It will be epic Monk. Using New York City as her backdrop, Meredith Monk’s expansive cinematic vision will be given full play when she presents the world premiere of her two-part “AMERICAN ARCHEOLOGY # 1” outdoors on Roosevelt Island, September 23-25, rain or shine.
“AMERICAN ARCHEOLOGY #1: Roosevelt Island” is being presented by The House Foundation for the Arts and Dancing in the Streets in association with Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation.
Taking place on opposite shores of the island: the Lighthouse Park on its northern tip and the 19th century Renwick Ruins on its southern end the performance represents Monk’s first new site-specific work since 1978.
Through music, dance and the powerful natural imagery of Roosevelt Island itself, Monk, an originator of site-specific work, will evoke the spirit of the island – from its origins as home to the Leni-Lenape tribe to its designation as home for the mentally and chronically ill in the 19th century to its present identity as an up-to-date, mixed income residential community. “AMERICAN ARCHEOLOGY #1: Roosevelt Island” marks the first public performance at the former smallpox hospital, designed by James Renwick Jr., the architect of St. Patrick’s Cathedral .
The 60-member, multi-national, multi-generational cast will include members of Monk’s Vocal Ensemble, members of Roosevelt Island’s senior citizens group, a brigade of children, doctors, nurses, patients, business executives, security officers, a horse and rider, as well as Meredith Monk herself.
Ms. Monk was last seen in New York City this past May at P.S. 122 where she presented her riveting solo, “Volcano Songs.” In December, 1993, she performed at Merkin Concert Hall. During the past twelve months she toured her duet with Robert Een, “Facing North,” and a concert version of her most recent large scale work, “ATLAS: an opera in three parts” throughout the United States, Europe, the United Kingdom, and Japan. She recently created two dances, “Street Corner Pierrot” and “Evanescence” to the music of ragtime composer Donald Ashwander. Her recording of “Facing North” on ECM NEW SERIES released last October. A two-disc CD of “ATLAS: an opera in three parts” was released in the United States by ECM NEW SERIES in January, 1994.