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PUNCH

Premiere: 4/21/2011 A radical reimagining of Stravinsky’s Pulcinella. From Italian street theater to the Ballets Russes, from The Punch and Judy Show to The Simpsons, the commedia characters are part of our culture – high and low. Miller Rothlein plays with those archetypes, turning Pulcinella into a joy-tinged grotesquerie.  Composer Zeena Parkins joins Miller Rothlein as they use microphone, whammy pedals, and eggs to playfully scandalize.

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Already Seen

Premiere: 10/01/2010 Miller Rothlein explores the concept of the “loop” on both human and technological levels. Cycles of repetition permeate our interactions with media and with each other: in Already Seen – infinite circles of film and sound are transformed from simple stutters to starting points for creation. As performers replay movement experiences, viewers are asked to determine just what has changed and what remains the same..

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How Am I Not Myself?

Premiere: 12/01/2009 Born a few days apart on opposite sides of the world, Amanda Miller (US) and Viji Rao (India) both began their classical dance training at the age of four — Miller in ballet, and Rao in Bharatnayam. Thirty years later, following careers in their respective forms, both create contemporary dance that travels far beyond their roots. In How am I not Myself?, directed by Tobin Rothlein, media merges with dance to create compelling stories of identity and growth, as Miller and Rao converse with each other, the audience, and versions of themselves.

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generate. degenerate.

Premiere: 09/10/2009 A woman. Bicycles. Moving forwards. Backwards. Nowhere. Gone.  The challenge: to make and perform a multi-media piece using only sustainable energy.  In generate. degenerate. the sound, media, and light are powered entirely by the physical actions of the performers.  Aided by a score of vintage country and western, a life is simultaneously told and erased in the telling.

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Spooky Action

Premiere: 04/07/2009 In Spooky Action, interactions between technology and bodies tell the twin stories of quantum and human entanglement — the invisible connections between particles and people. Inspired by an initial research trip to Fermilab National Accelerator Laboratory, Miller Rothlein worked with some of the world’s top physicists to develop the piece.  The result: a quantum love story of human proportions.

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Civilian / Warrior

Premiere: 2008 Directed by Tobin Rothlein, Civilian / Warrior reinterprets the classic and unfinished Büchner stage play, Woyzeck, through interviews and imagery from recent war veterans. The resulting hybrid combines documentary film, multi-screen video installation, and movement. Rothlein worked with a team of consultants and contributors, including former Army Sergeant John McCary, hip-hop legend Rennie Harris, Seattle-based choreographer Maureen Whiting, co-director Amanda Miller, and the MIRO dancers. Developed in part at the Grand Theater, Holland, this work was showcased in Groningen’s Noorderzon Theater & Crossover Festival in 2006.

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Self Portrait

Premiere: 05/02/2008 A living sculpture, Self Portrait combines live animation, video, still imagery, and demanding physicality.  Inspired by Kahlo’s paintings and diary, Miller Rothlein creates a performance tapestry out of a single dancing body.  Among the personal tokens of a life, the dancer literally becomes a canvas, as vivid color, light, and text are projected/hand-drawn upon her moving surfaces.  The choreography explores containment, revealing the depths below the surface of any self-representation.

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Principles of Uncertainty

Premiere: 09/07/2007 50 drummers, 25 dancers, 2 video artists, and the science of particle acceleration: a collaborative experiment between Nadia Hironaka, Eugene Lew, Amanda Miller, and Tobin Rothlein. The four traveled to Fermilab National Laboratory – home to the Tevatron particle accelerator. This machine smashes infinitesimally small particles together at insanely high energy levels. The four collaborators worked with larger particles (humans), different means of acceleration (drum kits), and a control room of immense video projections. Results are uncertain, but immense energy and the unexpected are guaranteed.

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Pitch Black

Premiere: 05/04/2007 Fueled by the energy, power, and sounds of the city, Pitch Black searches for human connection among skyscrapers and sidewalks. The PRISM saxophone quartet provides the four dancers with live music, performing the work of celebrated Dutch composer JacobTV (Jacob ter Veldhuis). The work incorporates a saxophone quartet and an 80’s style boombox, sampling both urban alienation and beauty – from the vocals of jazz singer Billie Holiday, to the strained sermons of religious fanatics in Times Square.

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LIE TO ME and shorter stories

Premiere: 09/07/2006 Image and movement – fused together by narcoleptics, pyromaniacs, and paper dolls.  LIE TO ME… explores the lies we tell each other, the lies we tell ourselves, and the lies we love to be told.  Inspired by Franz Kafka’s writings, this work of magical realism combines Miller Rothlein’s vision with Antony Rizzi’s multidisciplinary sensibility – shaped by his time working with choreographer William Forsythe.

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Hurdy Gurdy

Premiere: 09/07/2005 Gustav Mahler’s recurring vision of a carnival hurdy gurdy player grounds this unorthodox interpretation of the composer’s life and music. Letters and writings of Gustav and his wife Alma steep the piece in old dreams and new realities as time is turned on its head. Choreographer Johannes Wieland (based in New York and Kassel, Germany) joins Miller Rothlein to probe the intersection of Mahler’s hundred-year old story with the present. Hurdy Gurdy features the music of Gustav Mahler as re-envisioned by Uri Caine and Pete Wyer.