UK's Feral Theatre present "Last Dance" peformance and workshop, Sept. 7-8

August 29, 2023

From September 7-8, the U.K. based performance trio, Feral Theatre, will be in residence at the ISM where they will devise and perform a new piece, “Last Dance”, as part of ISM’s new Religion, Ecology and Expressive Culture initiative.

The Last Dance performance will take place on Thursday, September 7 from 5-7 p.m. It is a semi-improvised performance centered around a suspended sculpture. The performers partner the sculpture in a strange dance as they navigate its changing form. Visually inspired by Louise Bourgeois’ suspended works, the piece is a study of loss, cycles, and tipping points. How do we deal with irreversible change and the aftermath of loss? What happens when we face impossible choices? The performance will last approximately one hour and will be followed by a reception and a conversation between the artists and Yale faculty. The performance is free and open to the public, but please register here. For more details, click here.

There will also be a workshop on Friday, September 8 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. which will follow on from the previous day’s performance. Participants will be invited to interact with objects made from different materials and and engage in a participatory experiment which encourages questions around the objects’ relationships with the self, the other, and the more-than-human-world.  The workshop is free and open to the public, but please register here. View more details here.

Both events will take place in ISM’s Miller Hall at 406 Prospect Street in New Haven. All are welcome!

Feral Theatre is run by co-directors Emily Laurens, Rachel Porter and Persephone Pearl. For two decades they have been making work that explores themes around biodiversity change and eco-emotions. Their work is multidisciplinary, tends to include clown, dark clown, and improvisation, is often site specific and sometimes closer to performance/live art. It is visual and experimental, including puppets, objects, paper, cloth, shadows, projections, live music and lighting. Read more about Feral Theatre.

The Artists

Elise Morrison is an Assistant Professor of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies at Yale, where she teaches courses on Creativity, Collaboration, Feminist Theater, Embodied Communication, and Digital Media in Performance. Her first book, Discipline and Desire: Surveillance Technologies in Performance was published by University of Michigan Press in 2016. Morrison has edited several special issues: on “Surveillance Technologies in Performance” for the International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media (2015), and, along with the Yale-TDR Consortium Editorial team, two special issues for TDR: The Drama Review on “Algorithms and Performance” (2019) and “Presence” (2022). Her current book project, Post-Dramatic Stress: Theater and Therapy in the Aftermath of War, explores how technologies of 21st century war, from drones to first person shooter video games to virtual therapies developed to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, “perform” in and across socio-political, therapeutic and theatrical arenas. Morrison is also a singer-songwriter, theater director, and has devised and performed multiple intermedia cabaret performances that focus on gender, surveillance, and mediatized culture. 

Rachel Porter trained as an actress and theatre deviser. She gained an MA at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in drama therapy and now lectures on the course and works as an academic developing new ways of working, with marginalised and disabled communities and with non-verbal communication. Rachel has developed a number of solo works performed in Belgium and the UK including Songs for Waiting and Silent Tarot. Lockdown periods encouraged her exploration of performing solo work through digital photography.

Emily Laurens lives and works in Wales as a multi-disciplinary artist working with themes around colonialism and race, memorialisation and identity, healing justice and reparations. Emily has had a number of commissions including from National Theatre Wales, the Arts Council of Wales and National Museums Wales. She is currently training in Art Psychotherapy.

Persephone Pearl is a Brighton-based arts producer and director who has led arts and environment organisation ONCA since 2012, devising and producing dozens of multidisciplinary collaborative creative projects. Her background is as a touring theatre and circus performer. Persephone is a poet, activist and facilitator with special skills in network building and bringing people together. She is training in psychotherapy at Brighton University and has trained with the Climate Psychology Alliance.

Suhail Yusuf Khan is a PhD. candidate at Wesleyan University and a Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at The Hartt School, University of Hartford. He brings together expertise from a performance career that has extended over 20 years, a creative ability, and the academic research to find new modes of expression in Hindustānī (North Indian) music. His doctoral dissertation, “Bridge Overtones: Lessons from the Sarangi” is the first in-depth ethnomusicological study of the North Indian bowed instrument tradition by a hereditary sarangi player. He has been featured on more than twenty albums and signed to Domino records, U.K.