By Douglas Dunn + Dancers
(Mural painted by Joel Janowitz, Alewife Cows)
January 10 & 11, 2020
9 PM (50 minutes)
Doors open at 8:30 PM
541 Broadway, 3rd floor
Between Prince & Spring Streets
Michael Hammond, text
Cleek Schrey, music
Jacob Burckhardt, video
Douglas Dunn, dance
Background for The Cattle from Michael Hammond —
Several years ago I wrote and performed a ten-minute monologue for the Boston Theatre Marathon entitled The Cattle, a brief account of a man struggling to explain the repeated appearance of cattle in his living room. Since that first and only performance I’d been considering how I might expand the piece and re-imagine its presentation. Then, in April, 2018, I saw Douglas Dunn perform his solo piece Time Out, and I had my “Eureka!” moment: that speechless but expressive figure before me belonged in the world of The Cattle. After a lively and inspiring conversation — courtship? — Douglas agreed to join me. We quickly agreed there should be a musician on stage with us, and convinced Cleek Schrey to join us. When the three of us agreed we wanted video in the mix, we pulled Jacob Burckhardt aboard. I’ve always been fascinated by Douglas’s background as a member of the improvisational dance ensemble Grand Union, who, I’m told, approached performance in the spirit of “let’s just show up and see what happens.” Make no mistake, I believe in careful and thorough preparation — and I suspect Grand Union did, too — but I have always strived to make that preparation the springboard, and not the pool. So here’s to one more flying leap…
MICHAEL HAMMOND is writing this in the third person for some reason. He is an actor, director, and playwright, and a faculty member at Boston University’s School of Theatre. He was a member of Shakespeare & Company for many years, last serving there as associate artistic director, and has appeared as an actor on Broadway, and at various regional theaters. More, to the point, Michael perceives this current collaboration with Douglas, Cleek, and Jacob to be a very welcome breath of fresh air.
CLEEK SCHREY is a fiddler, improviser, and composer from Virginia, now based in NYC. Recent engagements include the Big Ears Festival (TN), the Kilkenny Arts Festival (IR), SuperSense Festival of the Ecstatic (Aus) and the Issue Project Room (NYC) with electronic music pioneer David Behrman. He collaborates with musicians from a wide spectrum of scenes and styles. Frequent collaborators include David Behrman, the viol da gamba player Liam Byrne, traditional fiddle icon Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, and the avant-pop collective Exo-Tech. The journal Sound Post has noted that Cleek “possesses a rare combination of traits: deep respect for traditional music and the people who make it, and an unbounded curiosity about new directions for sound”. He is currently artist-in-residence at Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center and pursuing doctoral studies in Music Composition at Princeton University.
All the while making underground movies, JACOB BURCKHARDT has worked at a variety of jobs: Blueberry picker, Steel Mill laborer, grape harvester, Fuller Brush man, Truck driver, Taxi driver, camera repairman. He did sound recording and mixing from North Africa to the porn industry. After making two features, It Don’t Pay To Be An Honest Citizen, and Landlord Blues, he eschewed the money raising rat race, and prefers shorts, in film and video, where it is possible to preserve a direct relationship between the film and the film makers. He has collaborated several times with Douglas Dunn, including the sound design for Matches (1988).
DOUGLAS DUNN: New York based dancer and choreographer working continuously since 1968. Awards include a Bessie and France’s Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. Teaches Open Structures at NYU and presents Salons at his Manhattan studio. Dancer Out of Sight, his book of collected writings, is available at Amazon.com. DouglasDunnDance.com