Diagnosis of a Faun
|Organization||La MaMa E.T.C.||
|Address||74A East 4th Street, New York, NY, United States|
|Start||December 3, 2009|
|End||December 20, 2009|
|Closed||Monday - Wednesday|
In Diagnosis of a Faun, Tamar Rogoff’s faun steps out of his mythical world to interface with the world of medicine. As the faun moves through the seemingly disparate spheres of the operating room and the forest in the company of dancers, doctors, humans and nymphs, the curse of separation between medicine and art is gently lifted. Gregg Mozgala, an actor who has been training with Rogoff for over a year, makes his dance debut in the principal role of the faun. In fashioning the faun, Rogoff draws her choreographic inspiration from Mozgala’s first-hand experience with Cerebral Palsy. Dr. Don Kollisch, a Family Physician, will perform a classical pas de deux with Lucie Baker who plays a nymph. Dancer Emily Pope-Blackman plays the part of a doctor that navigates the divide between her and her patient. Rogoff’s choreographic language reveals each performer’s unique and well-honed expertise and creates juxtapositions in partnering that set them at each other’s mercy. Rogoff developed and researched the medical layers of this piece in a two year association with Phillip Bauman, renowned orthopedic surgeon for the NYC Ballet and ABT. Robert Eggers designs the costumes and sets, which include the faun’s hilltop and the anatomy theater, brought to life by the lighting designer Tony Giovannetti. The music of Jean Sibelius is set within a sound score by Leon Rothenberg.
Tamar Rogoff is a choreographer who explores the outer limits of how people negotiate extreme circumstances. She combines and juxtaposes unlikely company members, always on the look out for magical and tender ways to tell difficult stories. Rogoff’s large scale site works, films, and more traditional proscenium performances house her life-long experimental process to search for balance in the ungainly positions in which she finds herself. Angle of Ascent was performed on a tower rising 25 feet above the plaza in Lincoln Center, while huge water tanks were built there for In Deep. The Ivye Project (1994) took place in a forest in Belarus, surrounding the mass graves of Rogoff’s relatives and others killed in the Holocaust. This later became the subject of the documentary made by Rogoff and Daisy Wright called Summer in Ivye, which was screened at the Hamptons International Film Festival. Demeter’s Daughter, another large scale site-work performed on the streets of the lower East Side, used community gardens, rooftops, and an abandoned schoolyard. Rogoff’s proscenium piece, Daughter of a Pacifist Soldier, was based on the year-long relationship between her company and a community of veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In 2005, Rogoff choreographed a solo dance piece at P.S.122 for actress Claire Danes entitled Christina Olson: American Model. In 2007, Rogoff choreographed Edith & Jenny, an interdisciplinary work for Danes and Ariel Flavin. Rogoff has taught for many years at P.S. 122 and at NYU’s Experimental Theater Wing. Six years ago, she founded the arts program at Solar1, an environmental education and arts center, where Rogoff is currently artistic director. She is a four-time recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and has been generously funded and commissioned by Dancing in the Streets, Association of Performing Arts Presenters, Rockefeller MAP Grant, the Trust for Mutual Understanding, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Harkness Foundation, New York Theater Workshop’s Suitcase Fund, VSA arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation.
Currently, as a Guggenheim Fellow, Rogoff is working on a documentary about the training of Gregg Mozgala, as he prepares to dance the role of the Faun. Rogoff’s methods of release through unorthodox body practices address Mozgala’s cerebral palsy, as together they forge an intimate and vibrant relationship.
La MaMa Experimental Theatre presents in association with Tamar Rogoff Performance Projects Diagnosis of a Faun, commissioned by VSA arts. In June 2010, Diagnosis of a Faun will be performed at the Kennedy Center as part of the 2010 International VSA arts Festival.