By k. terumi shorb
Directed by Yvan Greenberg
Una Corda is a solo performance with music meditating on the spiritual affects and effects of cancer. Through presenting an original, “from-scratch” ritual, Una Corda digs beneath the sentimental and condescending notion of cancer as it exists in the popular imagination and instead explores how cancer effects us as a lived experience—visceral, complex, messy, and unresolved.
In the creative process of Una Corda, shorb and Greenberg work with many different sources. For text, they explore short autobiographical pieces written about three individuals in shorb’s life who passed away from cancer. Some of these texts were written specifically for this piece, some were not. They have incorporated the Latin text of the Catholic Mass and various translations of the Heart Sutra as well as poetry and word play pieces commissioned from Austin-based poets, Kimberly Alidio and Ana-Maurine Lara. The piece also utilizes borrowed and modified elements from Catholic and Shingon Buddhist traditions, particularly the physical and spatial structures of ritual. The grounding elements of the piece are cancer-related objects (radiation therapy masks, cancer-related jewelry, motivational magnets, bright pink objects, etc.) donated by cancer survivors, patients, and caregivers. While the Mass and Sutra are rich in imagery, spirituality, and sonic histories, the donated objects are the physical connection to actual experiences surrounding cancer.
Work on Una Corda has been made possible by the City of Austin Cultural Council Core Grant and a residency at Alma de Mujer Center for Social Change.
k. terumi (kt) shorb is a director, performer, and writer. She trained in Suzuki Actor Training and Anne Bogart’s Viewpoints with the SITI Company and Zen Zen Zo. shorb is Artistic Director of the Generic Ensemble Company for which she directed the critically acclaimed Stuck on Gee-Dot. She is a founding member of Stamp Lab: A Performance group, with which she shared the Fourth Annual ArtSpark Festival Best Theatre Award and the 2009 FronteraFest “Best of Fest” Award. She has performed in multiple original plays, drag shows, instructional videos and short films. She has presented her work on college campuses including, University of Chicago, University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, University of Texas at Austin, and Oberlin College.
Director/choreographer Yvan Greenberg is the founder of Brooklyn-based experimental performance company Laboratory Theater and has created ten original pieces for the ensemble since 2001. Greenberg’s work has been presented in New York by P.S. 122, HERE Arts Center, The Brick Theater, Dixon Place, New Dramatists, Chashama, The Performing Garage, The Knitting Factory, Movement Research, WOW Cafe Theater, and Raw Space. In February 2007, Greenberg was awarded Dixon Place’s first Artist Residency and, with Laboratory Theater, helped Dixon Place establish their now on-going residency program. In addition to his work with Laboratory Theater, Greenberg has choreographed two experimental music theater pieces by composer Corey Dargel, REMOVABLE PARTS and THIRTEEN NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCES, and is directing MURPHY, by playwright Honor Molloy with music by Dargel. Greenberg received a MacDowell Fellowship in 2006.
By k. terumi shorb