Gino Robair– from I, Norton
Scores for Dance curated by Anna Halprin
Isak Immanuel dance, Ian Heisters video installation
Besides having a fascination with resonating objects, Gino Robair owns Rastascan Records and is an associate editor for Electronic Musician magazine. Gino frequently tours North America and Europe as a soloist and often improvises in ad-hoc groups. He has performed and/or recorded with Anthony Braxton, Tom Waits, John Butcher, LaDonna Smith, Otomo Yoshihide, Eugene Chadbourne, John Zorn, Nina Hagen, Thinking Fellers Union Local 282, Myra Melford, ROVA Saxophone Quartet, The Club Foot Orchestra, and he is a founding member of the Splatter Trio.
I, Norton is a collection of materials in the form of a kit that can be assembled in a unique way for each performance and performed by any number of people. Although the score includes texts for speakers and singers, a realization of the opera can be completely instrumental. The piece does not require staging, sets, lights, or costumes. It is meant to be performed anywhere, anytime.
The literary elements behind the work are the writings attributed to Norton I, as well as “fraudulent decrees” published in contemporary newspapers to cash in on the Emperor’s notoriety. The words, letters, rhythms, and structure of the texts are prepared in a variety of ways and used as source material by each performer.
In performance, I, Norton takes the shape of an improvised collage that combines conduction (using hand cues), graphic scores, memory-based improvisational structures, and traditionally notated music. The opera is an open-ended project—a perpetual work-in-progress—with additions made for each performance.
Defying traditional notions of dance, Anna Halprin has extended its boundaries to address social issues, build community, foster both physical and emotional healing, and connect people to nature. In response to the racial unrest of the 1960s, she brought together a group of all-black and a group of all-white dancers in a collaborative performance, Ceremony of Us. She then formed the first multiracial dance company and increasingly focused on social justice themes. When she was diagnosed with cancer in the early 1970s, she used dance as part of her healing process and subsequently created innovative dance programs for cancer and AIDS patients. An early pioneer in the use of expressive arts for healing, she co-founded the Tamalpa Institute with her daughter Daria in 1978. Today, the Tamalpa’s ArtCorps program continues a vision close to Anna’s heart: using dance as a healing and peace-making force for people all over the world.
Isak Immanuel is an interdisciplinary artist, dancer, and choreographer making work within quotidian spaces, theaters, galleries, and for camera. He is the artistic director and primary choreographer for Tableau Stations. Recent work was at the Attakkalari India Biennial in Bangalore, India, Akiyoshidai International Art Village, ST Spot, and Dance Box in Japan, at the Taipei International Artist Village and the HweiLan International Artists Workshop in Taiwan, Moving_Movimento – Fabrica Europa in Italy, Dock11, ADA, and F40 Theatre in Berlin, CESTA (Cultural Exchange Station Tabor Arts) in the Czech Republic, and at New Langton Arts, CounterPULSE, SOMArts Cultural Center, OffCenter, Headlands Center for the Arts, and Djerassi in the San Francisco Bay Area, US. In 2009, photographs and text from the project Clothes x Sun was featured in the European dance magazine tanz (formerly ballettanz). In 2010, he was awarded fellowship from the Japan-US Friendship Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2012, work was nominated for the 7th International Choreography Competition – no ballet in Ludwigshafen, Germany. in 2014, while in residence at Dance Box Kobe / Maizuru RB in Japan, the work “Wind Stations – a curation of missing people” was developed. For 2015, he was selected for a Tending Space Fellowship from the Hemera Foundation.
Tableau Stations is an interdisciplinary arts platform engaging local and global questions of place. Creating work between dance and the visual arts, it was initiated (with the project Floor of Sky in 2004) by interdisciplinary artist, dancer, and choreographer Isak Immanuel. The impetus of the work came from an inquiry on how to negotiate contemporary public spaces of a city with the intimacies and economies of individual bodies. The projects shift between static and kinetic notions of identity, material, and environment. Here, inquiries to sight/site-specificity are actively engaged. Ongoing, it is work in the area of travel, absence, inversion, and how to open a map through collaboration and experimentation.
Ian Heisters uses dance, installation, data, and code as media for playing with issues around community, technology, and the body. His installations and performances have shown at local and national venues including Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Crystal Bridges Museum, CounterPULSE, The Asian Art Museum, and The Berkeley Art Museum. In addition to his personal practice, Ian is a researcher and advisor specializing in performance, digital media, data visualization, and sensor systems for projects with UC Berkeley, Camille Utterback, and the open source community. He was a member of Anna Halprin’s performance lab for several years, and has enjoyed an ongoing collaboration with Smith/Wymore Disappearing Acts. His projects are complemented by teaching art, design, and programming at Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, workshops and lectures at Stanford University and other institutions, and a range of commercial projects related to his artistic practice with The Sundance Institute, The Office for Creative Research, and Stamen Design to name a few. A native of Northern California, he is based in Berkeley, California, where he tries to spend as much time as possible in the outdoors with his wife and son.