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For Immediate Release:
June 25, 2010

Rachel Rosenthal Company’s
Improvisational Theater Group
TOHUBOHU! Extreme Theater Ensemble

Featuring Special Guest Artists Amy Knoles and Eric Clark

Of the California EAR Unit

With Three Performances in Los Angeles
July 9 – 11, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA – Rachel Rosenthal Company is excited to feature Guest Artists Amy Knoles and Eric Clark of the acclaimed electro acoustic chamber ensemble the California EAR Unit, at TOHUBOHU! Extreme Theater Ensemble performances in July. The TOHUBOHU! “total free improvisation” performances featuring the California EAR Unit run Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 9, 10, and 11, 2010. Friday and Saturday performances begin at 8:30 p.m., Sunday performances at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $20. Reservations are necessary to insure seats and can be made online via Brown Paper Tickets at www.rachelrosenthal.org or www.brownpapertickets.com/event/89856. The Rachel Rosenthal Company’s venue, Espace DbD, is located at 2847 South Robertson Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90034. Street parking is available.

The California EAR Unit’s Amy Knoles and Rachel Rosenthal have been friends and collaborators for many years.  Knoles collaborated on Rosenthal’s final full-length solo piece UR-BOOR. She also scored Rosenthal’s 60-performer piece Zone at the UCLA Center for the Performing Arts, as well as performed live with Rosenthal in Pangean Dreams, Timepiece, and The Unexpurgated Virgin throughout the US and Europe.  As TOHUBOHU! guest artists, Knoles and Clark will be integrated into The Ensemble with their live improvisational music performance.

The California EAR Unit-
The California EAR Unit, with core players Eric Clark on violin, Vicki Ray on piano, and Amy Knoles on percussion, is a chamber ensemble dedicated to the creation, performance, and promotion of the music of our time. The EAR Unit was founded in 1981. In its nearly three decade history, the group has presented electro acoustic and live interactive computer music concerts of over 500 chamber works.  The EAR Unit seeks to serve its home base of Los Angeles, reflecting the region’s unique cultural diversity.  They have earned critical acclaim, garnering a number of awards and honors including the LA Weekly‘s Best Classical Ensemble 1999 and 2003, and the Letter of Distinction from the American Music Center in 1999.

The Unit has performed in respected venues such as the Kennedy Center in Washington DC and Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. They have toured throughout the world: Brussels, Aspen, Kiev, Paris, Cologne, New York, Boston, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Santa Fe, Amsterdam, and Reykjavik. They have also been featured in programs on the BBC, Japanese television, National Public Radio, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Danish National Radio, and WGBH.  From 1987 to 2004, the EAR Unit was Ensemble-in-Residence at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Since then, they have been in residence at the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT) housed in the Walt Disney Hall. Over the years, the Unit has worked closely with many composers such as Elliott Carter, Steve Reich, Morton Feldman, John Luther Adams, Fred Frith, Tod Machover, Julia Wolfe, Louis Andriessen, John Cage, Mauricio Kagel, Michael Gordon, Charles Wuorinen, Morton Subotnick, and Alison Knowles, among others.

Amy Knoles-
Amy Knoles, is a composer/percussionist who tours globally performing live music with electronic controllers and interactive video. Her work has been described as being of “frightening beauty, fascinating, complex.” (NPR) And she as been described as a “Los Angeles’ new music luminary, infinitely variable, infinitely fascinating.” (LA Times)  Knoles has received awards from Meet The Composer, American Composers Forum, Durfee Foundation, UNESCO, COLA, Lester Horton, and she was the 1996 ASCAP Foundation Composer-in-Residence at the Music Center of Los Angeles. She has been the Executive Director of the California EAR Unit for twenty-nine years, and has recently created the Department of Electronic Percussion at CalArts. Knoles has worked with the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, Kronos Quartet, Pierre Boulez, Rachel Rosenthal, LA Master Chorale, NatPlast, Squint, Ensemble Modern of Frankfurt, The Bang On A Can All Stars; Composers: John Cage, Elliott Carter, Morton Feldman, Alison Knowles, Louis Andriessen, Mauricio Kagel, Charles Wuorinen, Julia Wolfe, Don Preston, Frank Zappa, Morton Subotnick, Steve Reich, Tod Machover, Flea, Quincy Jones, John Luther Adams, and many others.

Eric Clark-
Eric Clark is a composer and violinist originally from Victoria, BC, Canada. Currently based in both Los Angeles and New York City, he has collaborated in performance with artists such as Han Bennink, Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris, Mark Dresser, Jürg Frey, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Steve Reich, Terry Riley, and Julia Wolfe. A core member of the California EAR Unit, Clark has also recently played lead violin with Ensemble Sospeso in a series of performances of filmmaker Guy Maddin’s silent film Brand Upon the Brain!, which included live Foley sound effects and guest narrators, including: Tunde Adebimpe, Laurie Anderson, John Ashbery, Justin Bond, Crispin Glover, Edward Hibbert, Anne Jackson, Joie Lee, Lou Reed, Isabella Rossellini, Peter Scarlet, and Eli Wallach. Clark has performed throughout Canada, the US, Europe, and Australia, recently completing a tour of Belgium and Oslo with his group Skakk Trio. Other recent appearances include the premiere of his New York band Passenger Fish, the 2006 Minimalist Jukebox Festival in Walt Disney Concert Hall, Michael Gordon’s opera What to Wear and Decasia, and the Creative Music Festival at REDCAT. Clark recently completed a recording of Anne LeBaron’s opera Pope Joan. He also traveled to the neither/nor new music festival in Toronto. His music has been performed by ARRAYMUSIC, Bang on a Can, the California EAR Unit, the ANAlog Arts Ensemble, and the Bozzini Quartet.

The Rachel Rosenthal Company’s TOHUBOHU! Extreme Theater Ensemble, the latest offering in the 83-year-old Rachel Rosenthal’s remarkable career, is inspired by Jean-Louis Barrault’s concept of “Total Theatre” and Antonin Artaud’s “Theatre of Cruelty.” Echoing Barrault’s and Artaud’s revolutionary notions about theater, Rosenthal’s performance aesthetic integrates movement, voice, choreography, improvisation, costuming, music, lighting, and sets into seismic experiences. This genre of work, total free improvisation, is completely unique. The name “tohubohu” (from ancient Hebrew), loosely translated, means “collision or chaos” which Rosenthal describes as not what the Company does, but the process they go through to do what they do. Nobody knows in advance what will happen – not Rosenthal, not Company members, and certainly not the audience. This uncertainty makes the performances psychologically charged for all involved.

“The evening is almost like a spiritual or religious experience, with Rachel Rosenthal as your shaman, guiding not only the performers in their quest, but the audience as well.  The seating is limited, with only 35 patrons per performance, and the experience is quite intimate.  It felt as if the audience was a voyeur, a nearly invisible yet necessary element in the progress of an incredibly talented corps of dedicated performers. TOHUBOHU! realizes what many scripted performances attempt yet fail at achieving; it poignantly deconstructs the human condition, and awakens the audience to confront their own place within it.” Thomas Hampton Reviews

Rachel Rosenthal Company members include visual artists, dancers, aerialists, a Cake Diva, and the operator of the Tyrannosaurus Rex model at the Natural History Museum, among others.

Rachel Rosenthal-
Rachel Rosenthal, a leading figure from the Southern California arts movement in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, has been inspiring audiences for decades. Born into an affluent Russian-Jewish family in Paris, Rosenthal’s father, Léonard Rosenthal, was a gem merchant widely known as “The King of Pearls.” During World War II, her family escaped France, moving to Rio de Janeiro by way of Portugal. After losing his material wealth to the Nazi’s, her father had to start over at age 65. In 1941, the family left Brazil to settle in New York where Rosenthal graduated from the High School of Music and Art and became a US citizen.

She studied art, theater and dance in Paris and New York after the war with such teachers as Hans Hoffmann, Erwin Piscator, and Jean-Louis Barrault. Her circle included Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Merce Cunningham, and John Cage, whose Zen sensibility informed and influenced Rosenthal’s aesthetic. With this foundation, she moved West and began her theatrical career in Los Angeles in the mid-1950s as artistic director and performer for the ten-year run of the totally improvised and influential underground Instant Theatre which created pieces that drew upon notions of chance.

Rosenthal has presented over 40 of her own original performance pieces – thought provoking works centered on humanity’s place on the planet. According to Artweek Magazine, “Rosenthal defines what differentiates quality performance art from mundane theatrical exercise … she took us into her reality, and for that brief and precious moment, she altered our vision of the world. This is what great art can and should do.”

Rosenthal has performed in over 100 venues around the world including documenta 8 in Kassel, Germany, The Helsinki Festival, ICA London, The Performance Space in Sydney, The Whitney Museum in New York City, and Museum of Contemporary Art here in Los Angeles. The Pompidou Centre recently included her in its 2006 show Los Angeles 1955-1985. Her pioneering performances have earned Obie, Rockefeller, Getty, NEA and CAA awards, among others.

In 1999, Rosenthal received an Honorary Doctorate from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and in 2000 she was honored by the City of Los Angeles as a “Living Cultural Treasure of Los Angeles.” Critics have called her “a monument and a marvel” and Richard Schechner, editor of The Drama Review (TDR), put Rosenthal into the same category as Robert Wilson, Ping Chong, Richard Foreman, Meredith Monk, and Laurie Anderson.

She opened her studio, Espace DbD, on Robertson Boulevard in Los Angeles in 1980. From 1980 to 1983, Rosenthal presented performances by many emerging and established performance artists including Barbara Smith, Eleanor Antin, Cheri Gaulke, Alan Kaprow, John White, Joyce Cutler Shaw, Tom Jenkins, Stelarc, and many others. Rosenthal founded The Rachel Rosenthal Company as an educational non-profit arts organization in 1989.

“Rosenthal’s TOHUBOHU! may be the actualization of the best of Artaud’s intentions. Surely anyone who witnesses the improvised creation of this unique ephemeral art will indeed be connected with something deep and true within themselves.” Whitehot Magazine

For more information, to get on the press list for an upcoming TOHUBOHU! performance, photos, or to arrange an interview, please contact Green Galactic’s Lynn Hasty at 213.840.1201 lynn@greengalactic.com

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Posted on June 25th, 2010 lynn-hasty No comments

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