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river, river, river: looping study (2022)

river, river, river -looping study reframed the material of the theatrical performance (forever delayed by the pandemic) into an installation activated through visitors and small performances. Different streams of text run simultaneously through headsets in a space open to gallery visitors. When the space is empty, visitors become performing bodies milling around the space. Bits of of the choreographic score as vinyl lettering installed on the walls encouraged movement through the space. For two hours everyday, I would perform a looping score that corresponded in different ways with audio in the headsets creating intimate, but also separate and distinct experiences for each audience member. For five minutes of the performance, the door opens and everything outside interacts the world we collectively built inside. One time a cavalcade of black cowboys rode by on the neutral ground. Such is the way New Orleans can always out perform you even at your own show.  

river, river, river is also a choreographic inquiry into memoire, how we make ourselves by stories, how stories are happening as bodies are moving through space and landscape and history. A very hard conversation takes place between father and daughter in a Panera Bread.  river, river, river is the process of trying to understand everything that led up to that point to make a different kind of familial archive in order to move through it. The work includes visitors’ movements and stories as they are also actively contained in the space with everything else.

Choreography/Text/Performance: Shannon Stewart

Dramaturgy: Iris McCloughan

Installation Support: Ann Glaviano

The creation of river, river, river (solo performance) was made possible in part by the CAC's 2020-2021 Commissioning Initiative with a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Louisiana Division for the Arts.  Additional support has been provided by UCROSS Foundation, re:Frame, Art Klub, and 75 individual donors. As part of the re:FRAME collective, river, river river has received support from the Platforms Fund (Andy Warhol Foundation in partnership with Antenna, Junebug, Ashe Cultural Center), National Performance Network Creation Fund, and as a finalist in the National Dance Project Production Grant. 


Related Works:

river, river, river - (2023) - Theatrical performance

Involuntary Park (2021)- Installation

river, river, river - a solo dance text (2022) - Print object/chapbook


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