Evocative choreographer Bobbi Jene Smith will present her latest work, Broken Theater. Created within the walls of La MaMa, Broken Theater melds live dance, theater, music, and cinematic beauty. Eleven artists meet in a ghost theater where they grapple with love, humiliation, and loss at the cost of each other. It asks: When the script has disappeared, when the audience is gone, where are the lines between the part you play and the person you are?
Photo by Josh Rose
Created and directed by Bobbi Jene Smith
Performed by Mikael Darmanie, Julia Eichten, Vinson Fraley, Jonathan Fredrickson, Keir GoGwilt, Coleman Itzkoff, Jesse Kovarsky, Yiannis Logothetis, Or Schraiber, Bobbi Jene Smith, Mouna Soualem, and Stephanie Troyak
Broken Theater is an AMOC* production and has been co-commissioneded by La MaMa, Mass MoCA, AMOC* (American Modern Opera Company), and New Dialect.
Bobbi Jene Smith was a member of the Batsheva Dance Company from 2005–2014 under the artistic direction of Ohad Naharin. She is an alumnus of the Juilliard School, North Carolina School of the Arts, and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. Bobbi’s decision to depart Batsheva as a principal dancer and set off to discover her own choreographic voice is beautifully depicted in the award-winning documentary Bobbi Jene by Elvira Lind.
Following her critically acclaimed works, A Study on Effort and With Care (both in collaboration with violinist/writer Keir GoGwilt), Lost Mountain continues to connect musicians and dancers through dialogues of rhythm, gesture, and song, creating abstract and emotionally visceral narratives. A Study on Effort focused on the physical and emotional efforts of individual bodies; With Care investigates the dynamics of caregiving and receiving between individuals; Lost Mountain expands the frame to map tectonic shifts and forces onto the human condition.
Her choreography has been presented by The Batsheva Dance Company, PS122 COILFestival, A.R.T, The Israel Museum, Lumi-nato Festival, The Wild Project, Machol Shalem, Sacramento Ballet, The CCA, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance.
She has created new commissions for CORPUS, the dance laboratory of the Royal Danish Ballet, Gibney Dance Company, a collaboration with Maxine Doyle on the Martha Graham Dance Company and is choreographing and starring in a feature film directed by Boaz Yakin.
The mission of AMOC, founded in 2017 by Matthew Aucoin and Zack Winokur, is to build and share a body of collaborative work. As a group of dancers, singers, musicians, writers, directors, composers, choreographers, and producers united by a core set of values, AMOC artists pool their resources to create new pathways that connect creators and audiences in surprising and visceral ways. Most recently, AMOC served as Music Director for the 2022 Ojai Music Festival–the second ensemble and first explicitly interdisciplinary company to hold the position in OMF's 75-year history. Over the Festival's four days, AMOC offered 18 performances, eight world premieres, and six new theatrical productions. This season, AMOC* premiered a new production of Harawi, an affecting interpretation of Olivier Messiaen’s song cycle that breaks open its explorations of love and death into a newly physicalized and theatrical dimension. It made its world premiere at Festival d'Aix-en-Provence and will continue a tour to Europe, performing at DeSingel, Elbphilharmonie and Leverkusen in May 2023. AMOC*’s 2022-2023 season will also see the world premiere of Bobbi Jene Smith’s Broken Theater, presented in partnership with New Dialect, Carolina Performing Arts and La MaMa, as well as the New York premieres of Carolyn Chen’s How to Fall Apart at Baryshnikov Arts Center and Anthony Cheung’s the echoing of tenses at the 92nd St. Y. The company has appeared at the 92nd Street Y, Big Ears Festival, the Caramoor Festival, National Sawdust, The Clark Art Institute, and the San Diego Symphony. AMOC has been in residence at the Park Avenue Armory and Harvard University.
La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival
La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival continues to support La MaMa’s commitment to presenting diverse performance styles that challenge audience’s perception of dance by featuring performance/installations, experimental film screenings & public symposiums which address dance artists’ engagement with the current political climate, as well as honoring diasporic histories and legacy, ancestral inspirations and inter-generational dialogue.