BRIClab: Tangled Lines Productions: The Island of Sighs (work-in-progress)
The Island of Sighs (work-in-progress) is a multimedia theater piece incorporating live visuals, dance, and music to tell the story of Tamar, one of the most famous characters in Armenian lore. A refugee of love and loss looking for the way off her island, Tamar is a metaphor for all who seek refuge after disaster and displacement.
General Admission: Seated
ANAÏS ALEXANDRA TEKERIAN (playwright, actress, singer) has performed in theatre and film around New York. Credits include Fault Lines (Invisible City Theatre Company), Blood and Honey (Theatre in the Flesh), Disappeared (Richmond Shepard Theatre), Returning (HERE), Lorca (Blue Heron Art Center), The Faith Project (the Tank), Valiant (Fringe Festival), and Howling (La MaMa). Her multi-media play, Tangled Yarn, created with Kevork Mourad, premiered at the New York International Fringe Festival in 2010, and was presented at Alwan for the Arts, the Lycée Français La Pérouse, San Francisco, and the Berkshire Fringe in 2011, followed by Waterlogged at the New York International Fringe Festival in 2011. Along with singers Teni Apelian and Yeraz Markarian, she founded Zulal, an Armenian a cappella folk trio, which has been featured on WNYC’s New Sounds (New York’s NPR station), and has toured internationally, performing in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, along with performances for Cirque du Soleil and The Silk Road Project. With flamenco guitarist Anna Garano, she has performed at the Neue Galerie, Alwan for the Arts, and San Francisco’s Union Square, among other venues. A native San Franciscan, she earned her degree in theatre from Yale University and now resides in New York.
KEVORK MOURAD (artist, director) is an acclaimed Armenian artist from Syria who has exhibited in the United States, Damascus, and Dubai. He is represented by the Galerie Claude Lemand. His technique of spontaneous painting brought him to specific, pre-planned projects that include live drawing and animation—collaborations in which art and performance develop in counterpoint to each other. As an artist-performer, he is an active member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, with which he has performed, among others, at Brooklyn Museum, the Nara Museum in Japan, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the American Museum of Natural History, (and with whom he appears in the 2016 documentary The Music of Strangers). With performers such as Kinan Azmeh, Tambuco, Brooklyn Rider, and The Knights, he has performed in Syria, Mexico, Lebanon, Holland, France, England, Canada, and around the United States, and in such prestigious institutions as the Lincoln Center Atrium, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Rhode Island School of Design, Harvard University, the Rubin Museum of Art, Tanglewood, the Festival du Monde Arabe de Montréal, the Dutch Royal Palace for the Prince Claus Foundation, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The 2016 recipient of the Robert Bosch Stiftung prize, he is currently at work on an animated short film about Syria.
AMBER STAR MERKENS (dancer) is originally from Newport, Oregon, where she began her dance training with Nancy Mittleman. She received her BFA from The Juilliard School, under the direction of Benjamin Harkarvy, and performed works by Paul Taylor, Martha Graham, Jose Limón, Jiri Killian, Lar Lubovitch, and David Parsons, among others. Amber went on to dance with the Jose Limón Dance Company for two years before joining the Mark Morris Dance Group in 2001. For over a decade, Amber enjoyed engaging in Mark’s creative process, and performing his work all over the world. She was featured in numerous pieces, and inherited Mark’s own roles in Dido and Aeneas, Ten Suggestions, and Rondo. Amber is a recipient of the Princess Grace Award, and is also a proud mother, a doula, and a photographer. She lives in Brooklyn with her partner, violinist Johnny Gandelsman, and their two children.
MARJORIE FOLKMAN (choreographer) danced as a member of the Mark Morris Dance Group (1996-2007), Martha Clarke’s Garden of Earthly Delights, Sara Rudner, and Merce Cunningham’s Repertory Understudy Group, among others. Choreographic projects have included Oresteia, Der Ferne Klang, and Le Roi Malgré Lui for Bard Summerscape Opera; Paul’s Case for the Prototype Festival/New York; and collaborations with Contemporaneous music ensemble. A graduate of Barnard College, where she is currently a member of the dance faculty, Folkman holds an M.A. from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and is a Ph.D. candidate at the Bard Graduate Center/New York researching Eastern European interwar visual culture and its intersections with performance.
The Island of Sighs is produced as part of the BRIClab Residency. BRIClab is a commissioning and residency program that offers local artists time and space to explore and expand the possibilities of their work in music, dance, theater and multi-disciplinary performance. Work-in-progress showings, presented with moderated artist-audience dialogues, open artists’ process and creativity to BRIC’s diverse public.