LOWER MANHATTAN CULTURAL COUNCIL
RIVER TO RIVER FESTIVAL
ORIGINAL MUSIC WORKSHOP’S “EX-SITU” SERIES OF CONCERTS
CELEBRATING TERRY RILEY, CURATED BY COMPOSER
GLOBAL MUSIC CONCERTS AT SOUTH STREET SEAPORT FEATURING
LIVE MUSIC & DJS, CURATED BY LIVE SOUNDS
TRISHA BROWN DANCE COMPANY IN PERFORMANCE,
CONVERSATION & EXHIBITION
BANG ON A CAN MARATHON
ETHEL WITH SPECIAL GUEST KAKI KING
DANCE BY VANESSA ANSPAUGH, SOULEYMANE BADOLO,
WALLY CARDONA & JENNIFER LACEY, EIKO, MARIA HASSABI, TERE
O’CONNOR, OKWUI OKPOKWASILI, ENRICO D WEY,
NEW WAYS TO EXPLORE LOWER MANHATTAN ARCHITECTURE
VIA “DIGITAL WALKS”
OPPORTUNITIES TO SOCIALIZE AT R2R BASH & R2R LIVING ROOMS
Today Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) unveils the 2014 edition of the annual
River To River Festival, Downtown NYC’s completely free summer arts festival. This 13th
edition takes place June 19–29 and presents a diverse collection of music, dance, visual art,
and unique participatory experiences by both renowned and breakout artists from New York
City and beyond. The Festival seeks to provide world-class, free summer entertainment and to
inspire residents, workers and visitors in the neighborhoods south of Chambers Street by
connecting them to the creative process, unique places and each other. For audiences of one to
crowds of thousands, River To River provides an intense and rewarding way to experience anddiscover Lower Manhattan’s
waterfronts, parks, plazas and other hidden treasures. This year the
Festival kicks off on June 19 with the public R2R Bash, co-sponsored by Conrad New York,
Goldman Sachs and the area’s restaurants and retailers. See below for full Festival schedule.
Much more than just a series of free events, River To River serves as a platform for the arts
sector in both nurturing new ideas and extending the life of existing work by inviting artists to
create site-responsive versions of premiere performances that translate pieces to public space and
alternative sites in new and unexpected ways. Additionally, the spectrum of work represents all
stages of the creative process, and audiences are encouraged to get closer to artists and their
practice through open studios, rehearsals and workshops.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled about the diverse range of cultural experiences offered by this
year’s musicians, dancers, choreographers, event-makers and artists,” says Sam Miller, Lower
Manhattan Cultural Council President. “We hope that their movement will delight, disrupt and
charm you on your way to or from your hotel, home or office; their sounds will mix with the
waterfront’s own cacophony; and we’ll all re-imagine what we know and where we are as we
explore new ideas and perspectives available only in Lower Manhattan.”
As an annual arts festival since 2002, River To River has become a cornerstone of Lower
Manhattan culture. Since inception the Festival has had at its core the mission to respond to the
needs of Lower Manhattan, and as lead producer since 2011, LMCC has continued to transform
the Festival schedule and content in response to the changing Downtown landscape. This year’s
focused 11-day format presents an ideally timed, manageable showcase in which the entire
district of Lower Manhattan serves as a venue for intimate and provocative movement, sound
and visual arts performances, exhibitions and events. Like other national and international arts
festivals, this concentrated period of time lends an excitement and urgency to the proceedings,
and ultimately results in greater impact and visibility for all of River To River 2014’s
participants and partners.
Trisha Brown Dance Company: Exhibition, Conversation & Performance
Trisha Brown Dance Company’s participation in the 2014 River To River Festival marks a
unique and extensive partnership between the Festival and the Company, the cornerstone of
which is the summer-long exhibition Trisha Brown: Embodied Practice and Site Specificity at
LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island. Running from Memorial Day through the end of
September, the exhibition focuses on the site-specific work of the renowned choreographer,
produced primarily between 1961 (when she moved to New York City) and 1979 (when she
premiered Glacial Decoy on a proscenium stage), and demonstrates her myriad responses to New
York City’s built environment.
“This year we celebrate the work of seminal artist Trisha Brown whose ‘embodied practice’ is
often not easily categorized,” says Melissa Levin, Director of Cultural Programs at LMCC.
“Brown has had—and continues to have—the power to transform us. We marvel at her
unparalleled ability to respond to site, specifically in New York City, and to inspire critical and
creative thinking about the world around us.”
The exhibition includes a section focused on I’m going to toss my arms—if you catch them
they’re yours, which the company will present as part of the Festival in a site-specific
performance on Pier 15. On June 22, Trisha Brown scholar Susan Rosenberg will host a special
conversation and Q&A with the public, and an open rehearsal the day before the performance
will give audiences further insight into the Company’s creative process.
R2R 2014: Sound
As always, music in all its forms is a major part of the 2014 River To River Festival. Last year’s successful partnership with Original Music Workshop, a new music venue set to open in Brooklyn in 2015, continues with three more “Ex-Situ” concerts of contemporary music in sitespecific locations. Curated by composer Paola Prestini, this year’s series is dedicated to the music and influences of master minimalist composer Terry Riley. It begins on June 20 with “Terry Riley and Friends,” a concert featuring works by the composer performed by musicians including his son Gyan Riley, Tracy Silverman and the Young People’s Chorus. On June 21 renowned flutist (and MacArthur Fellow/founder of the International Contemporary Ensemble) Claire Chase and Bulgarian percussionist Svet Stoyanov perform a new duet by composer
Marcos Balter based on a poem by Edgar Allen Poe paired with a new arrangement of Riley’s
Tread on the Trail. And on June 23, Finnish accordion player Kimmo Pohjonen and former Kronos Quartet cellist Jeffrey Zeigler collaborate on “Aokigahara,” inspired by the forest that in Japanese mythology is associated with demons and spirits.
On June 21 River To River 2014 also celebrates Make Music New York, the city-wide day of free music on the summer solstice, with three unique Downtown events. New York Walkscape by Strijbos & Van Rijswijk leads participants through Lower Manhattan transforming the sounds around them into an ever-changing musical score via a specially created, GPS-enabled smartphone app. Pete M. Wyer’s And Death Shall Have No Dominion is termed a “participatory singing event,” celebrating the centenary of the birth of Dylan Thomas. Using synchronized mobile devices, participants set off at pre-determined times on pre-determined routes, singing words by the famous poet and ultimately converging in a public park to sing together. Finally, Digital Sanctuaries, NYC by Susie Ibarra and Roberto Rodriguez is a mobile app walk that creates 12 musical, meditative sanctuaries in 12 historic sites in Lower Manhattan.
The beloved Bang on a Can Marathon takes place on June 22 at the Brookfield Place Winter Garden, presenting an 8-hour super-mix of boundary-busting music from around the corner and around the world. This year’s marathon includes music by Louis Andriessen, Armando Bayolo, Jherek Bischoff, Carlos Carrillo, Bryce Dessner, Julius Eastman & Jace Clayton, Michael
Gordon, Judd Greenstein, Brooks Hendrickson, Molly Joyce, David Lang, Paula Matthusen, Marc Mellits, Meredith Monk, Andrew Norman, Caroline Shaw, JG Thirlwell, and Julia Wolfe, and performances by Adrianna Mateo, Anonymous 4, Bang on a Can All-Stars & friends,
Bearthoven, Contemporaneous, Dawn of Midi, Great Noise Ensemble, Jace Clayton (aka
DJ/rupture) & friends,), Jherek Bischoff, Mantra Percussion, Meredith Monk & Theo
Bleckmann, Vocal Ensemble, Adrianna Mateo, Roomful of Teeth, and So Percussion, to name a few.
On June 24 at the Brookfield Place Winter Garden, world-renowned string quartet ETHEL is joined by guest guitarist Kaki King to present a special performance of …And Other Stories. The collaboration is anchored by a re-imagining of Bach’s masterful Brandenburg Concerto #6 and includes works from ETHEL’s repertoire by Phil Kline and John Zorn, plus original compositions by Kaki King and the world premiere of a work by Serbian composer Aleksandra Vrebalov composed especially for ETHEL and Kaki King.
Finally, at South Street Seaport, River To River presents “Fronteras: New and Old Sounds from Latin America and the Caribbean,” a series of concerts and DJ sets curated by Isabel Soffer/Live Sounds, June 27–29. From an accordion fronted Tex-Mex punk band to socially conscious Haitian songs, and from ambient folk and electronica to the NYC debut of the king of Colombian vallenato and cumbia, the series travels the crossroads, the blurs and the beats of both traditional and contemporary sounds. Friday night highlights experimental groups that explore musical boundaries; Saturday night features hard rocking socially conscious artists that speak to today’s political and social movements; and Sunday brings out some of the finest dance rhythms on the planet. All evenings feature sets by the NY-based DJ Nickodemus.
R2R 2014: Movement
Once again River To River offers opportunities to experience new and notable dance pieces in often unexpected locations. Of the Festival’s dance offerings last year The New York Times noted, “You never feel quite the same way about a public place once you’ve seen dance happening in it,” and went on to say that River To River “might change the way you see dance.”
This year features a broad range of work in a wide variety of venues and at various stages of development from dancers and choreographers as varied as the Trisha Brown Dance Company, Eiko, Vanessa Anspaugh, enrico d wey, Tere O’Connor, Souleymane Badolo, Reggie Wilson, Wally Cardona & Jennifer Lacey, Maria Hassabi and Okwui Okpokwasili.
Audiences also have the opportunity to get up and dance themselves at events such as the R2R Bash, R2R Living Rooms and the “Fronteras” concerts at South Street Seaport.
R2R 2014: Exhibition & Open Studios
Visual Art installations, exhibitions and visits to the studios where artists are currently in residence with LMCC are important and unique aspects of River To River. In addition to the summer-long exhibition, Trisha Brown: Embodied Practice and Site Specificity, and mobile appbased interactive walks and journeys described above, the public will also have the opportunity to visit the studios of LMCC’s 20 artists-in-residence on Governors Island for two full days, June 28 & 29.
In addition, performing artists Aya Ogawa and CollaborationTown will open up their respective rehearsal studios and present work-in-progress showings of upcoming projects during the Festival.
Finally, caraballo-farman present their The Signs of Paradise in Battery Park, a towering installation inspired by the fact that each of the 50 U.S. states has a town named “Paradise.” Situated near the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, 50 sign posts will point to the 50 towns, providing directional signage and mileage to all passersby.
New This Year: R2R Living Rooms & Creative Insider’s Guide to Lower Manhattan
This year introduces a new feature to the Festival: after-hours parties and programming in the form of R2R Living Rooms, giving audiences the opportunity to come together with friends, fellow audience members, artists and performers to socialize, dance, discuss and absorb the River To River offerings they’ve experienced during the day. Programming varies—all events will be held at VBar Seaport; please see below for details.
Also new this year is the Creative Insider’s Guide to Lower Manhattan. Sponsored by Launch LM, this guide will be a digital map juxtaposing the histories of Lower Manhattan’s iconic architecture and design and the personal tales of groundbreaking artists who have worked in the area.