Written, directed, and choreographed by Michael Sakamoto in collaboration with Paul Outlaw, Allison Wyper, and Waewdao Sirisook
Sound Score by Amy Knoles
Showcase version performed at UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures, November 2009
Vestiges of Creation is a theatrical and dance work that asks: What is performance? How do we perceive identity? Why does it matter?
Combining elements of avant-garde theater, contemporary dance, and conceptual performance, Vestiges of Creation engages viewers in a show that calls itself – and their role in it – into question. Two dancers, two actors, and a director attempt to perform their lives onstage but find themselves caught between desire and truth, their minds and bodies, and their “true” nature and the social “masks” they wear. An African-American actor escapes his minstrel past by acting like an ape, an exoticized Thai dancer finds her only solace in a desperate moment of karaoke, and an emotionally-challenged, postmodern performer rediscovers her humanity in gold lamé. Probing the relationship between stage, performer, and audience for understanding and communion, Vestiges of Creation attempts to enact a ritual experience of tragedy, absurdity, and transcendence of self.
Featuring a versatile cast of acclaimed performers: actor/playwright Paul Outlaw, Thai folk/contemporary dancer Waewdao Sirisook, performance artist/dancer Allison Wyper, and Sakamoto himself – and a live musical score by avant-garde composer/musician, Amy Knoles (California EAR Unit).
Vestiges of Creation is supported in part by the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts.
The work-in-progress version of Vestiges of Creation was also created in collaboration with Alissa Cardone.
Paul Outlaw is a performer and writer whose theater credits include: Monty in Goodbye Goodbye (La MaMa ETC), Michael Govern in Dirt (Theater Offensive), Vladimir in Waiting for Godot (Berlin Playactors), Jesse Owens in Babel (Anne Bogart & Theater zum westlichen Stadthirschen), and Mad Hatter/Queen of Hearts in Project Alice (Fabulous Monsters/Los Angeles). Paul has worked with L.A. dance theater company, Rosanna Gamson/WorldWide, since 1999 in Lovesickness, Rita Goes to Hell and the current production Tov, which has been performed at the Electric Lodge, Highways Performance Space, REDCAT, and the JCC in New York. Paul’s solo piece, Berserker was winner of Best Male Dramatic Solo at the San Francisco Fringe Festival and presented as the opening performance at Northwestern University’s inaugural Blaktino Queer Performance Festival. He is a proud recipient of a 2008 Durfee Foundation ARC Grant.
Waewdao Sirisook received her MFA in Choreography from the UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures, her BFA from Chiang Mai University, and also studied Balinese dance in Bali, Indonesia. Ms. Sirisook has performed for international cultural exchange programs with the Tourist Authority of Thailand since the age of 19, performing in dozens of cultural missions throughout Europe, North America, and Asia. Her choreography focuses on expressing the diversity of the authentic traditional Lanna arts and culture. Ms. Sirisook was an Asian Pacific Performance Exchange 2006 Fellow and received a three-year study and research fellowship by the Asian Cultural Council.
Allison Wyper is a movement based performance artist and artistic director of San Francisco’s Black Stone Ensemble. She has performed with Black Stone Ensemble, Guillermo Gomez-Pena/La Pocha Nostra, Violeta Luna, Sara Shelton Mann, Scrap and Salvage, paige starling sorvillo/blindsight, Pilgrim Theatre, Culture Clash, and her former company, The Circus, in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Boston. Locally, her work has been shown at Highways Performance Space. She earned a BA in Theatre Studies at Emerson College and is currently pursuing her MFA in Dance at UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures.
Amy Knoles (Composer/Musician) is one of the leading international new music artists out of Southern California in the last two decades. She tours globally as a soloist performing computer assisted live electronic music with electronic percussion controllers and linear/interactive video. Amy is the Executive Director of the California E.A.R. Unit and also works with Kronos Quartet, the Paul Dresher Ensemble, Collage Dance Theater, the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, Ensemble Modern of Frankfurt, The Bang On A Can All Stars, and Basso Bongo. Amy has worked with John Cage, Elliott Carter, Morton Feldman, Louis Andriessen, Don Preston, Frank Zappa, Morton Subotnick, Steve Reich, Tod Machover, Flea, Quincy Jones, Milton Babbitt, Charles Wournien, M. Kagel, John Luther Adams, John Adams, and many others.
Recent commissions include: a sound environment for the J. Paul Getty Museum; a performance score for “Sleeping With The Ambassador,” Collage Dance Theater; BELGO, a piece commissioned by Vicki Ray for solo pianist and electronics; and Rachel Rosenthal’s final solo work, “Ur-Boor.” Amy has recorded nearly 30 CD’s of new music and is proud to announce the release of her solo recordings “Men in the Cities” and “2 x 10 x 10 x 10 + 1”, on the Echograph Label. Ms. Knoles has recorded for Sony Classics, Echograph, Cold Blue, Barking Pumpkin, CRI, Voyager CD-ROM, New Albion, Nonesuch, New World, O.O. Discs, C.B.S., R.C.A., Relativity, and Crystal Records. Amy is a recipient of the “UNESCO International Prize for the Performing Arts-2000,” the 2001 Lester Horton Award for “Outstanding Achievement in Original Music for Dance,” 1999-2000 “Individual Artist Fellowship” Award from C.O.L.A. to create an hour long multi-media work “2 x 10 x 10 x 10 + 1″ and she was the 1996 ASCAP Foundation ” Composer-in-Residence at the Music Center of Los Angeles.”
Amy has headlined on the “Sacred Rhythm Festival” in Bali and Kyoto, the Audio Art Festival, Crakow, Video Topiques, Les Musees des Strasbourg, Ojai Festival, the “Totally Huge New Music Festival,” Australia, “Sunshine on Noir,” Denmark, the Utah Festival and performed on the Helsinki Festival, the Spoleto Festival, Sommer Theater Festival-Hamburg, The Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, The Cyber Arts Festival, The Eesti Festival, The Aspen Dance Festival, at Het Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Yale University, the Julliard Conservatory of Music, and others. Amy received her MFA from California Institute for the Arts.