1. “The Bowie Project 3” is the third phase of a multi-year collaboration between the Strike Anywhere Performance Ensemble, Austin-based Andrea Ariel Dance Theatre (A.A.D.T.) and the Bowie tribute band The Super Creeps. The project began in 2013 and several incarnations of the piece have been performed in Austin, Texas in 2014 (Stateside at the Paramount), 2015 (Rollins Center) and 2017 (Ironwood Hall). The performance is a soundpainted mash-up of David Bowie’s music, interview quotes and original choreography inspired by the mercurial artist. The piece explores the man behind the mask. The show begins in 1977 and looks back over the years to 1969 plumbing the depths of his identity as he radically remakes his persona. We do not attempt to impersonate David Bowie. All the performers represent a facet of the performer. Rotating Soundpainters allow Bowie to reflect on his past in order to reshape his present. In this excerpt, Strike Anywhere’s Artistic Director, Leese Walker soundpaints the ensemble.
    Each performance is improvised and different every night. Performers respond to the soundpainter’s gestures sculpting their improvisations as signed. Specific pieces of set music or choreography are called up by the Soundpainter and manipulated. The soundpainter can then disrupt, remix, or riff on the material. The lighting changes are also improvised.

    # vimeo.com/220038740 Uploaded 239 Plays 0 Comments
  2. This excerpt is from “SAME RIVER”. It’s an improvised, interview-based show about how the gas-drilling process known as “fracking” impacts communities. SA performs residencies in places where fracking is taking place or is about to have an impact, interviews a wide swath of community members and uses the interview material to custom-design the show to reflect that place. The show has a set structure but the dialogue, choreography and music are improvised within that structure. We never try to impersonate any of our interview subjects; in fact our characters’ personality traits are set. The local interviews shape our language, determine the details of the conflicts and provide local references. The clip begins with a blistering trumpet solo. This is the end of the show. Drilling has fractured the community; friendships are strained and a marriage is in tatters. In this incarnation of the show, the trumpet reacts to a monologue immediately prior in which we hear about the beauty of the land before drilling, the devastating health effects of a contaminated water source and of the gas company’s denial of responsibility. The music conveys the anger and despair that so many of our interview subjects expressed.

    # vimeo.com/120733575 Uploaded 8 Plays 0 Comments
  3. SAME RIVER is an improvised, interdisciplinary performance based on interviews with local residents about “fracking”. Hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” is a controversial gas-drilling technique that is currently employed in 34 states. SAME RIVER tours to areas directly affected by shale gas drilling. The show is customized to reflect each community. The ensemble performs a residency in each locale during which time it conducts interviews with a diverse array of community members. Strike Anywhere (SA) uses the collected information and personal stories to create a high-quality, improvised performance with social and political significance. At the end of the performance, SA engages the audience in an intimate reflection process and facilitates a town-hall style meeting. Partnerships with multiple community organizations at each tour site allow SA to engage a large cross-section of the community. The goal of the project is to provide a forum for meaningful dialogue, empathy, awareness and local action.

    # vimeo.com/120660888 Uploaded 16 Plays 0 Comments
  4. “The Bowie Project 2” is the second phase of a multi-year collaboration between the Strike Anywhere Performance Ensemble, Austin-based Andrea Ariel Dance Theatre (A.A.D.T.) and the Bowie tribute band The Super Creeps. The performance is a soundpainted mash-up of David Bowie’s music, interview quotes and original choreography inspired by the mercurial artist. The piece explores the man behind the mask. The show begins in 1977 and looks back over the years to 1969 plumbing the depths of his identity as he radically remakes his persona. We do not attempt to impersonate David Bowie. All the performers represent a facet of the performer. Rotating Soundpainters allow Bowie to reflect on his past in order to reshape his present. In this excerpt, Strike Anywhere’s Artistic Director, Leese Walker soundpaints her fellow ensemble member, actor Nolan Kennedy and the A.A.D.T. dancers. Strike Anywhere’s guitarist/composer, Rolf Sturm, soundpaints the musicians. Each performance is improvised and different every night. In this scene, we are exploring Bowie’s sense of isolation and fear of madness during the period when he wrote “Space Oddity” in 1969. Performers respond to the soundpainter’s gestures sculpting their improvisations as signed. Specific pieces of set music or choreography are called up by the Soundpainter and manipulated. The soundpainter can then disrupt, remix, or riff on the material. The lighting changes are improvised as well.

    # vimeo.com/119919505 Uploaded 223 Plays 1 Comment
  5. "The Bowie Project 2" was shot on January 30, 2015 at the Long Center in Austin, Texas. The performance is a soundpainted mash-up of David Bowie’s music, interview quotes and original choreography inspired by the mercurial artist. The piece explores the man behind the mask. The show begins in 1977 and looks back over the years to 1969 plumbing the depths of his identity as he radically remakes his persona. We do not attempt to impersonate David Bowie. All the performers represent a facet of the performer. Rotating Soundpainters allow Bowie to reflect on his past in order to reshape his present. In this excerpt, Strike Anywhere’s Artistic Director, Leese Walker soundpaints her fellow ensemble member, actor Nolan Kennedy and the dancers. Strike Anywhere’s guitarist/composer, Rolf Sturm, soundpaints the musicians. Each performance is improvised and different every night. In this scene, we are exploring Bowie’s sense of isolation and fear of madness during the period when he wrote “Space Oddity” in 1969. Performers respond to the soundpainter’s gestures sculpting their improvisations as signed. Specific pieces of set music or choreography are called up by the Soundpainter and manipulated. The soundpainter can then disrupt, remix, or riff on the material. The lighting changes are improvised as well.

    “The Bowie Project 2” is the second phase of a multi-year collaboration between the Strike Anywhere Performance Ensemble (helmed by Leese Walker), Austin-based Andrea Ariel Dance Theatre (AADT) and the Bowie tribute band The Super Creeps. SA's Artistic Director, Leese Walker, was hired by AADT to teach the team soundpainting and to perform, co-direct and Soundpaint the show.

    # vimeo.com/120487996 Uploaded 55 Plays 0 Comments

Strike Anywhere Performance Ensemble

Leese Walker

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