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Janine Antoni and Anna Halprin: Paper Dance

This exhibition at the museum’s downtown Austin venue, the Jones Center on Congress Avenue, includes artworks by Antoni from 1989 to the present and solo dance performances by Antoni developed in collaboration with Halprin.

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Janine Antoni in collaboration with Anna Halprin, Paper Dance, 2013. Premiered at The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, 2016. Artwork © Janine Antoni. Image courtesy the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York. Photograph by Carlos Avendaño.

The Contemporary Austin presents an exhibition by artists Janine Antoni and Anna Halprin at its downtown Austin venue, the Jones Center at 700 Congress Avenue. On view January 23 through March 17, 2019, Janine Antoni and Anna Halprin: Paper Dance is a retrospective of work from the past thirty years by New York–based artist Janine Antoni (Bahamian, born 1964 in Freeport, Grand Bahama), including sculptures and photographs. The exhibition also includes a solo dance performance by Antoni developed collaboratively with the pioneering dancer and choreographer Anna Halprin (American, born 1920 in Wilmette, Illinois).

On view on the second floor of the Jones Center, Janine Antoni and Anna Halprin: Paper Dance invites visitors to experience an immersive, evolving arrangement of artworks and a series of fifteen live performances by Antoni. The works on view and performances are presented in three rotations focusing on themes prevalent throughout Antoni’s career: motherhood (January 23 – February 3), identity (February 5 – 24), and absence (February 26 – March 17). Together, Paper Dance provides an intriguing look into Antoni’s hybrid artistic practice, highlighting the ways in which she uses the body as tool and material in her performance and visual art. Through the changing nature of the exhibition and the artist’s time-based activation of the galleries, audiences will encounter a multitude of experiences over the course of the exhibition. Paper Dance is organized by Julia V. Hendrickson, Associate Curator, The Contemporary Austin, in collaboration with Andrea Mellard, Director of Public Programs & Community Engagement.

Janine Antoni in collaboration with Anna Halprin, Paper Dance, 2013. Premiered at The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, 2016. Artwork © Janine Antoni. Image courtesy the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York. Photograph by Carlos Avendaño.

Says Hendrickson, “The museum is thrilled to showcase a glimpse into the depth and breadth of Janine Antoni’s powerful work over the last thirty years, to tease out some key themes throughout her career, and to bring to Austin this unique take on an artist’s retrospective. While Antoni is primarily known as a sculptor, performance manifests itself in many of her processes. Paper Dance unites her physical art making with live performance, showing the importance that the body has had to the artist. Audiences will be able to experience, alongside the artist, connections between objects, movement, and space, gaining insight into the experience and memory of their making.” Adds Mellard, “The intimate performances Antoni developed collaboratively with Anna Halprin build on the choreographer’s legacy and offer the public a unique opportunity to see the visual artist in action, interacting with her own legacy through past works. It is an honor to invite Antoni back to Austin and to present this unique, hybrid project, which is both deeply affecting and reveals great insight into her process.”

Janine Antoni in collaboration with Anna Halprin, Paper Dance, 2013. Premiered at The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, 2016. Artwork © Janine Antoni. Image courtesy the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York. Photograph by Carlos Avendaño.

The exhibition at the Jones Center consists of a wooden dance floor and thirty-nine wooden art crates containing thirty-eight works of Antoni’s sculpture and photography from 1989 to the present. As visitors enter the space, they will see the dance floor, along with an arrangement of crates, which also serve as seating during the live performances. Through three separate thematic rotations, these crates will be reconfigured, unpacked, and packed by the artist and art handlers both during and in between performances, so that the space—and artworks on view—changes over time, allowing for a new experience for those who return throughout the exhibition.

Janine Antoni in collaboration with Anna Halprin, Paper Dance, 2013. Premiered at The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, 2016. Artwork © Janine Antoni. Image courtesy the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York. Photograph by Carlos Avendaño.

Each thematic rotation begins with the crates installed in a rough oval (imagined by the artist as a “nest” encircling the dance floor). During each performance, Antoni will remove a few artworks from the crates, so that a total of twelve to sixteen works are progressively revealed during each rotation. For example, during the first thematic rotation, motherhood, the nest of crates and their accompanying artworks will eventually be rearranged into tableaus, with works on view such as Umbilical, 2000, a cast sterling silver sculpture of a spoon with negative impressions of the artist’s mouth on one end and her mother’s hand on the other, and If I Die Before I Wake (mother’s hand meets daughter’s hand in prayer), 2004, a translucent porcelain nightlight similarly depicting each of their hands meeting in common prayer, close in size but distinguished by the signs of age that mark the hand of the mother.

The score of the Paper Dance performances derives from a 1965 dance work by Halprin, Parades and Changes, featuring dancers interacting with brown paper while performing the act of dressing and undressing—elements that recur in Paper Dance. A video excerpt of Halprin’s Parades and Changes is on view in this exhibition, connecting Antoni’s body of work to Halprin’s influential expansion of the boundaries of dance and performance to encompass social issues, build community, and foster personal healing.

Janine Antoni in collaboration with Anna Halprin, Paper Dance, 2013. Premiered at The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, 2016. Artwork © Janine Antoni. Image courtesy the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York. Photograph by Carlos Avendaño.

Inspired by this historic performance by Halprin, within the museum gallery will be placed long rolls of brown paper, which Antoni will use during her performances as she wraps and tangles her body in and out of the paper’s folds, alternately clothed and nude as she moves through the space. The crumpled brown paper will be left following each performance, so that a pile of these relics will grow through the course of the exhibition. During museum open hours, visitors may walk among the crates and view the artworks; they may also encounter the artist and art handlers working behind-the-scenes to rearrange crates and artworks between performances.

Says Louis Grachos, Ernest and Sarah Butler Executive Director & CEO of The Contemporary Austin: “Moving and surprising, Janine’s works reflect many of the directions of contemporary art over the last thirty years in a deeply personal way. I couldn’t be more pleased to present this thoughtful and dynamic show, and I encourage the public to make repeat visits to experience the exhibition as it evolves.”

Janine Antoni and Anna Halprin: Paper Dance follows a previous collaboration between Antoni and The Contemporary Austin. In 2015, Antoni was invited with the dancer and choreographer Stephen Petronio to present Incubator, an exhibition of collaborative and solo video, sculpture, and photography that was co-sponsored by The Contemporary and testsite, Austin, and exhibited at testsite. Antoni first presented Paper Dance publicly in 2016 as part of the exhibition Ally, featuring collaborative projects between Antoni, Halprin, and Petronio at The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia. Early versions of Paper Dance were performed by Antoni between 2013 and 2015 at Halprin’s Dance Deck in Northern California, an important contemporary dance site since the early 1950s.

Tickets for the Paper Dance live performances are free with museum admission; advance tickets are recommended at thecontemporaryaustin.org/paperdance.

Trailer for Spirit Labour that will be screened on the rooftop on March 6, 2019.

The museum will also present a range of exhibition-related programs, including an Artist Talk on February 5, 2019, in which Antoni will discuss how her past work continues to reveal itself when experienced through improvisational movement, and Open for Discussion on February 19, 2019, a group conversation about motherhood, identity, and absence, in which the public is invited to participate. Additionally, on March 6, 2019, the museum will present a rooftop film screening of Spirit Labour (directed by Hugo Glendinning and Adrian Heathfield, 2016, 41 min.) that follows the creative practice of Janine Antoni and her collaborations and conversations with the dancer and choreographer Anna Halprin and the writer Hélène Cixous.

Showcasing two renowned and architecturally unique locations, The Contemporary Austin brings multidisciplinary exhibitions, engaging programs, and enticing special events to the city's visual arts landscape.

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Performance

Austin Gay Men’s Chorus Comes Out

The Capital City Men’s Chorus celebrated 30 years, by coming out with a new name and a new logo — welcome the Austin Gay Men’s Chorus.

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The Austin Gay Men's Chorus walked in the 2019 Austin PRIDE Parade for the first time under their new name. Photo credit: Austin Gay Men's Chorus / Facebook

After a successful 30-year trajectory, the Capital City Men’s Chorus announced it has changed its name to the Austin Gay Men’s Chorus, in celebration of the growing acceptance and pride in their identity.

“Claiming our name is the next chapter in the Capital City Men’s Chorus’ coming out story,” said Board Chair Paul Halstead. “From a position of ‘truth in labeling’ we can continue the conversation about being a completely inclusive community.”

As part of this new identity, the chorus revealed their new logo and website, www.austingaymenschorus.org. The new logo, which features the chorus acronym in a variety of fonts and colors, represents the diversity of the gay community. “Like the gay community, Austin Gay Men’s Chorus is made up of amazing individuals with unique backgrounds, experiences and is not a monolith,” Halstead said.

The Austin Gay Men’s Chorus unveiled their new logo. Graphic courtesy: AGMC

The cropped characters highlight the concept of the power of the collective and when a group of individuals come together they are greater than the sum of their parts. Intended to be disguised within the “G” is the well-known universal symbol for equal rights as well as a hint at the rainbow.

The chorus’s first season under its new moniker features a variety of performances at different venues. The season kicks off with Lip Syng: Out & Proud, an opportunity for the audience to join in with community favorites including YMCA and Dancing Queen, Sept. 27 & 28 at the Metropolitan Community Church in South Austin. Next up is the annual holiday concert, which this year is named Chrismahanakawanzaka, Dec. 6-8 at St. Martin’s Church. Always a sell-out performance, this year’s Dinner Cabaret will be held at the Central Public Library on Feb. 8. The season culminates with the annual spring show on June 13 and 14 at the RL David Auditorium at the Texas School for the Deaf. Our Favorite Things will debut in Austin before the chorus takes it on the road to the Gay and Lesbian Association of Chorus’ quadrennial festival in Minneapolis. Tickets will be on sale six weeks prior to each respective season show at www.austingaymenschorus.org.

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Music

Long Center presents ELVIS LIVE

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It’s true. . . Elvis is in the building! The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Event, ELVIS LIVES, is gracing Dell Hall at the Long Center March 2, 2017 and taking Austin by storm. This is a multi-media live musical journey across Elvis Presley’s life and career, not to be missed by Elvis fans young or old.

ELVIS LIVES is a tribute to Elvis’ career and innumerable musical contributions to our modern popular culture. Featuring winners and finalists from Elvis Presley Enterprises’ annual worldwide Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest™, ELVIS LIVES treats you to memories and top hits from every stage of his career. This tour marks the third time in the production’s six-year history that all three Elvis tribute artists are top winners of the contest.

This tour kicks off in celebration of Elvis’ birthday—January 8th, of course—and reunites tribute superstars Bill Cherry, Dean Z and Jay Dupuis for an unstoppable Presley force, joined by a live band and back-up singers and dancers, along with a special Ann-Margaret tribute artist to make the experience complete. This tour also sees an extended set list of songs, with “Return to Sender,” “Bossa Nova,” and more added to the classic ELVIS LIVES mix that covers all the favorites. And the most coveted of all—straight from the Graceland Archives — NEW Elvis multi-media and memorabilia will be featured in the production, never before seen on tour.

ELVIS LIVES is the only Graceland authorized touring co-production featuring Elvis tribute artists, perfect for fans who want to experience the music and live performance charisma of one of the most popular and beloved recording artists in history. From the ‘50s, to the ‘60s, to the movie years and beyond, this is the complete Elvis Presley musical package.

Audiences “Can’t Help Falling In Love”® with this phenomenal theatrical concert experience—the perfect gift for the Elvis fan in your life!

Elvis Live will be on Thursday, March 2, 2017 at 7:30 PM. Tickets start at $29 and are available online at www.longcenter.org or through the 3M Box Office by phone at 512-474-LONG (5664) or in-person at 701 Riverside Drive. For groups of 10 and more, call 512-457-5161 or groupsales@thelongcenter.org.

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Comedy

Long Center presents FRAN LEBOWITZ

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Larger-than-life social satirist, commentator and humorist Fran Lebowitz is coming to Austin March 8, 2017 to present her thoughts and observations on the issues facing today, and distributing some of her trademark wit straight from the Long Center stage.

Purveyor of urban cool, witty chronicler of the “me decade” and the cultural satirist whom many call the heir to Dorothy Parker, Fran Lebowitz remains one of the foremost advocates of the Extreme Statement. She offers insights on the timeliest of topics including gender, race, gay rights, and the media as well as her own pet peeves—celebrity culture, tourists and strollers to name a few. “Success didn’t spoil me,” says Lebowitz. “I’ve always been insufferable.”

“Fran Lebowitz’s trademark is the sneer; she disapproves of virtually everything except sleep, cigarette smoking, and good furniture,” says The Paris Review. “Her essays and topical interviews on subjects ranging from the difficulty of finding an acceptable apartment to the art of freeloading at weekend houses have come to be regarded as classics of literary humor and social observation.”

With an opinion for opinion’s sake, Lebowitz is unapologetic in her forthright statements and equally forceful writing. Her first two classic books of essays, Metropolitan Life and Social Studies, have been collected in the Fran Lebowitz Reader. She is also the author of the children’s book Mr. Chas and Lisa Sue Meet the Pandas. She recently broke a ten-year writer’s block and is back at work on her novel, Exterior Signs of Wealth. A documentary film about Fran Lebowitz, Public Speaking, directed by Martin Scorsese, premiered on HBO in November 2010.

The Long Center invites you to experience an evening filled with the inescapable charm of a titan of the literary and social world, who is all opinion all the time. Fran Lebowitz arrives in Austin March 8, men’s suit jacket and wing-tip cowboy boots in tow.

Elvis Live will be on Wednesday, March 8, 2017 at 7:30 PM. Tickets start at $39 and are available online at www.longcenter.org or through the 3M Box Office by phone at 512-474-LONG (5664) or in-person at 701 Riverside Drive. For groups of 10 and more, call 512-457-5161 or groupsales@thelongcenter.org.

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