SAHARAVA: A Ritualized Dance-Opera
nytheatre.com q&a preview by Fahad Siadat
July 24, 2012
What is your job on this show?
Where were you born? Where were you raised? Where did you go to school?
I was born in Eugene, OR. a granola crunching town in the middle of Oregon. But I grew up in Ashland, OR., a wonderful little hippy town in its own right. From there I did my undergraduate at Vanderbilt University's Blair School of Music in Nashville, TN and then a graduate program at the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles. I've lived in every region of the USA without being a military brat.
Complete this sentence: My show is the only one in FringeNYC that...?
Has a cast of over 20 people. At least, I'm pretty sure that is the case. I think it's also the only show classifying itself as a type of opera, though that's a pretty loose classification.
How did you meet your fellow artists/collaborators on this show?
I met Andre while getting my MFA at CalArts, though we'd incidentally met years earlier. My hometown is know for its extensive Shakespeare Festival and Andre worked as a dancer there for many years. When we met at CalArts he made the connection and asked if I might have caught one of his performances. I remember my eyes getting wide as a said aloud "You were the guy in Gold Spandex!". It had been 5 years earlier, but I never got his face. Or the spandex.
Which famous New Jerseyite would like your show the best: Snooki, Bruce Springsteen, Thomas Edison?
I think they'd all wonder what the hell was going on during the show. :) This is the tricky thing about doing work in an unrecognizable genre, it's hard to figure out who exactly your audience is. We hope this show will appeal equally to those interested in new/experimental music and fans of modern dance. I personally think there will be a strong attraction to metal-heads, but I'm biased.
If you had ten million dollars that you had to spend on theatrical endeavors, how would you use the money?
I'd create a company dedicated to contemporary opera. I think traditional opera is outdated, boring, and struggles to be relevant. There is so much interesting work being created by young composers that will never see the light of day and I would love to see more of it produced. This is what makes FringeNYC so great, they offer opportunities for artists like myself to really get their work out there and prove to the public that it's worth investing in.