Nicole Disson


LA WEEKLY Feature "Nicole Disson's THE SERIES: Rooftop Performance Art Parties at The Standard Hotel Downtown, Explained"

Performance artists making out in the lobby, belly-dancers popping out of the ether, acrobats flexing pool-side, Mia Doi Todd serenading the audience from atop of the fireplace -- Nicole Disson's performance art extravaganza THE SERIES descends upon the rooftop of the Standard Hotel in Downtown L.A. to inject a bit of wildness and wonder into a breathtaking location attempting to get its groove back.

The eighth and final (for now) installment of THE SERIES last week combined dance, performance art, music, video and shtick in an eccentric production worthy of a Matthew Barney film. Each act was rather short (one to eight minutes) and Ms. Disson played the role of emcee in character as "Susan," directing the audience from one performer to the next like a surrealist's version of America's Got Talent.

This desire to create a new platform for performance -- one that blurs the line between audience and performer and that has the potential to surprise an unsuspecting group of people -- characterizes much of Disson's work and keeps THE SERIES exciting. Her choice to invite dancer/director Mecca Vazie Andrews of the group MOVEMENT Movement led to the theme "The Sky's Gone Out."
Dozens of performers created site-specific works as a response to that theme. Mia Doi Todd played an intimate set, standing with two percussionists on top of the rooftop fireplace. Kevin Litrow (formally of the band 60-Watt Kid) performed a few meditation rock tunes from his solo project. Ariana Delawari (of David Lynch's label David Lynch MC) combined music and video to set the mood for entrancing belly-dance by Russia. Our most divine moment of the evening was spent watching two sparkling dancers slither and stomp around one another to a brand new track by Triangle Method while floating in the saline pool.

Producer/performer Nicole Disson talked to LA Weekly about what she looks for when choosing artists to direct these one-night high art hootenannies:
"I look for directors who are up for the challenge -- someone who is willing to work in an unconventional setting and excited by the concept of THE SERIES: to create a new platform for the performing arts in Los Angeles, by merging social nightlife experiences with a variety of art (theater, music, dance, and so on) and, in doing so, introduce artists to collaborate, creating new pieces with one another. I love working with people who have a background in theater, be it dance, acting or directing, who work well with a wide variety of personalities and can grasp the overall picture. When the director can communicate their overall creative intention effectively to the cast members and have a clear understanding of what they want, it makes my job as producer so much more enjoyable and easier.
Mecca is the first returning director I have had on THE SERIES and working with her is an utmost pleasure. She has such a wonderful sense of timing when building the overall show and knows how to hold an audience's attention. Not to mention, her ability to execute her job effectively has allowed me to enjoy myself as an actor again -- which has been a personal goal of mine with this production since the beginning."
Link to read the complete LA WEEKLY article online.
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