THEATERRyan Sparks

First Look at 'Oxblood': a Performance of Labor, Land, & Home

THEATERRyan Sparks

New Orleans-based theater & performance group NEW NOISE are finalizing their latest production Oxblood, an "original, outdoor dance theater performance about the growing divide between land and labor in the American South." 

In 2013, NEW NOISE produced Runnin' Down the Mountain, a drama of a brother and sister coming to terms with the absence of their parents on a rural North Carolina orchard. That play, with its heavy reliance on music and soundscapes, played with the idea of stories and traditions handed down by generation both personally and through myth-making media like field recordings [more info about Runnin' Down the Mountain from SG here].

The creatives behind Runnin' and Oxblood-writer and performer Phil Cramer, writer, producer, & costume designer Bear Hebert, and director Joanna Russo--have conceived of both shows as part of a trilogy of  performances that attempt to reconcile the contemporary South with the trappings of the past. Siblings are the primary protagonists, and one goal, as producer Hebert said, is to address "cultural loss and inheritance in the region."

Oxblood will lean more on choreographed dance and choral vocals derived from white southern gospel songs. It tells the story of two sisters who return to a ruined family farm in rural Georgia after years of estrangement.

Oxblood will premiere in October in New Orleans and later will tour the region. Funds are being raised through Kickstarter to cover production and promotional costs. Check out the campaign, watch behind-the-scenes footage of workshops from this unique project, and consider donating.