Miro Dance Theatre Commissioned to Present at Filament Festival

Sunday, September 12, 2010

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Miro Dance Theatre was chosen to perform at this year’s Filament Festival at Rensselaer Polytechnic’s EMPAC (The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center.). The company was commissioned to create a new short work as part of the festival’s Live Shorts program. Filament runs from October 1-3 at multiple venues. Rensselear is located in Troy, NY. More information on the festival can be found online at www.empac.rpi.edu. Miro Dance Theatre will perform at 7 p.m. on October 1 and at 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 2.

The organizations involved in Live Shorts were commissioned to create a short work utilizing experimental technology. Miro will be working with sensors to create a new work with music by composer Van Stiefel. The new work, Already Seen, is a look at the way our human lives function in strange, deja-vu like loop. Also participating in Live Shorts are: Wally Cardona, SUE-C & Laetitia Sonami, Steve Cuiffo, Trey Lyford, & Geoff Sobelle , Jen DeNike, MTAA , National Theater of the United States of America, and Trouble.

“We have decided to create a self-contained performance space within the confines given to us by the festival. Our idea is to create a visual loop between the projections and the performers, and to investigate the times in our lives that we keep returning to, whether consciously or not.” Amanda

Filament is a festival of new work in performance, visual arts, sound, and media.
Each year, the festival hosts over 15 premieres spanning theater, 24-channel sound, contemporary dance, video, and a barn-raising; exchanges with artists, curators, and creative engineers; and a dynamic archive of the artistic process, this three day festival highlights EMPAC’s focus on creation via commissions and residencies.

Live Shorts is a new portion of the Filament festival this year. Live Shorts will be three programs of performances from across the spectrum of dance, theater, music, and the visual arts. All of the artists were commissioned specifically for this festival. Working within the same constraints, the artists will present varied and vigorous short works.

Miro will be returning to working with Van Stiefel at the festival. He participated this past summer in the Miro Mash-Ups. Stiefel brings an interesting aesthetic to the table. Stiefel creates music in which lyrical voices are often teased out of unusual instrumental combinations: electric guitar quartets, laptop ensembles, turntables, as well as more conventional ensembles. He trained as a classical guitarist at an early age. He attended the Centro Flamenco Paco Pena in 1983, studying with guitarist John Williams. Later, he was the Andres Segovia Memorial Fellow at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada, and while there, was drawn to contemporary music and the electric guitar. His present guitar music now exhibits an odd synthesis of classical and electric guitar strategies. He has collaborated with a variety of artists and ensembles including: artist Caroline Lathan-Stiefel, improvisation trio maison vague, Ursula’s End, guitarist Eliot Fisk, Nurit Pacht, Dan Lippel, the Vega String Quartet, choreographer David Dorfman, the Nash Ensemble, Thamyris Contemporary Music Ensemble, the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet, the Talujon Percussion Ensemble, and the Macon Symphony. Stiefel has a B.A./M.Mus from Yale University; in 2003, he completed the Ph.D. in music composition from Princeton University. After teaching counterpoint and musicianship at McGill University in Montreal, Stiefel became Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition at West Chester University School of Music in Pennsylvania. He co-directs New Music at West Chester University and the WCU Laptop Quartet.

The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) opened its doors in 2008 and was hailed by the New York Times as a “technological pleasure dome for the mind and senses… dedicated to the marriage of art and science as it has never been done before.”

Founded by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, EMPAC offers artists, scholars, researchers, engineers, designers, and audiences opportunities for creative exploration that are available nowhere else under a single roof. EMPAC operates nationally and internationally, attracting creative individuals from around the world and sending new artworks and innovative ideas onto the global stage.

EMPAC’s building is a showcase work of architecture and a unique technological facility that boasts unrivaled presentation and production capabilities for art and science spanning the physical and virtual worlds and the spaces in between.