MORE UP A TREE represents the first collaboration between legendary drummer Jim White, installation/film artist Eve Sussman, and acclaimed performer Claudia Serpa Sorres.
Jim White is an Australian drummer living in New York. Beyond being the drummer of the band Dirty Three (a band from Melbourne that has created many albums and toured extensively), White has co-curated the festival All Tomrorrow’s Parties and performed widely with many other groups and projects. His other performance credits include having worked with Cat Power, playing on the albums Moon Pix and Juke Box; Smog’s A River Ain’t Too Much to Love and Supper; Bonnie Prince Billy’s The Letting Go; PJ Harvey’s White Chalk; White Magic, CW Stoneking and the great Cretan lyra player Psarantonis. White also made a duo record with Nina Nastasia called You Follow Me. His has many credits in movies and art pieces including projects with filmmaker Jem Cohen, Eve Sussman, Simon Lee, Jack+Leigh Ruby, Brent Green and Braden King. He contributed to the movie The Proposition, as well as a track to Visionaire no. 53. He has been involved with
Hal Wilner Projects and was a founding member of the Australian punk band Venom P Stinger. Most recently he has formed Xylouris White, discovered the Double and along w Eve and Claudia created More Up a Tree.
Claudia de Serpa Soares was born in Lisbon, Portugal. After her dance studies at the National Conservatory in Lisbon and at the Centre National de Dance Contemporaine d’Angers, Claudia danced with Iztok Kovac in Slovenia and Paulo Ribeiro in Lisbon, among others, In 1999 she joined the dance ensemble of the Schaubühne Theatre in Berlin under the artistic direction of Sasha Waltz. In the following years and still today, she dances in many works by Sasha Waltz. As an actress, she performed in Fish Love and The 6th Continent directed by Lilo Baur. She assisted Lilo Baur and signed the choreography of Dido and Aeneas at
the Opera de Dijon and Jochen Sandig in Human Requiem with the Rundfunkchor Berlin. Claudia has been working with the Rufus Corporation in New York and choreographed several video art projects and movies with Eve Sussman. She has created and performed Crossroads with Ronald Kukulies, Edgar with Grayson Millwood, The Circuit a solo performance and More Up a Tree with Jim White and Eve Sussman.
Eve Sussman is an artist who makes films and installations. In 2003 Sussman began working under the rubric Rufus Corporation, incorporating performers, artists, musicians, writers, and programmers. In the past few years she has had work on view at the Leeum Museum in Seoul, Korea and exhibitions at the Bass Museum in Miami and the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal and the Smithsonian Museum of American
Art. Sussman has received support from the Guggenheim Foundation, Creative Capital, NYSCA, NYFA and Hauptstadtkulturfonds-Berlin among others. She has work in collections that include the Museum of Modern Art and Whitney Museum in New York; and the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. Together with Simon Lee, Sussman co-founded the “Wallabout Oyster Theatre” a micro theatre space run out of their studios in Brooklyn. Sussman and Lee most recently completed a residency at the EMPAC where they shot a new piece No Food, No Money, No Jewels, now in post-production that will premiere in February 2016. They are also producing for Jack+Leigh Ruby, two reformed criminals, now artists. Most recently Sussman has joined de Serpa Soares and White to make More Up a Tree.
More Up a Tree
More Up a Tree is a performance by legendary drummer Jim White, dancer Claudia de Serpa Sorres and acclaimed artist Eve Sussman that takes an instinctive approach to musical flow, free from conventional narrative and melody. Emotional reaction to music is so commonplace that it is easy to forget the phenomenon is extraordinary. It is as mysterious as gravity. The piece takes place in a mirrored box with windows made with mirrored Plexiglas. When the show begins, the audience sees inside but the dancer and the drummer cannot see out. At times the audience sees themselves reflected and cannot see inside the box. The performers are alone, in public. Their unusual sense of privacy on stage changes their demeanor while the audience has an ordained voyeurism, transcending the usual performer-viewer relationship.
By doing away with narrative and melody, and making a constantly “in flux” relationship to the public, attention is focused on the agency of the drumming and dancing and the audience. In More Up a Tree, we reveal the meaningful nature of movement by removing tonality and concentrating action inside a box.
Stage: Flexible Space
Personnel: Up to 6
More Up A Tree
October 12 – 14 | Melbourne Festival | Melbourne, AUS