|ACCADDE DOMANI is adapted by Shigeko Suga from
the collection "Orgasmo Adulto Escapes from the Zoo" by Franca
Rame and Dario Fo, (the latter was awarded the 1997 Nobel Prize. in literature.)
It is a piece about Irmgard Moeller, a German terrorist and member of the
RAFF (Red Army Faction) who was sentenced to 22 years in jail for bombing
and killing three U. S. soldiers in 1972, and who was stabbed during her
detention. She was revived by a young doctor who noticed her breathing on
her way to the morgue. The play is Moeller's monologue describing her state
of mind and her sensations before, during and after the stabbing.
Suga plays Moeller and Ernest Abuba plays the assailant. The adaptation
blends chants, music, Flamenco, Butoh, and various rituals--some of which
come from the Japanese Zen temple where Suga was raised. Poetry written
by Ernest Abuba has been set to traditional Flamenco melodies by Suga,
and the resulting songs will be sung by the ensemble and chanted by Abuba.
Accompaniment is Ian Banks (Spanish Guitar) and a percussionist to be
named. The ensemble includes Minouche Waring, Michal Gamily, Stephanie
Rafferty, Gian Marco Lo Forte, Kendra Ware, Del Wright and two others
yet to be named as of this writing.
Coinciding with this production, La MaMa's Annex Theater will also resound
with the powerful rythms of flamenco from December 11 to 21 with the American
premiere of Maria Elena Anaya's newest dance production, "De Passiones
Sin Retorno" (Passions with No Return). This nine-part evening is
the renowned Spanish Dancer's first show at La MaMa since 1999 and a blend
of Flamenco, Tango and Modern Dance.
Shigeko Suga is a member of La MaMa's Great Jones Repertory Company and
a noteworthy Flamenco dancer. She adapted Genet's "The Maids"
into a Flamenco story at The Kitchen in 1991; the production was subsequently
presented as part of the International Tallwood Festival in Munich in
1998. Her interest in Genet's work then led to an adaptation of "Le
Balcon" into Flamenco at La MaMa in 1992, featuring the late Maria
Alba in her final performance. The New York Times (Jennifer Dunning) wrote,
"There cannot have been many flamenco-Butoh stagings of the plays
of Jean Genet. But Shigeko Suga Aguirre proved that it can be done. .
. . Every bit of the stage space is used imaginatively. And the actors
are persuasive. " Her dance theater works at La MaMa also include
"Sotoba Komachi, Teatro Flamenco (1995)," adapted from Yukio
Mishima's play, "Pasando (1997)," an evening of steamy, sexy,
Spanish dance designed to evoke a traditional Andalusian nightclub; and
"Shiku Hakku: The Eight Sufferings (2000)," a show combining
Flamenco, Butoh, African tap and modern dance with speech and acting.
Her dance company, Indalo Artists, is named for an extinct civilization
from the south of Spain.
Her latest creation at La MaMa was "Seguiriya--The Heart Beats,"
an account of an illness, in 2002. Deborah Jowitt (Village Voice) described
the usage of the two dance forms writing, "Flamenco becomes the metaphor
for health and power, Butoh for the deformations of body and spirit through
illness, the inchoate cries of the immobilized flesh. "
Her acting appearances with La MaMa's Great Jones Rep include Hecuba
in "The Trojan Women" and (directed by Andrei Serban, composed
by Elizabeth Swados) and three productions by Ellen Stewart, "Dionysus
Filius Dei," "Mythos Oedipus" and "Yunus." She
was the translator and movement coach of Broadway's "Shimada"
Ernest Abuba performed on Broadway in "Pacific Overtures,"
"Loose Ends," "Zoya'a Apartment" and "Shimada"
and Off-Broadway in "Shogun McBeth," "Yellow Fever,"
"Chang Fragments," "Three Sisters" and "Long
Day's Journey Into Night". He co-starred in the films "King
of New York" (with Christopher Walken) and "12 Monkeys"
(directed by Terry Gilliam). His TV appearances include "New York
Undercover," "Kung Fu: The Legend Continues" and "The
Bill Cosby Show. " His plays include "The Dowager Empress of
China" (La MaMa, 1978), "An American Story" (Pan Asian
Rep/La MaMa, 1990), a stage adaptation of Louis Chu's novel, "Eat
a Bowl of Tea," and "Cambodia Agonistes," which was produced
Off-Broadway by Pan Asian Rep and was featured at the Cairo International
Experimental Theater Festival and The Arts Alive Festival (Johannesburg,
South Africa). He played the title role in Robert Wilson's "Promethius"
at the Guggenheim in 2001. He is also an accomplished director. He has
received an Obie for sustained excellence, a CAPS Fellowship, a Rockefeller
Fellowship and five NYSCA fellowships for directing and playwriting. He
is a founding member of Pan Asian Repertory.
His collaborations with Shigeko Suga include "Night Stalker"
and "Lier Rex," both presented by La MaMa in 1997 and 1998,
in which Shigeko Suga was co-director and choreographer. He played the
lead in Suga's "Sotoba Komachi, Teatro Flamenco y Butoh" (1995).
They co-directed "Spleen," a performance work inspired by Baudelaire's
"Les fleurs du Mal," at H.T. Chen's Mulberry Street Theatre
in 2001. They have been closely associated since 1986, when they acted
in Pan Asian Rep's "Shogun Macbeth," he as title character and
she as an attendant to Lady Macbeth.