Copeland fellows and The Bad Plus

This Thursday at 8 in Buckley Recital Hall, Music@Amherst Parallels series presents the Bad Plus, performing "On Sacred Ground: Stravisnky's Rite of Spring," a multimedia re-imagining of Stravinsky's iconic work.*

There will be several pre-concert events, held in Room 3 in the Arms Music Center. These events are free and open to the public.

Between Sound and Image
a roundtable conversation about cross-media connections in sound and video 

Catherine Masud, Copeland Fellow, Amherst College
Matana Roberts, Copeland Fellow, Amherst College
Ninette Rothmueller, Alumnae Associate, Five College Women's Studies Research Center, and Miller Worley Center for the Environment Affiliate, Mount Holyoke College
Wendy Woodson, Roger C. Holden 1919 Professor of Theatre and Dance, Amherst College

Moderated by Jason Robinson, Assistant Professor of Music, Amherst College

“Rites and Wrongs: Myths and Facts about the Rite of Spring”
A pre-concert lecture by Amherst College Professor of Music David Schneider

*tickets required for the Bad Plus performance. Full details here.

Idan Cohen's Mad Siren

Art in Place / the Place of Art in collaboration with the department of Theater & Dance is proud to present "Mad Siren": a political, controversial and critically acclaimed work by the internationally renowned Israeli choreographer Idan Cohen. 
photo credit Naama Raz
It will be performed Saturday, February 16 at 8 PM & Sunday, February 17 at 2 PM, in Kirby Theater. Admission is free.  Open seating, no reservations required.

Driven by the sound of W.A Mozart's solo Piano Sonatas, "Mad Siren" follows the metamorphosis of a group of performers as they devote themselves and transform from passive listeners of the famous 18th century melodies into the very essence of the music itself.

Depicting a constant territorial fight in search of a refuge and a home, the piece evokes images of nesting and immigration, while raising questions regarding the nature of fear, and our lack of understanding towards what is different.

Within this musical and metaphorical bird's nest, we ask: What are the boundaries between the tangible body and the abstract music? Where does the movement originate and where does it end?

As a part of Idan Cohen's "Nesting” project, site-specific creations will be presented at Kirby Theater's foyer before the show, performed by and created in collaboration with 5 College students: Ellen Oliver, Hampshire College '16; Rebecca Steinberg, University of Massachusetts '13; Mei Maeda, Smith College '13; Salome Kokoladze, Smith College '14; Phil Dupont, Amherst College '12; and Troy David Mercier, Smith College MFA '16.

Idan Cohen was born and raised in Israel in Kibbutz Mizra, a socialist community.The kibbutz lifestyle has had a wide effect on his artistic life and work. He danced with the world-renowned Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company. Since 2005, Idan has been performing, creating and teaching as an international award-winning choreographer. A psychological sensibility, a keen sense of musicality, and a profound understanding of cultural context, lend Idan Cohen's work a rare combination of analysis and compassion.

The performance at Amherst College kicks off a tour that will bring the company to American University in Washington DC, Dance Place in Washington DC and Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Idan has toured with his work internationally and been invited as a guest artist and teacher worldwide. He is currently a Copeland Fellow at Amherst College in Massachusetts, choreographing and teaching for the Five College Dance program.

 The Copeland Colloquium 2012/13 is sponsored in part by the Amherst Art Series Fund.

These shows have also been made possible thanks to the generous contributions of: the Amherst 

College Department of Theater & Dance; the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Israeli Embassy, NYC; the Israeli Embassy, Washington DC; the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, Western MA; the American University, Washington DC; Dance Place, Washington DC; Rutgers: The State University of New Jersey; Marge Goldwater and the Schusterman Foundation; the Choreographers’ Association, Israel; & the Israeli Ministry of Education and Culture. This production has been created as a part of a Schlos Brolin residency, Brolin, Germany.

Spring begins with Art in Place / the Place of Art

We're very excited to present a jam-packed roster of events for the Spring semester here at Amherst College. This semester, many of our events are designed with a focus on building community within and beyond campus, including interactions with alumni, local artists, and artists working with issues of social justice.

"Lapsing into Democracy": Un(der)speaking Theatre in the Transitional State
Lecture. Professor Mark Fleishman of the University of Capetown, founder of Magnet Theater, will discuss the relationship between theater and human rights in post-apartheid South Africa. Presented by the Mosaic: the Five College Multicultural Theater Committee.
Wednesday, Jan. 30, 4:00 pm, Stirn Auditorium


Arts after Amherst weekend
Performance. Alumni of Amherst and the Five Colleges return to campus to present a cross-media showcase of performances.
Friday & Saturday, Feb. 1 & 2, 8:00 pm, Kirby Theater. Free, no reservations required.

Career fair. Students are invited to attend an arts-focused career fair, which will include a panel and small group discussions with alumni of Amherst and the Five Colleges.
Saturday, Feb. 2, 12 pm - 4 pm, Lewis-Sebring Dining Commons


Core Sample
Exhibit. Drawings by Ellen Driscoll, exploring resource consumption and our material lineage. 
Eli Marsh Gallery, Feb. 4-22


River Fugues
Lecture. Margaret Cogswell discusses her installation work, which explores the interdependency of people, industry, and rivers. In celebration of the opening of Ellen Driscoll’s exhibit. 
Thursday, Feb. 7, 4:30 Pruyne Lecture Hall


Mad Siren
Performance. A new critically-acclaimed dance work, directed and choreographed by Copeland fellow Idan Cohen. In a richly sensuous visual environment punctuated by the music of Mozart's piano sonatas, the piece addresses contemporary issues of human migration, and how we experience a lack of understanding towards what is different. This performance will feature a new installation, “Nesting”, developed in collaboration with Five College students. 
Saturday, Feb. 16 at 8 pm & Sunday, Feb. 17 at 2 pm, Kirby Theater


Matir Moina (The Clay Bird)
Film. A feature film based on the director Tareque Masud's childhood experience in a madrasah in rural East Pakistan during the turbulent struggle for Bangladeshi independence. Produced & edited by Copeland fellow Catherine Masud.
Friday, Feb. 22, 4:30 pm, Stirn Auditorium


Strangeness and Healing
Lecture. Playwright & puppeteer Erik Ehn discusses experimental art practices which use strange or unknowable images & texts to address trauma and recover historical memory, specifically touching on his own work in Noh Theater.
Sunday, Feb. 24, 4:30 PM, Pruyne Lecture Hall


Art, Community, & Social Justice Symposium
Ping Chong: All Islands Connect Under Water (CANCELLED)
Thursday Feb 28, 4:30 PM, Kirby Memorial Theater


"Art and the Community"
Panel Discussion. With Ping Chong, Amie Dowling, Greg Mathew & others.
Friday, March 1, 4:30 PM Cole Assembly Room (aka The Red Room), Converse Hall 


"Amie Dowling: Performing Arts & Community Exchange"
Workshop. Designed for participants who are interested in merging activism, performance and teaching. In this experiential workshop, writing, movement, and theatre exercises will be introduced that can lead to collaborative creative work with men and women who are, or have been, incarcerated. This interactive workshop is open to all students. Space is limited. Please email to reserve a space.
Saturday March 2, 10 AM - 1 PM, Webster Hall

"Ping Chong & Company: Intro to Socially Engaged Theater" 
Workshop. Ping Chong & Company offers a workshop exploring techniques used in their interview-based theater project, the Undesirable Elements series. Participants will work with artists from Ping Chong + Company to learn methods of gathering stories within specific communities.  This interactive workshop is open to all students. Space is limited. Please email to reserve a space.
Saturday March 2, 2 PM - 5 PM, Webster Hall

An all-day festival of indoor and outdoor sound installation work around Amherst College campus, featuring the work of Eric Leonardson, Tim Eriksen, Jake Meginsky, Steph Robinson, Wendy Woodson & Phil Dupont.
Saturday March 30


Finding Place
A multimedia exhibit exploring the realm of physical space and place, featuring local artists from around the Pioneer Valley.
April 1 - 11, Eli Marsh Gallery, Fayerweather Hall. 

Virtual Tour: A Reduced-Carbon Footprint Concert
A concert featuring new works composed especially for the telematic stage. Five College jazz faculty Jason Robinson, Marty Ehrlich and Bob Weiner perform remotely via audio & video streaming with an ensemble located in San Diego: internationally-acclaimed musicians Mark Dresser, Michael Dessen, Myra Melford and Nicole Mitchell.
Friday, April 5, 10 PM, Buckley Recital Hall

Art and Fear : the perils of creativity in the 21st century.
Showing. Composer, saxophonist & Copeland fellow Matana Roberts will lead a presentation and open discussion.
Sunday April 7, 4:30 PM, Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather Hall


Arts at Amherst: Faculty Collaborations
Faculty organizers of this year’s Copeland Colloquium from the departments of Theater & Dance, Music, and Art & the History of Art take the stage, collaborating on a variety of new multimedia works.
Saturday April 13, 8:00 pm, Kirby Memorial Theater


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Hope to see you around! 

Online cyberformance festival at Amherst College

121212 logoTwo of our Copeland fellows, Suzon Fuks & James Cunningham, are taking part in the 121212 UpStage Festival of Cyberformance this week!

The festival, which takes place online from December 5 to December 12, consists of two parts: “Walking backwards into the future” – a program of 17 remounted cyberformances from past festivals (December 5-11), and “Testing – 1 2, 1 2, 1 2″ – 19 new works in UpStage and other networked platforms (December 12). On the 12th of December, Amherst will host a node for live audience viewing and interacting with the performances. The viewing will be from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm, in 116 Seelye-Mudd Building. Audience members are free to enter and exit between pieces. 

Throughout this coming week, you can tune in to a slate of excellent Internet performance. Visit the schedule page to see what's going on and to follow links to individual performances, which will happen at various platforms around the net, including UpStage, Waterwheel, and Second Life.

Two works on the program on the 12th, "Shadows XXX" and "ANGRY" will feature Suzon. 

The festival is completely free and accessible via a standard internet connection and browser; audiences at the node or elsewhere in the world join by simply clicking a link on the schedule page at the time of each live performance.

The annual festival, now in its sixth year, is organised by artists Vicki Smith and Helen Varley Jamieson, with a team of dedicated volunteers in New Zealand and around the world – online meetings of the team cross multiple timezones and languages.

Alongside online access and the Amherst node, the UpStage Festival of Cyberformance includes additional nodes in 14 locations around the world from Wellington to Buenos Aires, Munich and Coimbra (Portugal).


This Verse Business — Robert Frost on stage

This Verse Business

In celebration of the 50th anniversary the Frost Library at Amherst College, the departments of English and Theater & Dance present A. M. Dolan's "This Verse Business", an acclaimed one-man play about poet and long-time Amherst College professor Robert Frost, performed by Gordon Clapp. Beginning with a recreation of one of Frost’s lively poetry readings and continuing with a more intimate monologue, This Verse Business shows us both the public and private faces of this beloved poet. 

The performance will occur at Kirby Theater this Thursday and Friday, November 29th & 30th, at 8 pm. No reservations are required for this free event.

This event is part of a symposium on Poetry & Performance, occurring on November 30, which includes lecture, reading, and installation work. More info on the symposium can be found here.

Ellen Driscoll talk

This Wednesday at 4:30, visual artist Ellen Driscoll will give a talk on her work at Pruyne Lecture Hall in Fayerweather Hall. Ms. Driscoll's work will be shown at Amherst this coming February.


Ellen Driscoll's sculptures, drawings, and installations explore resource consumption and material lineage. Recent works include "Distant Mirrors", a floating archipelago of forms in the Providence River for 6 weeks in 2011. Co-produced with Waterfire, this work was created in partnership with the Roger Williams National Memorial and the Rhode Island Resources Recovery Corporation. Her multi-part, multi-year project, FASTFORWARDFOSSIL highlights the relationship between water and oil consumption and was displayed at the Smack Mellon Gallery in Brooklyn, NY and Frederike Taylor Gallery, New York, NY. 

Driscoll's previous work includes installations such as “The Loophole of Retreat” (Whitney Museum at Phillip Morris, 1991), and “Passionate Attitudes” (Threadwaxing Space, New York, 1995), public art projects such as “As Above, So Below” for Grand Central Terminal (1999), a suite of 20 mosaic and glass works for the tunnels at 45th,47th and 48th streets, “Catching the Drift”, a women’s restroom for the Smith College Museum of Art (2003), and “Aqueous Humour”, a kinetic sculpture for the South Boston Maritime Park (2004). Ms. Driscoll has been awarded fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Anonymous Was a Woman, the LEF Foundation,and Radcliffe’s Bunting Institute. Her work is included in major public and private collections such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of Art. 

Ellen Driscoll is currently the head of the sculpture department at Rhode Island School of Design and she divides her time between Providence, Rhode Island and Brooklyn, New York.

Peter Snow and Frank van de Ven at Amherst — events on November 2, 3 & 9

Melbourne-based performance maker and writer Peter Snow and Amsterdam-based dancer and director Frank van de Ven will be in residence at the Copeland house during the month of November. They are giving a performance this weekend, on November 2 & 3 at 8:00 pm in Studio 1 of Webster Hall on Amherst College Campus, entitled "Thought / Action: The Blossom Inside." In it, Snow and Van de Ven will investigate intersections of speech and movement, prompted by the relations between themselves, and by the environment in which they perform. 

Peter & fRank

The two will also present a public lecture on Body Weather, a training and performance practice investigating the intersections between bodies and their environments. Bodies are not conceived as fixed and separate entities but are - just like the weather - constantly changing through an infinite and complex system of processes occurring in- and outside of these bodies. The lecture will be held Friday, November 9 at 4:30 in Studio 3 of Webster Hall on Amherst College campus. 

No tickets or reservations are required for either of these free events. Webster Hall is located on Amherst College campus, on the opposite side of the first-year quad as Frost Library, and to the right of the War Memorial as you face the Holyoke Range. More info on visiting Amherst.

Frank van de Ven is a dancer and director who spend his formative years in Japan working with Min Tanaka and the Maijuku Performance Company. He is the co-founder of Body Weather Amsterdam, and is one of the foremost practitioners of Body Weather internationally.

Peter Snow is a theatre artist and professor of Theatre Performance at Monash University in Melbourne. Since studying medicine in Auckland, and philosophy and psychology at Oxford, he has worked as a director, writer, performer and theatre-maker on more than 60 professional productions in Europe, Asia and Australia. His research interests include philosophy of performance and methodologies of performance making, and he has written widely on theatre and performance. 

Hope to see you at the events this and next weekend!

An Installation at the Copeland House

Till ThenWe have an exciting event coming up at the Copeland House on 19 Hitchcock Rd in Amherst, this Sunday the 28th from 6 to 8 PM.

As a conclusion to her residency on campus, scenic designer Alice Hoult will present a work-in-progress installation intertwining activist voices from the Occupy movement with the poetry and life of Amherst resident Emily Dickinson and exploring public and private forms of self expression. The piece is an interactive environment, in which visitors will be invited to enter one at a time to explore, touch, listen, and look. This project is the beginning of a collaborative research process working towards developing a new performance piece by British theater company 3fates, of which Alice is a founding member.

Lapsang tea and Emily Dickinson's coconut cake will be served. We hope you will come by to experience Alice's installation.

Suzon Fuks's Waterwheel workshops

Suzon Fuks will be having workshops on using Waterwheel, a collaborative online venue for streaming, mixing media, and sharing ideas about water, as a topic or as a metaphor. There will be a workshop for Five College faculty & staff on Saturday November 3, and for Five College students on Saturday December 1. For more information, download the flyer:

The Cyposium, an online symposium on cyberperformance, was recently held using the Waterwheel platform. Here's a screenshot, where you can see four discussion participants (including Suzon) sharing their webcams, while others join in via audio and the audience chat room.

Cyposium screenshot

To explore Waterwheel more, and start uploading and mixing your own media, visit

Meredith Monk sings — Sonya Clark on hair

Some exciting events happening this busy week!

Meredith Monk will perform Saturday in Buckley Recital Hall. She will perform a program of older and newer works, including pieces from her recent album "Songs of Ascension." To reserve your (free) ticket, email or call the box office at 413-542-2195. (update: reservations are currently full, however you may call or email to be added to the wait list) 

Internationally acclaimed MacArthur “Genius” Monk is regarded as both a “magician of the voice” and “one of America’s coolest composers.” Her wordless music embodies an alchemical mixture of technical virtuosity, poignant directness, interpretive suppleness and palpable excitement. The Plain Dealer writes, “A composer, singer and theater artist for whom experimentation has led to wondrous discovery, Monk conjures up a spectrum of colorful and evocative sounds from her one-of-a-kind vocal instrument. The results are haunting, poignant, terrifying and sometimes screamingly funny.” Monk’s performance at Amherst will demonstrate her groundbreaking technique and profound understanding of the voice’s flexibility and expressive depth.

Meredith will also give a lecture Friday afternoon at 2 in Buckley entitled "Archeology of an Artist", which will include some live performance, video clips of her work, and an informal Q&A with the audience. 

And also this week, Thursday October 18 at 4:30, artist Sonya Clark '89 will give a lecture entitled "From Hair to There" discussing her work, which uses human hair as a medium and subject. Clark is chair of the Department of Craft/Material Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. Check out some of her work at her website.

On Sunday at 4, Japanese printmaker Motoda Hisaharu will give a lecture on his work in Pruyne, followed by a walkover to see pieces of his work featured in the Mead's fall semester show "Reinventing Tokyo: Japan's Largest City in the Artistic Imagination".