Seeing Somatic: Performances Across Body and Space
$15 General Admission
$5 Students / Seniors / Working Artists
Seeing Somatic: Performances Across Body and Space is an evening of performance by Naomi Bennett, Greg Langner, and Montana Jean Smith, all PhD candidates in Performance Studies in Louisiana State University's Department of Communication Studies in Baton Rouge, LA. As artist-scholars, Bennett, Langner, and Smith’s work is all based in the potential of physical body to explore issues of culture, gender, and the isolation of technology. The evening will include their most recent performance works: Un Clin du Corps, which explores the omnipresent screens that have invaded our daily life (with live music accompaniment by Hal Lambert and Mitchell Mobley); Cicadas, which disrupts the tensions we feel when we enter into unfamiliar cultural space; and Glance Backwards, which uses narrative, art and creative movement to explore gender identity in relation to space.
Performances (in order of appearance):
un clin du corps (a wink of the body) is on the brink of physical contact and technological distance. Separated by physical barriers of space, time, and the isolation of life in the digital ages, this performance reaches through the omnipresent screens that have invaded daily life.
Cicadas performs the clash between body and culture. Applying the tensions we feel when we enter into unfamiliar space, the performance moves through waves of discomfort and suffocation, hoping to discover some relief, maybe even some joy among the unknown. As the rhythm and ambience of Southern cicadas pierce the humid heat around us, bodies on stage wake and withdraw. Wake and withdraw. Wake and withdraw.
Glance Backwards works from the convergence point of narrative, art, and creative movement to explore gender identity in relation to space. Utilizing Bauhaus methods for design and aesthetic purposes, this performance aims to highlight the constraining nature of Bauhaus performance methods for female bodies and the legacy it left for these bodies to negotiate their place in the visual and physical environment.
Naomi Bennett is a director, performer, and video projection artist. She is a PhD candidate in Communication Studies/Performance Studies at Louisiana State University, and holds an MFA in Television, Film, and Theatre Production from California State University, Los Angeles, and a BA in Community Based Theater from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Bennett is a graduate of the Professional Track Circus program at the New England Center for Circus Arts, a former cast member of the gender-bending drag show TraniWreck, and a co-founder and former member of The Grindhouse Marionettes, who opened for such acts as Nine Inch Nails, The Tiger Lilies, and the Dresden Dolls. Bennett’s current artistic practice focuses on the creation of interactive encounters that physically engage the audience with technology. Her work investigates immersive, interactive art installation and physical performance that engage senses of touch, sight, and proprioception though encounters of disembodied embodiment.
Greg Langner is the former Associate Artistic Director of Southern California's Mosaic Lizard Theatre Company, having devised and directed dozens of original and adapted works at the Lizard and across the Greater Los Angeles Area. Before pursuing his PhD in Performance Studies at Louisiana State University, Greg earned his Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts and Dance and Master of Arts in Communication Studies at California State University, Los Angeles. Greg now teaches Performance Studies, Rhetorical Theory, Intersectionality, Applied Research Methods, and Film Studies between Cal State LA and LSU. While also collaborating with performance artists across the country, Greg continues to develop and tour new original works, including Cue Cartoon, which premiered at the HopKins Black Box theatre at LSU in February of 2018, and Cue Cartoon: Still Buffering, which will premier at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans in February of this year as part of the Patti Pace Performance Festival.
Montana Jean Smith is a director, dancer, and choreographer from Des Moines, Iowa. She is a PhD candidate in Performance Studies at Louisiana State University and holds an MA in Education and a BA in Interpersonal Communication from the University of Northern Iowa. Montana is the former Vice President and choreographer and performer with Orchesis Dance Company at UNI, where she focused on modern and contemporary dance methods. Montana now teaches Performance Studies courses at LSU with a focus on storytelling, identity, and movement. Her current work investigates dance as a mode of storytelling and method of critique in regards to cultural institutions and the stresses they impose on individuals within under-privileged groups. In April 2018, Montana premiered her first original show, LOOK!, which was chosen to be a part of the Petit Jean Performance Festival in November 2018 in Petit Jean, Arkansas. In November she also held the The Choreo-Story Workshops in the HopKins Black Box theatre at LSU, working with the Baton Rouge community to develop and enhance movement from the intersection of personal narrative, cultural texts, and professional discourses.