1. A new world
Iain Gunn and Bridget Rountree have been doing experimental adult puppet theater in San Diego since 2005, and now theyre wondering how far audiences here are willing to go. Their puppeteering fingers are crossed in hopes that folks will follow them into a dialog-free, soundscape- filled world of a debt collector—his true reality, his dream state and his subconscious.
The Collector is an hour-long multimedia performance created by Rountree and Gunns Animal Cracker Conspiracy troupe in collaboration with sound artist Margaret Noble. It runs from Wednesday, June 6 through Sunday, June 16, at 3rd Space, an arts lab at 4610 Park Blvd. in University Heights (cost is $15), but there will be preview performances at 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, May 30 and 31.
Three years in the making, The Collector was inspired by the scourge of rising debt in American society; it also includes elements of status and body image and peoples relationships with material objects. The storys told through toy theater, American Bunraku puppetry, stop-motion animation projected on a large screen and Nobles recorded and live soundscapes, which Gunn and Rountree say drive the narrative forward. Without dialog, Noble is the voice of the show, Gunn says. She makes it more exciting and deeper and—. Accessible, Rountree chimes in. She really re- inforces what the story is trying to communicate.
What were trying to create is a satisfying and interesting and bizarre theatrical experience, Gunn says, describing it as like a silent movie with lots of references to high art of the past. Its a psychological piece, too, and its got some pretty fantastic characters.
In their travels, Gunn and Rountree have seen what puppet theaters have done in other cities; they say theyve merely scratched the surface in San Diego. The Collector is a step forward. Were really trying to bring something deeper, fresh and interest- ing, in hopes to inspire more of it happening, Gunn says, but also just to share it with our community. animalcrackerconspiracy.com
2 Total poser
In 1940, Los Angeles surgeon Clarence Moore went to Mexico City to pose for a commissioned portrait by famed painter Diego Rivera. But it wasnt a typical portrait; Rivera didnt paint Moores face. Instead, he focused on his subjects hands, which are depicted trimming the Tree of Life. Mexican artist Roberto Cortázar is among those inspired by Riveras nontraditional attention to symbolism, and hes used The Hands of Dr. Moore as a jumping-off point for 12 paintings of his own. Those pieces, as well as Riveras original work, will be on view in Dynamic: Blue Note After Rivera, opening Saturday, May 26, at the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park. The exhibition will be on view through Sept. 30. sdmart.org
3 Borderless dance
Darcy Naganuma takes the break in break-dancer literally; the New York City b-girl stabs apples with her stilettos and cracks open ink-filled eggs on stage. Naganuma joins a group of choreographers and musicians for two nights of performances at the Blurred Borders Dance Festival. The festival, now in its 14th year, is produced by Patricia Rincon Dance Studio, and this year, Rincon celebrates her 30 years of adventurous programming with this experimental installation that blurs more than cultural borders. The lineup of international, national and local dancers—performing to live music—will challenge audiences notions of movement with political theater dance and multimedia performances. The shows start at 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 25 and 26, at Saville Theater at San Diego City College. Tickets are $10 to $22. rincondance.org