MAPP International Productions News: Seeking Truth in the theater, studio, community and world

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Abbey Lincoln Walter Carter
 in the theater

in the theater october 10
Having one incredible work on tour is exciting – having two at once is exhilarating! A brief sample of the reactions filling our email inbox:

About Yasuko Yokoshi's Tyler Tyler

Your piece, built from your carefully crafted but wonderfully wild choreographic choices, reminded me that art exists (as the novelist Milan Kundera said) 'to preserve the ambiguities'. – South Hadley, MA


I was perfectly happy just letting my brain sink into this meditative wonderland where Eastern and Western sensibilities are clearly at odds but also have their similarities…may be the most fascinating thing I've seen all year. – Houston, TX


 I frequently wondered what cultural cues or layers of traditions I was missing but in the end, I decided to let go and absorb it as dance in and of itself. I appreciated the willingness of the choreographer and dancers to mutually cross over the cultural divide. We need more of that in our world. – Amherst, MA

And Ralph Lemon's How Can You Stay In The House All Day And Not Go Anywhere?

I moved from elated to devastated to thoughtful to energized to exhausted to silly to overwhelmed and on and on…. As a dancer and as a human being, I am so grateful and inspired and heartbroken and enriched by what you shared with us. – San Francisco, CA
I still haven't quite exited the work, such was its exquisite power. Kudos for co-creating such a special experience in this noisy world. – Brooklyn, NY
[The dancers] "play" themselves, in front of us, and ask us to feel what we feel, as we contemplate what they feel, how their bodies move, what sounds they make. If we are uncomfortab
le, uneasy, sad, they ask us to notice those feelings rather than run away from them. This alone makes
How Can You Stay an all too rare cultural work.  – St. Paul, MN

in the studio

in the studio oct 10
Dean Moss and collaborators recently offered new glimpses of Nameless forest in showings at The Kitchen (NYC) and at Arizona State University (Tempe). Each viewing sparked a rich back-and-forth between artists and audience, helping Dean and company break through to new thinking about the piece. Next month, they'll be at Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (Tallahassee), editing and refining the production.

Residencies like these – which provide time, space and equipment – are essential to the artists' creative process on complex projects like Nameless forest. They also give the public a chance to directly experience that process. A shout out to our partners in these residencies, which reflect the producer-artist-presenter collaboration at its most fruitful.

Embarking on her new project, MIRIAM, Nora Chipaumire is driven by concerns that are artistic, personal, sociological and historical – what particular challenges must an African woman negotiate to have a full creative life? She's pursuing this question as she researches the life and work of South African artist and activist Miriam Makeba, and mines her own history:

Being a dance artist is not the narrative I could have dreamt for myself as a young girl in Harare (Zimbabwe).
Dance has allowed me to accept the "chip on my shoulder" (as the poor African girl). The choice between Family and Dance continues to give me deep opportunities for self-discovery and disclosure, and a method through which to proclaim my freedom: that is, like Miriam Makeba, the capacity to envision, and to start, something new.

in the community

Hundreds of people came out for the "WeDaPeoples" Cabaret at Harlem Stage (in NYC) in September, a lively evening of music, dance, poetry, and video supported by MAPP's America Project. "WeDaPeoples" was first created by Sekou Sundiata as a chance to mix art and activism – to "dance to the revolution." Poet Carl Hancock Rux curated an evening of electrifying performances – with Toshi Reagon, Queen Esther, Helga Davis, and Greg Tate to name just a few – to inspire hope in the face of challenging times, and ignite a passion for action and change.

Cathy recently spoke on a panel at the Theater Without Borders conference in NYC. Her impressions:

I was humbled by the invitation to participate in "Acting Together on the World Stage: A Conference on Theatre and Peace Building in Conflict Zones." The event was a monumental achievement, bringing together more than 300 people, with artists and arts practitioners from over 30 countries, many who take life and death risks for their art as they navigate governments, bureaucracies, and armies in their efforts to make positive world change. I was struck by the no-holds barred honesty that characterized the conversations and the presentations, as together we imagined pathways to peace through art practice.

And, don't miss David Soll's new film, Puppet, which follows MAPP artist Dan Hurlin in the creation of his award-winning show, Disfarmer. Catch the world premiere at DOC NYC in early November.

in the world

in the world 10

 Cathy and Ann head to Nairobi, Kenya, for the Building Equitable Partnerships meeting organized by The Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium and hosted by the GoDown Arts Centre. Consortium members and GoDown leaders will be joined by artists – Panaibra Gabriel and Maria Helena Pinto from Mozambique; Faustin Linyekula from Democratic Republic of Congo (that's part of the arts complex he's building in the picture above!); Boyzie Cekwana from South Africa; and Opiyo Okach from Nairobi – to conceive a possible program of long-term, multi-directional cultural exchange.

Emily goes to Bamako, Mali at the end of October, to attend the biennial Danse l'Afrique Danse Festival. Look for her report in our next newsletter.


in suite 502

MAPP's first benefit was a great success! Organized by our super Board member David Gibson and hosted by David's partner at TWO TWELVE, Ann Harakawa, the evening was a warm celebration of MAPP's long, productive relationship with Ralph Lemon and Cross Performance. Many thanks to our Board and Benefit Committee members, and to all the friends – old and new – who joined us.

New season, new intern! MAPP welcomes Maegan Keller, who immediately got her feet wet working at the benefit. Denisa Musilova, a wonderful intern who has been with us since the spring, is sadly (for us) moving on, and we wish her well.

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Photo credits: Ralph Lemon; Julie Alexander and Kayvon Pourazar in Tyler Tyler by Alexandra Corrazza; Gesel Mason and David Thomson by Antoine Tempé; Nameless forest by Tim Trumble; WeDaPeoples Cabaret by Vaughn Browne; Les Studios Kabako, Democratic Republic of Congo by Faustin Linyekula.


NEFA Request for Proposals – Deadline: November 1, 2010 (Online Nomination Form)

Call for Nominations of Performing Arts Ensembles From Haiti, Indonesia, Mali, Pakistan, Senegal, Syria, and Turkey for U.S. Touring Program

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, in partnership with the New England Foundation for the Arts, has announced Center Stage, a pilot program involving U.S. tours by international performing arts ensembles with the aim of fostering cross-cultural understanding between citizens of the United States and other countries. The program is designed to build cultural awareness, develop long-lasting relationships between people of different countries, and enhance mutual understanding.

Performing arts ensembles of three to nine members each from Haiti, Indonesia, Mali, Pakistan, Senegal, Syria, and Turkey working in the disciplines of music, dance, and theater are eligible to apply; final selection will represent a total of ten ensembles from three to four of these countries. Throughout the 2012 calendar year, month-long tours of the U.S. will connect international artists with diverse communities in primarily small- and mid-sized American cities and towns, with a focus on youth engagement. The program will offer a range of exchange activities, including performances, school workshops, artist-to-artist exchanges, classes, and community gatherings.

Center Stage will provide each ensemble with an honorarium and will arrange and pay for travel and direct on-tour expenses.

Arts ensembles should demonstrate high artistic quality and accomplishment, have an interest in engaging with U.S. communities, and have previous touring experience but not have traveled to the U.S. or have rarely been seen in the U.S. Nominations of ensembles working in contemporary forms are strongly encouraged.

Nominations are welcome from presenters, artists, and their representatives; state and regional arts agencies; country and U.S. embassy personnel; and other knowledgeable individuals in the U.S and abroad. Artists interested in participating may submit a nomination on behalf of their own ensemble.

Visit the NEFA Web site for complete program details and the online nomination form.


Primary Subject: Arts and Culture 
Geographic Funding Area: National

Bamako Symposium on the Arts: L'Université de Bamako/ University of Mali, Bamako, Mali

(2ND Bamako Summer School)
Venue: L'Université de Bamako/ University of Mali, Bamako, Mali
Date: 22 -30 July, 2010

A call is made to arts professionals, researchers and interested
others for contributions addressing one or more of the symposium
strands: Arts Education Practice, Studio Practice,
Curatorial/Museum/Community Arts Practice, Arts History/Criticism,
Arts Administration/Management/Marketing Practice, and Open Session.
The symposium entails paper presentations and practical activities
such as workshops sessions, mini-projects, and artistic interventions
that would result to an exhibition or public performance. With the
practical acts and theoretical presentations we aim to promote
critical dialogues on the best practices around the world on how the
arts as resource feed civilizations in hope that we will generate new
initiatives to boost human capital development in Mali in the 21st
century. Thus, the symposium asks: How are the arts worldwide feeding
civilizations? What are the implications for tapping the abundant
local resources in Mali in the 21st century? The symposium reckons a
major issue is sustainability. Through the years, many developmental
initiatives have continued to emerged, but failed to roll out and be
sustained. Interestingly, the symposium coincides with the celebration
of the fifty year of independence of Mali.

We define the arts broadly to include visual arts, literary arts,
performing arts, design, new media/film production, arts history, arts
criticism, arts education, arts administration and curatorship, and
emerging others. We expect about 200 participants from around the
world. The working language of the conference will be French and
English. For paper presentation, all abstracts and short biographies
(ca 100-150 words) should be submitted electronically to Abstract deadline for theoretical session/panel
proposals is 31 March 2010, and 30 April 2010 is deadline for
individual paper abstracts. Late submission will be considered if
space is available; deadline for full paper (c. 3000 words)
submission: 30th June 2010. For workshops and artistic interventions
(visual arts, music and theatre) the proposals should be submitted to
the Balani's Association at Bamako: Applications
for individual and team practical acts will be reviewed until space is

The symposium is organized as collaboration between African Community
of Arts Educators (AfriCOAE) and Balani's Association in conjunction
with L'Université de Bamako, National Museum, and Ministry of Culture
Mali, and the Conservatory of Arts and Craft. Additional information
such as the symposium programme, Bamako hotels and others related to
the symposium will be sent to all registered participants well in
advance of the conference. Information on the symposium is on the
project web site:, and elsewhere on
the WWW space.