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Ht/X

Luke Savisky

Austin-based multimedia artist Luke Savisky returns to Houston with Ht/X, a live video spectacle on the underside of downtown Houston’s Allen’s Landing Bridge. The giant arch at once becomes a huge movie montage against the night sky; a watery reflection of the life along the river, a window through time and possibly even a passage to an inner world.

Savisky is known for transforming non-traditional spaces into immersive experiences that interact with and mesmerize audiences. In 2010, Savisky’s interactive installation E/x was projected onto four silos in Houston’s East End, igniting the city skyline with the bodies of audience members as they appeared to move and merge within a visually stunning montage.

***PLEASE NOTE***
-Reservations are required.
-A limited number of walk up tickets will be available for each performance, but in order to ensure your spot, we encourage you to make reservations in advance.
-This is a come and go performance.
-If you cannot attend a performance for which you have made a reservation, please email us at info@countercurrentfestival.org or send a text to 713-269-9691. Many performances have a small capacity, and we ask that you give other audience members the opportunity to enjoy it if you have something come up.

Allen's Landing
1001 Commerce Street Houston TX 77002

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Current Conversations

CounterCurrent 2015: Festival Themes and Concepts

CounterCurrent 15 artists Suzanne Bocanegra (Bodycast), Dean Moss (johnbrown), ArtSpot Productions (Cry You One), and Mondo Bizarro (Cry You One) discuss their projects and how they reflect the larger festival themes. These practitioners from vastly different disciplinary backgrounds will provide windows into their creative practices, current projects, interdisciplinary collaborations, and community oriented work. Moderated by Mitchell Center Executive Director, Karen Farber with time for Q&A.

***PLEASE NOTE***
-Reservations are required.
-A limited number of walk up tickets will be available for each performance, but in order to ensure your spot, we encourage you to make reservations in advance.
-If you cannot attend a performance for which you have made a reservation, please email us at info@countercurrentfestival.org or send a text to 713-269-9691. Many performances have a small capacity, and we ask that you give other audience members the opportunity to enjoy it if you have something come up.
-Please arrive early. Your reservations will be released to waiting audience members 5 minutes before the performance begins.

She Works Flexible
1709 Westheimer Road Houston TX 77098

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In Walking Distance

Maya Zbib + Omar Abi Azar, Zoukak Theater Company

A participatory performance taking the form of a promenade, Beirut-based Zoukak’s new work traverses the University of Houston campus, following the steps of a series of women warriors involved in various forms of resistance across history and in mythology. Through Zoukak’s interventions, these characters will resurface as contemporary women involved in political and social movements of defiance.

Presented in the context of current political conditions in which women leaders are often undermined when social change takes hold, Zoukak’s work is firmly rooted in the perpetual upheaval of their home country of Lebanon. Egypt and Tunisia are also points of interest, where the rise of the Muslim brotherhood and the corresponding increase in social and political subjugation of women. From Joan of Arc to Judith to Elissar to the “woman with the blue bra” in Tahrir Square, the processional performance reimagines these women asking the primitive question of what it means to fight for equality today and what is at stake. Through abstract and concrete mappings of places and events, the performers will reclaim the public space creating a new kind of attention for the passersby.

Zoukak was formed in Lebanon in 2006, born from a need to practice theater as a means for political and social involvement and from the idea of collectivity as a position against marginalizing systems. Creating work outside the dominating political and social discourses and establishing discourse across different communities defines Zoukak’s work and their political involvement as artists.

***PLEASE NOTE***
-In Walking Distance is an outdoor, processional performance. Please be prepared to stand and walk.
-Reservations are required.
-A limited number of walk up tickets will be available for each performance, but in order to ensure your spot, we encourage you to make reservations in advance.
-If you cannot attend a performance for which you have made a reservation, please email us at info@countercurrentfestival.org or send a text to 713-269-9691. Many performances have a small capacity, and we ask that you give other audience members the opportunity to enjoy it if you have something come up.
-Please arrive early. Your reservations will be released to waiting audience members 5 minutes before the performance begins.

Wilhelmina Grove, University of Houston
University of Houston Entrance 16 off Cullen Blvd Houston TX 77004

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Echoes of a Tumbling Throne (Odas Al Fin De Los Tiempos) Test #4

Sofia Cordova

San Francisco-based multimedia performance artist Sofia Cordova creates mesmerizing and intimate performances that captivate the audience with the sensual nature of what she is conjuring on stage and the apocalyptic nature of the story told. In this new work, performing from behind a screen mimicking the sail of a ship, Cordova (performing as La Propheta) will dance and sing tale of humanity’s destiny 1000 years in the future. Her songs, created in collaboration with artist and partner, Matthew Kirkland, detail a Spanish world where dances are held on cement slabs, brackish waters consume our land and life is lived in a perilous state of not-belonging. Through the washing away of the old and the renegotiating of our species relationship to the planet, we are given the opportunity to start anew not just in how we relate to the earth but to each other.

This performance piece is in support of a multimedia installation running 10am-6pm April 15-19. She Works Flexible pairs artists Sofia Cordova and Autumn Knight in "I perceive the other and lose myself," an exploration of erasure, memory, laughter and survival.

***PLEASE NOTE***
-Reservations are required.
-A limited number of walk up tickets will be available for each performance, but in order to ensure your spot, we encourage you to make reservations in advance.
-If you cannot attend a performance for which you have made a reservation, please email us at info@countercurrentfestival.org or send a text to 713-269-9691. Many performances have a small capacity, and we ask that you give other audience members the opportunity to enjoy it if you have something come up.
-Please arrive early. Your reservations will be released to waiting audience members 5 minutes before the performance begins.

She Works Flexible
1709 Westheimer Road Houston TX 77098

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If Ever I Would Leave You

Janet Biggs

Multimedia artist Janet Biggs offers a performance based on heroic individual stories of struggles with Alzheimer’s disease. Presented in collaboration with the University of Houston Blaffer Art Museum and independent curator, Janet Phelps, If Ever I Would Leave You merges the intimacy of a fleeting memory with the rigor of an optical seizure. Taking its title from one of the artist’s grandfather’s favorite songs, If Ever I Would Leave You looks at loss, desire, chaos and control in the face of a fading sense of self.

Biggs combines projected video images from her own memories with images culled from the local community to create a new narrative. Live actors, musicians and vocalists perform a dance of repeated rituals, reflecting the futile struggle to maintain control amongst the fraying fabric of a mind.. Using cutting edge scientific research on memory implanting, altering and erasure, Biggs creates negative memory evoking her earliest experiences of autonomous identity, power and freedom. The performance ends with a lone vocalist singing the title song. As each verse is sung, more and more words are absent until there is only silence.

***PLEASE NOTE***
-Reservations are required.
-A limited number of walk up tickets will be available for each performance, but in order to ensure your spot, we encourage you to make reservations in advance.
-If you cannot attend a performance for which you have made a reservation, please email us at info@countercurrentfestival.org or send a text to 713-269-9691. Many performances have a small capacity, and we ask that you give other audience members the opportunity to enjoy it if you have something come up.
-Please arrive early. Your reservations will be released to waiting audience members 5 minutes before the performance begins.

Project Row Houses Courtyard
2521 Holman Street Houston TX 77004

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Current Conversations

Art as Activism: Building Knowledge and Complicating Stereotypes

INTERSECTIONS is a new Mitchell Center initiative focused on Houston’s complex and diverse Muslim population, with an emphasis on the University of Houston’s own student body. Four artists from different parts of the world are developing contemporary projects that emerge from their engagement with UH students and local residents. This conversation brings together Ibrahim Quraishi (Islamic Violins ed.II) with Maya Zbib and Omar Abi Azar (In Walking Distance). INTERSECTIONS project consultant Asad Ali Jafri leads the discussion about the goals and challenges of this major initiative.

***PLEASE NOTE***
-Reservations are required.
-A limited number of walk up tickets will be available for each performance, but in order to ensure your spot, we encourage you to make reservations in advance.
-If you cannot attend a performance for which you have made a reservation, please email us at info@countercurrentfestival.org or send a text to 713-269-9691. Many performances have a small capacity, and we ask that you give other audience members the opportunity to enjoy it if you have something come up.
-Please arrive early. Your reservations will be released to waiting audience members 5 minutes before the performance begins.

She Works Flexible
1709 Westheimer Road Houston TX 77098

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Cry You One

Mondo Bizarro + ArtSpot Productions

Cry You One is the deeply inspired, collaborative creation of two New Orleans theater companies, Mondo Bizarro and ArtSpot Productions. This three hour, outdoor, processional performance is a powerful musical and theatrical journey about the effects of one of this country’s worst environmental disasters, Hurricane Katrina, and its relevance to other communities such as Houston. The show marries the spirit of New Orleans music and storytelling with the gulf coast landscape of Houston and its surrounding regions. Cry You One addresses themes of the company’s Louisiana home: converging cultures, human error, forced evacuation, living with water and the desire for permanence.

***PLEASE NOTE***
-Cry You One is an outdoor, processional performance. Please be prepared to stand and walk. Transportation will be available for those unable to walk the full length of the show. The performance is rain or shine so please dress appropriately. Sturdy shoes, long pants, bug spray and a water bottle are all recommended.
-Reservations are required.
-A limited number of walk up tickets will be available for each performance, but in order to ensure your spot, we encourage you to make reservations in advance.
-If you cannot attend a performance for which you have made a reservation, please email us at info@countercurrentfestival.org or send a text to 713-269-9691. Many performances have a small capacity, and we ask that you give other audience members the opportunity to enjoy it if you have something come up.
-Please arrive early. Your reservations will be released to waiting audience members 5 minutes before the performance begins.

Mason Park
541 South 75th Street Houston TX 77023

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Keep Some Sun on Your Face

Autumn Knight

Houston-based performance artist Autumn Knight, whose poetic and viscerally engaging multimedia work enthralls with honesty and power, creates a collaborative multimedia structure to explore the relationship between stand-up comedy and music in Black American artistic and entertainment traditions. Through stand-up performances, lectures, cinema and an interdisciplinary presentation of sound art, Knight takes us on a fascinating tour of the Black American economies of survival. Drawing on the rich history of vaudeville acts, the political usages of African-American comedy, music and contemporary pop culture crossovers, Knight will work with two sound designers and DJs – Philadelphia-based Mekeva McNeil and Houston’s own Jason Woods (Flash Gordon Parks) – to create a one of a kind sonic experience.

This performance piece is in support of a multimedia installation running 10am-6pm April 15-19. She Works Flexible pairs artists Sofia Cordova and Autumn Knight in "I perceive the other and lose myself," an exploration of erasure, memory, laughter and survival.

***PLEASE NOTE***
-Reservations are required.
-A limited number of walk up tickets will be available for each performance, but in order to ensure your spot, we encourage you to make reservations in advance.
-If you cannot attend a performance for which you have made a reservation, please email us at info@countercurrentfestival.org or send a text to 713-269-9691. Many performances have a small capacity, and we ask that you give other audience members the opportunity to enjoy it if you have something come up.
-Please arrive early. Your reservations will be released to waiting audience members 5 minutes before the performance begins.

She Works Flexible
1709 Westheimer Road Houston TX 77098

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johnbrown

Dean Moss

Steeped in a childhood of grassroots organizing and pitched campaigns, multidisciplinary artist Dean Moss draws from an intimate and varied history with activism to create johnbrown, a dark, wry meditation on the legacy of the white 19th-century abolitionist. The result of three years of research, johnbrown layers live choreography and text with video performances of an original script by Thomas Bradshaw and a score by Stephen Vitiello. Moss also incorporates a group of locally cast teenagers as production assistants. Presented in seven semi-autonomous segments titled after individual articles of John Brown’s Provisional Constitution of 1858, johnbrown melds an immersive audio/visual design and rigorous physicality with a disruptive impressionistic performance structure.

***PLEASE NOTE***
-Reservations are required.
-A limited number of walk up tickets will be available for each performance, but in order to ensure your spot, we encourage you to make reservations in advance.
-If you cannot attend a performance for which you have made a reservation, please email us at info@countercurrentfestival.org or send a text to 713-269-9691. Many performances have a small capacity, and we ask that you give other audience members the opportunity to enjoy it if you have something come up.
-Please arrive early. Your reservations will be released to waiting audience members 5 minutes before the performance begins.

DiverseWorks
4102 Fannin Street #200 Houston TX 77004

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Current Conversations

Third Ward: Connecting University and Community

Breakfast and Roundtable
Join the Mitchell Center and longtime collaborator, Project Row Houses, for the announcement of a new, multi-year partnership. The Mitchell Center will commission new performance-based works by leading artists for the PRH campus. Projects will be co-presented with PRH at CounterCurrent festivals over the next five years.

Please join us for breakfast and conversation with Ryan Dennis, Pubic Art Director of Project Row Houses; Karen Farber, Executive Director of the Mitchell Center; Pia Agrawal, Program Director of the Mitchell Center; along with Houston-based artists who have long histories of community-oriented contemporary art practices.

***PLEASE NOTE***
-Reservations are required.
-A limited number of walk up tickets will be available for each performance, but in order to ensure your spot, we encourage you to make reservations in advance.
-If you cannot attend a performance for which you have made a reservation, please email us at info@countercurrentfestival.org or send a text to 713-269-9691. Many performances have a small capacity, and we ask that you give other audience members the opportunity to enjoy it if you have something come up.
-Please arrive early. Your reservations will be released to waiting audience members 5 minutes before the performance begins.

Eldorado Ballroom
2310 Elgin Street Houston TX 77004

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Bodycast an Artist Lecture by Suzanne Bocanegra Starring Lili Taylor

Suzanne Bocanegra

Inspired by the two teenage years visual artist Suzanne Bocanegra spent in a body cast due to scoliosis, Bodycast is an inventive theatricalization of the ubiquitous “artist talk.” Part performance and part essay, Bocanegra uses the format to explore how and why she became an artist. It is a sequel of sorts to Bocanegra’s work When a Priest Marries a Witch, which used a similar approach to explore her Texas upbringing and had its premiere in 2010 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Exploring topics as disparate as Roman art, Rose queens, and Texas drill teams, Bodycast mines specific details of Bocanegra’s life to create a more general meditation on art-making and shifting ideals of feminine beauty.

Performed by film and television actress Lili Taylor (Mystic Pizza, Say Anything…, I Shot Andy Warhol, Six Feet Under, The Haunting), the story of Bocanegra’s Bodycast takes on a new life, with the phantom presence of the artist herself looming in the sidelines.

***PLEASE NOTE***
-Reservations are required.
-A limited number of walk up tickets will be available for each performance, but in order to ensure your spot, we encourage you to make reservations in advance.
-If you cannot attend a performance for which you have made a reservation, please email us at info@countercurrentfestival.org or send a text to 713-269-9691. Many performances have a small capacity, and we ask that you give other audience members the opportunity to enjoy it if you have something come up.
-Please arrive early. Your reservations will be released to waiting audience members 5 minutes before the performance begins.

Brown Auditorium Theater at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
1001 Bissonet Street Houston TX 77005

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Ten Tiny Dances Closing Celebration

Autumn Knight, Janet Biggs, Lauren Gutierrez, Tahni Holt, Lori Yuill, Karen Stokes, Jhon R. Stronks, Jasmine Hearn, Rebecca French, Sari Nordman

Connecting local and visiting dance communities for an experiment in confined space, Ten Tiny Dances® is a performance series dedicated to fostering inventive dance and providing an accessible performance experience for a diverse audience…all on a 4’ x 4’ stage.

Ten Tiny Dances® challenges artists to invent ways of collapsing known and recognizable vocabulary as well as to invent new vocabulary that responds to the possibilities of 16 sq. ft. It interrupts the usual expectations for dance vocabulary, performance and viewing, and affects the way people move and are perceived in space.

As well as the delight that comes from innovation, the event also offers an experience of tension for the audience as they ponder and witness how each performer meets and deals with the challenge of the space.

Ten Tiny Dances® was created in Portland, Oregon in 2002 and continues to be produced by founder Mike Barber and others, with permission. Please see www.tentinydances.org for more information.

***PLEASE NOTE***
-Brunch is being served at 11am, and does not require tickets. Reservations with the venue may be required. Attendees will be responsible for the cost of the brunch.
-It is not required that you attend the brunch in order to make reservations.
-Reservations are required for the performance.
-A limited number of walk up tickets will be available for each performance, but in order to ensure your spot, we encourage you to make reservations in advance.
-If you cannot attend a performance for which you have made a reservation, please email us at info@countercurrentfestival.org or send a text to 713-269-9691. Many performances have a small capacity, and we ask that you give other audience members the opportunity to enjoy it if you have something come up.
-Please arrive early. Your reservations will be released to waiting audience members 5 minutes before the performance begins.

13 Celsius
3000 Caroline Street Houston TX 77004

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