Joe Goode Performance Group have announced they will perform Traveling Light at San Francisco’s historic Old Mint. Created for the haunting interior chambers, vaults and skyward-looking courtyard of the decadently beautiful 19th century Old Mint building, Traveling Light takes audiences on a journey guided by light, movement and sound. Its multiple story lines are densely layered with tales of economic chaos in an innovative mash-up of athletic, up-close theater in an historic building that is rarely open to the public.
Says Goode: “We are clearly leaving a glutted, overfed age of prosperity and waste and moving into a more ecological era out of necessity and perhaps desperation. Traveling Light considers what we bring forward and what we leave behind. There are certainly personal and financial ramifications of our situation, but there are also spiritual and psychological issues about how we are going to be different now. I think the future will be a more reasonable time, not so much about personal greed. The Mint is an historical, institutional representation of money and capitalism and where we are coming from, and it seems ironic and right to explore where we are going inside of it.”
Resonating with history, place, ideas and time, Traveling Light is an ingeniously flexible journey designed by Goode to be a different performance each time, best experienced by audiences through multiple viewings. There are four different physical journeys through the Old Mint with each beginning and ending in a different space, making each performance distinct. Audience members have the tantalizing experience of hearing from afar parts of the installation they have heard before, as if in memory, as well as glimpses in sound and visuals of what is to come as they travel from space to space. A snippet of song or text can be heard from another room, performers can be glimpsed through windows and doorways as audience members pass by on their own journeys. Audience members and critics from the premiere performances in 2009 commented on the moving use of space, “gorgeous dancing”, “perfectly illuminated interiors” and “thought-provoking theater” whose impact was felt, discussed and unfolded in their minds long after the performance ended.
Goode and Carpenter have pushed the boundaries of their respective crafts by creating a very specific and nuanced set of conditions within the Old Mint that redefine dance, theater, design and narrative. Composer Jay Cloidt’s sonic landscapes enhance the performance, inhabiting the spaces. Costumes are by designed by Wendy Sparks and performers include Felipe Barrueto-Cabello, Melecio Estrella, Damara Vita Ganley, Jessica Swanson, Andrew Ward, Patricia West and Alexander Zendzian.