More than 50 performances across Italy, Belgium, Berlin, Stockholm, Dubai, Colorado, Ohio, Vermont and New York City.
How we navigate the most mundane moments of our relationships plays out as a microcosm for every corrosive system of oppression we’ve internalized from the overculture. Partnership is fraught with the triggers of gender and power, and our fervent hopes to build a better life.
“Prime” plays out at the breakfast table every morning: coffee and tea, intimacy and fear, longing to connect and triggered when vulnerability arises. Over time, frustration and disconnection builds, until right at the breaking point, the story follows their relationship into a dream state, where the mundane interactions of the breakfast table resonate with mythological references to the goddess of night. Finally, back in the bleary post-dream dawn-time, a new day is born. Healing together is possible, and we tenderly step forward into more authentic and caring ways of being.
“Loom Ensemble is the duo who can do it all–act, sing and above all dance!”–Khaleej Times, Dubai
After more than 50 performances across 3 continents, we’ve learned one of the show’s biggest strengths is its intergenerational appeal. To generalize: baby boomers experientially relate to the difficult realities of long term partnership, while the show meets millennials where they’re at, in the search for new relationship models. When the performance shifts into facilitated group discussion, directly addressing the vulnerability of relationship becomes a means for intergenerational healing and connection, as we come together in community, unfolding new ways of being, slowly over time.
In “Prime,” integration and healing come are born from the non-linear, feminine forces of dream, intuition and embodiment. Through the visceral intimacy of live performance, “Prime” nourishes the collective healing that comes by rebalancing the masculine and femenine principles within each of us. The devastation of our planet and culture calls for us to know this meeting place better, in a healthier balance of feminine and masculine, intuition and action, and the meeting point of night and day: the pivotal moment of dawn.
“A brilliant balance of rigor, subtlety and authenticity… ideas and images from Prime lingered long after the show was over.” -Holly Handman, Professor of Dance, Oberlin College
The show is dance-theater in the truest sense, using character, story, and dialogue to ground abstract dance in emotional specificity; and using full body contemporary choreography to deepen the emotional resonance of the narrative storytelling. Loom Ensemble Artistic Directors Neva and Raphael have traveled the world as professional collaborators and romantic partners for more than a decade. This duo performance is an exploration of long term partnership, how two contrasting personalities can find ways to meet each other, on their own terms, over time.
–Created in 2014, in residence at the Art Monastery Italia, by 12 American artists gathered in a 1,000 year-old ex-convent in the Parco Nazionale della Majella. in the mountains of Abruzzo.
–2 month European Tour across Italy, to multiple venues in Sweden and Belgium, with a culminating 2 week run Berlin, Germany (Kunsthaus KuLe)
–6 week run in Dubai, UAE (at thejamjar, Al Serkal)
–2 week run NYC (at The Wild Project)
–Additional performances in Colorado (Denver, Boulder) and Ohio (as guest artists in the Oberlin College Dance Department)
Prime was created in 2014, in residence at the Art Monastery Italia, in Caramanico Terme, Abruzzo. 12 American artists gathered in a 1,000 year-old ex-convent in the Italian Parco Nazionale della Majella, in the mountains of Abruzzo, Italy. Every day for 2 months we practiced group meditation for the 30 minutes before dawn, ending when the sun crested over the mountains. Every day we sang together and danced, trained our bodies, and shared three meals a day in a communal deep-dive thematic exploration of the dawn time. Prime, Italian for the “first hour” of day, is the result. Two performers and a creative team of 10 imbued each character with the full complexity of the whole creative ensembles. The show is layered over and over with the mythology the dawn, daily rebirth, the symbolism in the meeting of night and day, and the colors of sunrise.
At the end of this devising process, Neva and Raphael the two performers set off, driving from Rome to Stockholm and back over the course of several months of tour performances. Now, over 50 performances later, the creative process has never really ended. The craft of performance is a continual practice of refresh, refine, and rediscover. Without any text edits, without any choreographic redrafting, Prime’s most recent performances at Oberlin College 2019, have unmistakably deepened and matured since, say, Belgium 2014.
Performed by Neva Cockrell and Raphael Sacks
Directed by Emma Jaster
Music by Jen Kutler
Text by Rachael Richman
Choreography by Jessi Barber and Neva Cockrell
Costume Design by Kim Upstill
Lighting Design by Antonio Stella
Production Assistant Mira AlQ