Past Shows

Secondary Dominance

Artist’s Praise

...The singers' voices resounded thrillingly... seems like a miracle, and ‘Delirium’ like a gift.
— Roslyn Sulcas, The New York Times

There is an energizing newness, a humble and humbling view of humanity that feels authentic. Even poetic.
— Sarah Kaufman, The Washington Post

... a swirling sonic palette that skips around nimbly. (Black Sea Hotel) expertly plays with melody and harmony, fashioning a musical world equally familiar and fantastical.
— John Schaefer, Soundcheck, WNYC

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About the Show

World Premiere / Multimedia Concert
January 6, 7, & 11-14 at 9pm

Sarah Small, a master of sonic moving images, multi-genre artist and creator of The Delirium Constructions, invites you to an evening of highly improbable intimacy exploring the interpersonal quests of diverse personalities. In 13 micro-movements, she synthesizes genres from Balkan folk to contemporary chamber, industrial, renaissance, rock, rap, and punk, while interweaving live and recorded electronics, Chinese sheng, strings, winds, and densely packed vocals. Working in her signature Tableau Vivant form, the music is complemented by gestural choreography and projections, including the world premiere of Black Sea Hotel's first music video. Secondary Dominance is a unique multimedia experience that unfolds as lush living pictures rife with honesty and mistakes, ferocity and hilarity.

Created, Composed & Written by: Sarah Small
Directed by: Wade McCollum & Sarah Small
Executive Producer: Rachelle Cohen
Producer: The Delirium Constructions
Producer: Wade McCollum
Associate Producer: Five Ohm Productions

Choreographer: Vanessa Walters
Video Designer: Luke Norby
Lighting Designer: Ayumu "Poe" Saegusa
Backtrack Engineer: Don Godwin
Sound Designer: Beth Lake
Costume Designer: Jessica Cronin
Production Manager: Libby Jensen
Stage Manager: Kaleigh Bernier

Jessica, The Light: Jennifer Keane
Jessica, The Color: Eliza S. Tollett
Jessica, The Water: Carmella Lauer
The Wind: Peter Hess
The Flower: Shelley Thomas
The Cello: Marta Bagratuni
The Mother: Gloria Jung
The Father: Henry Packer
Jessica Brainstorm
The Stranger

Music Video:
Performers: Black Sea Hotel
Director: Josephine Decker

Additional credits:
Production Coordinator: Christopher Stratis
Casting Director: Annie McCain Engman
Assistant Production Manager: Steven Brenman
Audio Engineer: Travis Wright

at HERE Dorothy B. Williams Theatre

Photo by Sean McGurn / Film Still: Brian Gonzalez

Show run time: 60 Minutes

Post-Performance Conversation will follow the January 11 show.

Artist Bio

Sarah Small (Creator / Composer) was born in Washington DC in 1979 into a family of musicians, writers, and psychoanalysts. After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2001, Small moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where she currently resides. Small spent the first ten years in NY working as a photographer, with music as a side-lined hobby. In 2011, Small started creating Tableau Vivant performances, based on her acclaimed still photography series, The Delirium Constructions. Shortly afterwards, her interest in photography receded and her explorations in music composition and performance came to the forefront. Small currently sings and composes with her two a cappella trios, Black Sea Hotel and Hydra, as well as for her electronic / vocal project, Secondary Dominance. Most recently, she has written works that have been recorded with Yo-Yo Ma and performed by Kronos Quartet, Black Sea Hotel, and Brooklyn Youth Chorus. Small’s works have appeared on NPR, PRI, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, and The New Yorker, as well as shown in galleries throughout the US, China, Taiwan, Korea, Madrid, Hungary, Germany, France, Italy, Great Britain, Australia, and the Netherlands, with Black Sea Hotel’s most recent album topping chart on iTunes International.

The Delirium Constructions (Producer) is a social movement enterprise that perpetuates a culture of authentic self-expression, radical creative experimentation, and relational exploration through the production of real-time, boundary-defying events. The Delirium Constructions create environments that marry vibrant aesthetics with interpersonal challenges, allowing for repressed or veiled aspects of identity to be confronted, expressed and celebrated. By immersing participants in settings culled from popular entertainment — formats such as live theatre and music, community dinners, and art exhibits — individuals otherwise unlikely to interface meet each other anew, in liminal spaces that reimagine normative social customs. At its core, The Delirium Constructions rejects the falsification of intimacy, produced by the contemporary social media paradigm, while simultaneously embraces technology as a community-building tool. It subverts comfort zones by shifting networking circumstances away from the flat-screen, creating a community primed for risk-taking and fearlessness. Although TDC’s mediums and forms vary, the heart of the work rests in a thorough investigation of the malleability of identity as shifted and re-formed through human relationships, empowering participants to redefine and recreate a sense of belonging to community, to themselves, and to each other. 

Rachelle Cohen (Executive Producer), Rachelle Cohen, Born in Macon, Georgia and trained at Boston University as a microbiologist and educator, has spent much of her life embracing the art world. Primarily self-taught, Ms. Cohen is an accomplished art teacher and is internationally recognized for her exquisite and unique porcelain paintings. She hosts concerts showcasing world-renowned artists both in her home and at various venues in the New York and Washington DC areas. Granddaughter of a Rabbi, Rachelle’s Judaism is an integral part of her life. She serves a significant role as a leader within the synagogue and provides a variety of services to local Jewish communities. Ms. Cohen pays tribute and honor to her parents, Rena and Harry, whose indomitable spirits are her inspiration. Rachelle gives special accolades for courage, bravery and stamina to her eldest daughter Elaine, her children Andrew and Rita, and her five grandchildren named as honorary donors to this project. Ms. Cohen has established her foundation to put a spotlight on Jewish domestic abuse and violence and its resulting stigmas. Hoping that through education and by shining the light of truth on this isolating and terrible pattern we can begin to find healing while breaking the cycle of abuse, violence and destruction of souls. She provides shelter for those in need and her goal is that by bringing these issues to the surface she can give power and agency to those who have no voice.

Wade McCollum (Director) is a multi-award-winning actor, director, composer, and writer who has been seen on Broadway in Wicked and most recently as Ernest Shackleton in the new musical Ernest Shackleton Loves Me, for which he garnered the prestigious Boston Norton award for Best Actor in a Musical (coming to NYC this spring!) He also recently led the Broadway tour of Priscilla Queen of the Desert as Tick, and guest starred as Sydney Carton opposite Clive Owen on Cinemax/HBO's The Knick. Wade co-founded Insight Out Theatre Collective in Portland Oregon and served as co-artistic director for four years. He directed several productions at IOTC including Eric Overmeyer's On The Verge and his original hit musical ONE. This summer he wrote and directed a short film called Study of a Bun or The Artist Integrates His Anima for the Sparrow Film Festival (Audience Choice*). As a director/writer/composer The Collective Avatar was produced at Stark Raving Theatre in Portland Oregon, his critically acclaimed musical ONE was work-shopped at PCPA Theatrefest and played a sold-out run at IOTC in Portland Oregon, and his original musical The Other Shore has been work-shopped at Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Black Swan Lab and most recently Wade directed a showcase at Classic Stage Company produced by Sonnet Repertory Theatre.


Artist Statement

At the core of Small’s work is a critical examination of intimacy within the challenging construct of our current culture. Whereas real-time connection is suppressed by our contemporary social media paradigm, prioritizing “friends” over friends, Small’s work centers around live, interpersonal exploration and of diverse, honest human experience. Themes are accentuated and celebrated through the joining together of disparate sonic and visual genres. The Delirium Constructions has spanned time and medium; throughout its development over the past fifteen years, themes have been examined through still photography (The Delirium Constructions' birth medium), film, music, and Tableau Vivant performance (a multi-disciplinary hybrid of the mediums). Each endeavor moves along independently and interdependently with one other.

This particular project provides a new musical umbrella in which to house and inspire Small’s continually developing Tableaux Vivants of The Delirium Constructions (TVTDC). Its lyrical and musical content have been derived from Small’s written and recorded dream journals. In crafting gestural language for this performance, Small will ask of her participants to quest inward in similar fashion. She and movement choreographer, Vanessa Walters, work closely with the performers to unveil visual motifs and performer-generated gestures. Film media will be drawn from 300+ hours of archival documentary/ fantasy-fiction footage created during the production of Small’s 2011 TVTDC studying participants’ experiences with one another.