dumb dumb bunny 2007 by Sam Kim

dumb dumb bunny
By Sam Kim
Performed by Michael Helland, Sam Kim, Liz Santoro, and Miriam Wolf, with Jodi Bender, Milka Djordjevich, Erika Eichelberger, Sharon Estacio, Bessie McDonough-Thayer, Ryan McNamara, Tara O’Con, and David Velasco
Lighting design by Michael Stiller
Set design by Sam Kim and Mimi Lien

The Kitchen, October 17-20, 2007 (New York)

In dumb dumb bunny, Sam Kim subverts perception and assumptions about what we see in dance and presents an abstracted thrill ride through the crucible of Kim’s keen outsider mentality. Starting from a personal departure point which includes everything from Kim’s dry sense of humor and wholesale rejection of self-seriousness, to subtle influences such as B-horror films and the work of maverick visual artist Raymond Pettibon, dumb dumb bunny rapidly expands in meaning as the dance moves effortlessly through present time, historical time and perceived time. Committed to smashing the status quo in dance culture, dumb dumb bunny deploys a lowbrow aesthetic: ear-splitting songs, garish lights, unselfconscious movement and a theater turned inside out to engage viewers through a pure, unmediated experience.

“Acts of clumsy oppression ripple throughout dumb dumb bunny as individuals trade off being the victim and oppressor. By magnifying the collision between individual, group and a contrived setting, dumb dumb bunny invites the viewer to spy the essential discomfort that tugs at all individuals and to witness how that motivates them to act inside a fishbowl culture.” – Sam Kim

“At the heart of the work is a long, affecting duet for Miriam Wolf and Michael Helland in which their fierce entangled encounters feel like a thwarted, frantic search for emotional connection.” Roslyn Sulcas, New York Times, October 2007

“The core of the evening is the strangely conflicted duet of Michael Helland and Miriam Wolf that eventually plays off the more peaceful duo of Kim and Liz Santoro, almost a juxtaposition of the struggle between men and women and the easy if tenuous compatibility between women.” Quinn Baston, OffOffOff, November 2007

Photo by Briana Blasko for The New York Times