Degenerate Art Ensemble
Degenerate Art Ensemble will focus on the completion of one of the chapters of their in-progress performance work, Red Shoes, which is set to premiere at Seattle's Frye Art Museum in May of 2011. With limited opportunity to hold full rehearsals in the actual performance sites in Seattle, they will use the residency as a testing ground. Museum locations include a forest, a body of water, a field, and an indoor exhibition space – all spaces that exist on or nearby the Watermill grounds.
Red Shoes reimagines Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of a girl who is cursed to dance herself to death as a punishment for following her creative desires. DAE describe their work as ‘live music driven, comedy / horror, butoh inspired physical theatre.’ Their performance will utilize the musical talents of local East End musicians and will explore audience involvement in both the creation of soundscapes as well as choreography in portions of the piece.
Degenerate Art Ensemble is a performance company that creates original and adventurous productions using live music, physical theater and the visceral language of Butoh dance. Audio elements include live foley art, orchestras/Chamber ensembles, bands, newly invented instruments, and electronics. Their creative approach is intensely collaborative and is in a constant state of invention and re-invention. Aesthetically extreme, influenced by punk, protest, cartoons, nightmares and fairy tales, DAE takes the viewer into otherworldly landscapes — full of compelling characters and music that doesn't just accompany the action, but defines the mental state and reveals secrets to the audience that the characters will never know. DAE's work is a tightly wound mechanism made up of triggers and cues that when released on stage aims to achieve a heightened sense of awareness one might find in a sacrificial rite. DAE has been presented by On The Boards (Seattle), REDCAT (L.A.), New Museum (N.Y.), Festival Alternativa (Prague), T.F.F. Festival (Germany) and many others in ten countries of Europe and North America.
DAE has since garnered acclaim with more than five hundred concerts and performances in ten countries. It has explored a diverse variety of formats, including music, dance, theater, film scoring, recording, sculpture, and painting in over one hundred original performative works and nine commercial music recordings. The group has received commissions from On the Boards, Commissioning Music USA, and the Aaron Copland Fund, and will be in residence at Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center a Laboratory of Performance. DAE is currently the subject of a large scale touring museum exhibition at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle.
Haruko Nishimura, co-artistic director / dancer Cofounder, performer, and coartistic director for Degenerate Art Ensemble, Haruko Nishimura produces a steady stream of original works of physical theater and butoh dance, accompanied by live experimental music. Originally from Japan and now based in Seattle, Nishimura conducts artistic explorations that often involve making extreme aesthetic choices, with the intention of awakening truths hidden deep inside the viewer. She has choreographed, performed in, and codirected all of Degenerate Art Ensemble's stage works for over a decade. Her performances include Brussels’ Kaaitheater with Meg Stewart’s company Damaged Goods (2007); a performance of ONION (2007) with the San Francisco-based dance theater company inkBoat at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; a featured performance at Rudolstadt’s TFF Festival in Germany (2007); and an artist residency and workshop at the New Museum, New York (2009), among others. In spring 2011 Nishimura will perform at the Center for Performance Research in New York City with Joshua Kohl, and she will be in a residency with DAE at Robert Wilson's Watermill Center: A Laboratory for Performance, Long Island, New York. She will also be preparing for the group’s newest work, Red Shoes, which premieres in May 2011 in Seattle’s First Hill neighborhood—including at the Frye Art Museum—before touring nationally with Circuit Network.
Joshua Kohl, co-artistic director / composer Cofounder, music conductor, composer, and coartistic director of Degenerate Art Ensemble, Joshua Kohl has created original works for dance, silent film, concert ensembles, “classico-punk-big band” shows, and street performances and has collaborated extensively on the creation of invented instruments used in DAE performances. Kohl has performed extensively throughout the U.S., as well as in the Netherlands, Italy, Slovenia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Italy, and Germany, with the support of Arts International Fund for U.S. Artists and the Mid-Atlantic States Foundation’s U.S. Artists International. In addition to his work with Degenerate Art Ensemble, Kohl has created scores for the San Francisco-based dance theater company inkBoat; for a commissioned performance of c(h)ord (2008) at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; Tale of Two Cities (2007) and Night Flight (2007–2009) for Seattle’s Book-It Repertory Theatre; as well as Twelfth Night (2007) and The Beard of Avon (2007) for Portland Center Stage. In spring 2011 Kohl will perform with Haruko Nishimura at the Center for Performance Research in New York City, and he will be in a residency with DAE at Robert Wilson's Watermill Center: A Laboratory for Performance, Long Island, New York.
Dohee Lee, Dancer/Musician/Vocalist A 2008-2009 Isadora Duncan Dance Award “Special Award”, is the founder of the groundbreaking PURI Project. Born out of her desire to create a new art form, in 2004 she founded the group, an innovative project in which the goal is to present elements of dance, music, play, visual art, and audience participation within the context of their performance. She studied Korean traditional dance and dumming music at the master level in Korea and she is also graduated from Tamalpa Institute in U.S.A. Since her arrival in the US, she has been a vital contributor to both the traditional and contemporary Asian American Cultural Arts landscape of America and international. Her many accomplishments from the past few years including being the resident artist and instructor of the Koran youth cultural center and Oakland Asian Cutural Center community –based organizations focused on Korean and Asian arts. She has performed in various ethnic dance festivals, including the Asian American Dance Performance and the Asian American Jazz Festival in San-Francisco and Chicago. Since 2001, she has worked on project with leader of American Creative Arts scene, including dancer/choreographer Sue Li Jue’s Facing East Dance and Music, Modern dance company Kunst-Soff as a composer and performer, Butoh dancer/choreographer Shinichi Iova Koga’s Inkboat, Saxophoinst/composer Francis Wong, Pianist Jon Jang, Chicago bassist Tatsu Aoki, Cellist Joan Jearnrenaud, Okkyung Lee, Theresa Wong and Saxophonist/composer Lawrence Orhs and Scott Amendala. She also has collaborated on new work with Nanos Operetta, the Kronos Quartet and Choreographer/dancer Anna Halprin. She presented world Premier production “FLUX” at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in 2008 and Perspectives of Kronos Quartet series at New York Carnegie Hall, Zankel hall in 2010. She has toured in Europe such as Asian American Jazz Fesitival in Poland and Experimental music festival in Italy, Russia, Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Czecho Repulblic, China, Japan, Korea and Croatia with various musicians since 2005.
Jherek Bischoff, composer, musician and producer Jherek Bischoff has, for the last several years, built a staggeringly prolific reputation both nationally and internationally as one of Seattle's most indispensable and talented musical artists. He has been a full-time member of The Dead Science since its inception, served a long tenure as bassist and composer for local experimental musician talent factory Degenerate Art Ensemble, toured in Xiu Xiu and Carla Bozulich's Evangelista, and consistently worked as a player, producer and arranger for Jason Webley, Parenthetical Girls, and Casiotone for the Painfully Alone. His efforts have led to many unique and wildly varied opportunities in his musical life, including numerous grants and residencies, composing for a 45 piece ensemble as part of the Degenerate Art Orchestra concert at the Moore Theater, opening for the Foo Fighters in Hollywood,