Sorbonne Takes a Closer Look at Audience Immersion
Simón stepped off the plane from Mozambique and headed straight to a conference on Immersive Performance organized by the Sorbonne University in Paris. The conference was an exciting whirlwind of presentations by French and British scholars, as well as practitioners, on the developments in the field. Simón presented Kaimera’s work and our ideas around audience immersion during the closing panel, which featured leading practitioners of immersive work in Paris.
Kaimera's SPACES project in Mozambique
As a company that believes in the transformative power of the arts and aims to use its work as a catalyst for dialogue, the initial weeks of 2020 couldn’t have been at once more exciting and more humbling.
Kaimera was invited by the Collaboratory program at the US State Department, the US Embassy in Mozambique, and the Slave Wrecks Project of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture to explore the possibility of using our SPACES project as a connecting tissue between the artifacts retrieved from the sunken slave ships discovered off the shores of Ilha de Moçambique (the Island of Mozambique), and the past and present real life experiences of those living on the Island, where economic opportunities are scarce. Our team spent time in Maputo, the country’s capital, and in Ilha de Moçambique, where the project will take place. We met inspiring artists, organizations, scholars, local community leaders and community members. These encounters made this exploratory trip as rich and transformative as we anticipated.
We are now reflecting on our experience, exploring ways in which our work can be of service to the needs of the local community, while being fully conscious of the complex context and history, of our ignorance, and of our privilege as outsiders. Yes, this may be the toughest project our team has encountered to date, but we hope to do it justice.
CHIMÈRES at Le Lieu Unique
Following multiple residencies and performances in India and in the United States over the last two years, Kaimera brought its DATAPRINT initiative to France for a two-week residency in November 2019. The residency was part of the prestigious CHIMÈRES program at Le Lieu Unique in Nantes, administered by the French Ministry of Culture, Théâtre Nouvelle Generation, and Le Lieu Unique itself.
During the two-week period, the DATAPRINT team dug deep into the narrative of this part-performance and part-real life game experience, in which audiences will be invited to immerse themselves in a parallel universe where data is the rule of law. Character arcs were developed, scenes were drafted, and the dystopian DATAPRINT world was fleshed out in many exciting ways. We can’t reveal much of the details, but we can’t wait to bring this piece to the world! Our next residency will be in July 2020.
We Will Return in the Spring is an immersive theatrical experience that delves into Chekhov’s iconic work The Cherry Orchard through an interdisciplinary approach that blends theater, movement, music, installation, and particularly, audience immersion. The work will premiere at the Château de Belloy Saint Leonard in Picardie, France, in the spring of 2020. Excerpts will be presented at the Hôtel de Sully in Paris as part of the festival Les Traversées du Marais on Sunday, September 8th, 2019 at 3pm.
Kaimera at The Gathering
In May, Simón Adinia Hanukai represented Kaimera at The Gathering, an invitation-only event organized by the Laboratory for Global Performance & Politics at Georgetown University, as part of the inaugural CrossCurrents festival in Washington D.C. Simón had a chance to take part in this incredibly inspirational event, where he co-facilitated a workshop with Michael Rohd of Sojourn Theater on Civic Imagination and Approaches to Community-Engaged Performance. The workshop used Kaimera’s Living Altar project as the catalyst.
DATAPRINT Team returns at Princeton University
The DATAPRINT team recently gathered for our second residency at Princeton University, during which we focused on narrative design. David Kuelz, narrative game designer and the lead writer for DATAPRINT, led this residency and we are well on our way to completing a draft of the narrative structure of the piece.
DATAPRINT selected for the CHIMERES program
We were awarded the prestigious CHIMÈRES Residency at Le Lieu Unique in Nantes, France, administered by the French Ministry of Culture, Théâtre Nouvelle Generation, and Le Lieu Unique. The residency brought together 12 artists working at the intersection of hybrid arts, tech & immersive performance. DATAPRINT was one of 3 projects selected to continue with the CHIMÈRES program and receive additional developmental support.
KAIMERA at IETM
Kaimera has recently become a member of IETM, an international network for contemporary performing arts. Between 28-31 March 2019, Simón Adinia Hanukai went on behalf of our team to the most recent convening in Hull, UK, where he presented our SPACES project at a Newsround. The next IETM convening will take place in Rijeka, Croatia, in October 2019, where Simón was invited to facilitate a session on Immersive Creative Processes.
Dancers Marisa Martin, Nick Bedard, Michael Zapesotsky and Lauren Santos performing at the Tech Museum of Innovation in Silicon Valley. Photo: Casey Ruiz
DATAPRINT visitors at the Cubbon Park Metro Station in Bangalore.
DATAPRINT: THE INSTALLATION
DATAPRINT: THE INSTALLATION, the immersive installation version of our DATAPRINT project premiered simultaneously on the weekend of 22-23 September 2018 at The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, USA, and the Cubbon Park Metro Station in Bangalore, India. A catalyst for conversations about data privacy in two key cities in the technology sector, it offered visitors the opportunity to reflect on the impact of their online fingerprint by creating an avatar based on their virtual habits, then witnessing a visual representation of their online behavior. Watch the trailer here.
We are now taking what we learned, and moving ahead to the next installment of DATAPRINT: an immersive experience at the intersection of gaming and performance that asks audiences “What is the impact of data on democracy?”
DATAPRINT: IN PROCESS
Kaimera presents DATAPRINT in a workshop at the Montalvo Arts Center. We invite audiences to interact with the work-in-progress installation and provide insights that will contribute to the fine-tuning of DATAPRINT before its public presentations in September 2018. Reserve your space here to join us at the Montalvo Arts Center on Tuesday, August 21st, between 6-9pm.
Kaimera in the American Theatre Magazine & Howlround
Simón Adinia Hanukai, Kaimera’s Co-Artistic Director, was interviewed for the latest issue of American Theatre Magazine. The issue focuses on immigration, and this article asks: What roles can theatre play in the global refugee crisis? Healing, representation—and diversion. The article, which you can find here, concludes with a section about our work.
Also, a recent HowlRound article describes Kaimera’s SPACES: Harlem production, which was commissioned and presented by the 2017 Harlem Arts Festival. Read it here, and if you haven’t seen it yet, make sure to check out the short video trailer of the piece. Stay tuned for news of SPACES jumping continents in 2019!
Kaimera receives support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
Kaimera has received support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for the presentation of a fully-produced version of DATAPRINT in September 2018 that will be presented simultaneously in California, USA and in Bangalore, India.
Kaimera welcomes the 2018 Immortals
At the heart of Kaimera is a group we call The Immortals, composed by experts from in and outside the arts whose work we value and whose interests align with our mission and vision. We are very excited to welcome our 2018 Immortals: creative producer, arts manager, cultural consultant, and General Manager of Theater Mitu J.J. El-Far; Founder and Executive Artistic Director of Golden Thread Productions Torange Yeghiazarian; educator, artist, and activist Geneviève DeBose Akinnagbe; documentary photographer and Professor of Political Science at FIT/SUNY Praveen K. Chaudhry.
DATAPRINT Team at Princeton University
Princeton hosts the team of DATAPRINT for a developmental residency, an opportunity to finalize ideas, have further discussions with experts in the fields of data privacy, and solidify a plan of action as the public spaces version of the project approaches its premiere in September.
SPACES: Harlem - 24-25 June, 2017
SPACES: Harlem is an immersive storytelling performance that combines dance, theatre, music, and video, and invites audiences to experience intimate moments from Harlem's past. At the heart of the experience, local Harlem residents recount personal stories about the place they call home.
SPACES: Harlem is the 2017 Harlem Arts Festival Theatre Commission. A project of Kaimera Productions, in association with the Humans Collective, with the support of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.
Mount Morris Ascension Presbyterian Church - June 24 & 25, 2017
SPACES: Harlem is part of Kaimera's SPACES project, an initiative that aims to help audiences rediscover the history of the spaces they live in, and thus, strengthen their connection to the community they belong to.
Kaimera Productions in Portland!
The Global Theater Initiative, a partnership between TCG and The Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics (The Lab), hosted the 2017 Global Pre-Conference entitled Beyond the Four Walls on Wednesday, June 7, 2017 in Portland Oregon. Kaimera Productions' Co-Artistic Director Simón Adinia Hanukai had the honor of being invited to present the Living Altar project.
Kaimera Facilitates a Workshop for Young Syrian Refugees in Mardin, Turkey
With the support, of TCG's ON the ROAD grant, Simón has been traveling in the Middle-East to work on solidifying organizational and artistic partners for Kaimera's Living Altar project. Simón has also been teaching workshops inspired by Living Altar throughout his trip. Kaimera Productions was honored to have Simón be invited by Art Anywhere to teach a theater workshop to a group of young refugees ages twelve to sixteen in Mardin, Turkey, a few kilometers away from the Syrian border. Art Anywhere provides an invaluable art and education space for young Syrian and Iraqi refugees. Check them out and support their work!
Kaimera Productions Receives TCG ON the ROAD Grant!
ON the ROAD grants - administered by Theatre Communications Group, the national organization for the professional not-for-profit American theatre, and funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation - encourages reciprocity and cultural exchange by fostering new relationships with international colleagues. Through this grant, Kaimera Productions will send Simón Adinia Hanukai to visit Istanbul, Turkey, and Dubai, United Arab Emirates to solidify organizational and artistic partners for the implementation of Living Altar, a multidisciplinary performative celebration of the lives of individuals killed in conflict, regardless of origin, gender, religion, status, and profession. He will also visit the Turkish bordertown of Gaziantep, which is surrounded by over a dozen refugee camps, to meet individuals affected by the Syrian conflict and to connect with NGOs working there. See the Press Release here and learn more about Living Altar here!
We had our launch party in New York on January 21st. Click here to see photos and a video of the event!
We are proud for our first production to be presented at La MaMa E.T.C. The show is a partnership with Superhero Clubhouse, a collective of artists and scientists working at the intersection of environmentalism and theater. JUPITER is a 200-year-long dialogue between Humanity and a man who has made all fossil fuels disappear permanently from the Earth. Featuring original music and made in collaboration with energy experts, JUPITER asks whether it is right or effective to impose radical change for the greater good. Find out more about JUPITER here.
Kaimera's Co-Artistic Director's Action at COP21
Kaimera Productions’ co-artistic director, Simón Adinia Hanukai, was one of the primary creative team members of an ambitious COP21 action, the result of which was the photo that you see to the left. After a ban on any public gatherings after the terror attacks, the police prefecture finally gave its approval just 48 hours before the proposed date, but the team still miraculously pulled it off. The action was a combination of ritual, performance and protest, and the aerial image was photographed by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, one of the world's leading photographers, and Spectral Q. This photo has circulated the planet and ended up as the primary image for a New York Times piece about the climate talks (follow the link to see a larger version of the photo). You can also view the 30-second video that Greenpeace created about it.
Action Producers: John Quigley & Magalie Bonneau-Marcil