Apr 30, 2021
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Downtown Variety: Kenya Edition

Presented by La MaMa and CultureHub

Featuring Bold Theatre KE

Powered by LiveLab

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La MaMa and CultureHub team up with Bold Theatre Kenya to create a special edition of Downtown Variety, an online live performance series that features short acts of dance, music, theater, new media, comedy, A/V performance, and more. Downtown Variety brings La MaMa's 1960s café aesthetic to a virtual platform that links performers and audiences in real time across distance.

Downtown Variety: Kenya Edition will showcase a tapestry of short stories derived from cross-cultural collaborations, followed by a live devised performance that is rooted in vibrant Kenyan traditions but infused with modern culture, global inspiration, and the uniqueness of the human condition as the ensemble deal with their own selves and identities during this tumultuous time.

Curated by Bold Theatre KE, performances for this edition include:Sena Lwanyi by Andy Saharan, Dance-poetry works by The Voice Renaissance Art Group AKA La Voix, Vincent Owoko & Esther Masaa, Neema Bagamuhunda & Nerina Cocchi, LA FUGA by Eduardo García, SEEDS by Maimouna Jallow, MEMORY by Larissa Gómez (directed by Paola Irún), and Dream Kwa Mathree/Dreams in a Bus by Bold Theatre KE (Steve Gitau, Daisy Onyango, Thuita Christopher, Shirleen Ishenyi, Cindy Nyambura, Calvin Kinyua, Idris Neem, Martina Ayoro, directed by Aroji Otieno).

To watch the full episode of Downtown Variety anytime, become a supporter on Patreon!

Powered by LiveLab, a browser-based media-router for collaborative performance by CultureHub.

Aroji Otieno is the founder and Artistic Director of Bold Theatre KE, a cultural and artistic institution that uses art as a tool to promote social justice, focusing on patronage, training, production, and community service. Prior to that, he worked as the Creative & Content Director of FilmAid Kenya, a communication-based humanitarian organization that disseminates life-saving information and offers psychological relief through creative media programs in Refugee Camps within East Africa. Aroji, has participated in various theatre workshops, including, the La MaMa Umbria Director’s Workshop, Sundance Institute Theatre Lab, Nairobi Music Theatre Writing Lab, Kampala International Theatre Festival, Crossing Boundaries Theatre Festival in Ethiopia and Kerala Annual Theatre Festival.

TECHNICAL TEAM

CULTUREHUB / LA MAMA
Lead Technician — DeAndra Anthony
Host — Mattie Barber-Bockelman
Creative Technologist — Sangmin Chae
Video Production — Theo Cote, Jean Garcia


BOLD THEATRE KE
Camera Operation / Editing - Biko Nyongesa
Editing - Richard Onyinge

ABOUT CULTUREHUB & LIVE LAB

CultureHub is a global art and technology community that was born out of decades of collaboration between La MaMa and the Seoul Institute of the Arts, Korea’s first contemporary performing arts school. These two pioneering institutions sought to explore how the internet and digital technologies could foster a more sustainable model for international exchange and creativity.

Now in its 10th year, CultureHub has grown into a global network with studios in New York, Los Angeles, Korea, Indonesia, and Italy, providing connected environments for artists to critically examine our evolving relationship to technology. Through residencies, live productions, and educational programming, CultureHub advances the work of artists experimenting with emerging technologies in search of new artistic forms. CultureHub builds new partnerships that expand our network and provide increased access to online and offline platforms that fuel artist mobility, create opportunities for cultural exchange, and broaden human understanding through the convergence of art, technology, and education.

Click Here to Learn More About CultureHub

CultureHub is deeply committed to the use of open source and consumer-based technology to make electronic media art accessible to artists and audiences. In the past year, CultureHub collaborated with resident artist Olivia Jack to produce LiveLab, an open source video call software designed specifically for artists, educators, and cultural organizations. The LiveLab toolkit provides a flexible and artful environment for producing multi-location performances, workshops, and cultural exchanges. Built as an alternative to hardware video conferencing systems, LiveLab is customizable, free of cost, and as easy to use as Skype or Google Hangouts.

Click Here to Learn More About Live Lab

The show is produced under the following program(s):

Downtown Variety

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La MaMa and CultureHub are teaming up to create a Downtown Variety, a weekly online live performance series that will feature short acts of dance, music, theater, new media, comedy, A/V performance, and more. Responding to calls for social isolation, Downtown Variety brings La MaMa's 1960s café aesthetic to a virtual platform that links performers and audiences in real time across distance.

Special Event

April 30, 2021

CultureHub: Local Report (2021)

Local Report is a project first initiated in 1972 by Robert Whitman. Whitman gave coins to people in Manhattan and sent them to payphones all over the city to make a report of what they saw, which was broadcast live on local radio. As payphones gave way to cell phones and radio gave way to the internet, Whitman embraced these new tools and infused them within his practice—one grounded in exploring the elusiveness of perception and always challenging our ways of looking.

In this iteration of Local Report, students will dispatch from universities around the world including in Kenya, Serbia, Portugal, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the United States reporting on what they see through audio and video clips. These clips are submitted to CultureHub in New York City where they are woven into an audiovisual tapestry and presented as a durational livestream in Re-Fest and as a projected installation around the world.



Participating locations:
Indonesia – Institut Teknologi Bandung (Dianing Ratri)
Korea – Seoul Institute of the Arts (Ji-young Kim, Gewon Kim, Yujin Iris Jeong, Bosul Kim)
Kenya – Bold Theatre Kenya (Aroji Otieno) and KAKUWOOD
Netherlands – Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (Lena Essing)
Portugal – Universidade Católica Portuguesa (Sophie Pinto) and Superior School of Music and Performing Arts (Daniel Pinheiro)
Serbia – Faculty of Dramatic Arts, University in Belgrade (Jovana Karaulić, Pavle Dinulović), Eho Animato, (Ana Konstantinović), and School of Visual Anthropology, Visual Anthropology Center, Belgrade (Ana Popović)
United Kingdom – Kingston University London (Peter Case)
United States – Emerson College (Ioana B. Jucan)



Friday, April 30
2-8pm EDT / 11am-5pm PDT
Free / Donate

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER