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Michelle Tabnick
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DELIRIOUS Dances presents To Begin The World Over Again, June 30-July 2

by Michelle Tabnick
June 23, 2016
Gibney Dance Lower Manhattan
280 Broadway
New York, NY 10007
(646) 837-6809
DELIRIOUS Dances presents To Begin The World Over Again, on Thursday, June 30; Friday, July 1; and Saturday, July 2, 2016 at 8pm at Gibney Dance’s Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, 280 Broadway (entrance at 53A Chambers Street). Tickets are $15 in advance at https://gibneydance.org/performance/pop/delirious-dances/ and $20 at the door.

Family Night: Free activities and care for children of all ages is available on Saturday, July 2 from 7:30 – 9:30pm. If you are interested, please RSVP using this online form: http://bit.ly/EdisaWeeksFamilyNight.

To Begin The World Over Again explores the writings of Thomas Paine and his spirited advocacy for freedom and democracy. Fusing the visions of composer Joseph C. Phillips Jr. and choreographer Edisa Weeks and their respective companies the music ensemble Numinous and DELIRIOUS Dances, To Begin The World Over Againeloquently explores: How are freedom and democracy packaged and promoted in America? What does it mean to be free in American? As America becomes more consumer-driven, polarized and disenchanted, is America living up to its promise?

Performed with the audience sitting in the round, To Begin The World Over Again is an evening length multi-disciplinary work that features one actor, six dancers, and ten musicians. The work unfolds through four sections inspired by Paine’s words: Dreams Of Wonders Undreamt, These Are The Times That Try Men’s Soul, Mischief Is Easier Begun Than Ended, and We Have It In Our Power; as well as three musical interludes (Reel Liberty, Reel Democracy, Reel Equality) that are based on Contra music forms. Contra was the popular music and social dance during Paine's lifetime, however the interludes are more stylized or ‘crooked’, and merge Phillips’ concentration in both classical and jazz music.

These Are The Times That Try Men’s Soul explores the way we carry on in the face of opposition, for trying times do not disappear overnight, whether it is George Washington’s soldiers becoming discouraged in the fight against the better equipped and trained British Army, or people in America today grappling with issues from unemployment, to the right to protest, healthcare and more. In this section, the dancers relentlessly repeat a task, inspired by Paine’s exhortations to “summer soldiers” in The Crisis to remain steadfast because freedom requires sacrifice and dedication. The music is driving yet somber and builds to stark outbursts, like terse cries of anguish or piercing calls for action. The singers give voice to Paine’s words, which are woven with recordings from news clips of current social and political issues in America. The music and dancing resolve into a lush lilting phrase, like rain on parched earth, or the promise of a new reality. In the last section, We Have It In Our Power, the dancing and music weave distinct themes, which initially clash and ultimately intertwine, reflecting how democracy, ideally, is the coming together of various voices.


Free childcare is available on Saturday July 2 from 7:30pm – 9:30pm. If you are interested, please contact Purpose Productions at anae@purposeproductions.org in advance. If participating in childcare, guardians will be asked to sign a waiver and provide emergency contact details along with other important information. We also ask that you provide a nut-free snack for your child and any favorite games, books or toys. To ensure the safety and quality of care for families who choose this option, there is limited space. Care will be provided on a first come, first served basis. Families MUST sign up for childcare, by Friday July 1 at 5pm.


Choreographer Edisa Weeks formed DELIRIOUS Dances to empower people through the immediacy of dance. Weeks creates mixed media work in intimate environments that merge theater with dance, to deliriously explore our deepest desires, darkest fears and sweetest dreams. Described by the New York Times as having, “a gift for simple but striking visual effects,” her work has been performed in a variety of venues including The Brooklyn Botanic Garden, chashama arts The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Emory University, Inside/Out at Jacob's Pillow, Works & Process at the Guggenheim Museum, Harlem Stage, The Kennedy Center, The Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts, The Mermaid Parade, The National Black Arts Festival, and Summerstages Dance Festival, as well as in storefront windows, senior centers, sidewalks and living rooms, including living rooms in Berlin, Germany, as part of Haus der Kulturen der Welts 50th anniversary celebration. Edisa Weeks and DELIRIOUS have received numerous awards including grants from Artists International, The Brooklyn Arts Council, Dixon Place, the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, The Puffin Foundation, as well as choreographic residencies at Joyce SoHo, Materials or the Arts, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, among others. www.deliriousdances.com

Numinous is a flexible and unique ensemble of up to 25 musicians that was founded in 2000 by composer Joseph C. Phillips Jr. to perform his music. Part chamber orchestra, part big band, part contemporary alternative group, Numinous deftly and organically transmutes inspiration from contemporary classical, jazz, world, and popular music as well as cinema, literature, and science. Numinous and Phillips’s music generate emotions in the listener that resonate with beauty, mystery, and wonder in order to challenge, enlighten, and refresh. Joseph C. Phillips Jr. has been awarded a Meet the Composers grant, an American Music Center CAP grant, two Live Music for Dance commission grants, and was finalist for the Sundance Film Composers Lab Fellowship and the Opera Company of Philadelphia Composer-in-Residence; in addition new works have been commissioned by the BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) Next Wave Festival, the Ecstatic Music Festival, Simone Dinnerstein’s Neighborhood Classics concert series, and a number of other musicians and ensembles. Phillips is also the founder and artistic director of Pulse, a New York City federation of five award-winning composers.

DELIRIOUS Dances merges theater with dance to create work that are physically dynamic, visually evocative and explore the beauty and complexity of life. The company was founded by Edisa Weeks in 2003 on the belief that people of all cultural and economic backgrounds, ages and abilities are empowered by the immediacy of dancing, DELIRIOUS seeks to bring dance to diverse audiences by performing in living rooms, storefront windows, swimming pools, hospitals, senior centers, galleries as well as concert stages. To Begin The World Over Again is made possible in part by The Puffin Foundation; Queens College; a choreographic residency with Youth Arts Academy at Restoration Plaza in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn; The sponsorship of The Field; and the generosity of individuals.

GIBNEY DANCE, founded in 1991, is a trailblazing organization whose mission is to bring the possibility of movement where it otherwise would not exist. Through three interrelated fields of action—Center, Company, and Community Action—Gibney Dance is “Making Space for Dance” in studios, on stages, and in underserved shelters and schools. Gibney Dance Center is a powerhouse of cultural support for the performing arts community and the City itself. Its two remarkable spaces—Gibney Dance Choreographic Center at 890 Broadway and Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center at 280 Broadway—provide a roster of events supporting the creative process, encouraging dialogue, and providing professional development opportunities.

This performance is a part of the Gibney Dance POP series, a program supporting curated rental opportunities for the dance community.
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