7 Dances to a More Compassionate World
Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre
Susana di Palma, Artistic Director
Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre has a long history of bringing powerful and provocative flamenco dance theater experiences to the stage, combining the passionate soul of Spain with the lively innovative spirit of America. Artistic Director Susana di Palma’s latest work, ConVivir – 7 Dances to a More Compassionate World, is one of Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre’s most ambitious projects to date, transporting audiences to the passionate world of the Convivencia (“coexistence”) period in Spanish history when Jews, Christians and Muslims lived together in an atmosphere that was remarkable for its cultural vitality and lack of religious strife.
Directed and choreographed by Susana di Palma, audiences will be mesmerized by such acclaimed modern world masters of flamenco, hip hop, and Sephardic music and movement as Amir-John Haddad, José Salinas, Arcadio Marin, David Jordan Harris, Antonio Arrebola, Judith Brin Ingber, La Conja and Zorongo dancers. Venerable poetry fused with contemporary storytelling will inspire a range of emotions through this evocative spectacle at The Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts in Minneapolis April 4, 5 & 6, 2014.
'It is She Who I See'To bring the vision of this poignant and timely work to realization, Zorongo has launched an exciting collaboration with the multi-media design team Craig Harris and Candy Kuehn. A renowned composer and multi-media artist, Harris has been creating vivid immersive theatrical experiences for over thirty years. Kuehn is well known for her dramatic movement costuming and digital illustrations. Together they will bring new dimensions to Susana di Palma’s trademark multi-disciplinary and multi-media productions, creating an engaging new dramatic work. For this project Harris and Kuehn will build upon the powerful imagery in Aldo Moroni’s “civilization” sculptures and installations as source material, creating alternative visual worlds for ConVivir. Harris’ original music will merge with music from the astounding roster of collaborating musicians to create his signature narrative soundscape. Kuehn’s powerful digital illustrations and exquisite costumes complete the vision for a fully integrated immersive design.
Photos: Melisande Charles © 2012
This funding campaign has been created to underwrite the participation of Craig Harris and Candy Kuehn in ConVivir. With your help, we will be able to fund this key component of the work.
Photo: Candy Kuehn © 2010
Craig Harris is a composer, performer, writer, and Artistic Director of Interference Arts, a creative arts company that produces music and multimedia performance work, and engages in arts-focused community development projects. His artwork brings old and new technologies together to create immersive multi-dimensional dramatic experiences for performance, presentation and installation.
Harris’ multi-media production It is She Who I See, celebrating the original woman who is in all of us, was produced at the Ritz Theater in Minneapolis in the fall of 2012; his composition The Hill Has Something to Say, commissioned for soprano Renée Fleming, premiered in Alice Tully Hull at Lincoln Center in New York; his multimedia oratorio Five Books—First Series was commissioned and produced by the Sabes JCC Center for Jewish Arts and Humanities. He is a former President of the International Computer Music Association, and former Executive Director of the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology. In Minneapolis he has been Executive Director of Ballet of the Dolls and the Ritz Theater Foundation, where he led the initiative to renovate the Ritz Theater in Northeast Minneapolis, and has been Managing Director and Interim Director at the Playwrights’ Center. Craig received his Ph.D. in Composition at the Eastman School of Music.
Photo: Jennifer Bong © 2012
Candy Kuehn creates highly expressive and dramatic wearable art & movement costumes, wall pieces, sculptures, and digital illustrations that transport viewers into alternative universes of experience. She has created costumes for the dance theater company Ballet of the Dolls, and for Circus Juventas, Xelias Aerial Arts, and Kairos Dance. She created costumes and digital illustrations for large scale projections for Craig Harris’ Interference Arts production of “It is She Who I See,” a multimedia performance based on one of her digital illustrations. Her work has appeared at the Textile Center of Minnesota’s Art-in-Motion shows, the St. Paul American Craft Council Fair, and the 2011 Surface Design Association Conference juried shows.
Candy was the artist-in-residence for two years in the Textile Center Dye Lab, where she taught dye techniques to many local artists. Her digital illustrations have been exhibited in several shows, including the Art Show at the Minnesota State Fair, at the Women’s Building in St. Paul, and at the WARM 40th Anniversary exhibition, where she received an Honorable Mention Award. Candy's "Human and Earth History" panels were selected to be part of the City of Hopkins' Art Street public art program, and can be seen on the outside wall of the Hopkins Center for the Arts.
What We Need & What You Get
In order to bring Craig and Candy into this project, and cover associated technical and production expenses, we are asking the community to contribute $7,500. This is a fraction of the entire show's budget, but one that covers an important aspect of the project.
To express our gratitude for your generous donations, we are offering the following perks:
- At the $25 level, acknowledgment in our program, on our website and in a letter from Susana, Craig & Candy.
- At the $35 level, all of the above, plus a signed poster for the show.
- At the $100 level, all of the above, plus an invitation to the reception following the show on Friday, April 4th.
- At the $250 level, all of the above, plus a complimentary ticket for the Friday night performance.
- At the $500 level, all of the above, plus a second complimentary ticket for Friday night.
- At the $1000 level, all of the above, plus an 11" x 17" high resolution GLYCEE print of one of Candy Kuehn’s digital illustrations created for ConVivir.
Remember, 100% of the funds we receive from this campaign, after covering the perks, will go towards this show. Even if we do not reach our full goal, your donation will make a huge difference in our ability to put on the best show we can.
Founded in 1982 by Artistic Director
Susana di Palma, Zorongo Flamenco's mission is "to enrich our community by
drawing people close to the beauty and energy of the Flamenco tradition and, by
expanding on that tradition, create an innovative art form that explores the
issues of contemporary life." ConVivir has already received support from
the Goodale Family Foundation, the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, Rimon:
The Minnesota Jewish Arts Council, the City of St Paul Cultural STAR grant
program, the American Composers Forum and individual donors. A MNOriginal segment about Zorongo can be found here.
Zorongo has a strong history of presenting the best flamenco artists to Minnesota audiences. For ConVivir fabulous local artists will be joined by visiting master artists from Spain and Sri Lanka. The company also continues its tradition of engaging the community by fostering a community discussion in St. Paul about the themes of ConVivir with scenes from the performance, hopefully making a lasting change in the way we interact with people of other faiths within our increasingly global community.
How else can you help?
If you are unable to make a contribution today, please consider purchasing a ticket for the show, and also feel free to share this campaign on Facebook, Twitter, or to your friends in personal emails. Even the smallest donations are appreciated!