A partnership between The Kitchen and Madison Square Park Conservancy brings live performance outside the walls of The Kitchen and into the public space of the park, creating new opportunities for dialogue and exchange among artists, publics, and landscape. Arising out of this partnership is the premiere of a new performance project by Beau Bree Rhee, Shadow of the Sea, conceived in dialogue with Cristina Iglesias’s exhibition Landscape and Memory at Madison Square Park.
Rhee’s work Shadow of the Sea opens with a question: The sea covers 71% of our planet: and its shadow? Composed as a “dance poem,” the performance has eight stanzas, each with vastly differing qualities. An ensemble of dancers will begin the first section on the east and west coasts of Manhattan, performing a migratory score—a Brutal Meditation—that traces where the sea may eventually reclaim the land within the next hundred years. The following seven stanzas—including a Blues, an X, an Insurrection, a Loss—take place on the Oval Lawn in Madison Square Park, where Iglesias’s installation of five bronze sculptural pools traces a historic creek. Here, Shadow of the Sea further expresses “the shadow” within contemporary life, probing the social, historical, and philosophical dimensions of this concept.
The piece is created through multi-layered research into scientific maps projecting future coastlines; historical maps of Indigenous pathways in New York City; Indigenous spiritual beliefs; recordings of land that Rhee stewards as an earth work; and poems and songs on ecology and justice, particularly the books Poésie Perdue (published in 2000) by French writer Paul Valéry and 님의 침묵 The Silence of Nim (published in 1926) by Korean writer and activist Manhae (Han Yong-un). These associations coalesce in Rhee’s choreographic language for engaging the body with land and atmosphere.
Beau Bree Rhee: Shadow of the Sea is organized by Alison Burstein, Curator, with Angelique Rosales Salgado, Curatorial Assistant. Production by Zack Tinkelman, Production Manager and Tassja Walker, Production Supervisor.
To view the performance program, click here.
Time & date:
September 21, October 12, October 20, 6pm*
Madison Square Park Oval Lawn (park entrance at 23rd Street and Broadway)
*Prior to the performance in Madison Square Park at 6pm, Shadow of the Sea begins with Coastal Walks at 5pm simultaneously on the east and west sides of Manhattan. Visitors who are interested in experiencing this migratory portion of the performance are invited to join at either the East River Promenade and East 10th (east side) or Pier 64 (west side) at 5pm. Kitchen staff members will be present at both locations to direct visitors. RSVP here to attend Coastal Walks.
Ensemble: Bria Bacon, Cara McManus, Chaery Moon, Caitlin Scranton*
Production: Michael Hernandez (Audio Engineer and Sound Design), Siena Sherer (Audio Assistant), Joe Galan, KC Athol (Assistant Stage Managers)
Front of House: Nico Grelli, David Sierra, Yael Shacham, Neal Medlyn, Sacha Yanow, Joe Wakeman (House Managers)
*Scranton choreographed Stanza 2 of Shadow of the Sea in collaboration with Rhee
ACCESS NOTE: The Coastal Walks will last approximately 30 minutes. Visitors will need to travel from the concluding point of the walks on the east and west sides of the city to Madison Square Park to view the rest of the performance. For the portion of the performance in Madison Square Park, limited chairs will be available and made priority for visitors who request them. Visitors will be invited to sit on the grass or stand during the performance. For questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the artist:
Beau Bree Rhee (she/they) is a visual artist and choreographer. Her work centers around body-space-ecologies and our radical dependencies with the environment and cosmos. She works primarily with performance and drawing/painting, and additionally with poems, scores, and installation. As a trilingual/tricultural artist (Korean-American-French) and synesthete, they are invested in multi-modal work and collaborations spanning cosmology, philosophy, earth sciences, and haptic forms (scent, sound).
Rhee has shown her work at institutions including Ma’s House BIPOC Art Studio; KW Institute for Contemporary Art/Berlin Biennale; The Kitchen; Bard Graduate Center Gallery, NY; Kaaitheater Bruxelles; Baryshnikov Arts Center, NY; MoMA/PS1, NY; among others. Their work is in private collections and the MoMA Library and Research Collection. In 2021, she was awarded a Tishman Environment and Design Center grant to begin a long-term land art project. Rhee is a part-time associate professor at Parsons School of Design. She is based in NYC and is an amateur gardener and swimmer.
Rhee holds an MFA in Contemporary Artistic Practices from Haute école d’art et de design (HEAD) Genève / University of Art and Design Geneva, Switzerland and a BA in Art History and Dance from Barnard College, Columbia University.
About Madison Square Park Conservancy
Madison Square Park Conservancy is the not-for-profit organization whose mission is to protect, nurture, and enhance Madison Square Park, a dynamic seven-acre public green space, to create an environment that fosters moments of inspiration. The Conservancy is committed to engaging the community through its public art program, beautiful gardens, inviting amenities, and programming. Madison Square Park Conservancy is licensed by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to manage Madison Square Park and is responsible for raising 100% of the funds necessary to operate the park, including the brilliant horticulture, maintenance, sanitation, security, and free cultural programs for park visitors of all ages.
Beau Bree Rhee: Shadow of the Sea is made possible with commissioning support from Marta Heflin Foundation; annual grants from Howard Gilman Foundation, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, The Jerome Robbins Foundation, and The Harkness Foundation for Dance; and in part by public funds from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.