Right Brain Performancelab
The Elephant in the Room (Excerpt)
Shared Program with Tim Rubel Human Shakes (duration 60 minutes)
Presented by Right Brain Performancelab
Directed by Jennifer Gwirtz with the Performancelab
Performed by John Baumann, Jennifer Gwirtz, and Laura Marsh
Lighting Design: Allen Willner
Costumes: Lisa Claybaugh
Original Songs: Dave Rodgers
These performance of The Elephant in the Room were made possible in part by the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation.
The Elephant in the Room features a large pachyderm-like entity who invisibly inhabits the stage, intriguing and confounding a cast of performers who dance, clown and sing their efforts to define it. This piece is an excerpt from an evening length semi-linear dance-theater rumination on what goes unnoticed, a blend of movement, shadows and sound that explores the human ability to overlook something, even when it is important or obvious.
Right Brain Performancelab began in 1998 in San Francisco as an experimental collaboration between dancer Jennifer Gwirtz and solo artist John Baumann. Described by Nicole Gluckstern of the SF Bay Guardian as creating a “quirkily cerebral brand of performance art,” Gwirtz and Baumann began to assemble like-minded artists to create full length works for the stage, site specific and alternative venues. In 2000 they traveled to Auckland, New Zealand to perform their first evening-length work. Now an ensemble of dancers, theater artists and musicians, they blend their disciplines to explore humanity and existence by way of metaphor.
Jennifer Gwirtz's work emerged from a background in ballet, contemporary dance, technology, Butoh and visual art. Originally from Philadelphia, she began her career performing for ballet companies, then moved to contemporary dance when she arrived in San Francisco. She developed a passion for blending disciplines while earning her MFA in New Genres at San Francisco Art Institute. In the 1990s she created theatrical, movement-based experiments that challenged assumptions about performance for theaters, galleries and outdoor spaces. In 1998 she and John Baumann formed Right Brain Performancelab as a collaborative group for performance experimentation.
Originally from Oswego, New York, John Baumann has been producing, writing and performing in the Bay Area for nearly twenty years after studying literature, theology, philosophy and theater at Drew University. His energetic and philosophical solo performances have been seen at The Marsh, Theater of Yugen, Climate Theater, and The EXIT Theatre. He co-directed Right Brain Performancelab with Jennifer Gwirtz from 1998 through 2010. John appeared in Goldie Award-winner Dan Carbone's There Be Monsters and other plays. John is a workshop facilitator for and became Co-Executive Director of The Field San Francisco in 2005.
Jennifer A. Minore
Jennifer A. Minore has a BFA in dance from the University of Michigan. She has performed with Right Brain Performancelab since 2003. She danced in Florida and Michigan before moving to the Bay Area. She has performed with Transit Dance, Funsch Dance Experience, and Dana Lawton.
Laura Marsh has a B.F.A. in Theatre/Dance from University of Memphis. She was the co-artistic director for Project:Motion, a Memphis - based dance company, and a member of Professor Chameleon's Eccentric Medicine Show, a children's theatre company. In San Francisco, she has worked with Spinning Yarns Dance Collective, Megan Nicely and Company, and Automatic Art. Laura has been working with Right Brain Performancelab since 2000.