La MaMa Blogs: 6 Questions: Gian Marco Lo Forte

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

6 Questions: Gian Marco Lo Forte

Pioneers Go East Collective brings their latest piece, Hildegard (vision) to La MaMa from December 3 - 20, 2015.  Artistic Director, Gian Marco Lo Forte, and director of Hildegard (vision), took time out from rehearsals to answer our 6 Questions:

1. What was the inspiration for creating Hildegard (vision)?

Reflecting on the circumstances in which Hildegard Von Bingen lived: Hildegard was a medieval woman who - with determination and courage - was able to be an artist and spiritual leader in a male dominated world.

On a personal level I was drawn to her world from the record of Hildegard’s letters about her love for her pupil Richardis; I was intrigued to explore how same sex intimacy could exist in the medieval time…in a convent: How acts and feelings can be directly related to unfulfilled love and prohibited sexuality in the Medieval time; and how the notions of queerness translates to another time in history.

I am drawn to stories of men and women who are on the periphery of society who have made positive changes in society that we don’t always recognize or remember  today or simply positive effects that we take for granted.

2. What is important to you about Hildegard’s story?

Locating Hildegard in history and presenting her story and emotional life with immediacy without recreating a replica of that world at that time. The work is designed as a visual and sonic installation that’s an homage to Hildegard’s music and paintings; thinking deeper the work should speak to us privileged artists etc as how exceptional Hildegard had to be to commit her life to spiritual endeavors that translated in artistic works (in music, literature, paintings).

3. How do you use technology in the show?

By tracing the physiological symptoms of a migraine that lead to the hallucinations that illuminated Hildegard, the Pioneers Go East creative team has started distilling design elements that could speak about that state of being. Sound, lights, video are orchestrated to skew our perceptions as viewers and listeners drift and experiences alongside Hildegard the environment that’s morphing.

4. Who inspires you?

I have many heroes and folks that inspire me: Artists, Social activists, teachers who work to help others;  I see many amazing people around me in NYC in schools, hospitals, people working in social services. Who has at heart others inspire me...I forget to mention all the artists who continue to work  pro bono: I know many; and all the artists I collaborate with work on projects bc they have passion, they love what they do...

5. If you could take a trip anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would you go?

A bike trip in Iceland on the Ring Road.

6. What does working at La MaMa mean to you?

La MaMa is many contrasting things: You may arrive at La MaMa by chance or are drawn here by reading about it in theatre history books… but what La MaMa does best is encourage people grow in a myriad of  ways and directions, and sometimes after experiencing La Mama, you end up far away from theatre.  Ultimately La MaMa for half a century - wow! -has been and continues to be a hub of hundred plus American and international artists coming here each year to create bold and courageous works to serve downtown arts and theatre community at large.

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La MaMa in association 
Created and Designed by Gian Marco Lo Forte, Abby Felder and John SullyDirected by Gian Marco Lo Forte; Written by Abby Felder; Composed by John SullyFeatured Performers: Marina Celander, Nehprii Amenii, Seth Gilman, Kamala Sankaram, Daniel Diaz, Tali Custer

December 3 - 20, 2015
Thursdays - Saturdays at 7:30; Sundays at 2pm

La MaMa First Floor Theater
74A East 4th Street
(between Bowery and Second Avenue)
New York, NY 10003

Tickets: $18 Adults; $13 Students/Seniors; ten $10 tickets are available for every performance as part of La MaMa's 10@$10 ticketing initiative (advance sales only)

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

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