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Performances

Sibyl Kempson: 12 Shouts to the Ten Forgotten Heavens: Winter Solstice

Wed, Dec 21, 2016  5:30–7:30 AM

Location: Floor One, Kenneth C. Griffin Hall

This performance will be the fourth Shout in this cycle of twelve rituals and will celebrate the upcoming Winter Solstice, which will take place on December 21, 2016 at 5:44 am EST.

The Winter solstice marks an important shift where we feel an inevitable tipping of the scales, a transition of energy from darkness to light. During the days when night has been its longest, focus turns inward where there is potential for an inner transformation. At the moment of 5:44 am, we will mark the darkest days, put them behind us and together take the first careful steps back toward the light and balance. This promise of the sun’s return also promises rebirth made possible during the dormancy of winter. This idea is best captured in the well-known Mexican proverb: “They tried to bury us, they didn’t know we were seeds.”

This Shout will prompt the audience to contemplate mythologies surrounding fate—what is the meaning of events that we experience and how do we bring forth the threads that are woven into the fabric of our lives. The performance will travel through the Museum, beginning in the lobby, moving up to the Hess Theater, and concluding on the fifth floor where participants will be asked to partake in a bell-ringing ceremony aligned with the rising of the sun. Audience members are asked to attend with their families, either biological or chosen, as representatives of the cycles of nature and the cosmos in order to create a space for sanctuary and make a collective wish for the planet in the coming year.

The performance will conclude at sunrise; followed by a light breakfast reception.

Performers:
Dee Dorcas Beasnael
Tymberly Canale
Hye Young Chyun
Robert M. Johanson
Sibyl Kempson
Matt Leabo

Collaborators:
Sahra Motalebi
Suzanne Bocanegra
Sarah Willis

Production Assistance:
Stephen McGroarty
Sarah Scholl
Molly Zimmelman

12 Shouts to the Ten Forgotten Heavens is a three-year iterative performance project by American playwright, director, and performer Sibyl Kempson with her theater company, 7 Daughters of Eve Thtr. & Perf. Co. Presented at the Whitney on twelve occasions, 12 Shouts will mark each solstice and equinox occurring between March 2016 and December 2018 creating a new ceremonial calendar and a contemporary mythology.

Please note: The Museum’s galleries will be closed to the public.

Please note: This event has reached ticketing capacity. A limited number of standby tickets may be available at the admissions desk on a first-come, first-served basis. The standby line will open at 5:30 am when doors open. Tickets are required ($10 adults; $8 members, students and seniors). Doors open at 5:30 am, and the audience is requested to arrive promptly at this time. Late arrivals will not be admitted. Capacity is limited. Visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance.

12 Shouts to the Ten Forgotten Heavens is organized by Greta Hartenstein, Senior Curatorial Assistant and Jay Sanders, Engell Speyer Family Curator and Curator of Performance.

Major support for the Whitney’s Performance Program is provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Generous support is also provided by the Performance Committee of the Whitney Museum of American Art. 

12 Shouts was developed in residence at the Watermill Center. Special thanks to the Byrd Hoffman Foundation. Development support is also provided by a residency at Abrons Arts Center. The 2016 Shouts are partially funded by a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant.

Sibyl Kempson (b. 1973), 12 Shouts to the Ten Forgotten Heavens, Fall Equinox, September 22, 2016, at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Photograph © Paula Court

Sibyl Kempson (b. 1973), 12 Shouts to the Ten Forgotten Heavens, Fall Equinox, September 22, 2016, at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Photograph © Paula Court