The Living Earth Show
Friday, October 22, 2021 | 7:30pm
Taube Atrium Theater
Additional Performance—Sunday, October 24 at 5pm
About This Performance
The Living Earth Show and Post:ballet perform Lyra, a new collaborative production featuring the music of composer Samuel Adams, the movement of choreographer Vanessa Thiessen, and the cinematography of Benjamin Tarquin. Rooted in the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, Lyra delves into today's most urgent questions regarding empathy, technology, and our relationship to the natural world. Created both in quarantine and in person, Lyra weaves together the digital and the physical through a seamless, highly collaborative synthesis of dance, live music, projected film, and Meyer Sound’s new spatial sound technology Spacemap Go.
Lyra (World Premiere)
Post:ballet was founded in 2009 by Artistic Director Robert Dekkers, named “25 to Watch” by DANCE Magazine after the company’s inaugural season, with a vision to experiment with eclectic artists, using dance as a means for creative expression that takes chances, pushes boundaries, and challenges social norms. The company was recently named one of “10 Contemporary Ballet Companies You Should Be Obsessed With” by Dance Spirit, and Post:ballet’s dancers were recognized by San Francisco Chronicle for being “among the finest on the West Coast.”
Post:ballet is led by Dekkers and Resident Choreographer Vanessa Thiessen, whose collaborative approach to dance making gives all of the artists involved the opportunity to share in the investigation and contribute to the development of a new work, resulting in productions that are “decidedly daring and always beautifully performed” (SF Arts Monthly). Integrating the company’s classically trained dancers with diverse artists including composers, animators, architects, cinematographers, fashion designers, and sculptors, Post:ballet’s collaborations range from intensely intimate to wildly conceptual. Critical Dance exclaimed that Post:ballet’s “choreography and artistic collaborations are risky and challenging, yet they still cling to traditional technique in a very unique and genuine way.”
In 2010, after the company’s premiere, 7×7 Magazine named Post:ballet ‘Best New Dance’ in San Francisco. Now in its 12th Season, Post:ballet has developed a reputation for being “a company that not only lives dangerously—it thrives on it” (SF Chronicle). The company’s work has been presented at the San Francisco International Arts Festival, Jacob’s Pillow’s Inside/Out Festival, Seattle’s Against the Grain Festival, SF Frameline Film Festival, and SF Dance Film Festival. From the company’s evening-length Do Be collaboration with electro-acoustic ensemble The Living Earth Show to its Incandescent Body production featuring singer/songwriter Star Amerasu, Post:ballet’s collaborations are consistently “inventive, focused, sophisticated, and anything but risk averse” (SF Chronicle. The Post:ballet dancers have been nominated for three Isadora Duncan Awards for their performances with the company, and Post:ballet’s Lavender Country collaboration with Patrick Haggerty and his Lavender Country band (noted for being America’s first openly queer country music ensemble) was nominated for “Best Dance Performance" in 2017 by SF Classical Voice.
Now in their eleventh year of “outstanding” (San Francisco Chronicle) and “transcendent” (Charleston City Paper) performances, The Living Earth Show–guitarist Travis Andrews and percussionist Andy Meyerson—is a megaphone and canvas for the world’s most progressive artists. One of the premiere contemporary chamber ensembles in the United States, The Living Earth Show exists to push the boundaries of technical and artistic possibility while amplifying voices, perspectives, and bodies that the classical music tradition has often excluded. The organization uses the tools of experimental classical music to foreground BIPOC and LGBTQ+ artists, facilitating the creation of their most ambitious musical visions and creating work that reflects and responds to our world.
Based in San Francisco, The Living Earth Show has presented seasons of commissioned multimedia productions since 2011, working with dance companies, visual artists, sculptors, poets, and other musicians to craft compelling, immersive, California-centric productions.
The organization’s most recent live season (2019–20) included performances at the Spoleto Festival USA, Sutro Baths (Tremble Staves: a collaboration with the National Parks Service), Davies Symphony Hall (a collaboration with the San Francisco Girls’ Chorus), The Met Cloisters (Lordship & Bondage: The Birth of the Negro Superman: a collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art), and ODC Theater for a presentation of a festival in honor of The Living Earth Show’s 10th anniversary.
Committed to supporting the next generation of artistic thinkers, The Living Earth Show has been in residence at the Music Department at Stanford University (2019), the University of Michigan Center for World Performance Studies (2019), University of California Davis (2018), and University of South Carolina (2018).
The Living Earth Show has released three critically acclaimed albums: M. Lamar’s Lordship & Bondage: The Birth of the Negro Superman (2019), Dance Music (2016) and High Art (2013). Upcoming albums in 2021 include Samuel Adams’ Lyra, Sahba Aminkia’s Shahnameh: Book of Kings, Sarah Hennies and Terry Berlier’s A Kind of Ache, and the debut album by COMMANDO: a nü metal project organized by The Living Earth Show foregrounding some of the most legendary LGBTQIA POC rappers, singers, yellers, and rockers in the country.