Passing Strange (The Musical / Film)

Passing Strange
A movie by Spike Lee documenting Passing Strange, a Broadway musical with lyrics and book by Stew and music and orchestrations by Stew and Heidi Rodewald.


Before my brief comments on this concert/play/movie, here’s the synopsis from wiki:
“A young black musician travels on a picaresque journey to rebel against his mother and his upbringing in a church-going, middle-class, late 1970s South Central Los Angeles neighborhood in order to find "the real". He finds new experiences in promiscuous Amsterdam, with its easy access to drugs and sex, and in artistic, chaotic, political Berlin, where he struggles with ethics and integrity when he misrepresents his background as (ghetto) poor to get ahead...

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WHY I READ MY TEXTS IN PERFORMANCE

THE ROLE, MEANINGS, AND PRESENCE OF THE TEXT

1. Because they’re fresh, reworked until the last minute, just written and I don’t have time to memorize while dealing with production, promotion, choreography, costumes, lights, volunteers, ticket sales, press, documentation, props and rigging, shopping for necessary stuff, and practicing the action, the dancing, and/or some crazy stunt...

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PERFORM THE KEITH SCORE

Keith Score 
A solo performance by Keith Hennessy developed unintentionally while improvising.
Written documentation, July 20, 2009, Berlin

I have been performing solo improvisations since the early 80s. I think my first spontaneous choreographies for an audience were in 1982 or 83 at The Alchemy Lab, a weekly improv ‘club’ held in a side room of the Fillmore West in San Francisco. Since these earliest experiments I have merged talking and dancing to extend postmodern dance into mongrel post-genre performance...

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QUEER! a workshop

In late July I taught a five-day class called Queer! at Impulstanz, a big contemporary dance fest in Vienna.

Satu Herrala, one of the participants wrote about the class for Corpus a cool site that you can check out here.
http://www.corpusweb.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1263&Itemid=35

I didn't have a particular pedagogy for the class but each day I worked with an idea or a particular theorist and tried to come up with improvisation and composition exercise to explore that idea, e.g., Gloria Anzaldúa on borderlands, Trinh, T. Minh-ha on movement between margins and centers, Kate Bornstein's work on analyzing one's personal gender(s)...

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Prisma Forum, Oaxaca & DF, Mexico

Sunday July 5th, 2009
I wrote this while in Mexico City for week 2 of Prisma Forum a hybrid event that resembles a European contemporary dance festival (with all its hybridities of performance, choreography, laboratory, conference) with more participatory, communal and DIY aspects of popular social forums. Instigated by participant interests, daily plenary sessions are complimented by several seminars, round tables, and informal discussions. At least 10 daily classes or ongoing workshops, from physical techniques in somatics, dance, yoga, and chi gung, to choreography and performance making influenced by a wide range of strategies from shamanism to permaculture, discursive questioning and experiential anatomy...

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