Composer/Choreographer Series – Cassie Tunick, Heather Harpham, Danny Tunick

Sunday, March 24, 2013. 8:00 pm

The 13th hour of the 26th day

In this ferocious and delicately imagined work, the trio torques the spare and essential into an unusually orchestrated physical/musical dialogue. A visually surreal travelogue of the ordinary in which physical gestures evolve into soundscapes and altered states of speech; improvisation is used to unexpected effect. Created and performed by Cassie Tunick, Heather Harpham, and Danny Tunick.

Cassie Tunick is a performer, writer, and teacher. Her physical improvisations and solo shows have been seen on stages from San Francisco to New York and in Germany, France and the Netherlands. Theatrical collaborators have included the darkly imagistic Butoh troupe inkBoat, the experimental music-theater group Reflex Ensemble, and video artist David Finkelstein. Currently she performs with the Action Theater group Second Nature and is a member of Company SoGoNo. She has danced for Tracey Rhoades’ Exploding Roses, played keyboards with The Mad Scene, danced the title role in the Eric Kozial film The Duchess, and now performs vocally with the band Barbez. In New York her work has been presented at Triskelion Arts, Danspace at St. Mark’s Church, Ontological Theater, 3LD, Brooklyn Museum, Irondale Center, Dixon Place, Movement Research, and Symphony Space. She is a Senior Teacher of Ruth Zaporah’s Action Theater, devoting herself to the study and development of Action Theater for the last 25 years. She holds an MFA in Writing and Poetics from Naropa Institute and has recently finished editing a book on improvisation by Ruth Zaporah (soon to be published).  She is inspired by the Brothers Quay, Israel Galván, Chernobyl, and Mihály Víg.

Heather Harpham is a writer and performer of physical theater, who lives outside New York City. Both her solo performances and improvisation collaborations with Cassie Tunick have been presented widely in NYC. Her solo piece Happiness played in Nepal as part the International Kathmandu Theater Festival, and was most recently presented by the Millibo Art Theater in Colorado Springs. She is the recipient of the Brenda Ueland Prose prize for her prose writing, a grant recipient of the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, and a nominee for a New York Innovative Theater Award for her performance work with Company SoGoNo, of which she is a core member. She has taught master classes in physical theater and improvisation at NYU, The Neighborhood Playhouse, Muhlenberg College, The Pratt Institute, Sarah Lawrence College, Manhattanville College and Oglethorpe University. She holds an MFA in Theater and a MA in Creative Writing, both from NYU. It has been her great joy to play in the imaginative realm with Cassie Tunick, since the age of ten.

Danny Tunick is a veteran of an extreme array of different musical scenes in New York City and beyond. From many varieties of rock (such as Dan Kaufman’s Euro-literary-underground band Barbez, punk rock founding father Jowe Head’s band, Rebecca Moore’s haunting and fragile group Prevention of Blindness, New Zealand cult legends The Clean) to classical (he has conducted music by Pierre Boulez, Charles Wuorinen, and Zs founder Sam Hillmer, among others), to an array of music that falls between any convenient category (extreme minimalist Arnold Dreyblatt’s Orchestra of Excited Strings, downtown luminary Elliott Sharp’s Orchestra Carbon, the thuggish sludgish noise of Lydsod, the pagan Civil War rituals of Flaming Fire, David First’s drone-expansion unit The Western Enisphere), he has attempted to navigate around and through innumerable other musical obstacles. He has worked closely with many dancers and dance companies, including Juliette Mapp and Armitage Gone! Dance, and the theater directors John Jesurun and Rinde Eckert. He is resident composer for Tanya Calamoneri’s Company SoGoNo.  His performances can be heard on over 30 record labels, including Tzadik, CRI, Opus One, Siltbreeze, EMI, New Albion, Capstone, Merge, RCA, Wiiija, Important, Mutable Music, Bridge, Happy Squid, Cantaloupe, Red Toucan, Spaced, Black Box, Rare Book Room, and Rock Against Rock.

photo by Angelina Jimenez


Cassie Tunick, Heather Harpham, & Danny Tunick 2013