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Globalization and its Discontents

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Globalization and its Discontents
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"Globalization and its Discontents" is a movement–driven, multi–piece performance project conceived, choreographed and directed by Laura Shapiro. Her latest piece, "Last Gasp!," considers personal end–of–life preparations within a perspective of possible planetary apocalypse and/or exhaustion with mordant humor, talking as well as movement, video projections, and colorful costumes.


The "Globalization and its Discontents" 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.


Collage of Laura Shapiro Choreogreaphy


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.
  • The Lemonade Variations, a group piece which began as a solo and developed into a trio, followed by two versions of a quartet. Starting with the challenge of making the “lemonade” of performance from the “lemons” of a more mature instrument, the piece evolved to commentary about our current, chaotic zeitgeist.


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

Photos (top collage, L-R): Stephen Schreiber; Jane Schreibman; Video Capture

Photo (lower collage, variously): Ian Douglas; Johan Elbers; Andrew Gurian; Stephen Schreiber; Jane Schreibman; Video Capture; Yana

Performers (in various pieces created for the project): Laura Shapiro, Janet Aisawa, Douglas Allen, Marjolayne Auger, Andrew Broaddus, Uttara Asha Coorlawala, Victoria Dombroski, Ashley A. Friend, Jaime Galindo, MaiaClaire Garrison, Maisah Hargett, Celeste Hastings, Shizu Homma, Kaoru Ikeda,  Kiori Kawai, Thomas Kortvelyessy, Tatyana Kot, Ingrid Kullberg-Bendz, Pascal Rekoert, Trayer Run-Kowzun, Mari Sakahara, Irene Siegel, Mary Seidman

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