Saturday January 31, 2004

This hour-long multi-media performance work,
Combining  video,  dance,  music,  and text,
Will delight audiences who love visual art,
Classical music, and zany performance.

Chopin and Me
Paula Hunter, Holly Hey & Leslie Amper
Saturday January 31, 2004
RISD Auditorium
South Main Street
Providence RI
Time: 8pm
Price: $10
Information & tickets: 401-529-4391


CHOPIN AND ME is a unique performance work combining video & performance
and featuring the live performance of Chopin's 24 preludes.

Local choreographer and performer, Paula Hunter received support from the RI Foundation and RISCA for this exciting multi-media work which has at its center the 24 Preludes of Chopin. Collaborating with videographer, Holly Hey and concert pianist, Leslie Amper, Hunter has conceived a work which theatricalizes the classical music experience.

Hunter and Hey have worked on 'responses' to each of the 24 Preludes. These responses are visual - live performance and video - and refer both to the music and to the challenge of structuring a theatrical piece that is centered on an abstract musical experience. Indeed, throughout the performance, Hunter both writes emails to her collaborators and talks to them about how difficult it is to architect the nonmusical portion of the performance. The piece is as much about the angst of shaping her stream of conscious art making as it is about the connection of unconscious thought and the audience experience.

Bringing together images from day to day life: skateboarding, riding in a car, children drawing, children having a snowball fight are connected to the somewhat surreal: skiing in a tutu on a college campus, youngsters step dancing down library steps. In addition, memories--those that pop-up on a daily basis--are alluded to and of course, biographic tidbits about Chopin's life and work appear, as well.

All the responses spew forth from Hunter's lurching attempt to make sense of the evening and its mesmerizing music. Ultimately, it is the Ed Sullivan Show, that guides her in designing the show. CHOPIN AND ME , like that iconic variety show, is part abstract art, part biographic tidbits, part stand-up humor, part technical wizardry. But unlike the Ed Sullivan Show, CHOPIN AND ME embraces the post-modern ethos, disavowing artistic hierarchies so that the everyday image, the random memory, the connection of very disparate ideas is included.

Ultimately, Hunter is creating a work that brings together highly entertaining elements of video, virtuostic piano performance, and stand-up comedy and dance. Dissolving artistic boundaries is an important element in 21st century art-making and CHOPIN AND ME is ultimately about making connections between different media as well as it is about tearing down the boundary between the audience and the artist.

Paula Hunter, has been performing her unique work throughout Rhode Island, the Northeast, and at locations in the U.S. since the early 80's. As a choreographer and Performance Artist, she makes dances to her own monologues that are both hilarious and tragic. She performs her 'memoirs' with unblinking clarity and honesty making such works as The Unexpected, Shrink, Mounting Evidence, Getting Known, Visited on Me, among others, unforgettable chapters in a girl to womanhood saga. In her 2001 work, Losing Track, Hunter collaborated with visual artists Esther Solondz and Meg Governo and CHOPIN AND ME, is a furthering of a more collaborative side to her work. Hunter is Artistic Director of JUMP!, a young people's dance company in Providence and has curated Summer In the Square, a dance festival in NY, is founder of the former Dixon Place series, The Words and The Motion and has been produced at DTW, The Kitchen, among other venues. She regularly shows work at The Carriage House in Providence where her work will be seen this spring.

Holly Hey, who began making films as an undergraduate photography major at Ohio University lives in Providence where she creates short films and videos to express personal anecdote. She has developed an aesthetic to create metaphorical spaces where she celebrates and explores issues of self-identity and home. Her work, utilizing experimental techniques, has screened in venuesthroughout the country and a few places abroad. Holly is an anjunct professor in the Film Studies Department at Rhode Island College and works at RISD in the Film and Video Department.

Leslie Amper, recipient of the NEA Solo Recitalist Fellowship Grant, has delighted audiences with her piano recitals in cities across the nation, including Boston, New York, San Francisco and Chicago. She has appeared in concerto performances with the Boston Pops, the New Hampshire Music festival Orchestra, and the Pittsburgh Symphony. Ms. Amper is a frequent performer in Boston's Emmanuel Music Series, and she has also appeared in chamber music concerts at Bargemusic, Eastern Music Festival, Monadnock Music, and in Strada Italy. Her recording of Andrew Imbrie's Short Story was selected for WGBH's Art of the States, an international radio broadcast. Leslie Amper holds faculty positions at the Longy School of Music and the New England Conservatory Preparatory, and has delivered lectures on music at Harvard University, Boston University, the New England Conservatory, and the New Hampshire Music Festival.

Deborah Nash at
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