POSTED ON FEBRUARY 23, 2011:
A Brave New World
The New Genre Arts Festival is innovative, exploratory and unlike anything else
The New Genre Arts Festival is a three-week-long interdisciplinary arts festival that includes music, dance, visual art and performance. However, there is nothing simple about this innovative, edgy and vibrant festival.
"New Genre is a platform for artists and audiences to take risks, explore new ideas and exchange meaningful dialogue," said New Genre's co-chair, Lydia Moore.
The festival begins on Friday, Feb. 25 at Living Arts, 307 E. Brady, from 5-7pm, with a light installation titled, Unsatisfied Desire, by Charles Matson Lume and a sound installation titled, Movements, by Ethan Rose. Opening night also includes a performance piece called Tips by local artist Lindsay Allgood in which she sews herself to the wall using calluses on her fingers and feet.
The contemporary dance performance is a New Genre favorite and takes place on Feb. 25 and 26 at 8pm at Central High School. Admission is $12 and $10 for Living Arts members and students. The performance transcends notions of traditional dance and allows the audience to experience a contemporary look at dance. The performance will feature some festival newcomers as well as local favorites Living Water Dance Company and Portico Dans Theatre.
On March 4 and 5, butoh-influenced choreographer Erin Dudley will present Dreams Dammed at the Performing Arts Center at 8pm. Reservations required, tickets are $20 for the public and $15 for Living Arts members, students and seniors. Dreams Dammed is a one-hour performance in which the audience witnesses dancers dangle from the ceiling and contort their bodies at a slow, controlled pace.
"Anyone interested in yoga, dance, butoh or contemporary Japanese theatrical forms would be greatly inspired by Dudley's performances or workshop," Moore said. Dreams Dammed is recommended for mature audiences.
New York City percussion quartet, So Percussion, will perform on Tuesday March 8 at 7:30pm in the Cascia Hall Performing Arts Center, 2520 S. Yorktown Ave. and is in conjunction with Choregus Productions. Tickets are $30.
Nature Nurtured. Under Polaris by Cloud Eye Control is one of the most anticipated performances at the New Genre Arts Festival. The show incorporates original music in conjunction with performance and video art that follows the journey of a woman through the arctic in an effort to preserve and understand the relationship between humans and nature.
Under Polaris by Cloud Eye Control is one of the festivals most anticipated performances and will take place March 11 and 12 at 8pm at the Tulsa PAC. Tickets are $20 for the public and $25 for Living Arts Members, students and seniors. Under Polaris incorporates live original music in conjunction with performance and video art that follows the journey of a woman through the arctic in an effort to preserve and understand the relationship between humans and nature.
In addition to performances and exhibit openings that take place on the weekend, the festival includes a number of workshops in the middle of the week, all of which are conducted by the festival's featured artists.
"People come from across the region for the workshops," Moore said. "They are great for artists to get out of their comfort zone."
In the past many exciting collaborations and friendships have developed as a result of the workshops. Participants will have the opportunity to showcase their new work on March 19 for Night on Cabaret hosted by Club 209, 209 N. Boulder Ave.
The New Genre Arts Festival began at the Living Arts 18 years ago and has since expanded to involve artistic venues from across the city for performances, installations and workshops. Once the Living Arts was invited to become a member of the prestigious National Performance Network the level of artists that Living Arts was able to invite to New Genre improved and consequently has raised the standard of what Tulsans expect from this festival. Three years ago the Living Arts also received a grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation, which has allowed Living Arts to model New Genre after some of the country's biggest art and performance festivals such as Austin's Fusebox and Philadelphia's Fringe Festival.
"It's the type of weirdo stuff you'd see in a bigger city," Moore said. "I wouldn't want to live in a city that didn't have this kind of art going on. It is adventurous art for adventurous audiences."
There is certainly a lot of take in at a festival that pushes the artists and audiences to the limit. In the past New Genre has been squeezed into two weeks but this year has been rearranged to span over a three-week period. This change will provide Tulsans with a manageable time frame to absorb the performances and workshops. More information is available at livingarts.org.
Correction to "Walls of Fame," published in the Feb. 17-23 issue of Urban Tulsa Weekly.
The site of Rick Sinnett's Indian Warrior mural is Rose Co. Pawn Shop, located at 316 E. 2nd Street and is owned by Ray Rose.
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