PITCHIN’ THE TENT
TIA NINA / LEAH CURRAN MOON, ILANA SILVERSTEIN, LISI STOESSEL
“Pitchin’ the Tent” is our response to the questions: How is rock ‘n roll performance embodied? How do audiences engage with rock performers? How does masculine activity, feminine passivity and compulsory heterosexuality function in rock ‘n roll performance? What can modern dance learn from the structure of rock concerts? The show uses aestheticism, flashy lighting, bright costuming, persona and vocalizations to hook the audience to reveal a poignant feminist critique of rock ’n roll. This is our response to the showy, phallic panache of lead guitarists, the aggressive boastful struts of front men, and the sweaty, reckless abandon of great drummers.
Our band of three iconic personas, J Van Stone (Leah Curran Moon), Sammy Rain (Ilana Silverstein) and Sticks (Lisi Stoessel) plays a set of 13 songs that an audience member described as “outrageously funny yet smart.” The songs are performed through movement to recorded original tracks. The songs vary in tempo, musical quality, genre and reference to gender. The songs are: “Arrival,” “Bangover,” “Masculine Crotch Magnet,” “Cover—Rite of Spring,” “Angelina’s Leg,” “Gender Jungle,” “Feminine Crotch Magnet,” “Blowing Up Goats,” “Sweet Gear,” “Bradley,” “Happy Birthday,” “Big Rich Man,” and “Pitchin’ the Tent.” We open the show with our “Pitchin’ the Tent” music video which sucks the audience into our Tia Nina world and introduces the show’s catchy punk namesake song.
At the end of the show, the audience jumps out of their seats and dances with us to the familiar “Pitchin’ the Tent.” Tia Nina attracts all kinds of audiences: college-aged, middle-aged, men, women, LGBTQQ people, music-lovers, dance-lovers, and theater-lovers. Like instrument-playing bands, we take time during the show to introduce the band, tune, and psyche up the crowd.
The show features original sound by Eric Shimelonis, Troy Herion, Michael Jantz Moon & Nicolas Laget with lighting design by Brian Allard and costume design by Deb Sivigny. “Pichin’ the Tent” was heralded as one of the “Best of the Fringe” shows in the Summer 2013 Capital Fringe Festival in Washington, D.C., and was performed at fallFRINGE and Whitman College in Fall 2013.