“Memory Rings" is a part of a greater trilogy that includes “69˚S.” united by ecological and environmental threads of narrative and research. The title refers to both the resonance and impact of 4784 years of a living being and the poetry of age shown through Dendrochronology, or aging using the rings at a trees core. The memory of who we have been, the growth of the tree, and the changing environment are all represented with cycles and circles. The tree is a living record of everything that has transpired during its history as it stands in mute testimony of civilization’s encroachment.
Our story is told through a series of overlapping scenarios that come together to confront us with one profound choice. The epic tale of Gilgamesh, woodland creatures as storytellers, fairy tales full of enchanted forests, and a new fable- the disintegration of four people in an identity crisis all overlap. Dance, puppetry, mask, installation, music, projections, costume, and the occasional bit of Nietzsche are all judiciously used to tell our otherwise wordless story.
“69°S.” is a series of dynamic tableaux vivants inspired by Sir Ernest Shackleton's 1914 Trans-Antarctic Expedition. Co-conceived by The Phantom Limb Company and The Kronos Quartet, this painterly narrative installation-in-motion melds theatrical performance, puppetry, photography, dance and film with original contemporary music and an unconventional acoustic palette to create a stunning — and unprecedented — artistic and emotional journey. PLC's “69˚S.” aims to bring the unknown Antarctica along with the subtext of climate change to an audience while reinvigorating the spirit of foregoing individual glory for the sake of collective survival. Ancient and universal themes including the price of knowledge, the inevitability of adversity and struggle, and ultimately, the power of endurance and camaraderie provide emotional ballast with re-interpretations that resonate powerfully in twenty-first century hearts and minds. “69˚S.” unites some of the finest contemporary musical, visual, and performance artists in the world in collaboration to explore the inherently bittersweet and complex nature of the Shackleton experience. Phantom Limb traveled to Antarctica with the National Science Foundation to research for the creation of this piece, please visit their blog.
Dear Mme. was created in collaboration with The Kronos Quartet as a commission to open the 25th Anniversary of The Next Wave Festival at B.A.M.
Created and directed by Grindstaff and Sanko, the piece involved a 15 foot puppet (the writer) made from recycled barn lumber that had a marionette stage behind barn doors built into the large puppet. Three scenarios played out inside the heart of the writer to a score composed by Sanko and performed live by the Kronos Quartet.
The Fortune Teller is Phantom Limb's first theatrical endeavor created in conjunction with an astounding pool of talented artists. It was originally conceived with the support of a Henson Foundation grant, an LMCC swing space grant and was produced by the HERE Arts Center.
The Fortune Teller premiered in the fall of 2006 in NYC and has since toured to the UCLA Live Arts Festival in the fall of 2007 and Dartmouth College Hopkins Center in 2008.
Its overwhelming success led to our company's inception.