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Smith/Wymore Disappearing Acts presents

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Number Zero is both a game and an experiment in real-time computer augmented performance. This semi-improvised dance is about a semi-intelligent computer system threatening to evolve itself into a space opera, aka: a television inspired sci-fi narrative about a defective computer system taking control over a band of humans. Set in a near future world that is only marginally different from our own, the dance continuously reconstructs itself anew, searching in vain for the perfect balance of human contentment and computer power. The participants (performers) find themselves trapped in a kind of limbo where the only hope is to win over the “heart" of the machine by successfully completing the system’s bizarre set of games of mental, physical and spiritual endurance. The work is comical, bleak and completely unpredictable. All we know for sure is that no two performances will ever be alike.

Participants: James Graham, Ian Heisters, Peiling Kao, Sheldon B. Smith, Lisa Wymore, Deanna Bangs, Cuauhtemoc Peranda

Who is Smith/Wymore Disappearing Acts?

Smith/Wymore Disappearing Acts aka: SWDA features the creative work of its namesake directors, Sheldon B. Smith and Lisa Wymore. The company has been developing and showing work in the Bay Area since 2004.

SWDA makes performances. Our work is mostly considered dance. It is the medium we work with the most, but we always find ways to subvert formalist notions of concert dance through experiments with language, music and technology. We make performances of all sizes and varieties but enjoy making evening length works with our company that more fully explore conceptual ideas. Sometimes we let the dance itself tell us what we are making. Our days are filled with teaching dance and making dance and performance with university students whom we love and adore.

We like to think that each new piece we make for SWDA is fairly unique, as is the process involved in making each work. Some people ask us what are the common threads that run through our work? Our reply often involves a witty response about visiting street corners and living rooms and driving across the country in search of timeless stories about love and loss. But the truth is we believe that dance and movements of the body communicate stories about our humanity in ways that words alone simply cannot. We allow our interests in conceptual and philosophical ideas to activate with our bodies. This allows us to create funny and provocative pieces that are deeply human, odd, rigorous, and inviting all at the same time. 

Sheldon B. Smith

Sheldon B. Smith has been making dances, music and video art for over 25 years in both the Midwest and California. Originally trained in ballet and french horn his interests have since shifted. A lot. He likes creating things that cross disciplines but movement is usually at the core. He has been interested in technology for many years and with Lisa, regularly makes performance work that skillfully integrates technology and dance in ways that try to allow both elements to speak to common human experience. His current creative interests are focused on developing workable strategies for integrating technology into improvisational performance. A version of this work will premiere in the work Number Zero in June of 2014.

In 2013, he taught at the fabulous Maine Island Dance Festival, shared a show with his old friend and mentor Bob Eisen; created an algorithmic video piece called Endless Gestures of Goodwill that premiered at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago; and co-created (with Scott Wells) an evening length work called Father On, which was named one of San Francisco Chronicle’s 10 best shows of the year.

For the last five years he has been a full-time Visiting Assistant Professor in the Mills College Dance Department. There he teaches various composition, music, technology and theory related courses. He has a BA in Dance from Colorado College and an MFA from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign and has fond memories of both institutions.

Lisa Wymore

LISA WYMORE is an Associate Professor of Dance and Director of the Dance Program within the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance at UC Berkeley. She teaches courses in choreography, contemporary dance technique, performance, movement improvisation, and dance/technology. She received her M.F.A from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and has twice received Illinois Arts Council grants for her choreography. She grew up in Sonoma, CA and attended UC Santa Cruz for an undergraduate degree in Political Science. Wymore is currently the Co-Artistic Director with Sheldon B. Smith of Smith/Wymore Disappearing Acts. Wymore’s other projects include: creating distributed performances utilizing tele-immersion technology within the Z-Lab – a site for interactive real-time collaboration, and working with the Urban Bush Women Leadership Institute on a recent community engagement project around food justice entitled From the Field to the Table. Wymore is a Certified Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analyst. and is on the faculty of the Integrated Movement Studies Certification program.

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