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    Bad Bugs Bite

    Because the application of body latex requires two hours of preparation, there will be no matinees of "Bad Bugs Bite," an audio-visual theater piece by The Indifference Project, directed by Andrea Paciotto. That is but one aspect of the production's dazzling technical complexity, which also includes mixing the on-stage action with pre-recorded images and sounds. The play focuses on the violent and aggressive impulses stemming from the body. It interweaves movement theater, text and music into a dreamlike, kaleidoscopic composition of video, sound and live actions. Although it is non-didactic, it is a challenge to indifference in light of man's destructive and violent actions. The piece draws upon a fairytale by Serbian Nobel Prize winning author Ivo Andric (1892-1975) named "Aska and the Wolf," the viscerally disruptive sculptures of American artist Kiki Smith, and three short stories written by Andrea Paciotto. Andrea Paciotto is one of La MaMa's resident directors; this production has been developed in Europe and mentored by Anne Bogart. It will premiere at the Grand Theatre in Groningen, the Netherlands, on January 16, 2003. In Ivo Andric's fairytale, a little lamb survives the encounter with a wolf by finding within her little body the strenght to react, not to defend herself, but to dance. She feels an unexpected power. Andric says in the story, "We really don't know how much strength and what capacities are concealed within ourselves. We do not suspect all we are capable of; we come into being and pass away without ever recognizing all we could have been and done." The performance is based on the same question: what traces do we have hidden in ourselves? In order to address this question, the body, considered as a container that can transcend material and physical reality, becomes the main focus of the performance. In some of Kiki Smith's sculptures, the body is opened, dissected, fragmented and manipulated; this production attempts to do this electronically. Through a system of video cameras, projectors, motion tracking devices, contact mikes and interactive computer tools, the body is scanned to expose the traces of hidden memories. These tools also become a means through which the intimacy of the performers is intruded upon. Their physical and emotional activities are monitored and amplified to create the illusion that it is possible to magnify and expose the inner workings of one's consciousness. The actions they execute on stage are directly linked to visual and acoustic events in the space and mixed live with other pre-recorded images and sounds. The resulting live-film is simultaneously visible through large video projections enveloping the space. The audience are meant to feel as if they were entering inside somebody's dream. There is an aggressor, a victim and a witness; these roles are played subtly in a game without defined borders. The audience, drawn into the game, is confronted with an experience leaving them with the impression that what they have seen was a reflection of their own dream. The Indifference Project is a multicultural, multi-national project originating out of an urge to react, within the frame of a creative process, to the complex international political events surrounding the conflict in the Balkans. Without transforming the artistic process into a political discourse or didactic representation, the project aims to raise questions about man's destructive and violent actions and behaviors and the occurrence of indifference towards such behaviors. Through the physical experience of the performance, it wishes to seduce the audience into an intimate confrontation with their own individual attitudes.

    Dates:  Jan. 23, 2003 - Feb. 9, 2003
    Schedule:  Thurs.-Sun. 7:30 p.m.
    Venue:  La Mama Experimental Theater, 74A East 4th St.
    Price:  $20
    Tickets/info:  (212) 475-7710

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