ASU Gammage’s July Digital Connections series will bring your inner performer out
Features artists Daniel J. Watts, Lemon Andersen and performance groups CONTRA-TIEMPO and A.I.M
ASU Gammage’s July calendar is jam-packed with free virtual events for the community to take advantage of. From poetry readings to dance, there’s something for everyone to partake in this month.
6 p.m., Wednesday, July 8, via Facebook Live
Critically acclaimed actor and writer Daniel J. Watts and ASU Gammage artist-in-residence Lemon Andersen join us for a livestreamed poetry reading and in-depth conversation on the power of the people and performance.
Andersen is an artist like no other. A Brooklynite with roots in Puerto Rico, he is equally at home creating with household names — such as Spike Lee on Netflix’s "She’s Gotta Have It " series, Lebron James’ production company, Nike marketers and Hollywood studios — as he is performing solo at the New York Public Theater or with his fellow Tony Award-winners in Russell Simmons’ Def Poetry Jam. What really sets Andersen apart, however, is this remarkable mix of talents combined with his passion for teaching and mentoring young people. Throughout the 2019–20 academic year, Andersen performed, taught and modeled excellence and connected communities on and off ASU campuses.
Daniel J. Watts, currently starring as Ike in the hit Broadway musical "Tina," has appeared in nine Broadway shows including "Hamilton," "Memphis" and "After Midnight." He received the Barrymore Award (Peoples Light) and the LA Ovation Award (Geffen Playhouse) for best featured actor for his portrayal of Sammy Davis Jr. in “Lights Out: Nat King Cole” opposite Dulé Hill. TV credits include Season 3 of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” Seasons 1 and 2 of “The Last OG,” “Blindspot,” and “Vinyl.”
Watts has also served as an adjunct professor of NYU's Tisch New Studio where he taught students how to create their own work by first investigating the ins and outs of themselves.
'JoyUSJustUS' excerpt digital performance
6 p.m., Thursday, July 16, via Facebook Live
Contra-Tiempo will feature a 30-minute digital excerpt of the company's evening length work "JoyUSJustUS," a piece that takes on joy as the ultimate expression of resistance. Whenever humans have survived immense hardship and injustice, prevailing with their humanity intact, the presence of joy — or, the knowingness and celebration of our true beauty and power has always been at the root.
In this performance, the audience will experience three moments of live performance in different locations as well as recently filmed videos that bring to life original pieces from "JoyUSJustUS" during these times of social distancing, as well as current collaborations of art making in solidarity and response to the current protests and Black Lives Matter movement.
There will be a Q&A following the 30-minute excerpt sharing, as well as a Sabor Session Community Get Down led by the dancers to get our audience moving in joy.
Noon, Tuesday, July 21, via Facebook Live
Internationally recognized dancer, artistic director and MacArthur "genius" fellow Kyle Abraham returns with his trailblazing company A.I.M for an afternoon of dance and exploration. A.I.M was a part of ASU Gammage’s 2019–20 Beyond season and performed in November of 2019.
A.I.M intertwines sensual and provocative vocabulary with a strong emphasis on sound, human behavior and all things visual to create an avenue for personal investigation and exposing that on stage.
Representing dancers from various disciplines and diverse personal backgrounds, the performers of A.I.M create fresh and unique movement.
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