The Pittsburgh Cultural Trusts presents its third installment of its festival (would it still be firsts if its the third time? anyway…), which premiers international artists who are bringing their work to the United States for the first time. How Pittsburgh managed to convince these people to premier their works here I will never know, I am convinced that the PCT is some sort of organized crime group of affluent rich philanthropists, but I digress.
Here is the schedule for this years Festival of Firsts
Friday, September 27 – The Bridge Party & Night Market VI – 6th Street Bridge – 5:30-10pm – FREE
The kick off of FoF, perhaps you’ve heard of the gigantic ass duck that’s going to invade our harbors? Well that’s all anyone cares about, because I haven’t heard a single word on the bevy of artists that will be showing their work here. Nope. Just excitement over a gigantic rubber duck.
The duck will be here for nearly a month, until October 20th, so see him now or see him later (is it a he?) but if you are coming in Pittsburgh, I doubt you’d miss him.
Running in tandem with the Gallery Crawl in the Cultural District, make your rounds then come over to the bridge to enjoy food, music, vendors and of course, the duck.
Saturday, September 28th -Compagnie Marie Chouinard – Byham Theater – 8pm – Tickets $19-$55
Montreal – Quebec
“Marie Chouinard creates dance conceived from primeval dreams—earthy and strong, yet shaped by irrepressible secrets and unseen dimensions in time. The performance includes the U.S. premiere of GYMNOPÉDIES, set to glorious solo piano works by Erik Satie, and HENRI MICHAUX: MOUVEMENTS, inspired by a book of poetry and drawings by Belgian artist Henri Michaux. Marie Chouinard writes of GYMNOPÉDIES: “although the apparent subject of this new creation is the duo, loving, erotic, the real subject is perhaps the unexpected, time, the dance itself, the miracle otherwise, the appearance of the present.” In HENRI MICHAUX: MOUVEMENTS, dancers form a stunning silhouette to projections, exuding a haunting sense that they, in the artist’s words, are connected to “the strangeness of natural things and the naturalness of strange things.”
October 2-4 – Kiss & Cry – New Hazlett Theater – 8pm – Tickets $25
Michèle Anne De Mey & Jaco Van Dormael A woman nearing the end of her life recounts her greatest loves in this sweeping, romantic work. Hands visually portray characters with a beautifully engaging sensual presence, moving around a set of miniatures with absolute precision. A unique blend of film, dance, text and theatre, Kiss & Cry is an unforgettable experience.
October 9-12th – The Pigeoning – 937 Liberty Avenue – 7pm – Tickets $25 (Sold Out)
The Pigeoning is a full length live performance that uses bunraku puppetry, video and original music to explore the ideas of obsessive compulsion, safety, and order in the context of the end of the world. The story is told through the main character “ Frank” an bunraku style puppet working in an office in the early 1980’s who is absorbed and ultimately transformed by his pigeon obsession. Pigeons are a part of Frank’s daily life and serve as the embodiment of the chaos and filth of the natural world. As his story progresses, they seem to act against Frank, behaving as a continual source of aggravation for him, until he begins to believe that the birds are actually plotting against him.The Pigeoning invites the audience to laugh at our clinging to safety and order in the face of the end of the world that is always and never coming.
October 9-12th – It’s Dark Outside – Pierce Studio 805/807 Liberty Ave – 9pm – Tickets $25
Inspired by experiences and research into Alzheimer’s and Sundowner’s Syndrome, Tim Watts’ newest production in collaboration with Arielle Gray and Chris Isaacs, is a heartfelt, fearless, and inventive adventure. Puppetry, mask, animation, live performance and an original music score by the award-winning composer Rachael Dease, are expertly intertwined to create a grand epic Western about redemption and dementia.
October 16th-18th – Zimmerman & de Perrot – August Wilson Center – 8pm – Tickets $18-$25
With a great deal of mischief but at the same time anger and depth, the duo Zimmermann & de Perrot present a disconcertingly original marriage of theatre, circus and dance. Supported by five circus artists and dancers, these two directors, who now enjoy dazzling success, have far exceeded all expectations in their new work. Poets as well as magicians, they keep a piece overflowing with humor regulated to the nearest millimeter. The stage design, which revolves on a horizontal axis, forces the performers into the most unlikely positions. All this is put at the service of a caustic story, which makes Hans was Heiri a work that has broken down barriers among the public to an extent rarely seen.
October 22nd-26th – Measure Back – Baum Building Fifth Floor 818 Liberty Avenue – 8pm – $25
What does it mean to say we are at war? Can we, as “non-combatants”, change the course of war? The visceral and thought-provoking work Measure Back seeks a path between the citizen-as-spectator and the citizen-as-participant. Set in an immersive theatrical environment to examine scenes of conflict ranging from Homer’s The Iliad to today’s headlines, Measure Back uses audience participation to probe how war is constructed and performed – from conception through consensus to action.
Check out the FoF website for more info http://www.pifof.org