Remainder | Northside, a world premiere dance performance, is inspired by a year's worth of investigation, conversation and creation with youth from across Pittsburgh’s Northside. Attack Theatre artistic staff members, dancers, and these kids uncovered treasure chests, concrete footsteps in the grass, and rebelled against rules. Now those unforgettable experiences have been distilled into a work of contemporary dance featuring original live music by Attack Theatre music director and cellist Dave Eggar, longtime Attack Theatre collaborator and acclaimed percussionist, songwriter and producer Chuck Palmer, and, making her debut with Attack Theatre, New York City flutist and recording artist Domenica Fossati.
“Pittsburgh has so many wonderful neighborhoods, but what’s compelling about the Northside, for us, is the wealth of artistic history,” says Michele de la Reza, co-founder and artistic director for Attack Theatre. “We have so much affection for that neighborhood – going back to the old days performing at the Hazlett – but what we felt like we hadn’t done yet is really get out into the community.”
The creative process for this performance began in 2014, when Attack Theatre first met with administrators from Northside area schools and directors of youth-focused community organizations. Based on these meetings, the company invited students from Schiller Middle School, The Pittsburgh Project, and the Manchester Youth Development Center to participate in movement-centric workshops focused on inquiry, dialogue, and dance. The heart of Remainder | Northside lies in the invaluable time spent with these inquisitive students.
“We wanted a snapshot of the present,” de la Reza says, explaining why Attack Theatre chose to work with kids. “What the Northside is like now, what it might become. Kids tend to be less interested in the past. They’re all about the moment, and we wanted those kind of in the moment reactions to inform this work.”
Attack Theatre has a rich history of performing at the New Hazlett Theater and in the Northside, and has often regarded the venue as its “home theater.” By conducting the Remainder | Northside creative workshops at the New Hazlett Theater, in addition to the three November performances, Attack Theatre hopes to emphasize how valuable this space is to the community and to the city at large.
Remainder | Northside will feature veteran Attack Theatre company dancers Kaitlin Dann, Dane Toney, Ashley Williams, and Anthony Williams, who is entering his debut season with the company.
Remainder | Northside is made possible in part by: The Buhl Foundation, The Grable Foundation, The McKinney Charitable Foundation of the PNC Charitable Trusts, and the New Hazlett Theater.