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Sudden Rise

©Ketty Bertossi

By: Moved by the Motion (Wu Tsang & boychild with Patrick Belaga, Josh Johnson, Asma Maroof)

Sudden Rise is the latest piece of work from Moved by the Motion, the performance group founded by Wu Tsang and boychild. The performance is co-created with their collaborators, cellist Patrick Belaga, dancer Josh Johnson, DJ and electronic musician Asma Maroof, and poet Fred Moten (co-author of The Undercommons). Drawn from a collection of fragments excerpted from the text Sudden Rise at a Given Tune co-written by Moten with Tsang and boychild, the cross-boundary performance interweaves the words and actions of pivotal 20th century civil rights activists, poets, essayists, including Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, and W.E.B. Du Bois alongside Jimi Hendrix’ lyrics, Hannah Arendt’s musings and Oskar Becker’s “mantic” phenomenology. A collage of words, filmic images, movements, and sounds, the performance is set as an ‘exquisite corpse’ (the Surrealist chance-based game of consequences), which references 18th century “phantasmagoria” theatre using proto-projections and scrims to echo stories of trauma and resistance across, through, and out of time. Belaga’s cello and piano intertwine with the electronic repetition of looped voices manipulated by Maroof, and the chiaroscuro lighting of baroque portraiture is diffused against digital architectures, spatial grids, and test patterns that continually reform time and perspective on stage. boychild and Johnson perform a duet in multiplication live and as pre-recorded images, reimagining the early days of cinema when projections shared the stage with theatrical performers.

By and with
Wu Tsang, Tosh Basco, Patrick Belaga, Josh Johnson, Asma Maroof

Commissioned by EMPAC 

  • Duration: 1 hour no breaks
  • Zürich-Premiere: 13. September 2019
  • Age 16 and above
  • English

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