Jan 13, 2016
Jan 16, 2016

Yesterday Tomorrow (Coil 2016)

Co-presented by La MaMa and Performance Space 122
Commissioned by Performance Space 122

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Running Time: 60 minutes

From Yesterday by The Beatles to Tomorrow from the musical Annie, Annie Dorsen’s performance Yesterday Tomorrow takes us on an exciting, unpredictable musical journey through space and time. Dorsen has made a name for herself as an creator of algorithmic theatre, in which she cuts up famous texts – and now also music – and has put them together again by a computer. In collaboration with Pierre Godard and IRCAM’s Greg Beller, she has devised an algorithm which uses ‘evolutionary computation’ to ensure that the path Yesterday Tomorrow takes is a different one every time – the starting point (Yesterday) and the evolutionary goal (Tomorrow) are known, but what the path in between will look like, nobody knows. As Yesterday fades further away from us and Tomorrow comes ever closer, the audience experiences how time passes and how the loss of the past is redeemed by the promise of a new future.

Yesterday Tomorrow is a co-commission of Holland Festival, Black Box Teater, Performance Space 122, La Villette – Résidences d’Artistes 2015, L’Hippodrome, scène nationale de Douai, Théâtre de Gennevilliers with Festival d’automne à Paris, Le Maillon-Wacken – Scene européenne – Strasbourg, and théâtre Garonne – Scène européenne – Toulouse. Made possible, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; and by The MAP Fund, with the assistance of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Additional support provided through fiscal sponsorship and a residency at Mount Tremper Arts; and a residency at Abrons Arts Center.

COIL is Performance Space 122’s annual performance festival that demonstrates the constant vitality of live performance in New York City featuring work created locally, across the US and around the world. PS122’s eleventh annual COIL festival is made possible, in part by Lambent Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation New York Theater Program, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, New York Community Trust and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.    

Photos by Annie Doren

Creation & Direction: Annie Dorsen
Music Direction: Joanna Bailie
Algorithm Design: Pierre Godard
Sound Design: Greg Beller
Video Systems Design: Ryan Holsopple
Lighting Design: Bruno Pocheron & Ruth Waldeyer
Technical Direction: Ruth Waldeyer
Design Consultants: Kate Howard & Jeff Sugg
Produced by: Alexandra Rosenberg
Performers: Hai-Ting Chinn, Jeffrey Gavett, & Natalie Raybould

About the Artist

New York based writer and director Annie Dorsen is active in a broad variety of disciplines, including theatre, film, dance and theatrical performances based on mathematical formules and computer programming. A recent example of the latter is her work A Piece of Work, in which the text of Shakespeare’s Hamlet was rearranged on stage by a computer. This work was staged in theatre On the Boards in Seattle, the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Parc de la Villette in Paris, among others. In 2012 she made Spokaoke, a karaoke project that used political and historical speeches instead of pop songs. Her first project that used computers was Hello Hi There, in which two speech computers had an onstage improvised dialogue. It premiered in 2010 in the Austrian festival steirischer herbst and was staged after that in many theatres and festivals in the United States and Europe, and was seen in its installation version in the bitforms gallery in New York. Dorsen worked with choreographers Anne Juren and DD Dorvillier and with musicians as drummer/producer ?uestlove of hiphop group The Roots, composer Laura Karpman and string quartet ETHEL. She was the co-creator of the Broadway musical Passing Strange, which was made into a film by director Spike Lee and won the Tony Award for best book and an OBIE Award. In 2014 Dorsen won the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts for her relentless search for new forms of theatre. Her latest work Yesterday Tomorrow will have its world premiere at the Holland Festival 2015.

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