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Animated performance artist Natasha Tsakos comes to Michigan Theater

BY DANIEL CARLIN
For the Daily
Published December 7, 2010

Natasha Tsakos at Penny W. Stamps Lecture
Thursday, December 9 at 5:15pm
Michigan Theater
Free

Natasha Tsakos is getting physical with her art. On Thursday, she will take the stage to lecture through an integration of technology and performance art for the Penny Stamps series.

The Swiss artist has received particular attention for her performance artwork wherein she interacts with live three-dimensional animation as well as sound. She aims to create environments that have the potential to morph into each metaphor she builds. By forming various microcosms onstage, Tsakos tries to connect each strand to create meaning.

“The moment of creation, you’re not the creator,” Tsakos said in a recent interview. “You’re just the tool — and you’re (just) drawing, you’re writing, you’re translating whatever is happening upstairs. You become your own audience.”

Her most recent performance, “Up Wake,” is a one-person tragicomedy taking audiences through a day of both “dream and wake.” The nearly hour-long piece contains roughly 341 frames of animation, making it a true theatrical experience.

Tsakos’s passion for the theater — she's the president and founder of theater company ZERO LLC in Florida, where she resides — and the understanding of change and evolution in art has allowed her to embrace new technology. She refers to her performance’s multimedia elements as her “partner” on stage.

While she plans to connect technology to theater for audiences in her Michigan Theater lecture, Tsakos made it clear that this is not a performance. However, she anticipates performing excerpts from some of her pieces. Tsakos had no comment as to the subject matter of her lecture; she wants it to be a surprise.

Christina Hamilton, director of the Penny Stamps Lecture Series, is thrilled to see Tsakos in Ann Arbor. Hamilton saw Tsakos perform about a year ago and was incredibly impressed with her interaction with technology.

“(Tsakos will be a) great season closer,” Hamilton said. “It will be ‘performative’ and not just a talk.”


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