Back to Blog List
Nancy Ostrovsky painting

Renowned Avant-Garde-Arama Festival Comes to Kingston’s Lace Mill

By inside + out | March 24, 2023

Avant-Garde-Arama Visits The Lace Mill is the latest iteration of a renowned festival of short works of dance, music, performance art and video that originated in the Lower East Side in the ‘80s, will be coming to Kingston’s Lace Mill Gallery on Friday + Saturday, March 30th & 31st and April 1st beginning at 6pm.

Poster of the Avant Garde Arama festival at the Lace Mill in Kingston NY

Avant-Garde-Arama was originally created in 1980 by performance artist Charles Dennis and musician/visual artist Jeffrey Isaac at the legendary East Village venue Performance Space 122 (P.S. 122) now Performance Space New York. Producer Charles Dennis was a co-founder of P.S. 122 and has presented this critically acclaimed inter-disciplinary dance, performance art and video festival in that space for over 40 years.

In 2019, Dennis moved from Brooklyn to Hurley and began searching for opportunities to present avant-garde and experimental works to the Hudson Valley. During the summer of 2021, he curated and produced two Avant-Garde-Arama programs at the Mountain View Studio in Woodstock NY.

Avant-Garde-Arama Visits The Lace Mill will present a smorgasbord of short works in an informal, cabaret setting with a cash bar, over two consecutive evenings.

The roster of performers includes:

Avant-Garde-Arama Visits The Lace Mill Performances:

Claire Porter – In her piece “Sexy Grammar,” an earnest librarian strives to arouse her audience to the love of grammar. Carried away, she recomposes herself after each attempt to finally succeed by getting down to the basics of grammar. It’s a strip. Choreography, Performance and Text by Claire Porter. Music by David Rose. Porter is a writer, dancer and choreographer with an extensive record of performances and residencies in Europe, Asia and in the USA. She is a Guggenheim Fellow who has received National Endowment for the Arts Choreography Fellowships, New Jersey State Council on the Arts Choreography Fellowships and Mid-Atlantic Choreography Fellowships among other honors.

Claire Porter on stage performing

Claire Porter

Charles Dennis & Spaghetti Eastern Music – Performance artist Charles Dennis will perform a different movement piece each night. Friday March 31 he offers his dance duet with a stack of 2 x 4 lumber, “2 x 2 x 4”, featuring live electric guitar music by Spaghetti Eastern Music (aka Sal Cataldi, a contributing writer to Inside+Out Upstate New York). On Saturday, April 1, Charles performs his latest work, “Recycle Me,” a duet with his plastic waste with a solo guitar score by Cataldi. An EP of the score from a performance of “2 x 2 x 4” at Avant-Garde Arama Lands in Woodstock in 2021 was much praise, with Chronogram Magazine calling it “melodic, transcendent, cool and inspired, a wave of sonic warmth and light. Dennis is an interdisciplinary artist, choreographer, director/producer, video cameraman/editor and proprietor of Charles Dennis Productions, a company that produces festivals of live art as well as providing videography services to a host of corporate and not for profit clients. Charles has been an active participant in downtown New York dance and performance for over 40 years. In the 1970’s he performed in many of theater director Robert Wilson’s early works and, in 1979, co-founded Performance Space 122, one of this country’s most active presenters of new dance and performance. Cataldi is Saugerties & NYC based guitarist/keyboardist. His solo project Spaghetti Eastern Music fuses krautrock and jazz fusion-fired guitar instrumentals with intimate vocal ballads straight out of the Nick Drake/John Martyn playbook. The New York Times says “Cataldi’s funk-tinged original instrumentals and acoustic vocal tunes have a beat unmistakably his own” while Time Out New York writes: “his largely instrumental, Eastern-influenced jams are infused with some delicate guitar work and hauntingly moody atmosphere.”

Sal Cataldi of Spaghetti Eastern Music playing guitar on stage

Sal Cataldi of Spaghetti Eastern Music

Ian Laughlin – Video “Flower Power” – Laughlin’s work is a collaboration with percussionist/composer David Van Tieghem. It includes painted wheelbarrows, pitchforks, knives & forks, alarm bell, drainage pipe, brake drum, tires and microphone. Originally from Christchurch, New Zealand, Laughlin graduated from Ilam University with a Fine Arts Degree with Honors. After exhibiting in numerous galleries and museums throughout New Zealand and in Sydney, Australia, he moved to NYC in the early 1980’s. He has exhibited his work at Fashion Moda, M13, Ronald Feldman, Arbitrage/Anita Shapolsky, the Drawing Center, PS1, Exit Art, MoMA, and more recently at White Box, Y Gallery, and Pratt Manhattan.

Nancy Ostrovsky (Featured Photo) – A live painting performance to complement a live performance by violinist Megan Gugliotta. Hudson Valley-based Ostrovsky has been “Painting To Music” in performance with musicians for more than 40 years. She has performed at many venues including Jazz At Lincoln Center, Institute of Contemporary Art/ Boston, Knitting Factory, The Fabrik- Germany, The John Coltrane Memorial Concert, Rochester School of Music, WGBH, USIA/Germany, Massachusetts College of Art, The International Festival of Media Art Media Future/Germany and The Festival of Women Improvisers to name a few.

Peter Wetzler – Wetzler will perform solo piano improvisations. After a lifetime of writing music for dance, theater, film and television, Wetzler has transformed his interpretation of visual elements into live improvisation, creating soundtracks of the moment via his solo piano work. He is well-known to Hudson Valley residents as the host of Radio Kingston’s weekly show, Sound Forms: Classical Music & Beyond.

Peter Wetzler playing piano

Peter Wetzler

Sylvia Bullett – Video “Hokey Pokey” (Edit by Ian Laughlin). Music by Sylvia Bullett, synthesizers and vocals Sylvia Bullett. Guitar and vocals by Dave Cook and drums and vocals by Dan Hickey. Recorded at Area 52 Studios by Dave Cook mastered by Tod Levine/Magnetic North Studios. Born in Manhattan and raised in the Catskills, Bullett has been a popular performer with five albums to her credit. After her time in a variety of bands while living in NYC in the ‘80s, she returned to the Hudson Valley and worked at Dreamland Studios. She is also an ice sculptor and published poet.

Shelley Wyant – “A Mask Walk” – Wyant will don a variety of masks to present short intermittent performances between the evening’s longer performances. This performer has worked with masks since she visited to Bali in 1981. Wyant has taught MaskWork at many notable universities and conservatories including Yale, Brown and SUNY New Paltz for over 40 years. Currently, she is an instructor at Terry Knickerbocker Studios in Industry City, Brooklyn.

Mia Brazilian Jazz Trio – Mia will sing Brazilian jazz with guitarist Peter Einhorn and acoustic bassist Lou Pappas. Mia has brought her ensemble of world-class Brazilian jazz musicians to venues such as The Jazz Forum, The Cornelia St. Cafe, Pangea and The Rockwood Music Hall. She has performed in São Paulo with Brazilian jazz guitarist Renato Consorte and around New York City with an array of musicians ranging from Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Donny McCaslin to trumpeter/band leader Frank London.

Charles Dennis performing in front of an audience

Charles Dennis

The Lace Mill is an anchor of the Ulster County arts community. Built-in 1903, the U.S. Lace Curtain Mill employed hundreds of Kingstonians – particularly women – over several generations. RUPCO purchased it in late 2013. The building currently houses 55 affordable apartments with a preference for artists. The building offers several gallery spaces and shared and private work studios.

Lace Mill Gallery is located at 165 Cornell Street in Kingston, NY.

website | Facebook | Instagram

Admission is $20.

Tickets can be purchased at the door or online HERE
For further information, call 917-673-9023 or email [email protected]

Write a Comment


Have an account?