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Virgin Writes: Esperanza Spalding & Yuka C. Honda

Jake Nussbaum hosts Esperanza Spalding and Yuka C. Honda, leading up to their debut performance of Virgin Writes, an exclusive evening of lyrical, Butoh staging of the ancient greek mythological story of Iphigenia, presented at Pioneer Works on January 27, 2017. Virgin Writes brings together a unique collaboration between three radical women artists, with lyrics written and sung by Grammy Award winner Spalding, music composed and performed live by Honda (of Cibo Matto), and staging directed and performed by Butoh dancer/choreographer Vangeline. Virgin Writes finds a young screenwriter invoked to re-write the fate of Iphigenia, princess of Argos. Condemned to a sacrificial death after a transgression between her father Agamemnon and goddess Artemis, Iphigenia envelops her screenwriter within her tale and encourages him to suffer the burden of creation and reclaim impending doom by giving birth to his own inspired story. Set in the distorted, organic movements of the Japanese postwar, avant-garde movement form of Butoh, Virgin Writes reclaims the expected horrific implications of Apocalypse by disrupting fate with revelation and rewriting destiny through creative intuition. Yuka C. Honda is a Japanese composer/musician and producer residing in New York City. She is best known for the band Cibo Matto, which she co-founded with Miho Hatori in 1994 and in which Honda created a unique one- man band sound by triggering samples 'live'. Honda released three solo albums (on the Tzadik label) and has produced recordings by Sean Lennon, Martha Wainwright, YOKO ONO PLASTIC ONO BAND and Cibo Matto. She has recorded and performed with a wide range of musicians such as Yoko Ono, Bernie Worrell, Marc Ribot, Laurie Anderson, Sean Lennon, Yoshimi (of The Boredoms), Nels Cline, Kimbra, Thomas Bartlett and Trixie Whitley among others. Four time Grammy Award winner Esperanza Spalding has, in the past decade of her illustrious career (which also involves having performed at the Oscars, the Grammys, the Nobel Prize ceremony, and several times at the White House), continually and brilliantly married genres, pushed boundaries, and created groundbreaking work. Spalding is, as a composer, lyricist, bassist and vocalist, expansive, iterative, shape-shifting, open, and progressively innovative. A voracious and magnetic performer, she is attentively studious towards what the process of playing live — whether sharing a stage with her own revolving ensembles, Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, Janelle Monae, Wayne Shorter or Prince — presents to the structure of a song. That channeled energy runs through her recorded catalog of seven collaborative and five solo albums. The most recent, Emily’s D+Evolution is a fresh artistic vision for Spalding — a daring tapestry of music, vibrant imagery, performance art and stage design.


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