Category Archive: Events

The Duke Energy breakfast protest

Yet another Duke Energy protest

Recently we participated in another round of street theatre, organizing protestors who had come out to argue against allowing Duke Energy to raise electric bill rates by nearly 20%. Once again we got a good amount of publicity, and Jack was even pictured on the front page of the Charlotte Observer’s print edition on October 12, 2011. Both Jack and Annie testified before the Utility Commission as nearly 50 people explained from their perspectives why Duke Energy should or should not win its appeal for higher rates. The irony is that Duke Energy claims it wants people to use less energy, but it then wants to charge more per unit in order to keep revenue up?? It also adamantly refuses to invest in 21st century technology for harnessing power. Viscera Dance Theatre already protested the proposed merger between Duke Energy and Progress Energy (a merger that would make Duke the largest energy company in the USA, if not the world), and we absolutely oppose their methods for generating electricity. Our environment is our home, and without it we have nothing. Here is a link to more complete coverage: http://clclt.com/theclog/archives/2011/10/12/duke-energy-rate-hike-protestors-rail-against-their-master.

Saving the world from Duke Energy

Some people wanted to know what we were up to: “We saving the world from Duke Energy… what does it look like we’re doing??”

Today we protested against the merger of Duke Energy and Progress energy. We submitted a press release several day ago, which was published on Creative Loafing’s Blog yesterday (Note: The CLOG has mistakenly credited the photo – it should be credited to Tim O’Brien). The reaction was entertaining: As we walked from where we had parked we began seeing police officers and security officers a full three blocks away from where we were going to protest (they were pointing and talking into their shoulder phones like we were a mob of rioting hoodlums who had to be escorted and monitored at all times). There had to have been twenty officers along the route, and there were nearly a dozen at the venue for the shareholder meeting itself, with seven or eight officers in front of the building itself and another three or four across the street. It was a complete overreaction. One officer came over to examine our gas can, asking, “Is there anything in this?” “No,” Jack replied, “would you like to pick it up and see for yourself?” The officer actually did pick the container up, and he almost looked disappointed that we weren’t there to fire bomb the place. At that point Jack said, “You know, it’s just us – most of you guys could go do something else.” A few minutes later most of the officers were gone. It was funny to see how many people showed up to keep the peace while two performers sat on the sidewalk and snorted through prosthetic pig noses while a recording of a slaughtered hog was looped on repeat.

At any rate, they may have been piqued by a certain section of the press release: “Viscera Dance Theatre’s repeating skit will feature Jack Kirven and Annie Vereen as conjoined, pig-faced twins devouring resources from a trough of dirty money, coal, and plant materials. The performance shines a light on the greedy and abusive practices that a merged corporation would perpetrate against the people, resources, and climate throughout the nation.” Oops… sorry to get all visceral on you, Duke. Oh… no, wait… we did that on purpose. LOL In addition to the exposure in Creative Loafing and the Charlotte Observer, we also spoke briefly to the Charlotte NPR station WFAE.

This performance will be listed under our repertoire as “The Trough of Greed” once we get more pictures back to post along with the description. Click here to see a picture of us outside the meeting.

VDT to protest merger of Duke Energy

For Immediate Release

Event date: August 23, 2011 (9:30 A.M.)

Contact: Viscera Dance Theatre, Annie Vereen (704) 770-7376, vintagedress@gmail.com, www.visceradancetheatre.com

Viscera Dance Theatre’s mission is to engage in performance opportunities that bring attention to the importance of vital environmental concerns and the powers that contribute to the decline of the natural world.

Charlotte – Duke Energy will be hosting a shareholder’s meeting at 10:00 am at 526 S Church Street to have an election regarding its merger with Progress Energy. The two corporations have already filed paper work with the state to request the creation of this energy monopoly. Upon acquiring Progress Energy, Duke Energy will become the largest energy company in the nation. They have already begun using strong arm tactics to raise rates, diminish reliance upon renewable energy resources, and push forward building projects that are neither safe nor economically viable. Viscera Dance Theatre will be present to perform street theatre that opposes the activities of the two companies, and will be visible to the shareholders as they arrive.
The event will begin at 9:30 A.M., so as to already be in progress as the shareholders arrive.

Jim Rogers, the CEO of Duke Energy, purportedly opposes the collection, processing, and use of fossil fuels, saying of mountain top removal, “If I were king of the world, I would eliminate the practice.” He claims that the reason he does not stop the destruction of the natural environment is because the state of North Carolina requires the devastation in order to keep the cost of electricity down. (see: http://www.firstrain.com/industry/diversified-utilities/2011/05/06/jim-rogers-utility-legislation-duke-energy-diversified-utilities-8/)

Viscera Dance Theatre’s repeating skit will feature Jack Kirven and Annie Vereen as conjoined, pig-faced twins devouring resources from a trough of dirty money, coal, and plant materials. The performance shines a light on the greedy and abusive practices that a merged corporation would perpetrate against the people, resources, and climate throughout the nation.

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Berkshire Fringe, 2011: Application submitted

OMG!! We are so stoked! We sent in an application to perform “Path” in Massachusetts! Do you know how freaking awesome that makes us? In case you don’t: That makes us pretty freaking awesome. We’ll find out in April if we have been accepted, but we sent in a good packet and hope to hear we will be there. Even if we don’t, it was a big step to journey outside our backyard. When we rock out up there, we will DEFINITELY keep everyone posted!

Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School: February, 2011

“While the Story Slam Arts Center team is working on expanding its neighborhood performance space, a couple of the programs will be meeting in other nearby spaces. The 3-hour figure drawing session, Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Arts School, will meet at The Mill, 3306 N. Davidson on Tuesday evening, Feb. 8th. Bring your own art supplies. Doors open at 6:30; drawing starts at 7 PM.

“Our models for the evening will be the Viscera Dance Theatre, one of Charlotte’s hottest dance companies! Please share this info with your friends who’d enjoy a fun evening of figure drawing. Remember, Dr. Sketchy combines the best of ‘bistro and art school.’ It’s not a sedate evening, for sure.”

Click here to see the Facebook event.

Click here to visit the Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School web site.

Path, 2010

The performance last night went exceedingly well. The timing of each scene was spot on with the multimedia and the attendees asked some really great questions for the Q&A afterward. It was a very satisfying performance to have captured to video. Tonight should be even better, since the few bugs from last night can hopefully be ironed out for tonight. Yay for “Path!” It really is a great show. I don’t know about Annie, but it all comes to life for me when we start putting the leaves down under the stage lights. That’s when the universe is created for me: When we sweep the straight and narrow with our costumes on and the pre-show music playing…

No rest for the weary…

I dunno ’bout Annie, but I’m still tired from the performance we just did, and suddenly we have to get ready for Path!! Well, better to be busy than bored. :) Be sure to check us out on October 15 and/or 16, 2010 at The Warehouse Performing Arts Center!

Performance summary: AWESOME!

Okay, so we had an awesome show tonight! There was a great turn out with really appreciative viewers, and we even got a standing ovation at the end. :) It was really great to have people from Charlotte drive up to Cornelius, and it was also great to have people nearby come out and support a new cultural venue. There were just enough mistakes to keep it exciting for us, but not so many that anything got derailed. One doesn’t want perfection: That is the prerogative of the gods. I believe you need surprises to stay engaged, so I think it was fantabuluscious! Again, many thanks to Marla for letting us perform at The Warehouse Performing Arts Center, and to everyone who came out to see our work. Once I am able to upload the video to my computer and edit the takes together there will be clips available on YouTube.

Jack

(Oh, and how’s this for a blooper: We forgot to pee before the performance… So we had to use a bucket in the dressing room. YEEHAW!)

Fluff Muffin: An evolution of a mascot

Thug…

Kitty Titty…

My preciousss…

Pussyrumpus…

Flufflewumpus…

Flufflumpagus…

Fluff Muffin…

Sweetness… Sweetness and Light!

Jack’s kitty, Sméagol, has many nicknames (probably one for each mood/personality). He deserves his own dance… We want him to be on stage. He’ll outshine and upstage us, but that’s the risk you take when working with genius. 😉

If you have any ideas for how we can make kitty an active mascot, please feel free to share them in the comments on this entry!