von. Elektra: Tragic Opera in One Act. Music by Richard Strauss. Trans. Charles T. Mason. London: Fürstner Limited, 1909.
8.  Kis, Danilo. “Elektra.” Trans. John K. Cox. Night and Fog: The Collected Dramas and Screenplays of Danilo Kis. Budapest: Helena History Press, 2014.
9.  Miller, Frank, Bill Sienkiewicz, Jim Novak, et al. Elektra Assassin. New York: Marvel Comics, 2000.
10.  O’Neill, Eugene. “Mourning Becomes Electra.” Three Plays. New York: Vintage Books, 1995.
11.  Plath, Sylvia. “Electra on Azalea Path”; “Daddy”. The Collected Poems. Cutchogue: Buccaneer Books, 196s0.
12.  Pound, Ezra and Rudd Fleming. Elektra. Ed. Richard Reid. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987.
13.  Ritsos, Yannis. The New Oresteia. Trans. George Pilitsis and Philip Pastras. New York: Pella Publishing Company, Inc.,
1991.
14.  Sartre, Jean-Paul. “The Flies.” Trans. I. Abel. No Exit and Three Other Plays. New York: Vintage International, 1989.
15.  Sophocles. Electra. Trans. Anne Carson. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.
16.  Yourcenar, Marguerite. “Electra, or the Fall of the Masks.” Trans. Dori Katz. Plays. New York: Performing Arts Journal Publications, 1984.

SOMA NOW AND THEN

Photo: Robbie Sweeny; Dancer: Joe Landini

PREMIERED IN THE SOMA DISTRICT, SAN FRANCISCO, CA (2016)

CONCEPT/DIRECTION: 
Amy Lewis
ORIGINAL MOVEMENT/
PERFORMANCE:

Joe Landini
PROLOGUE/EPILOGUE:
Researched and written by Amy Lewis, read by Agnes Szelag
MAIN TEXT:
Compiled and edited from a 2015 interview with Joe Landini conducted by Amy lewis
FINAL SOUND EDITING:
Dan Wool
MUSIC:
“I’ll House You” by the Jungle Brothers, “I Can’t Forget” by Mr. Lee, “Like This” by Chip E., “You Use to Hold Me” by Ralphi Rosario, “Let’s Go” by Farley JackMaster Funk, “Respect” by Adeva, “Good Life” by Inner City. Mixed by DJ Chill X
SITES:
Powerhouse, gay bar and sex club; Brush Place and Hallam St., home to many gay men before the fire of 1981; Harriet St., close to 1015 Folsom which was a major bathhouse complex; Morris St., significant for freeway overpass, a landmark of SoMa since 1936; Blow Buddies, sex club

ABOUT

SOMA Now and Then was part of a body of work that explores how our psyche is effected by the rapid change we witness in our city. Throughout her life Lewis intends to explore San Francisco’s multifarious neighborhoods, creating performance pieces (each focused on a different area) that combine a walking tour with a dance piece.  Tread the Tendernob (2011), produced in conjunction with Meridian Gallery, was the first project of this kind that was created.

SOMA Now and Then consisted of one man’s journey through South of Market’s back alleys and secret rooms, as the neighborhood’s queer culture shifts from the heyday of leathermen into today’s tech boom. Through choreographed movement and personal anecdote, artist Joe Landini led audiences on a walking tour of the neighborhood, beginning at the SF Eagle at the corner of 12th and Harrison Streets, and finishing at Blow Buddies several blocks away.

Photo: Robbie Sweeny; Dancer: Joe Landini

ARTISTS

Joe Landini
Agnes Szelag

REFERENCES

Groth, Paul. Living Downtown: The History of Residential Hotels in the United States. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994.
Hartman, Chester. City for Sale: The Transformation of San Francisco. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002.
Hittell, John Shertzer. A History of San Francisco and Incidentally of the State of California. San Francisco: A.L. Bancroft & Company, 1878.
Lipsky, William. Gay and Lesbian San Francisco. Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2006.
Sides, Josh. Erotic City: Sexual Revolutions and the Making of Modern San Francisco. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.
Praetzellis, Mary and Adrian Praetzellis, eds. South of Market: Historical Archeology of 3 San Francisco Neighborhoods. California Department of Transportation. Sonoma: Anthropological Studies Center, 2009.
Gayle, Rubin. “Elegy for the Valley of the Kings: AIDS and the Leather Community in San Francisco, 1981-1996.” In Changing Times: Gay Men and Lesbians Encounter HIV/AIDS. Eds. Martin P. Levine, Peter M. Nardi, and John H. Gagnon. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997. 101-143.
—, “Leather’s Proust, in Pictures.” City of Wounded Boys & Sexual Warriors. Ed. Mark I. Chester. San Francisco: Mark I. Chester, 2015. 120-25.
—, “The Miracle Mile: South of Market and Gay Male Leather in San Francisco, 1962–1996.” Reclaiming San Francisco: History, Politics, Culture. Eds. James Brook, Chris Carlsson, and Nancy Peters. San Francisco: City LightsBooks, 1998. 247-72.
—, “Requiem for the Valley of the Kings,” Southern Oracle, Fall 1989.
—. “Sites, Settlements, and Urban Sex: Archaeology and the Study of Gay Leathermen in San Francisco 1955-1995.” Archaeologies of Sexuality. Eds. Robert Schmidt and Barbara Voss. London: Routledge, 2000. 62-88.
—,“The South of Market Leather History: A Short History and Walking Tour Guide.” San Francisco Frontiers, 20 Sept. 2001.

CONTEMPORARY-STYLE NAPOLEON DYNAMITE IN THE ROUND REPEATED

PREMIERED AT 8X8X8, THE UPTOWN, OAKLAND, CA (2016)

CHOREOGRAPHY:
Amy Lewis / Jon Heder
PERFORMANCE:
Amy Lewis
MUSIC:
Canned Heat by Jamiroquai

ABOUT

For paufve / dance‘s 8x8x8 10th Anniversary, Lewis created and performed a cover of the dance scene in Jared Hess’ hit movie Napoleon Dynamite.  8x8x8 is an evening of dance presented in a bar; Lewis chose to present a cover in response to the locale.  Contemporary-style Napoleon Dynamite in the Round Repeated also represents Lewis’ infatuation with re-framing objects that she loves.

PHOTOS

Photo: Lynne Fried; Dancers: Kevin Atkinson, Colin Epstein, Sonsherée Giles

Photo: Lynne Fried; Dancers: Kevin Atkinson, Sonsherée Giles

 

Photo: Carly McLane; Dancers: Kevin Atkinson, Sonsherée Giles

Photo: Carly McLane; Dancers: Sonsherée Giles, Carmen Serber

AN AGGREGATE OF SUBSTANCE

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

PREMIERED AT OFF-SITE, EAST BAY CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS, RICHMOND, CA (2016)

CHOREOGRAPHY:
Amy Lewis
DANCERS:
Destiny Dyas, Bobbi Finkelstein, Lucy Flexer-Marshall, Nina Gonzalez Silas, Lucy McLeod, Anika Whetstone
MUSIC:
Drumming (Four Tet Remix): Steve Reich – Remixed

ABOUT

Created for Shawl Anderson Dance Center’s Youth Ensemble, An Aggregate of Substance played with embodying Goffried Wilhelm Leibniz’s concept of the monad, a corporeal substance made up of the primitive soul and primary matter.  To gather further information for sequencing the piece, Lewis looked into monads as they are used in functional programming.

PAST EVENTS

5/27/17 & 6/3/17    16 Electras
San Francisco International Arts Festival, Black Point Battery, Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA

11/12-12/4/16          SoMa Now and Then
Walking tour in SoMa district, San Francisco, CA

11/17/16                      Contemporary-style Napoleon Dynamite in the Round Repeated
8x8x8, The Uptown, Oakland, CA

7/29/16                         ONA, collaboration with Agnes Szelag
Soundwave ((7)) Architecture, Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, CA

7/8-9/16                       SOMA Now and Then
SPF9, ODC Theater, San Francisco, CA

5/13-14/16                 Six Suites
Community Music Center, San Francisco, CA

5/7/16                           Six SuitesAn Aggregate of Substance
Off-Site, East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, Richmond, CA

11/8/15                       SoMa Now and THEN
TRACKS, SAFEhouse Arts, San Francisco, CA

9/23/15                      Stealing from Gurdjieff
West Wave Dance Festival, Z Space, San Francisco, CA

8/22/15                     Luminous Emptiness, collaboration with Meghan McKearney-Inciardi and Rob Pumpelly
Ars Ex Nihilo, The Ridge Space, Oakland, CA

5/23/15                     Untitled, collaboration with composer Bill Wolter
NextNow, Berkeley Arts, Berkeley, CA

4/26/15                      Untitled, collaboration with pianist Jennifer Peringer
CMC’s 12th Annual Keyboard Marathon, San Francisco, CA

3/26/15                     Stealing from Gurdjieff
TRACKS, SAFEHouse Arts, San Francisco, CA

4/24/14                      Six Suites
 SWAPFest, The MilkBar, Oakland, CA

2/7/14                         Six Suites
Ebb + Flow, Mills College, Oakland, CA

11/8-9/13                 My Obsession with Hamletmachine / Six Suites
Resident Artist Workshop, The Garage, San Francisco, CA

09/6-8/13                  Six Suites
Constants and Variables, Dance Mission Theater, San Francisco, CA

11/7-8/12                  My Obsession with Hamletmachine / Six Suites
 Resident Artist Workshop, The Garage, San Francisco, CA

11/19-20/11             The Waiting Nameless
Pilot 59, ODC Studio B, San Francisco, CA

10/30/11                    Tread the Tendernob
House at 100, Meridian Gallery, San Francisco, CA

12/5/10                       Balls to Balzaz
 CELLSpace, San Francisco, CA

9/25-26/09                Cartography of a Synchronous Telemtrist
Community Music Center, San Francisco, CA

10/3-4/08                   Hate Log
CELLSpace, San Francisco, CA

8/20/08                       How Many…?
West Wave Dance Festival, YBCA Theater, San Francisco, CA

9/30/07                       Dial
 DUMBO Dance Festival, John Ryan Theater, Brooklyn, NY

7/13-15/07                The 14th Cross / Hog and Feather / Color Theory
Dance Mission Theater, San Francisco, CA

7/13/06                       Conversion
West Wave Dance Festival, Project Artaud, San Francisco, CA

4/28-29/06                 Conversion / Hog and Feather  / Color Theory
CounterPulse, San Francisco, CA

2/24-25/06                  Color Theory / Hog and Feather
CounterPulse, San Francisco, CA

12/10/05                       Fugue No. 6 in D Minor
Jon Sims Center for the Performing Arts, SF, CA

STEALING FROM GURDJIEFF

PREMIERED AT WEST WAVE DANCE FESTIVAL, Z SPACE, SAN FRANCISCO, CA (2015)

Georges Ivanovitch Gurdjieff

CHOREOGRAPHY: 
Amy Lewis in collaboration with the dancers
MUSIC:
All music composed by Georges I. Gurdjieff
“No. 40 From “Asian Songs and Rhythms” played by The Gurdjieff Folk Instruments Ensemble
“Trinity” played by The Gurdjieff Folk Instruments Ensemble
“Atarnakh, Kurd Song” played by Elan Sicroff
“Moorish Dance” played by Elan Sicroff
DANCERS: 
Sonsherée Giles, Sebastian Grubb
COSTUMES:
Sonsherée Giles

Photo: Chris Mentzel; Dancers: Giles, Grubb

ABOUT

The idea for Stealing from Gurdjief stemmed from Lewis’ research–conducted for the project My Obsession with Hamletmachine–on his work and influence on the education program at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin Fellowship.  Stealing from Gurdjieff uses as a template an illustration of poses from Gurdjieff’s Movements. The work raised questions of ownership while exploring intimacy within strict boundaries.

ARTISTS

Sonsherée Giles
Sebastian Grubb

HOW MANY…?

HOW MANY PRESENTS/BALLS/CHIPS/SCARVES/BOOKS/HEARTS/CIRCLES CAN YOU WRAP/CATCH/WIN/THROW/READ/CUT-OUT/MAKE IN FOUR MINUTES THIRTY-TWO SECONDS?
PREMIERED AT WEST WAVE DANCE FESTIVAL, YBCA THEATER, SAN FRANCISCO, CA (2008)

DIRECTION: 
Amy Lewis
ORIGINAL/TRADITIONAL MUSIC:
Andy Eggleston, Fay Ferency, and Matthew Herz
PERFORMERS: 
Rodney Bell, Jody Christian, Andre Cunha, Kelly Dalyrmple, Janet Das, Ed Dorrington, Kelly Defayette, Lisa Foster, Holly Furgason, Christine Germaine, Emily Goodwin, Genevieve Griesau, Sonsherée Giles, lola a. katie, Michelle Kui, Annamarie MacLeod, Corey March, Christopher Mentzel, Jennie Mollica, Annika Nonhebel, Bonner Odell, Doyle Ott, John Pemberton, Slater Penney, Marcia Scott, Alice Sheppard, Colin Sjostedt, Andrew Wass, Claire Willey, Nicole Zvarik, Savannah Zvarik

ABOUT

For West Wave Dance Festival, 2008, Dancers’ Group and DanceArt put out an RFP asking for pieces that would fit into a 4’32” timeframe.  Lewis placed thirty performances on stage, asking each person to carry out a task that could be repeated several times within 4’32”.  The tasks were categorized as visual, physical, and aural, and consisted of such things as wrapping presents, jumping, or reading children’s books.  Most tasks related to the giving of a gift to the audience; for example, artist Kelly Defayette painted five to six paintings during the time frame that were wrapped and delivered.  How Many…? brought attention to the relativity of time while celebrating every day tasks and gift-giving.

ARTISTS

Rodney Bell
Jody Christian
Andre Cunha
Kelly Dalyrmple
Janet Das
Kelly Defayette
Ed Dorrington
Lisa Foster
Holly Furgason
Christine Germaine
Emily Goodwin
Genevieve Griesau
Sonsherée Giles
lola a. katie
Michelle Kui
Annamarie MacLeod
Corey March
Christopher Mentzel
Jennie Mollica
Annika Nonhebel
Bonner Odell
Doyle Ott
John Pemberton
Slater Penney
Marcia Scott
Alice Sheppard
Colin Sjostedt
Andrew Wass
Claire Willey
Nicole Zvarik
Savannah Zvarik

COLOR THEORY

PREMIERED AT DANCE MISSION THEATER, SAN FRANCISCO, CA (2007)

Photo: Chris Mentzel; Dancers: see Artists

CHOREOGRAPHY:

Amy Lewis
MUSIC:
Arnold, Schoenberg, Six Little Piano Pieces, Op. 19 and Piano Pieces Op. 33a & 33b
DANCERS:
Margaret Cromwell, Sonsherée Giles, Emily Gorman
COSTUMES: 
Sonsherée Giles

Photo: Chris Mentzel; Dancers: see Artists

ABOUT

The movement created for Color Theory was based on Wassily Kandinsky’s theory on color.  A certain area of space was designated as black, when the dancers crossed this area they were asked to collapse. Eventually all three dancers came to this area, and the piece ended with them motionless on the floor.

ARTISTS

Margaret Cromwell 
Sonsherée Giles
Emily Gorman
lola a. katie 

REVIEWS

Review for SoMa Now and Then (2016)


Preview for SoMa Now and Then (2016)

Additional preview


Preview for Six Suites (2016)


Review for Six Suites (2014)


Review for Tread the Tendernob (2011)


Review for Balls to Balzac (2010)
Additional review


Review for Cartography of a Synchronous Telemtrist (2009)


Review for How Many…?  (2008)

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