Nin Descending a Staircase
Join us for an evening at the historic site of infamous writer Anaïs Nin's printing press for a staged concert of "Nin Descending a Staircase," an immersive music theatre piece in development. In this staged concert version, a live band will perform original musical adaptations of Nin's fiction; songs that paint portraits of characters collaged from her works including "House of Incest," "Cities of the Interior," "Stella," "Winter of Artifice," and "Little Birds. Three actors will perform excerpts and scenes from Nins fiction to bring us further into the mind of Nin and her alter egos.
Anais Nin was a controversial modern feminist writer most famous for her diaries and erotica. She also wrote fiction that was deeply intertwined with her diaries; passages from her fiction were lifted directly from the diaries, and the portraits painted in her novels were based on the characters in her own life. In her fiction we meet variations of her many friends and lovers, most notably Henry and June Miller, poet and dramatist Antonin Artaud, actor Luise Rainer, Freudian disciples Otto Rank and Rene Allendy, Gore Vidal, Nin and her father, among others. Her fiction, while not as well-known as her diaries, in a sense is the diary further distilled, revealing more layers and connections between her imaginary world and lived reality.
Nin moved to New York from Paris at the outbreak of World War II and along with her Marxist lover Gonzalo More started a printing press they named after Gonzalo ("G. More"), called Gemor Press. This press was first located on MacDougal Street and then later to this location at 17 E 13th Street, where she hand-printed 500 copies of the "banned" Winter of Artifice, which garnered the attention of the New York avant-garde community, many of whom were recent European transplants. Nin was a vibrant node in a map of modern artists and thinkers and in a sense a mother and muse to her network of artists from the Paris cafe society of the '30s to the mid-century Greenwich Village avant-garde.
This concert is presented as a part of a NYU Gallatin MA thesis in immersive music theatre, exploring ideas of "mystic cabaret" and art as ritual.
Nin was a magician, and the characters she created in her fiction were the alter egos that contained her multifaceted self, the layers of her consciousness, and the complex relationships in her life. We see ourselves in these layers, wondering where we end and Nin begins, coming into the liminal space of immersive theatre, melting the separate parts of our bodies together through music.
Part séance for Nins creative spirit, part surreal cabaret, part dream- this immersive staged concert experience explores the mind, myths, and magic of Anais Nin, inspired by her Jungian credo to proceed from the dream outward.
Singlish Bar (View)
17 E 13th St
New York, NY 10003
|Minimum Age: 21
|Kid Friendly: No
|Dog Friendly: No
|Wheelchair Accessible: No
Staircase- no elevator