Journey to the Ocean portrays the adventures that a Los Angeles woman encounters when she sets out to walk to the ocean. Film accompanies, augments and counterpoints a live performance in this silent film style journey. While screening the film, the “woman,” performed by Nurit Siegel mirrors, interacts and punctuates her performance with live movement on stage as another performer voices the characters and does live foley, using voice and body. This modern-day benshi, an homage to the Japanese silent era live narrator who would perform the dialogue in Japanese for touring films, was performed by Ann Kaneko.
This piece comments on the Los Angeles urban landscape–its physical immensity and its hostility towards pedestrians. Journey to the Ocean was part of an ongoing series of collaborations, conceiving live performance and film together. When working to unify the respective elements of the film and live performance, focus was placed on finding cohesion in the material to emphasize complementary themes and ideas.
A nine-minute work-in-progress of Journey to the Ocean was first performed in December 2003 at max10 at the Electric Lodge in Venice, California. The finished piece was presented as part of the “Studio” series of new, innovative work at the Roy and Edna Disney / CalArts Theater (REDCAT) in May 2004. The music for this performance was by Anthony Braxton, The Black Cat Orchestra, Dvorak, and The Sea and Cake.
GARDEN COMPOSITION #11
(2003) color, TRT 3 mins., short
In Garden Composition #1, a later film collaboration with Siegel, we continued to explore dance film aesthetic and performance. In this film, Maya Deren meets David Lynch. It follows an eating woman (performed by Nurit Seigel) and Paloma, the cat. The film is accompanied by a composition by Anthony Braxton.