Kyle Abraham (2013 Performing Arts) presents his project The Social at the 2013 Creative Capital Artist Retreat. The Social is a reflective, evening-length dance work that explores social dance and the memories associated with attending your first school dance, church function or house party. Facilitating an open environment for audiences to get up and dance before and after the show, the work embodies what those experiences were like for the viewer and performer alike. You can watch more artist presentations from the Retreat on our YouTube channel.
Jessica Almasy: Helloooo!
Neal: I was just thinking that we would get together because Jessica’s work is somewhat about America and I think that my work is about America, too. I don’t get asked about that very much. So, I wanted to talk about what it’s like to make work about America and have various experiences of people responding or not responding to it. I just wanted to have a wide-ranging and thought-provoking conversation about making work about America. [Laughs]
Jessica: Awesome. I’d like to start by giving a little context for where The Team is coming from. I’m part of the collaborative theater ensemble The Team, and we created a mission statement about ten years ago, which states that we make plays about America. So, if we’re succeeding, then that’s what we’re doing. Also, we had to create an acronym for legal purposes back in the day when we incorporated, so Team stands for Theater of the Emerging American Moment; so again, it’s right in the title. Our job is to think about what is happening right now. We gained our first traction in the UK at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, so people really read our work as information from America being made by young Americans. We were like a specimen for them. I think there’s a really big difference when you’re out of context than when you’re ensconced in your own culture. Continue reading