ISSUE PROJECT ROOM Artists-In-Residence 2022

TATYANA TENENBAUM: FOR SELMA

Fri 29 Apr, 2022, 8pm

Tickets Free ($10 suggested donation) The 14th Street Y

For her first commissioned work as a 2022 ISSUE Artist-In-Residence, choreographer and composer Tatyana Tenenbaum presents For Selma, a solo for voice, movement, microphone, memory, and textile. The performance will premiere at the 14th Street Y in the East Village, Manhattan.

For Selma is a solo for voice, movement, microphone, memory and textile; in conversation with my paternal grandmother, Selma.

For the past 10 years I have been creating ensemble works that each, in their own way, are abstract renderings of American musical theater. Musicals help us process our feelings and arrive somewhere transformed. A cultural life line for my Jewish family, musicals have historically been a way for us to find pathos and collective catharsis where it was otherwise unavailable. Through my own ensemble works I have slowly etched away at an attachment to sentimentality and constructed nostalgia that masks a larger grief. I want to cry, but I have no ambition. If our vibrations are truly a transformative portal, where am I going?

For Selma is my first evening-length solo performance. It brings together songs from a self-recorded album Ache Higher (2020) with fragments of an interview with my paternal grandmother Selma in 1991. The interview is an archive of her memory, navigating becoming American as a first generation child of Russian Jewish immigrants. It is also an archive of my desire to know, to understand the distance between us. The terrain we explore includes the sprawling bedrock of Mannahatta, the tenement buildings of 1910, and my own reckoning with manifest destiny.

Coinciding with this work, I have also been serving as documentarian for Baryshnikov Arts Center and am currently in the process of editing my first feature documentary film about the dance work of a close friend. I see the convergence of these practices, supporting other artists in archiving their work, as a catalyst for this solo. I am now quite literally turning the focus toward my own history and story.

This solo weaves audio archive with sound and movement practices that I have been developing for years. It features original music, text and movement. Soundscapes are generated live through looping and sampling interviews, broadway musicals, my own breath, voice and pulsing sine waves. These elements are sometimes presented minimally, drawing attention to their elegant banality. Other times, textures weave together to forge moments of transcendent beauty and meaning.

Additional links
Ache Higher on Bandcamp
The songs explore land metaphors, truths, and fictions as embodied destinations: the vanishing point; disappearance; the end of our assimilation; the end of conquest. It is weaving my love of Sondheim with original music, quotations and commentary.


Land Acknowledgment
My collaborators and I pay​ respect to Lenape peoples. We acknowledge that our ongoing work here is situated within Lenapehoking, the Lenape homeland.  We pay respect to Lenape land, water, and ancestors past, present and future.