Australia’s Polyglot Theatre and Headphone Disco Announced as Musikfest Artists in Residence
BETHLEHEM, PA—When guests visit Handwerkplatz at Musikfest this summer, they’ll see giant ‘ants’ roaming the festival grounds and a large dance party taking place, seemingly without any music at all. The performances by the festival’s two artists in residence, Australia’s Polyglot Theatre and Headphone Disco, are made possible thanks to funding from longtime Musikfest partner Air Products, sponsor of the festival’s Handwerkplatz arts venue.
Headphone Disco, which will appear at Handwerkplatz Aug. 11-16 from 5-11 p.m., has been making waves in recent years as the event for the silent party people. At Headphone Disco parties, attendees wear sets of headphones, listening to dance music or rock ‘n’ roll as DJs spin sets side by side from Headphone Disco’s visually enhanced stage setup. Festival patrons who pass by the party are often captivated by the sight, as they can see everyone dancing but can’t hear the music.
Since its formation in 2007, Headphone Disco has performed shows all over the world including the Creamfields and Glastonbury festivals in England, Digital Dreams Festival in Canada, Firefly Festival in Delaware and the Bayimba International Festival of the Arts in Uganda. They also do club tours and artist residencies throughout North America.
Polyglot Theatre, a contemporary theater company from South Yarra, Australia, is one of the leading creators of experiential, interactive and installation theater for kids. The troupe’s “Ants” show, which will take place Aug. 7-10 at Handwerkplatz, features super-sized ants in a roving, interactive performance that engages children and adults.
During an “Ants” performance, the Ants enter a public space in search of food. As they find crumb after giant crumb, children start bringing more food to the Ants and gradually begin to understand what the Ants want them to do. The performances, which will take place Aug. 7 at 7:30 p.m. and Aug. 8-10 at 2, 4, 6 and 8 p.m., are designed to highlight the nature of work and children’s relationships with their environment.
“At Air Products, we look to partner on innovative programs that help enhance the quality of life in our communities,” says Air Products Community Relations and Philanthropy Manager Laurie Gostley-Hackett. “Musikfest’s artist-in-residence program brings some incredibly talented performers from around the globe to downtown Bethlehem each summer. These artists offer unique educational programs and performances you may not see anywhere else, helping to attract visitors to the Lehigh Valley and adding to the festival experience for the thousands upon thousands of guests. We know that patrons will really enjoy the shows by Polyglot Theatre and Headphone Disco this August.”
TAKE DANCE & B.S. Movement to Present Contemporary Dance Performances at Musikfest
Two dynamic dance companies from New York City will perform adjacent to the towering blast furnaces at SteelStacks during Musikfest 2015 as DANCENOW SteelStacks presents shows by the festival’s contemporary dance artists in residence, TAKE DANCE and B.S. Movement.
TAKE DANCE is led by artistic director and former baseball player Takehiro Ueyama, whose work blends Eastern and Western worlds by combining athleticism with delicate gestures that show traces of Ueyama’s Japanese culture. The group, which has presented at venues such as Central Park Summer Stage, Kaatsbaan International Dance Center, Joyce Theater and Joe’s Pub in New York, will perform Aug. 7-9 at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. on the Air Products Town Square.
Also performing at Musikfest is B.S. Movement, a diverse collection of artists who bring awareness to the experience of living through choreography and education. Co-directed by Bryan Strimpel and Shaina Branfman, the company made its debut at Joe’s Pub in New York in 2012 and has performed at Hundred Grand SoHo, Red Hook Fest, Detroit Music Hall, Triskelion Arts and other festivals and venues throughout the Eastern U.S. Audiences can enjoy their performances at Musikfest on the Air Products Town Square Aug. 14-16 at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.
For more information regarding Musikfest’s 2015 artists in residence, visit musikfest.org.
Mark Demko, gro.tseuqstranull@okmedm or 610-332-1342