The Sprezzaturameron (World Premiere)
A video docudrama from multimedia artists and musicians Tei Blow and Sean McElroy (Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble) follows two men who must confront the precarious nature of art-making in an apocalyptic near-future. As they gain awareness of their own privilege in a reforming world, the duo embarks on a vision quest to craft the perfect apology, inspired by the infamous apologists of the #MeToo era.
Sprezzatura is an Italian word coined in the 16th century by Castiglione in The Book of the Courtier. It is defined as “a form of defensive irony: the ability to disguise what one really desires, feels, thinks, and means or intends behind a mask of apparent reticence and nonchalance." It is this irony, the mask of the courtier, that The Sprezzaturameron seeks to reveal. But what lies behind this mask?
Written and Performed by Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble
Company: Tei Blow, Sean McElroy
Music: Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble
Digital Architect: John Blalock
Aesthetic Consultant: Julian Shapiro-Barnum
Location: Partially filmed at BAC’s Jerome Robbins Theater
Tei Blow was a 2018-19 Cage Cunningham Fellow.
In Conversation: Tei Blow with Andrew Kircher
BAC presents a live-streamed conversation with Blow and new media performance scholar Andrew Kircher on Wednesday, May 26 at 5PM ET.
Live On ZOOM
Free / Registration required at bacnyc.org beginning May 17 at 5pm ET
BAC Artist Commissions made possible with generous leadership support from Anonymous, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Howard Gilman Foundation, Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine Kaye Foundation, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Jerome Robbins Foundation, Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Fund, Thompson Family Foundation, and Robert and Kathleen Wallace.
Lead support of dance programming at BAC is provided by the Rudolf Nureyev Endowment.
As of January, 2021.
Tei Blow is a performer, educator, and media designer based in New York. Blow’s work incorporates photography, video, and sound culled from found materials and mass media. He has performed and designed for The Laboratory of Dmitry Krymov, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Jodi Melnick, Ann Liv Young, Big Dance Theater, and David Neumann/Advanced Beginner Group.
He also performs as Frustrator on Enemies List Recordings. Blow’s work has been featured at Hartford Stage, Dance Theater Workshop, PS122/PSNY, Lincoln Center Festival, The Kitchen, BAM, The Public Theater, The Broad Stage, MCA Chicago, MFA Boston, Kate Werble Gallery, Baryshnikov Arts Center, The Wadsworth Atheneum, and at theaters around the world. He is the recipient of a 2015 New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award for Outstanding Sound Design for David Neumann/Advanced Beginner Group’s I Understand Everything Better. Blow is one half of Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble, whose ongoing multipart series The Art of Luv is a recipient of the Creative Capital and Franklin Furnace Awards.
Sean McElroy holds a degree in Classics from Brown University and a degree in Painting from the University of Washington. He uses sculpture, installation and performance to explore mythologies of love, power and pleasure. His work has been exhibited at the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle; Koplin Del Rio Gallery in Los Angeles; and at JACK, the Public Theater and Kate Werble Gallery in New York.
Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble
Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble (ROKE) is a musical priesthood that explores the metaphysics and mythologies of love, desire, and connectivity in the VHS and Internet Ages. Formed by artists Tei Blow and Sean McElroy and joined in 2016 by director/designer Eben Hoffer, ROKE generates contemporary ritual out of found media, synthesizing video, meme, party, opera, theater, social practice, and installation.
ROKE has performed rituals in New York at The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival, Guggenheim Museum, Special Effects Festival at Participant Inc., Prelude Festival, AUNTS Arts@Renaissance, JACK, Abrons Arts Center, in Philadelphia at FringeArts, and in Portland, OR at PICA:TBA. ROKE received a 2016 Creative Capital award for The Art of Luv series, and has been awarded a Franklin Furnace Fund grant (2013) and a BAX Space Grant (2014). They were part of the Public Theater’s Devised Theater Working Group and PS122’s RAMP residency program. They spent the summer of 2014 at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and were 2015 CUNY Hunter Artists-in-Residence in ceramics.
Photos: Maria Baranova