1 hour 15 minutes
6min 45sec clip
Deke Weaver – director, writer, video artist, performer
Jennifer Allen – codirector, choreographer, performer
Chris Peck – composer/sound-design, performer
Valerie Oliveiro – lighting design
Andy Warfel – environmental & puppet design
Gary Ambler, Jessica Cornish, Kyli Kleven, Steve May – performers
Shatterglass Studio – video documentation
This performance documentation clip is made up of 6 segments.
0 sec: A short montage.
38 sec: ELEPHANT opened with a Charlie Rose-like character (Gary Ambler) interviewing Hero (Weaver) - a circus elephant gunned down by Elkton, South Dakota townspeople in a 1916 blizzard. An explosive sound/video transition moved the crowd “elephant-style” from the talkshow’s smaller section of the Stock Pavilion to a vast amphitheater. This physical participation led to a visceral communality, echoing the hope for local ecological stewardship: they were in it together. WOLF will expand these ideas. Audience members will be given identities and divided into packs of wolves and herds of prey as they are led through legs of the performance (bus, woods, barn).
Like ELEPHANT, WOLF is growing out of extensive research, interviews, and field experience.
2min 33 sec: Thai mahout-training course stories.
4min 3sec: Starting with Weaver’s animated procession of Muybridge animals, this segment is an example of how composer Chris Peck built songs with text unearthed in Weaver’s research (a paper on elephant acoustics; Pliny The Elder’s description of the perpetual war between dragons and elephants).
5 min: Strategies of film and theater documentary (video shot in Elkton, Weaver performing unaltered text from an interview with Anastasia Gebhard, 85-yr old curator of Elkton’s Community Museum) layered with dance (by Jennifer Allen) to shape the hybrid performance.
6min 22 sec: ELEPHANT closed with a 12-foot high elephant puppet walking across the dark, video-lit amphitheater. Dreamed up by Weaver, the puppet was designed by Andy Warfel. With humor, empathy, and plain old wonder the work is unpacking some of the complexities of our precarious moment in natural history.