David Thomson comes to the Chocolate Factory Theater

The Chocolate Factory Theater presents the world premiere of VESSEL, a new permanent performance installation by David Thomson.

Performances are at The (New) Chocolate Factory Theater, 38-33 24th Street, Long Island City NY 11101.

Something personal. A transmission route. To give evidence.

VESSEL, created by acclaimed choreographer and performer David Thomson, is an ongoing performance installation centered on a practice of witnessing. It challenges everyone involved to engage their senses and imagination in the process of listening at different – ​​and deeper – levels; to embrace the invisible as a tangible state of possibility.

VESSEL is thematically influenced by Édouard Glissant’s Poetics of Relations by the post-colonialist writer Édouard Glissant, in which he explores the concept of opacity as an unquantifiable definition of the ‘other’; questioning our ability to truly know others or even ourselves within the constructs of socio-political identity. Translating these questions into the semiotics of the visual, Thomson and his collaborators ask: How can we subvert the relationship between audience and performer and the deeply habitual act of visual interpretation as truth… to reinvent the poetics of presence?

VESSEL is the culmination of a three year process of building a physical practice of surrender, freedom and otherness with a select group of artists. It is a continuation of his research into questions of identity and how presence and absence work in human experience.

Spectators are asked to arrive at the advertised entry time (5pm or 7pm) and may stay as long as they wish.

Created and performed by David Thomson with Jaguar Mary X, Katrina Reid, Katie Workum, Nehemoyia Young and Martita Abril.

Visual design by Peter Born and Athena Kokoronis. Sound design by James Lo. light design by Stan Pressner. Production Phase Manager: Tricia Tolliver.

Commissioned by The Chocolate Factory Theater with additional support from Café Royal Cultural Foundation, Lunder Institute for American Art, NYSCA, Dance/NYC Advancement Fund, Gibney Dance and The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

David Thomson is a Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary collaborative and performance artist working in music, dance, theater and performance with artists such as Mel Wong, Jane comfortBebe Miller (’83-’86; ’03-’06), Remy Charlip, Martha ReziThe Lavender Light Gospel Choir, Trisha Brown (’87-’93), Patricia Hoffbauer, Donna Uchizono, David Roussève, Wendy PeronSusan Rethorst, Michel Laub/Remote Control (NL), Ralph Lemon (’99-’10), Bo Madvig (DK), Sally Silvers, Tracie Morris, Sekou Sundiata, Reggie WilsonDean Moss/Layla Ali, Mike TaylorMeg Stuart Marina Abramovic Muna TsengDaria Faïn & Robert Kocik, Clarinda Mac Low, Alain Buffard (FR), Deborah HeuTere O’Connor, Beth GilYanira Castro, David BowieFiona Templeton, Kaneza sound, Okwui OkpokwasiliLee Mingwei/Bill T Jones and Carl Hancock Rux among many others. He has been a member of Yvonne Rainer’s “Raindears” since 2015. hot mouthfounded by Grisha ColemanJonathan Stone, Viola Sheely and Thomson.

His own work has been presented by The Kitchen, Danspace Project at St Mark’s Church, Dance Theater Workshop, Roulette and Movement Research at Judson Church. Thomson has been artist-in-residence at Dance Theater Workshop, Movement Research, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Gibney Dance Center, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, The Invisible Dog, Topaz Arts and Mount Tremper Arts Center, The Yard, Performance Space NY, and The Lunder Institute for American art. His work has been supported by the Robison Foundation, the MAP Fund, the Jerome Foundation, and the Brooklyn Arts Council, among others. Thomson was honored with a New York Dance and Performance Award (“Bessie”) for Sustained Achievement (2001), as a member of the creative team for Bebe Miller’s Landing/Place (2006), and for Outstanding Production for his first feature-length work His Own Mythical Creature (2018 ).

Thomson has received grants from United States Artists|Ford, NYFA in Choreography (2013, 2022), MacDowell, Yaddo, The Yard (Bessie Schoenberg Fellow), The Rauschenberg Foundation, LMCC Extended Life Fellowship (2018-21) and is a Foundation Honoree for Contemporary Art (2022). He is currently a Mabou mines Associate Artist and Danspace Artist Research Fellow.

Thomson was at the Faculty of Human Movement Studies, NYU, Sarah Lawrence, The New School, Barnard, Bennington, Middlebury and Pratt, and international teaching. In 2017 he initiated the Sustainability Project with Kate Watson-Wallace, which serves as a platform and practice to expand the discourse on ideas of financial, artistic and personal empowerment within the arts community. Thomson began dancing at Haverford/Bryn Mawr Colleges and later received his BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from SUNY Purchase.

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