“The Grand Parade (of the 20th Century),” a multi-disciplinary performance piece, will be presented by Double Edge Theatre at Trinity College, Thursday through Saturday, October 3, 4 and 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the Austin Arts Center. Admission is free but tickets are required.
The piece, created by one of the leading laboratory theaters in the United States, was inspired by the dream-like, figurative paintings and memories of the French artist, Marc Chagall. The wordless work fuses circus aerial arts and dance, live music and song, audio media, and puppetry.
“The Grand Parade” recounts major events and vanished worlds of the 20th century in a style informed by Chagall’s motif of bodies in flight above a colorful landscape. Evoking Chagall’s floating brides, mysterious half men/half beasts, and domestic animals, the color-saturated action is juxtaposed against documentary and pop culture projections.
Culled from photography, film, and television, the images range from the sensational escape acts of Harry Houdini to the brutalization of Europe by Adolf Hitler, from the mushroom cloud of the atomic bomb, to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the first moon landing.
“The Grand Parade” was conceived, directed, and designed by Stacy Klein, founder and artistic director of Double Edge Theatre, in collaboration with Russian composer Alexander Bakshi. The work had its premiere at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. in February 2013 before traveling to the Golden Mask Festival in Moscow.
“‘The Grand Parade” is a deeply emotional, imaginative, and multi-layered archive of the 20th century. We are thrilled to host Double Edge at Trinity for this rare and remarkable performance opportunity,” said Mitchell Polin, associate professor and chair of Trinity’s Theater and Dance Department.
In April, Klein received the prestigious Doris Duke Artist Award, which invests in and celebrates primary creative leaders in the performing arts. In addition to “The Grand Parade,” she has directed three original performance cycles that have earned her international recognition for innovation.
Double Edge Theatre is approaching its 31st year as one of the foremost laboratory theaters in the U.S. Originally based in Boston, Klein moved Double Edge to the rural town of Ashfield, MA, in 1994 to create The Farm, a permanent center for performance, training, research, and exchange. Beginning in 2002, Klein started directing an annual Summer Spectacle series—indoor/outdoor performances which take place throughout The Farm grounds and are based on classical stories from literature and mythology from around the world. (For more information about Double Edge Theatre, visit: www.doubleedgetheatre.org.)
The executive director of the Farm Center is Matthew Glassman, Trinity ’99, an actor with Double Edge who has worked with the company since 2000.
Creation of “The Grand Parade” was funded by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Theater Project, led by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Additional funding was provided by The Bilateral Presidential Commission’s “American Seasons in Russia,” Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation’s USArtists International, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Trinity College presentation is sponsored by the Office of the President; the Office of the Dean of Faculty; the Austin Arts Center Guest Artist Series; the Departments of Theater and Dance, Music, and Jewish Studies; the InterArts and Film Studies Programs; and the Zachs Hillel House.
For more information, please visit: www.trincoll.edu or call 860-297-2199.