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Globalization and its Discontents

Laura Shapiro

"Globalization and its Discontents" is a movement–driven, multi–piece performance project conceived, choreographed and directed by Laura Shapiro.


Conceived, choreographed and directed by Laura Shapiro, “Globalization and its Discontents” is a movement–driven, multi–piece performance project. From the energy medicine of meditation and chi kung to the energy policies currently under public debate, she is interested in exploring the elements of which we are comprised and the elements in nature through our experience of movement in daily life and onstage.

The project began with In Parts: Moving (like the "Bride of Frankenstein"). While descriptions of stormy weather and harsh, desolate landscapes served as metaphor for unconscious psychological states in Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, today it is our exploitation of natural resources and communities and the drive for power and profits unchecked by ethics that is our contemporary “monster” run amok.

Other pieces created for the project include:

  • Coal Miners Daughters, for six performers, based on the true story of the daughters of Japanese coal miners who took up Hawaiian dancing in order to support their families when the mines where their fathers worked were closed.
  • Letter from Poland, an evening-length solo for herself that was inspired by a letter sent by her grandmother’s brother (in Poland) to her grandmother (in Brooklyn) in 1937.
  • Portions of Pig Tales, for six performers, and more portions of Pig Tales, for four performers,  which contrasted the innocent pigs of children's stories with greedy policies that, for example, seek to place fracking wells next to schools and playgrounds.
  • After All, solo with video projections of natural environments and industrial imagery, created for the piece and projected in performance by video artist Andrew Gurian. Without any literal narrative, After All suggests animals and humans exploring and experiencing their drastically changing environments.

Currently, Shapiro is creating The Lemonade Variations, a group piece in which she also will be performing. As she had used quite a bit of quadruped movement in After All, she conceived of this new piece as a challenge to work exclusively with bipedal movement, with the title referring to making the “lemonade” of performance from the '’lemons” of a more mature instrument.

For more information, http://www.quicksilverdance.wordpress.com.