MON ONCLE D'AMÉRIQUE
GALE PRAWDA's CAFÉ PHILO
present two performances elucidated by bilingual "cafe philo" discussions
ORNETTE COLEMAN'S TRINITY
"WHERE IS MEANING IN A PERFORMANCE?"
8PM WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2003; CAFÉ DE FLORE
172, BD ST.-GERMAIN 1ER ÉTAGE 75006 PARIS
one drink minimum; 5-euro donation appreciated
dancer/choreographer CLARA GIBSON MAXWELL
dancer ISABELLE PIERRE violinist TOM CHIU
THINKING IT THRU WITH THE HAPPY FEW
"WHERE DOES IMPROVISATION COME FROM?"
"WHERE DOES IMPROVISATION GO TO?"
"HOW CAN WE RECOGNIZE THE UNKNOWN?"
10PM SATURDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2003; LES SEPT LÉZARDS
10, RUE DES ROSIERS 75004 PARIS
15 euros plus drink to benefit Les Sept Lézards
dancer: CLARA GIBSON MAXWELL
pianist: BOBBY FEW violinist: TOM CHIU
"THE HAPPY FEW" and surprise guests
From her native New York, Gale PRAWDA traveled to Europe for the first time in 1968, visiting Paris the summer when the Sorbonne was still under siege from "May '68", unknowing at that time, that she would, some years later, find herself gracing the hallways of this mystical university, where she culminated her philosophical studies, under the direction of Paul Ricoeur, in a Doctorate with Honors in 1980. All of this in spite of the language barrier on her arrival. As she prepared her 'license' and 'maîtrise', she learned the basics of French. This original European visit led to a university stay which evolved into 27 years of immersion in French cultural and family life Despite having finished her philosophical studies successfully, she turned away from her passion because "it is a domain dealing with the questions concerning human existence yet so incredibly inaccessible to those very people it spoke about". The academic boundaries were too frustrating; coincidentally her parallel work as manager of the American University bookstore led to the creation of her own import/export Anglo-American book business supplying the French market. Today, with the advent of the Café Philo movement started in 1992 by Marc Sautet, 50 years after Jean Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and Albert Camus known originally as café philosophers 'malgrè eux', Gale became aware of it and got involved in 1996. With the enthusiastic support of M. Sautet, Gale successfully launched the first English Café des Philosophes in April'97 at the now infamous 40's Philo hangout, Le Café de Flore in the intellectual and literary quarter of St. Germain des Prés. "To me, philosophy could almost be considered a 'miracle cure-all' as it teaches people to think, to explore unknown horizons, and to understand better." The success of this first English Café Philo has been so tremendous that Gale decided to expand the Café Philo to the right bank with the arrival of the New Year 1998. (Excerpted from Who is Gale PRAWDA? by © Isabelle RIVAS, 1998)
West Virginian choreographer Clara Gibson MAXWELL has lived and danced in Paris for two decades. Maxwell studied philosophy, dance, and film at Harvard. She danced with Satoru Shimazaki in New York and performed the choreographic works of Antony Tudor and Anna Sokolow, as well as those of Martha Graham and José Limon, at Juilliard . Hanya Holm wrote: "Clara has the capacity to extract essential values for the dance." The 1989 world premiere of Antoine Campo's Ophélie Song at the Café de la Danse met with public and critical success and toured to New York's La MaMa E.T.C. and the Edinburgh Fringe. In the 1990s, a new stage began when she met Ornette Coleman. With Alan Silva, she created Celtic Baby Disco in Düren and Equine Geometry, a duo for dancer and horse in a sculpture garden. Buried Oak, a homage to her mentor Jerome Andrews, was presented at the Palazzo Bardi in Florence, Dance Theater Workshop in New York, and Tanz Tangente in Berlin. Maxwell returned to the U.S. for Creation Myth. Certified as an Alexander Technique teacher, she conducts movement, improvisation, and lighting workshops in the U. S. and Europe. In 1995-96 Clara broached reflections on the possibility of a unity of body, mind, and soul. Cartesian Studies, then La Cartésienne, are based on the correspondence between Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia and the philosopher René Descartes. She choreographed and danced in this trio of women dancers in Paris at the Théâtre Dunois and in Newburyport, Massachusetts at the Firehouse Center for the Arts. The Maison des Cultures du Monde commissioned her solo Corps-Éros for the first Festival de l'Imaginaire. For their conference on "The Body and Art in the Twentieth Century," the Dominicans at La Tourette invited her to dance in their Le Corbusier masterpiece. Théâtre du Renard opened its doors to her dance, Corpsensus, highlighting its Art Deco monument. Taliesin West welcomed her company in residence at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. There she premiered The Banquet, an ancient Greek symposium revisited as performance.
Childhood friend of Albert Ayler, born into a family of musicians, Bobby FEW began studying piano and organ at the age of seven and gave his first classical recital five years later. After studying harmony and composition at Cleveland Institute of Music, he took up the vibraphone and played in bands with his cousin Bob Cunningham. Urged by Ayler, he went to New York where he joined Bill Dixon's "Free Jazz Workshop" and performed with Frank Wright, whom he'd met in Cleveland in 1956, and Booker Ervin. He set up a short-lived trio with Wilbur Ware and Leroy Williams , worked as a pianist and musical director for Brook Benton (1968), then accompanied Frank Foster and Roland Kirk. Having moved to Europe in 1969, he got together with Frank Wright, Noah Howard and Muhammed Ali to create the "Center of the World" group. Then he became dedicated to teaching for a while and joined Alan Silva's "Celestrial Communication Orchestra." From 1980 to 1992, he was a member of Steve Lacy's sextet with which he toured Europe, Japan and the USA. In 1993, he formed his own trio and since then has performed with visiting American musicians and singers.
Violinist Tom CHIU has received wide acclaim for his performances as a soloist, chamber artist, and experimental improvisor. A noted performer of new music, Mr. Chiu has worked closely with distinguished composers such as Milton Babbitt, Virko Baley, Dean Drummond, and Oliver Lake, among others, as well as free jazz pioneer Ornette Coleman, with whom he appeared at the 2000 Bell Atlantic Jazz Festival in New York. He has also collaborated with lesser-known fringe artists whose work he admires, such as balloon virtuoso Judy Dunaway, avant-garde choreographer Eun-Me Ahn, and drone-pop guitarist David First. One very special interdisciplinary project of recent years is Red Beads, a collaboration with composer Ushio Torikai, puppeteer Basil Twist, and theatrical mastermind Lee Breuer of Mabou Mines. His discography includes recordings for the BMG, Cambria, Koch, Sombient, and Tzadik labels, and his original works as a composer-improvisor have been performed in New York, California, and Australia. With the FLUX Quartet, of which he is founder and first violinist, Mr. Chiu has appeared at international festivals in Melbourne and Oslo, as well as American festivals such as Ojai, Summergarden, and Lincoln Center's A Great Day in New York. Currently, FLUX is resident ensemble in When Morty Met John..., a three-year series at Carnegie's Weill Hall featuring the music of John Cage, Morton Feldman, and composers from the New York School. Holding degrees in music and chemistry from Juilliard and Yale, Mr. Chiu occasionally reminisces about his childhood appearance with Tom Hanks in the feature film, The Man With One Red Shoe.
A 1991 graduate of the Paris Conservatory, Isabelle PIERRE has danced in the works of such renowned French, Swiss, and American choreographers as Angelin Preljocaj, Gilles and Christine Schamber, Philippe Saire, Marie-Christine Georghiu, Andy De Groat, Christine Bastin, Jean-François Duroure, Antonio Gomes, and Gigi Caciuleanu. She appeared in Janàçek's opera, Cunning Little Vixen, choreographed by Jean-Claude Gallotta at Théâtre du Châtelet. Isabelle holds degrees in both contemporary dance education and dance notation. Having established her professional credentials, Isabelle's commitment turned to intimate companies with an authentic appetite for exploration. Her work with Brigitte Dumez is a specific reading of dance's relationship to nature and public space. Herself an instrumentalist, Isabelle's musical training and need to integrate it into her dance work led her to found, in 1997, a collective, AWA-En temps voulu. This "association loi 1901" was created with flutist Régis Bataille, dancer Véronique Gémin, and actor Yannick Rivalain. Their focus is body music in pedagogy and stage presence. Since 2000, her collaborations with sculptor Catherine Cocherel investigate animation of organic matter in performance. Isabelle's interest in Taoist philosophy attracted her to Maxwell's approach to performance.
Actions de soutien au 7 Lézards Au coeur du Marais, au n 10 de la rue des Rosiers, un événement se prépare. La rentrée 2003 sera éclectique, indépendante et accueillante, au reflet du club de jazz les 7 Lézards et de sa propriétaire Caroline Volcovici. Une nouvelle programmation est prévue dès le 12 Septembre. Si le jazz reste la coloration principale, les amateurs y trouveront d'autres genres musicaux - nuit brésilienne, chanson française, mais aussi théâtre, lectures poétiques ... Le 7 Lézards, tout en restant fidèle à ses habitués, accentue son ouverture aux rencontres et aux genres. Le lieu a frôlé le pire, subi les péripéties des temps modernes, les contraintes économiques ont toujours mené la vie dure à l'expression artistique libre. Mais l'enjeu est de taille : comment laisser sombrer cet îlot magique qui vous emporte en un air de jazz loin de Paris ? Le 7 Lézards entrent donc dans l'arène pour relever un défi, faire revivre le cadre, devenir le carrefour des arts, le croisement des idées, l'échange dans la fête. La programmation a été construite par un comité de professionnels du journalisme, du théâtre, du cinéma, de la poésie, de la littérature, et suivra l'évolution du club qui redeviendra, dès Septembre le berceau nocturne de rencontres multiculturelles.
PHOTOS OF MAXWELL BY JOHANNES VON SAURMA AND MARIANA COOK
Philosophy...is the attempt to think the world without knowing, either before or after the fact, whether the world is effectively thinkable, or even just what thinking exactly means. --Cornelius Castoriadis
L'oeuvre d'art n'existe qu'en supprimant le fonctionnel et le quotidien, en dévoilant un Envers qui destitue de toute signification l'Endroit habituel, en créant une déchirure par laquelle nous entrevoyons l'Abîme, le Sans fond sur quoi nous vivons constamment en nous efforçant constamment de l'oublier. L'art est - autant et plus et d'une autre façon que la pensée et avant et après celle-ci : il a parlé avant qu'elle ne parle et il parle encore quand elle ne peut plus que se taire - présentation/présentification de l'Abîme, du Sans fond, du Chaos. On s'extasie sur la forme qui est la sienne, mais cette Forme est ce qui lui permet de montrer et faire être pour nous ce qui est au-delà de la Forme et de l'Informe. --Cornelius Castoriadis