Black Swans, an opera poem

October 18 and 19 at Studio 502 at The Artists Lofts downtown Reno


Text Oliver X

Photos Frank Haxton and Becky Murway of Digiman Studio

Photograph by Eva Fernández "A Rare Bird in the Lands" 2018, Giclée print Hahnemühle Fine Art Paper, 80cmH x 80cmW w: evafernandez.com.au"

MARTIN A. DAVID has spent his life as an artist in a broad spectrum of professional arts activities. He is a widely published author and writer, an actor and acting teacher, a modern dancer and cho-reographer, and an arts activist. His paintings, drawings, and illustrations have been published and sold in both Europe and America. His Mardav Design enterprise features his handmade jewelry and other wearable art. David’s friendship with, and artistic admiration of L. Martina Young spans more than three decades.

DIANE RUGG was born in Santa Barbara, California with an imaginative soul and deep somatic knowing. She grew up in the idyllic, richly multicultural community of Riverside, California with polit-ically active, musically enlightened parents, and a grandmother who was a Ziegfeld Follies hoofer. The confluence of these early guiding factors, together with her coming-of-age in the tumultuous late 60’s, allowed her to develop a keen sense of the relationship between American popular cul-ture as reflected in music, dance, fiction, and film, and the socio-political undercurrents shaping the myth of The American Dream. This perspective, along with her profound love of the natural world, has been the driving force influencing her choreographic work and allows her to negotiate the hard concrete and endless chaotic buzzing of 21st Century life.

OLIVER X is the Founder-Editor-Publisher of Reno Tahoe Tonight Magazine. The award-winning publication is the leading voice of independent print entertainment journalism in northern Nevada, and recently won "Best Page 1 Design" at the 2018 Nevada Press Awards. A Cal Berkeley alum and student activist, X taught English in Brussels, Belgium. As a member of the slam poetry group the War Poets, X performed with The Untouchables and Digital Underground and performed for Mi-chael Franti and Les Claypool. X currently is the head of StreetSeen, LLC., a 3D marketing distribu-tion company serving the arts and entertainment industry.

Tenor ALBERT RUDOLPH LEE’s performances have been described as “vocally sumptuous,” “musi-cally distinctive” and even “acrobatically agile.” Here in Reno, he has been seen with the Reno Phil-harmonic, the Reno Chamber Orchestra, and in community recitals for the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraterni-ty, Inc. Having completed the Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance at the University of Connecti-cut; the Master of Music at The Juilliard School, and the Doctor of Music Degree at Florida State University with a doctoral treatise titled, “The Poetic Voice of Langston Hughes in American Art Song,” Lee serves as Associate Professor of Voice and Opera and Director of Vocal Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno.

JAMMAL TARKINGTON is a multi-instrumentalist, producer, turntablelist and vocalist that was born and raised in Stockton California. He moved to Reno Nevada in the early 1990s with a secured scholarship from the University of Nevada Reno studying music education and jazz performance. While living in Nevada, Tarkington became part of several performing groups such as Verbal Kint, Keyser Soze, and Who Cares. He has released several albums on European labels as well as touring Europe and Asia regularly. Tarkington now spends his time teaching, recording and performing based out of the The West Coast of the United States.

ABBEY SHOCK is a college sophomore at the University of Nevada, Reno. She graduated from Damonte High School's Performing Arts Program where she worked with Martina Young in Hiroshi-ma: crucible of light. She now pursues her studies in Business Marketing and Theater Performance. Abbey has performed in many shows with strong influences in movement and body work, and con-tinues to study movement at the university. She is super excited to be with Young again and partici-pate in her great work of art.

NICK RAMIREZ is a Reno-based artist. A musician and an actor, his art practices also include pho-tography and sculpture. He currently plays drums for the bands Roxxy Collie and One Ton Dually, and plays bass for the Adorables and The Lazy Universe. Acting credits include Eric Bogosian’s Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll, Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show, and Sam Shepherd’s Tooth of Crime. Ramirez was Music Director and co-producer of the award-winning feature film, Nowhere Nevada. He is currently working on a documentary about Southern California punk rock pioneers Eddie and the Subtitles. Ramirez also hosts Marianarchy, a two-day biannual charity music festival in Reno, Nevada.

DAVE SIMPSON can usually be found at Brüka Theatre in Reno, Nevada where he’s been the Tech-nical Director over the past decade: designing lights, sound, sometimes building props, and what-ever else it takes to help create the virtual world for the actor to play. Simpson is excited to be part of Black Swans, an opera poem and thrilled to collaborate with Nick Ramirez lighting his beautiful swan.

Audience members may have seen JOHN FREDERICK, Videographer, in theater productions such as The Wild Party or The Full Monty at Brüka; in Mother Hicks or The Heiress at Reno Little Theater; or bringing new works to life such as The Fifth Wind or Audition at Good Luck Macbeth. Frederick has also directed plays including Next to Normal or Evil Dead, stands behind lighting and sound boards, designs and builds sets. Frederick has a passion for art that shines through his work. Though starting out building sets for a small theater company in Tahoe 20 years ago, he quickly be-came obsessed, leading him to pursue degrees in Theatre and Musical Theatre while also working in multimedia. This passion has also led him to film and music production. Frederick will soon be releasing a new album.

Elijah Frederick has grown up his entire life in theatre. He is 16 and is attending Reed High School as a junior. He has been in shows such as Brüka’s production of The Full Monty, TMCC’s production of The Who’s Tommy, and RLT’s production of Mother Hicks. His most recent production was with SSPA in Legally Blonde. He’s very excited for the opportunity to be apart of Black Swans.

L. MARTINA YOUNG, Ph.D. is a dance-maker, Somatics educator, Master Teacher of the Pilates Method, and scholar of myth and poetic perception. Born in Los Angeles’s multicultural and politi-cally progressive arts and entertainment community which shaped her aesthetic roots, Young trained early on in both classical ballet and American modern dance. Performing the historical works of Lester Horton, Pearl Primus, Sophie Maslow, and Talley Beatty, she was also steward of works by the late choreographer Donald McKayle. As a result of her solo dance appearance in Ste-vie Wonder’s music video, Ribbon in the Sky, she became a noted choreographer during the begin-ning years of the music video industry. She has served on the faculties of the College of William and Mary, California Institute of the Arts, and was Director of Dance at the University of Nevada, Reno from 1987-1994. A three-year Fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts, Young is recipient of Nevada's highest arts honor: the Governor’s Arts Award for Excellence in the Arts. Young teaches her integrative somatic movement practice for musculoskeletal integrity, open to the community, at The Lighthouse/Studio 5 O 2. Black Swans, an opera poem is a project of SWAN: a poetical inquiry in dance, text & memoir. This work marks Young’s 30th year as a Nevada-based artist and celebrates her 64th birthday.

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