Kinesis Project dance theatre, Opera on Tap, ASM, Summer on the Hudson, and Shahrokh Yadegari present
Capacity, or: the Work of Crackling (in Riverside)
Kinesis Project dance theatre, Opera on Tap, Anti-Social Music, Summer on the Hudson, and Shahrokh Yadegari presents pop-up performances of Capacity, or: the Work of Crackling on September 30 and October 1, 2023 at 5-6:00PM, beginning at Locomotive Lawn in Riverside Park South at West 62nd Street, NYC.
This immersive experience is a brand-new multi-disciplinary work developed through collaborations of music, sound and visual components. Capacity, or: the Work of Crackling is Kinesis Project’s most recent collaboration with Opera on Tap investigating our human capacity for joy, grief and how that relates to the natural processes of the earth’s cracking.
Capacity, or: the Work of Crackling is an expansive, yet intimate theatrical experience that draws and guides audiences along the bridges and landscapes of Riverside Park South. The performances feature costumes by designer Rebecca Kanach, sound design by Shahrokh Yadegari and music by Anti-Social music composers Diana Woolner, David Friend, Eyal Moaz and Brian McCorkle.
Kinesis Project’s Choreographer and Artistic Director Melissa Riker has been working with the collaborative guidance of geologist Dr. Missy Eppes, exploring the parallels found in mechanical weathering and subcritical cracking.
“After many months of learning about how our human capacity and resilience parallels the earth’s geological behaviors - I am thrilled to be bringing Capacity, or: the Work of Crackling to life with the incredible dancers of Kinesis Project and our talented colleagues in Opera on Tap and Anti Social Music,” said Melissa Riker. “We are so grateful to Riverside Park and Summer on the Hudson for being a creative home for our exploration of this work!”
Beginning with cracking, edges, resilience and human capacity, Riker and Opera on Tap thread their collaborative vision, inviting the skills of Anti-Social Music composers to build the voice of the work. Now, this bold and inspiring performance offers a calm and full exploration of edges, NYC’s natural landscapes and the intimacy of our humanity.
“We are so excited to be working again with our friends at Kinesis Project and at Anti-Social Music to bring this innovative and community-driven piece to one of New York City’s great parks this Fall,” said Anne Hiatt, Artistic and Executive Director, Opera on Tap. “At its core, this project invites audiences to explore the human capacity for grief and resilience in context of the greater, overwhelming and ever-shifting world that surrounds us. To me, this project invites healing and reflection at a time when we all individually and collectively need it. Without question, it is a piece for our time, and one that I am very proud to be a part of.”
Capacity, or: the Work of Crackling will be danced by Kinesis Project dancer/collaborators Bree Breedon, Hilary Brown, Sabrina Canas and Madeline Hoak, with four live instrumentalists and four singers.
Capacity, or: the Work of Crackling is presented by Summer on the Hudson and made possible with support from Riverside Park Conservancy, John C. Robinson, New York State Council on the Arts, The Howard Gilman Foundation through The Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone and the individual donors of Opera on Tap and Kinesis Project dance theatre.
Consistent with Kinesis Project’s process of using varying environments to explore a single dance work, Capacity, or: the Work of Crackling appeared in Jefferson NY, Flat Rock NC, Seattle WA, Riverside Park/Summer on the Hudson NYC, Inwood Hill Park NYC, and Music as the Message/The Broadway Presbyterian Church NYC.
Melissa Riker is Artistic Director and Choreographer of Kinesis Project dance theatre. She is a New York City dancer and choreographer who emerged as a strong performance and creative voice as the NYC dance and circus worlds combined during the 90s. Riker’s dances and aesthetic layer her training as a classical dancer, martial artist, theatre choreographer and aerial performer. She creates dances on site - and in context. Riker invents large-scale out-door performances and spontaneous moments of dance for individuals and corporate clients. Audiences and critics have called Riker’s work “a Marx Brothers’ routine with soul,” “A movable feast.” And from The New York Times, her choreography is: “comically acrobatic, gracefully classical, visually arresting.”
In June 2022 Riker was Artist in Residence for the Progressive Failure of Brittle Rocks Conference (PRF22) an international conference of Geologists, Geomorphologists and Mechanical Engineers, convened by Dr. Missy Eppes and her colleagues.
Dr. Martha Cary (Missy) Eppes is a Full Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. She holds a PhD in Earth and Planetary Sciences from the University of New Mexico where she studied soil geomorphology and the influence of soil development on the response of landscapes to tectonic perturbations. Her later work has focused on mechanical weathering processes and the insight that fracture mechanics concepts can provide to understanding natural rock fracture. This work’s contribution to the fields of Quaternary geology and geomorphology was recognized by the Geological Society of America through its Kirk Bryan award. Throughout her scientific research Dr. Eppes collaborates with artists, such as Mark Melissa Riker to bring science beyond the realm of scientists. Dr. Eppes is currently at the University of Strasbourg, France as a Fulbright Research Scholar, and as a University of Strasbourg Institute for Advanced Study Fellow.
Shahrokh Yadegari, composer, sound designer, and producer, has collaborated with such artists as Peter Sellars, Robert Woodruff, Ann Hamilton, Christine Brewer, Gabor Tompa, Maya Beiser, Steven Schick, Lucie Tiberghien, Shahrokh Moshkin Ghalam, Hossein Omoumi, and Siamak Shajarian. He has performed and his productions, compositions, and designs have been presented internationally in such venues as the Carnegie Hall, Royce Hall, Festival of Arts and Ideas, OFF-D’Avignon Festival, International Theatre Festival in Cluj Romania, Ravinia Festival, Ruhr-Triennale, Vienna Festival, Holland Festival, Tirgan Festival, Forum Barcelona, Japan America Theatre, The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, the International Computer Music Conference (ICMC), the Institut fur Neue Musik und Musikerziehung (Darmstadt), Judah L. Magnes Museum in Berkeley, and Contemporary Museum of Art, San Diego.
Yadegari holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University, a Master’s in Media Arts and Sciences from MIT’s Media Lab, and a Ph.D. in music from University of California, San Diego. He worked as a unix kernel programmer at such companies as Interactive Systems Corporation, Sun Microsystems, and ICL Inc. He has also worked at Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM), and is one of the founders and the artistic director of Kereshmeh Records and Persian Arts Society, organizations dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of Persian traditional and new music. Yadegari is currently on the faculty of the department of Music at UC San Diego, and the director of the Sonic Arts Research and Development group and the Initiative for Digital Exploration of Arts and Sciences (IDEAS) at the Qualcomm Institute (UC San Diego’s branch of California Institute for Telecommunication and Information Technology).
David Friend is an experimental musician living in New York City. A classically trained pianist, he performs regularly with new music groups and as a soloist at major venues and DIY spaces throughout the city, across the country, and abroad. The New York Times describes him as “[one] of the finest, busiest pianists active in New York’s contemporary-classical scene.” He has recorded for numerous labels, including his most recent release for solo piano and electronic processing, Post-, for New Amsterdam Records, and with Third Coast Percussion for Cedille in an album that won the Grammy award for Best Chamber Music Performance. He is a cofounder of Bent Duo, an interdisciplinary project with Bill Solomon, that frequently explores issues of queer identity, theory, and aesthetics through performance, multimedia work, and artistic collaborations. As a generative artist, his work often focuses on experimental queer traditions of availablism, aesthetics of extremity, and the disruption of traditional hierarchies between and among artists and the public. www.davidfriendpiano.net
In a career that spans decades and countries, Eyal Maoz is a guitarist, performer, and composer; he is an ensembles leader at albums released for Tzadik, Out Now, Piadrums, Ayler, and Chant Records, and a member of John Zorn’s Abraxas and Cobra. His latest 2021 collaborative release, Transliminal Rites (featuring Grammy Award winner Frank London, and composer Guy Barash), was released on Orenda Records. He has played on the stages of major music festivals worldwide, including the Montreal Jazz Festival, Red Sea International Jazz Festival, NYC Winter JazzFest, Newport Jazz Festival, Adelaide Festival, Australia, Jazz at Marciac, France, the Tzadik Music Festival, Israel, and more. More recently, in 2021, NYC’s Downtown Music Gallery Magazine wrote, “Eyal Maoz is one of the best electric guitarists to emerge from the Downtown scene over the past decade plus. Each song here gives Maoz a chance to add his magic touch, crunch or incisive lead guitar licks while never showing off and always in favor of the song they are the center of...Wonderful, powerful in so many great ways!” MTV and NPR have both featured him, and his string quartet composition Boded won the Orchestra of Our Time Open Score Project in New York.
Brian McCorkle is a composer, performer, and digital artist. As co-Director of the Panoply Performance Laboratory (PPL) for over a decade McCorkle composed for 8 large-scale opera projects and many smaller performances across the US and Europe. McCorkle is also a founding member of Varispeed Collective, performing epic works from contemporary composers in new arrangements. McCorkle is also researching Artificial Intelligence with Orthogonal Research and Education Laboratory and pursuing an advanced degree at State University of New York in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics.
Diana Woolner is a vocalist and composer based in Ridgefield, CT. She embraces all styles, genres, instrumentations, and mediums, and especially loves to collaborate across art forms. Her pieces range from a cappella works for vocal ensembles, to electronic soundscapes, to film scores, to choreographed dance, to podcasts, and the list is always growing. Her music often has a magical quality, playing with connotation and expectation, and her vocal works are known to utilize unconventional texts. In 2014, Diana won the Morton Feldman Composition Award for special excellence in composition upon receiving her Master’s degree from the Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music, where she studied under the direction of composers Doug Geers, Wang Jie, and Tania León. She also holds a B.A. from Vassar College, where she studied music composition under Suzanne Sorkin, Harold Meltzer, and Richard Wilson. She performs regularly with GHOSTLIGHT CHORUS, and subs at various churches across the tri-state area.
Kinesis Project is a dance organization that creates dance as public art, facilitates educational programs and produces site-specific performances with diverse communities. A company at the forefront of the international discussion of placemaking, art engagement and the cultural imperative of art in public space, Kinesis Project dance theatre invents large scale, space-changing, breath-taking experiences.
In 2020, Riker kept Kinesis Project working and creating consistently on both coasts thanks in part to COVID Relief Grants from Dance/NYC, the Indie Theatre Fund and generous donors. The company live-streamed multiple performances from Riverside Park South presented by Summer on the Hudson and has continued creating and developing new work on both coasts in person throughout 2021 and into 2022, from Vashon Island, to Seattle to NY’s Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Since 2005, Kinesis Project’s work has been experienced in San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, Boston, Philadelphia, Vermont, Florida and in New York City at such venerable venues as Danspace Project, Judson Church, Joyce Soho, The Minskoff Theatre, The Cunningham Studio, West End Theatre and Dixon Place. In 2019, the company’s work was experienced in Seattle, Brooklyn, NY, Riverside Park, supported by New York City Parks, and in Snug Harbor Cultural Center on Staten Island. The company dances outside in sculpture gardens, universities, and annually since 2006 in Battery Park’s Bosque Gardens and The Cloisters Lawn as well as hosting more than 30 surprise performances all over New York City and the tri-state area as an element of the company’s earned income and outreach programming with volunteer populated flash mobs. Residencies include: Earthdance 2006, Omi International Arts Center 2008, Kaatsbaan International Dance Center 2011, TheaterLab 2014, Adelphi University 2014. Ms. Riker is a 2016, 2017 and 2019 CUNY Dance Initiative Residency Fellow, 2015 LMCC Community Arts Fund grantee, 2019 Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Grantee. In 2020 Riker and Kinesis Project received a Dance/NYC COVID Recovery Grant and Indie Theatre Fund Recovery Grant. She has been commissioned by The Brooklyn Botanic Garden for a surprise large-scale work and performances of her work Secrets and Seawalls at Omi International Arts Center, Long House Reserve, Gateway National Park in partnership with Rockaways Artist Alliance. Ms. Riker has received commissions from Carson Fox and the Ephemeral Festival in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 for large-scale outdoor events, NYU in 1998, for an outdoor work long before “flash mob” was coined, 2006 and 2008 grants from the Puffin Foundation for her work Community Movements, a dance work with community volunteers, Fellowships from the Dodge Foundation, Space Grant Residencies from 92nd St Y, The New 42nd St Studio, Gibney Dance Center, and The Joyce Theatre Foundation, and grants from The Bowick Family Trust and John C. Robinson to support the continued work of Kinesis Project dance theatre.
Opera on Tap began as a small monthly gathering of ambitious, classically trained singers looking for more performance opportunities. OOT has grown into a producing organization that has gained a loyal audience base and national recognition as an innovative force on the classical music scene. Through its Chapter program, which now has twenty-five vibrant national and international chapters, OOT has created the world’s largest network of operatic performers, creators, and supporters. Visit our chapter page to view our chapters. Along the way, Opera on Tap has developed the Immersive Opera Project, New Brew, and other programming that commissions living composers, and performs works of contemporary composers. Our flagship education program, Playground Opera, educates children in the world of opera, music and theatre across the globe. We are headquartered as a national organization in Brooklyn, NY and, in addition to supporting our chapters around the world, present locally produced programs intended to adhere to our mission of community engagement through opera.
Summer on the Hudson is Riverside Park & West Harlem Piers Park’s annual outdoor arts & culture festival that takes place from 59th street to 153rd along the Hudson River and features a mix of music concerts, dance performances, movies showings, DJ dance parties, children’s shows, special day-long events, wellness activities, and more.
This program is supported in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.
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