Sunday, June 9, 2013

Giant Rubber Duck Makes US Debut

Media Contacts:
Shaunda Miles – Pittsburgh Cultural Trust,
412-471-1578 /
Diana Roth – Pittsburgh Cultural Trust,
412-471-1578 /
Saul Markowitz – Markowitz Communications, 412.577.5140 /412-977-8517 (cell)

Giant Rubber Duck Makes U.S. Debut For Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts 2013


 Pittsburgh Cultural District
September 27 – October 26, 2013

PITTSBURGH, PA:  Studio Florentijn Hofman’s The Rubber Duck has ignited crazes in Hong Kong, Sydney and other international locales and will make its U.S. debut in Pittsburgh for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s International Festival of Firsts. Starting September 27, The Rubber Duck will launch on the Allegheny River setting in motion four weeks of diverse programming featuring acclaimed international companies and artists premiering works never before seen in the United States.  Presentations of theater, dance, music, performance and visual arts will grace several Cultural District venues, in spaces both traditional and highly unexpected.

“Pittsburgh has a confluence of international activities taking place during the fall of 2013,” said Kevin McMahon, president & CEO of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.  “The city has been re-imagined and remade and is now hosting major international events-from the Carnegie International to the Remaking Cities Conference- that provide for an intriguing cultural climate.  The return of the Cultural Trust’s festival could not have taken place during a more fitting year, and we are glad to be part of the economic, cultural and quality-of-life transformation that is part of the region’s 30-year investment in the arts.”

This year’s Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts companies and artists represent a vast array of countries from The Netherlands, Quebec, Belgium, Australia, Switzerland and Nova Scotia as well as the United States.

“The works included within this year’s Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts will provide a diversity of disciplines (theater, dance, music, puppetry and physical theatre) and, it is my hope that they provide a snapshot of some of the finest work being created in the international contemporary performing arts field and will elicit a wide range of emotion, reaction and excitement from our audiences,” shared Paul Organisak, vice president of programming at The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.  “As I experienced each of them during various stages of their development, I am struck by how each artist is in some way redefining what we mean by “contemporary” in today’s culture.  This Festival is designed to ask that question and create an ongoing dialogue for Pittsburgh audiences and artists alike.”

“PIFOF offers an unprecedented opportunity to investigate the career of Kurt Hentschlager, one of the leading artists in new media art over a period of twenty years”, said Murray Horne, curator-Wood Street Galleries.

Special Opening Night of the Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts

Adding to the immensity of this year’s Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts is the opening night appearance of Studio Florentijn Hofman’s The Rubber Duck of The Netherlands.  The Rubber Duck knows no frontiers; it doesn’t discriminate and doesn’t have a political connotation. The friendly, floating, four-story-high Rubber Duck has healing properties: it can relieve mondial tensions as well as define them. The duck has been on display in Amsterdam, Belgium, Osaka, Sydney, Sao Paulo and Hong Kong and arrives in the US for the first time for the Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts.

Studio Florentijn Hofman | THE RUBBER DUCK
Friday, September 27 – TBD
Allegheny Riverfront

Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts Schedule

Marie Chouinard (Quebec), September 28, 8pm. Byham Theater
Kiss & Cry (Belgium), October 2, 3, 4, 8pm, New Hazlett Theater
It’s Dark Outside (Australia), October 9, 10, 12, 9pm, Pierce Studio-Trust Arts Ed. Center
The Pigeoning (USA), October 9, 10, 12, 7pm, Bricolage
Zimmermann& de Perrot (Switzerland), October 18, 19, 2pm, Byham Theater
Measure Back (USA),  October 22-26,  8pm, Baum Bldg., 5th Floor
The God That Comes (Nova Scotia), October 24-26, 10pm, Cabaret at Theater Square

Compagnie Marie Chouinard
Saturday, September 28 at 8:00 p.m.
Byham Theater | 101 Sixth Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Marie Chouinard creates dance conceived from primeval dreams — earthy and strong, yet shaped by irrepressible secrets and unseen dimensions in time. The performance includes the U.S. premiere of GYMNOPÉDIES, set to glorious solo piano works by Erik Satie, and HENRI MICHAUX: MOUVEMENTS, inspired by a book of poetry and drawings by Belgian artist Henri Michaux.   *Contains nudity.

NanoDanses , Michèle Anne De Mey & Jaco Van Dormael | KISS & CRY
October 2, 3 & 4 at 8:00 p.m.
New Hazlett Theater | 6 Allegheny Square East (Northside), Pittsburgh, PA 15212

A woman nearing the end of her life recounts her greatest loves in this sweeping, romantic work.  Hands visually portray characters with a beautifully engaging sensual presence, moving around a set of miniatures with absolute precision. A unique blend of film, dance, text and theatre, Kiss & Cryis an unforgettable experience.

Robin Frohardt, HARP (HERE Artist Residency Program) | THE PIGEONING
October 9, 10 & 12 at 7:00 p.m.
Bricolage | 937 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Meet Frank, an obsessive compulsive consumed with routines.  Enter a flock of pigeons and experience The Pigeoning, a darkly comedic work that combines bunraku puppetry, music and video to examine mankind’s obsession with cleanliness, safety and control.  Brimming with originality and humor, The Pigeoning is an entertaining exploration of the human condition.

Perth Theatre Company | It’s Dark Outside
October 9, 10 & 12 at 9:00 p.m.
Peirce Studio | Trust Education Center, 805-807 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

It's Dark Outside Pictured: Chris Isaacs & Arielle Gray (Credit: Richard Jefferson)
Inspired by experiences and research into Alzheimer’s and Sundowner’s Syndrome, Tim Watts’ newest production in collaboration with Arielle Gray and Chris Isaacs, is a heartfelt, fearless, and inventive adventure. Puppetry, mask, animation, live performance and an original music score by the award-winning composer Rachael Dease, are expertly intertwined to create a grand epic Western about redemption and dementia.

Zimmermann & de Perrot | Hans was Heiri
Friday, October 18 at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 19 at 2:00 p.m.
Byham Theater | 101 Sixth Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

The inventive Swiss directors duo Zimmermann & de Perrot have crafted an original and mischievous marriage of theater, circus and dance. Poets as well as magicians, their choreography, music and set design overflows with cunning depth and humor. In Hans was Heiri, the stage design revolves on a horizontal axis, forcing the performers into the most unlikely positions.

Christopher McElroen and T. Ryder Smith | Measure Back
October 22, 23, 24, 25, 26 at 8:00 p.m.
Baum Building, Fifth Floor | 818 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

What does it mean to say we are at war?  Can we, as “non-combatants”, change the course of war? The visceral and thought-provoking work Measure Back seeks a path between the citizen-as-spectator and the citizen-as- participant.  Set in an immersive theatrical environment to examine scenes of conflict ranging from Homer’s The Iliad to today’s headlines, Measure Back uses audience participation to probe how war is constructed and performed – from conception through consensus to action.

2b theatre company | *The God That Comes
October 24, 25, 26 at 10:00 p.m.
Cabaret at Theater Square | 633 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA  1522

The God That Comes

Sex, wine and rock and roll!  Hawksley Workman’s intoxicating one-man cabaret, pop and glam rock hybrid recreates the story of Bacchus, the Greco-Roman god of wine, following Euripides’ The Bacchae.  In a world ruled by an oppressive king, the lesser classes let loose in a hedonistic spiritual revolution fuelled by wine, ritual madness and ecstasy. *Contains strong language.

TICKETS:  Tickets for all performances are $25.  To purchase, visit, call 412-456-6666 or visit the Theater Square Box Office, 655 Penn Avenue (located at the intersection of Penn Avenue and Seventh Street in Downtown Pittsburgh).

Pittsburgh International Festival of First Visual Art Presentations

Kurt Hentschlager (USA) | Hive (Austria/USA, 2011)
September 27-December 31
Wood Street Galleries | Located above the T-Station at Wood Street and Sixth Avenue

Hours: Wednesday & Thursday 11a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday & Saturday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Hive is a 3D-animated audiovisual installation where gallery visitors confront a swirling mass of amorphous figures, appearing as a genderless collective of matter as opposed to individual beings. Choreographed motion, light and sound form an immersive and dynamic figurative landscape without a beginning or an end. Moment by moment, the computer-generated Hive takes on a life of its own, creating an artificial organism in eternal motion and interplay.

Kurt Hentschlager and Ulf Langheinrich (USA/Austria) |
Granular Synthesis: Model 5 and POL
September 27-October 20
SPACE | 812 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA  15222

Hours: Wednesday & Thursday 11a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday & Saturday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Model 5
Model 5 (Austria/USA, 1994)
An unprecedented visual, acoustic and physical experience, Model 5 projects multiple portraits of Japanese performance artist Akemi Takeya. At once serene and kinetically beautiful, heightened mechanical rhythms manipulate the image to create a sense of schizophrenia, with the body being pulled apart and dissolving in electronic space.

POL (Austria/USA, 1998)
The German word for “pole,” POL is a live, improvised panoramic performance that relies on high intensity light, video and audio projection, subjecting audiences to an astounding flow of stimuli to create a perceptional situation of disorientation and recollection. By emanating a feeling of what Granular Synthesis describes as “visual radiation,” POL engulfs the audience by erasing all sensual barriers.

Also Taking Place During The Festival

Kurt Hentschlager (USA) | Zee (Austria/USA, 2008)
September 26-October 27
943 Liberty Avenue | Pittsburgh, PA  15222
Hours: Saturday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Chicago-based Austrian artist Kurt Hentschlager invites visitors to explore an enclosed space filled with a dense, odorless fog that completely obscures the gallery walls, floor and ceiling. A droning soundscape intensifies this full-immersion experience, which shifts dynamically according to changes in the color, frequency and intensity of the light. Exhilarating as well as meditative, the pulsing, stroboscopic audiovisual journey that is ZEE pushes the boundaries of human perception.

About Kurt Hentschlager
Chicago based Austrian artist Kurt Hentschläger creates audiovisual performances and installations. He began to exhibit his work in 1983, creating surreal machine-objects, and since has been working with time-based media, film, video, animation and sound. 

The immersive nature of his work reflects on the metaphor of the sublime and the human condition. His current work further researches human perception and the impact of new technologies on both individual and collective consciousness.

About Granular Synthesis
The Austrian audiovisual media artistic duo of Kurt Hentschlager and Ulf Langheinrich create large scale installations that fuse sight and sound into one medium. Through their manipulation of technology, the works of Granular Synthesis serve to challenge human perception, conditioning and consciousness.

ADMISSIONS: All visual arts exhibitions are free and open to the public

About the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has overseen one of Pittsburgh’s most historic transformations: turning a seedy red-light district into a magnet destination for arts lovers, residents, visitors, and business owners. Founded in 1984, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit arts organization whose mission is the cultural and economic revitalization of a 14-block arts and entertainment/residential neighborhood called the Cultural District. The District is one of the country’s largest land masses “curated” by a single nonprofit arts organization. A major catalytic force in the city, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a unique model of how public-private partnerships can reinvent a city with authenticity, innovation and creativity.  Using the arts as an economic catalyst, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has holistically created a world-renowned Cultural District that is revitalizing the city, improving the regional economy and enhancing Pittsburgh’s quality of life. Thanks to the support of foundations, corporations, government agencies and thousands of private citizens, the Trust stands as a national model of urban redevelopment through the arts
The Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts is supported by Anonymous donor, Hillman Foundation, The Pittsburgh Foundation, The Heinz Endowments, Buhl Foundation, Carol R. Brown Performance Fund, Snee-Reinhardt Charitable Trust, Richard King Mellon Foundation, Joan Humphrey and Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.

Posted on behalf of Dreamweaver Marketing Associates.  Joyce Kane is the owner of Cybertary Pittsburgh, a Virtual Administrative support company, providing virtual office support, personal and executive assistance, creative design services and light bookkeeping.  Cybertary works with businesses and busy individuals to help them work 'on' their business rather than 'in' their business.

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