Alive! Arts Presents: Rocha Dance Theatre
Rocha Dance Theatre to Perform on February 8 at 7:30pm in the Performing Art Center's William Grandgeorge Theatre. Free and open to the public. First come first serve.
Integrating dance, theatrical parody and architectural costume design, Half-Heard shows a satirized version of a woman’s struggle to be heard in the workplace. An all-female identifying -- and at times, drag cast -- opens a veritable Pandora's box of the absurdity of gender roles and human behavior.
Half-Heard traverses themes of gender stereotypes, commodification, and identity – issues that have been exponentially heightened by the #Metoo movement--and is influenced by Rocha’s work for The Painted Ladies, her cabaret dance troupe. Over the course of an eight-year residency at Brooklyn’s Galapagos Art Space, Rocha shared the stage with circus, burlesque, and sideshow artists, and found her voice through nightlife performance.
Ms. Rocha said, “I was drawn to burlesque as an avenue for holding up a mirror to audiences in a direct way: by taking on male and female gender stereotypes, from housewives to Disney Princesses to macho men, I used comedic satire to ridicule social standards, and this gave me the freedom to exaggerate and expose so-called “women’s issues” that are often normalized. Although Half-Heard is not a burlesque piece, my work in nightlife has directly impacted my creative process, particularly the complicated relationship between clothing and gender identity.”
Half-Heard is choreographed and directed by Jenny Rocha, and is performed by Courtney Drasner, Nicole Lemelin, Shoko Fujita, Nikki Ervice, Dervla Cary-Jones, Jamie Graham, Chelsea Escher, and Rocha herself. The costumes, also designed by Rocha, are an integral part of the piece’s theatricality. Experiences with being invisible, forced gender identity, and deflated ambition are illuminated through costuming that dictates the movement: performers drag balloons, hide behind hats, and sport an overwhelming amount of pink bows and tulle. The original music score by long-time collaborator and husband Joseph Rivas uses orchestral elements layered with synthesizers and drums to create a dream-like landscape for the work.
Rocha Dance Theater is a Brooklyn-based dance company led by artistic director, Jenny Rocha. RDT’s work ranges from contemporary dance to dance theater and cabaret. Rocha has created a prolific amount of works and evening-length productions since 2001. As an artist, she is dedicated to creating provocative dance that is both artistic and entertaining. Jenny also creates costumes for RDT and considers this an important part of the creative process, performance experience and overall visual design. Rocha Dance Theater has been presented and/or commissioned by numerous venues and events such as Danspace Project (City/Dans Commissioning Initiative), Joyce Soho, LaMama ETC, Galapagos Art Space, The Philadelphia Museum, The Boston Center for the Arts, The New Bedford Art Museum, Roger Williams University, 92nd Street Y, Dixon Place, The Flea Theater and more. Rocha Dance Theater has been touring nationally and internationally since 2013.
Visit jennyrocha.com for more information.Dance Program News