Shamel Pitts | TRIBE : Touch of RED
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Touch of RED
NEW YORK PREMIERE
Touch of RED is a new evening-length multidisciplinary performance work consisting of a duet for two men inside a contemporary ring. Drawing inspiration from two distinct arts requiring rapid-fire footwork – boxing and the African-American jazz dance style Lindy Hop – this ten-round duet is performed by Pitts and Tushrik Fredericks who debuted with the Afrofuturistic collective in the critically-acclaimed 2022 show BLACK HOLE: Trilogy and Triathlon. Set in a stylized ring designed by the 2015 McArthur Fellow Mimi Lien and featuring cinematic video mapping by Lucca Del Carlo, lighting by the veteran Australian designer Rus Snelling, and costumes by the acclaimed experimental fashion star Dion Lee, Touch of RED examines the way Black men are perceived and perceive themselves in contemporary society and how masculinity and vulnerability can be reconciled in a non-competitive, compassionate, and healing way.
Bold. Boiled. Blood.
Shamel Pitts (Concept Director, Choreographer, Performer, Founding Artistic Director) 2020 Guggenheim Fellow Shamel Pitts is a performance artist, choreographer, conceptual artist, dancer, spoken word artist, and teacher. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Shamel began his dance training at LaGuardia High School for Music & Art and the Performing Arts and, simultaneously, at The Ailey School. He is 2003 YoungArts Finalist and a first prize winner of the YoungArts competition. Shamel then went on to receive his BFA in Dance from The Juilliard School and was awarded the Martha Hill Award for excellence in dance. He began his dance career in Mikhail Baryshnikov’s Hell’s Kitchen Dance and BJM_Danse Montreal. Shamel danced with Batsheva Dance Company for 7 years, under the artistic direction of Ohad Naharin and is a certified teacher of Gaga movement language. He is an adjunct professor at The Juilliard School and has been an artist in residence at Harvard University. He is the recipient of a 2018 Princess Grace Award in Choreography, a 2019 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship Award winner in Choreography, a 2020 Jacob’s Pillow artist in residence and a 2021 New York Dance Award winner (The Bessies). Shamel is the Founding Artistic Director of TRIBE, a Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary arts collective. TRIBE is a 92Y Harkness Dance Center’s Artist In Residence for the 2020-2021 season. Shamel Pitts | TRIBE is also a New York Live Arts Live Feed artist in residence. shamelpitts.com
Tushrik Fredricks (Performer & Costume Stylist) TUSHRIK FREDERICKS recipient of Princess Grace Award (Chris Helman dance honor), nominated by TRIBE in 2021 is originally from Johannesburg, South Africa. Growing up he found himself drawn towards the style ‘KRUMP‘. He graduated from the Peridance Certificate Program in NYC in June 2015 and has had the opportunity to work with Ate9 dANCEcOMPANY (Danielle Agami, Artistic Director), Sidra Bell Dance New York and UNA Productions. Tushrik was an assistant lecturer to Sidra Bell at The University of the Arts Philadelphia for Sophomore students (2016-2018). In May 2021 Tushrik received 3rd prize for dance at the SoloTanz Festival in Stuttgart for his self choreographed solo ‘(territory) of the heart’ and in November 2022 it will be presented at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts. instagram.com/tushrik instagram.com/tushrik
Rus Snelling (Artistic Production Manager & Lighting Designer) AN AUSTRALIAN ARTIST with a career continuing over 30 years, Rus has worked as a production, stage, site and tour manager, lighting and set designer, consultant, technical director and fire sculptor with arts organizations, institutions & freelancing on events and installations around the world ranging from intimate theatrical works, shows on and off Broadway in NYC and on London’s West End. His work includes large scale indoor and outdoor festivals, the Sydney Olympic Ceremonies, the Melbourne Commonwealth Games Ceremonies & Cultural Festival, Melbourne International Arts Festival, Montreal Just for Laughs, Edinburgh Fringe, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Vancouver Winter Olympics Cultural Festival, Centennial celebrations, river & street parades, tours & various music festivals. Some artists Rus has worked with are Merce Cunningham, Laurie Anderson, John Leguizamo, Philip Glass, Brian Eno, Tim Robbins & The Actors Gang, Taylor Mac, Patti Smith, Trisha Brown Dance Company, Bandaloop, Camille A Brown & Dancers, Abraham.In.Motion, Streb & Phantom Limb Company among many and on projects & tours in Australia, USA, Canada, Tunisia, Europe, Asia & South America. Rus worked at PS122 in NYC many moons ago and was the founding Production Manager & Resident Lighting Designer at Oz Arts Inc in Nashville TN for 6 years before moving to Miami to continue freelance work and is proudly working on the tour of And So We Walked featuring DeLanna Studi and is excited and honored to be part of the creation of Touch of Red with TRIBE.
Lucca Del Carlo (Video Mapping & Lighting Designer) is a graphic designer and video artist from Sao Paulo, Brazil and is a founding member of the Brooklyn/New York based multidisciplinary arts collective known as TRIBE. He has created the lighting and video mapping projections for numerous performance works and has toured and performed live with the collective in many countries all over the world. He specializes in transmedia, mixing cinema techniques, concepts of architecture, visual arts, light design, and technology, and integrating those into the direction and creation of scenography, immersive environments and visual live shows. In his view, all ways of visual communication have interlacing points, not only using technology but also using human cognition and its related censorial illusions. Del Carlo’s specialty is mixing it in new ways to inspire and break common patterns in visual expression. luccadelcarlo.com
Mimi Lien (Set Designer): Mimi Lien is a designer of sets/environments for theater, dance, and opera. Arriving at set design from a background in architecture, her work often focuses on the interaction between audience/environment and object/performer. She hails from New Haven, CT and is based in Brooklyn, NY. In 2015, she was named a MacArthur Fellow, and is the first set designer ever to achieve this distinction. Selected work includes Natasha, Pierre, & The Great Comet of 1812 (Broadway, TONY Award, Lortel Award, 2013 Hewes Design Award), John (Signature Theatre, 2016 Hewes Design Award), Appropriate (Mark Taper Forum, LA Drama Critics Circle Award), Preludes, The Oldest Boy (Lincoln Center), An Octoroon (Soho Rep/TFANA, Drama Desk and Lortel nominations), Black Mountain Songs (BAM Next Wave). Her stage designs have been exhibited in the Prague Quadrennial in 2011 and 2015, and her sculptures were featured in the exhibition, LANDSCAPES OF QUARANTINE, at the Storefront for Art and Architecture.
Her designs for theater, dance, and opera have been seen around the U.S. at such venues as Lincoln Center Theater, Signature Theatre, Playwright’s Horizons, the Public Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, The Joyce Theater, Goodman Theatre, Soho Rep, and internationally at Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre (Russia), Intradans (Netherlands), National Theatre (Taiwan), among many others. Mimi Lien received a B.A. in Architecture from Yale University (1997) and an M.F.A. in Stage Design from New York University (2003).
She is a company member of Pig Iron Theatre Company and co-founder of the performance space JACK.
Dion Lee (Costume Designer) is a designer brand hailing from Sydney, Australia, established in 2009 by its eponymous Creative Director. Renowned for experimental construction combined with traditional tailoring, the brand has pioneered a modern identity for Australian fashion.
The Dion Lee aesthetic is technical with an intelligent sensuality. Each collection marries innovative construction, with a consciousness of the form. Textiles are engineered to form sculptural embellishments. Architectural silhouettes are dissected to enhance movement and the flow of air and light.
After debuting at Australia Fashion Week, Dion Lee presented collections in London before relocating to New York, where the brand has become a permanent fixture on the seasonal schedule.
In 2013, Cue Clothing Co. acquired a shareholding stake in Dion Lee as part of a strategic partnership to develop and accelerate the brand’s domestic and international growth.
Dion Lee is sold globally in over 40 of the world’s most exclusive retailers including Net-A-Porter, Selfridges and Lane Crawford.
Australia is home to seven flagship stores, each designed to reflect the constructed nature of the product, in an environment that is both industrial and luxurious.
TT Britt (Costume Stylist) is a multidisciplinary artist based in NYC. TT’s storytelling origins began as a fashion stylist, and in recent years, those narratives have grown to include sonic transmissions as a DJ. The Virginia native is based in New York and draws inspiration from their communities both here and across the globe. Infusing the classic shape shifting sounds of the Midwest with the paradigm shifting sounds of Berlin, Copenhagen, Malmö, and beyond. Their sets will take you on a hard-hitting celestial journey through euphoric melodies, spastic synths, and cunty chants. Uniting rhythmic frequencies of opposing forces, TT’s singular style is much like that of a “Meditating Gunrunner.”
Sivan Jacobovitz (Original Musical Score) lives in Brooklyn. Dance collaborations include: TRIBE/Shamel Pitts’ Black Hole (touring internationally) and Touch of RED; Kimberly Bartosik’s I hunger for you (BAM Next Wave) & through the mirror of their eyes (NYLA – Bessie Outstanding Production Honoree); MENAGERIE (with Shamel Pitts/Deville Cohen/Gibney Company); ASSEMBLY with GREYZONE. thfc. @sivan_daniel
Ashley Pierre-Louis (Dramaturge): Ashley Pierre-Louis grew up on the lands of the Tequesta, Miccosuki and Seminole tribes. With education from New World School of the Arts and later from Florida State University, Pierre-Louis began to discover her passion for movement, the human form, and arts administration. Ashley is currently artistic administrator and performer with Shamel Pitts’ multidisciplinary arts collective, TRIBE. Ashley is the associate choreographer for the play Help (2022) by acclaimed poet and playwright Claudia Rankine, directed by Taibi Magar, and commissioned at The Shed in New York. She is also in process with Indigenous choreographer Emily Johnson in her newest multi-scalar creation, Being Future Being. She has premiered the play Thoughts of A Colored Man by playwright Keenan Scott II and director Steve Broadnax III at Syracuse Stage and Baltimore Center Stage. She has performed for the premiere of Donna Uchizono’s work March Under an Empty reign at The Joyce: NY Quadrille Festival, has been one of GALLIM’s Moving Women spring artist – in – residence and she has also been a part of Alvin Ailey’s inaugural Choreography Unlocked Festival under the direction of Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Urban Bush Women, and Robert Battle. Ashley has attended the School at Jacob’s Pillow, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, as well as Gaga intensives in Tel Aviv and New York. instagram.com/ashleypierrelouis/
LaTasha Barnes (Lindy Hop Instructor): LaTasha Barnes is an internationally recognized and awarded dance artist, educator (Asst. Prof of Dance ASU), and tradition-bearer of Black American Social Dance. Currently operating between New York and Phoenix, Barnes’ expansive artistic, competitive, and performative skills have made her a frequent collaborator to arts organizations around the world. She is also honored to serve on the Brain Trust guiding the ground-breaking stage production SW!NG OUT, as well as the visionary creator and Artistic Director of the critically acclaimed intergenerational and intercommunal cultural arts experience ‘The Jazz Continuum’. Visit www.latashabarnes.com to learn more about her journey, achievements and cultural efforts.
Taylor Antisdel (Cinematographer): Taylor is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker and photographer, with a BFA in Directing from the School of Visual Arts. With a background in filmmaking, he strives to create photographs that are cinematic and multilayered.
Mirelle Martins (Creative Director): Originally from Brazil, Mirelle Martins received her Bachelor Degree in Social Communications from UnB (Brasília, 2002-06). She has worked as an artist, independent curator and art producer since 2010. In 2013, Mirelle started to research performance art with the intensive summer course of Gaga.people.dancers in NYC. Since 2015, she has been producing Gaga courses yearly in Brazil, so far reaching over 1200 students. In 2016, as a 32-year old, Mirelle made her dancing debut in “BLACK VELVET”, a duet by Shamel Pitts, with light designer Lucca Del Carlo. The show toured in the US and internationally from 2017 to 2020, and has received the Audience Choice Award in Stockholm Fringe Festival (Sweden, 2017), and Best out of Town Production by ArtsATL (Atlanta, 2018) and sold-out performances at ImPulsTanz (Vienna, 2018), BAM Fisher (Brooklyn, 2019), and Adelaide Festival (Adelaide, 2020). Martins was also part of the creation of “BLACK HOLE” (Pitts, 2018), where Mirelle has collaborated as performer and costume designer. Since 2019, Mirelle is one of the founding artists of TRIBE, Brooklyn-based arts collective led by Pitts, where she also acts as Creative Director. mirellemartins.com
Sophie Myrtil-McCourty (Booking Agent): Sophie Myrtil-McCourty founded Lotus Arts Management in July 2014. She is originally from Paris, France, where she graduated from a translation and interpretation school in the French, English and German languages. After college, Sophie worked in Paris as a freelance translator. She has always enjoyed the performing arts world, particularly dance, which she has practiced as an amateur for many years. Additionally, her sister is a dancer/choreographer in Paris and Sophie has frequently helped her with her administrative work and international booking. In 1998, Sophie moved to NYC and started working for Marlies Yearby first as her personal assistant, then as the administrator of her dance company, Movin’ Spirits Dance Theater. In October 2000, she joined the staff of Pentacle as the Administrator of the Help Desk program. As she also enjoyed booking other artists on the side, Sophie was promoted to join the Pentacle booking department in July 2004. She became the Director of the Department in 2008 and worked with an eclectic roster of six companies until June 2014. Sophie has also served on several panels including Dance Theater Workshop’s Fresh Tracks. She was on the committee of the 2015 Wassaic Festival; sat on the board of Tennessee Presenters; and was an Advisory Council Member of the Field Leadership Fund, which is based on the premise that advancements in diversity among leadership will lead to a more equitable arts sector in New York City and beyond. https://lotusartsmgmt.com/about/