Third Rail Projects Residency at Mana Contemporary
Take a glimpse into a day of rehearsal of Third Rails Projects “Road Side Attraction” in the Mana Contemporary Beer Garden . We loved having Third Rail here and can’t wait for future collaborations with Third Rail and additional dance and performance arts groups.
Roadside Attraction is a versatile new work housed in and around a vintage Seventies-era pop-up camper that has been retro-fitted to become the stage and setting for a new dance/theater performance
Designed to be shown virtually anywhere, indoors or out, Roadside Attraction is a family vacation that steps back in time to when Supertramp was on the radio, Connect Four was on the folding table and frisky business was in the bunks. Mom’s red Candies clapped from the camper’s linoleum kitchen window before she emerged in her cheetah print bathing suit with matching blanket, her platinum wig blowing in the breeze.
Exploring expectations, acceptance, and the excruciating but illuminating identification with family role models, Roadside Attraction is a slice of nostalgic Americana, replete with lawn chairs, a picnic table, and all the trappings of a family that has been together on a road trip for far, far too long.
The work centers around the Mother, who dreams of a life beyond the hum-drum of suburban, middle-American family life. Her fantasies come alive in the form of an avatar, a glamorous, fabulous projection of herself who gets to do everything Mom only dreams of, from rekindling a failing relationship with Dad, to ogling her daughter’s strapping young boyfriend. The resulting movement sequences careen over and through the camper and campsite, sparking unrequited desires that sometimes unravel into tender reconciliations. Quirky, humorous, and heartbreaking, the work skips between bubbles of pop music woven into a through-composed original score.
As a performance, Roadside Attraction is a dance/theater piece for eight performers that incorporates the intimate, quirky, stunning and startling choreographic sensibility that is the hallmark of Third Rail’s critically acclaimed dance/theater work.
Third Rail Projects, led by Artistic Directors Zach Morris, Tom Pearson, and Jennine Willett is dedicated to reframing dance and performance and bringing art to the public through an array of media and within a variety of contexts including site-specific performances, dance theater, installation art, video and multi-media projects, and immersive performance environments. Collectively, Third Rail artists have been granted commissions, support, and residencies from presenters, organizations, and foundations including: Arts Brookfield, Danspace Project, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation, Abrons Arts Center, the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, Dance New Amsterdam, Dance Theater Workshop, Topaz Arts, La Mama ETC, 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Center, The American Music Center, The Lucky Star Foundation, and Materials for the Arts, among many others. Third Rail artists have also received numerous awards including two 2008 New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Awards for Vanishing Point, a 2001 New York International Fringe Festival Award for Choreography from the Present Company, and others.
Third Rail Projects celebrates its Tenth Anniversary season in 2011/2012 as it continues to recontextualize art and performance in alternate formats. Third Rail began in 2001, originally founded by Pearson, Willett, and Brian Weaver as Third Rail Dance. In 2003, Weaver began pursuits abroad and relocated to Milan, and in 2004/2005, collaborator Zach Morris joined as Co-Artistic Director, maintaining the governing structure of Third Rail as a trio of collaborating Artistic Directors. In 2007, the company incorporated as Third Rail Projects LLC and broadened its mission to embrace performance and art-making possibilites beyond dance; however, the group has maintained a strong physical and movement-based vocabulary in all of its theatrical works and installation and immersive environments.