Unique multi-media performance, Portals, readies for Omaha premiere
October 5th, 2011
Omaha, NE – A unique multi-media experience direct from New York to Omaha: Portals opens at the Kaneko tonight.
“This is Omaha, so this is where we’re doing this,” said Hal France, the Executive Director of the Kaneko, standing in the Nomad Lounge about a block away from his studio in Omaha’s Old Market, where the second piece of the multi-dimensional, multi-media performance Portals will take place. There’s a large TV screen set up in the dark and regally elegant Nomad space, where young Omahans will watch Portals and blog and tweet their thoughts.
“This is a great opportunity for somebody just to come and hear some really great music,” France said. “It’s fun how it integrates with so many things. It’s just a very, very cool thing these folks put together.”
Standing beside France is one of the 20 artists involved in the Portals project: Kate Hackett, a filmmaker from Los Angeles, whose work will feature prominently in the tweeted-over production.
“I really love getting feedback from social media,” Hackett said, “because I think it’s the first time that anyone who’s a filmmaker or creator of art has been able to get instantaneous, live, fairly candid feedback from audience. You have to really take into account how a crowd will respond and what the energy in a crowd will be like. And I love that, I feel like that’s the way that films should be made, always.”
This social media interactive element of Portals is taking place on the second night. The first performance takes place tonight, before the bloggers and tweeters get going. So what exactly is Portals? Back at the Kaneko, France explains.
“It is a multimedia, musical performance that explores the arts, through the mediums of film and live performance,” France said. “But it includes in the film dance, poetry, and a huge connect with the presence of social media in our lives today, as a means with which we connect, and brings all of these art forms in close proximity to the social media.”
Portals is the brain child of creative director Tim Fain. Fain is a “rising star” in the classical music world, according to the Los Angeles Times. He most recently appeared in Darren Aronofsky’s dark and acclaimed film Black Swan, performing on the violin in several ballet sequences. Fain brought several well-known artists on for the project, including many who were colleagues on the Black Swan set, like Benjamin Millepied, who choreographed the dance sequences in the film. And where did the project begin? With one of the most notoriously collaborative musicians: Phillip Glass. Glass’ Partita was commissioned and performed by Fain and forms part of the musical backdrop in the performance.
“Phillip Glass said it’s so simple, all it is, is Tim with his violin case and a laptop,” France said. “And what people will see is a 16 foot screen with the film and Tim playing in front of it; and it’s that simple as you look at it. But making it wasn’t that simple,” he said with a laugh.
Portals first premiered in New York, and is stopping by Omaha before it heads to California. It’s a feather in the cap for the young Kaneko studio.
Other artists in the project include actor Fred Child, the host of American Public Media’s Performance Today, who will perform poems by Leonard Cohen. Portals will premier in Omaha tonight at 7:30pm at the Kaneko Studio in Omaha’s Old Market. Thursday night’s social media meet-up begins at 7:30pm, with a live stream from the Kaneko, and an after-party at the Nomad Lounge late into the night.
Watch a preview of Portals: