Edison Theatre 2003-2004 OVATIONS Series Background Information

Artist background information

Edison Theatre 2003-2004 OVATIONS! Season Calendar

Nov. 2: Aquila Theatre Company in Othello. One of the foremost producers of touring classical theatre returns to the Edison with one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies. The troupe, which made its St. Louis debut last year with The Wrath of Achilles and Shakespeare’s The Tempest, brings vibrant, innovative staging, superb acting and an original score to this gripping tale of jealousy and betrayal, set amidst a hotbed of racial hatred and mistrust. Founded in London in 1991, Aquila is comprised of British and American players and is currently company-in-residence at New York University’s Center for Ancient Studies.

Nov. 15: La Bottine Souriante. Called “the best band in the world!” by folk magazine Dirty Linen, La Bottine Souriante are living legends of French North American roots music. Since forming in Quebec in 1976, this nine-member troupe has brought “happy feet” to audiences around the world through exceptionally tight, exuberant live sets and 10 albums that have collectively sold more than a half-million copies. The band’s distinctive, explosive sound overlays a Quebecois mélange of French, English, Irish and Scottish folk music with jazzy horns, pounding rhythms and soaring harmonies.

Nov. 21-23: Ron K. Brown/Evidence. One of the most talented choreographers of his generation, the Brooklyn-born Brown founded Evidence in 1985, while still a teenager. His vibrant, high-energy works, inspired by travels through Senegal and the Ivory Coast, fuse modern and traditional West African dance with jazz, hip-hop and even martial arts movements to express themes of African-American identity, community and experience. Co-presented with Dance St. Louis

Jan. 16-17: Teatro Hugo & Ines in Short Stories. Hands and feet, elbows and bellybuttons transform into extraordinary, oddball characters in the delightfully creative and amazingly dexterous “body theatre” of Teatro Hugo & Ines. Hugo Suarez, a native of Peru, and Ines Pasic, from Bosnia-Herzegovina, first teamed up in 1986, having met on the streets of Italy, where Hugo was performing mime. In Short Stories, which The Los Angeles Times calls a “theater-of-marvels,” the pair combine elements of mime, dance and puppetry to illustrate poetic moments of everyday life through a parade of memorable, bafflingly original figures.

Jan. 23-25: Stephen Petronio Dance in City of Twist. Known for creating irreverent, flamboyantly powerful and passionate works, Petronio — a former soloist with the Trisha Brown Company— has long been a fixture of the New York dance scene, forming his own troupe in 1984. In City of Twist, he responds to the events of Sept. 11, 2001, with a series of dance portraits painted in a shifting landscape inspired by the city itself. Set to an original score by Laurie Anderson. Co-presented with Dance St. Louis

Jan. 31: Paul Dresher with Zeitgeist in Sound Stage. Iconoclastic composer Dresher masterminds this playfully wordless performance about making music literally from the ground up. A gigantic, 17-foot-tall, 14-foot-wide “musical jungle gym” dominates the stage, every surface imbued with sonic potential by Dresher’s mischievous yet virtuosic band of instrumentalists and improvisers. Over the course of the evening, this astonishing “sound sculpture” becomes many things — a drum set, a giant metronome, harps plucked by swinging pendulums — yet ultimately proves a place of collective musical discovery.

Feb. 13-14: Julia Sweeney in Oops! I Forgot To Have Kids; Un-Cabaret. Sweeney, famous as the nerdy, androgynous Pat from Saturday Night Live (where she was a cast member from 1990-94), presents a new one-woman show Feb. 13, a follow-up to her acclaimed film and stage production, God Said, Ha! On Feb. 14, Sweeney returns with three compatriots — including comedian Andy Dick, of NBC’s NewsRadio and MTV’s The Andy Dick Show — as part of Un-Cabaret, the L.A.-based alternative comedy troupe founded by Beth Lapides in 1991.

Feb. 20-22: George Piper Dances in Ballet Boyz. In 1998, after 12 years with London’s Royal Ballet, lead dancers Michael Nunn and Billy Trevitt launched a series of “backstage” video-diaries on Britain’s Channel 4. Their fresh, demystifying approach captivated millions and introduced a whole new audience to the world of classical dance. Since founding their own company in 2001 (George and Piper are the pair’s middle names), the “Ballet Boyz” have brought their gritty, muscular aesthetic to works by some of today’ most influential choreographers while continuing to incorporate film and video into their performances. Co-presented with Dance St. Louis.

March 26-27: Christine Lavin with Four Bitchin’ Babes; Four Bitchin’ Babes with Christine Lavin. Start with four gifted singer-songwriters, add three-quarters cup married life, five kids, one piano, four guitars, a dollop of sharp social commentary and a wardrobe to die for. Put this on the road and allow to steep for 12 years and you’ve got Four Bitchin’ Babes, musical comediennes extraordinaire. Lavin, a founding member, reunites with the Babes for this two-evening stand. “It’s a traveling pajama party,” say the Babes. “We’re best friends from childhood who didn’t meet until we were in our late ’30s.”

May 2: Bang on a Can All-Stars with Philip Glass and Terry Riley. A special, one-night-only concert by three of the most esteemed names in contemporary music. Part jazz band, part rock band, part postmodern classical ensemble, the All-Stars are comprised of six of the finest players from New York’s Bang On A Can Festival, the renowned new music showcase founded in 1987. Glass, whose catalog ranges from minimalist chamber works to film scores to fully staged operas, has over the last three decades become virtually synonymous with the American avant-garde. Riley launched the minimalist movement in 1964 with his seminal In C, which will be performed as part of the evening’s program.

ovations! for young people

Nov. 1: Scrap Arts Music. Scrap Arts Music fuses world and pop sensibilities with 21st century sounds and 20th century salvage. As much athletes as drummers, this tightly choreographed Vancouver quintet combines highly evolved sticking techniques and boundless energy with homemade kinetic instruments built from recycled and salvaged materials — such as sewer pipe and artillery shells — to create high-energy “action percussion.”

Nov. 22: Ron K. Brown/Evidence. (See above)

Jan. 17: Teatro Hugo & Ines. (See above)