Pleasure Rebel aims to subvert at Bryant-Lake Bowl

Moheb Soliman 
Moheb Soliman
Pleasure Rebel, a subversive performance series at Bryant-Lake Bowl, is expanding in scope by bringing in an out-of-town artist. Qilo Matzen, a Bay Area dancer and improviser, will be joining two up-and-coming local artists, Moheb Soliman and Pramila Vasudevan, for what promises to be an intriguing evening of new work.

Qilo Matzen
Qilo Matzen
Photo by Ariel Springfield

"I'm really excited about this lineup of artists, both as individuals and as artists," says Nastalie Bogira, who runs and curates the series. 

Bogira has wanted to bring in out-of-town artists since the program's inception, as it's a way to keep conversation alive within the local community. Unfortunately, since the series' funding comes out of Bogira's cut from the box office, there hasn't been enough money to make that a consistent part of programming. However, she plans to seek out more funding in the future so that artists from other cities can come and be a part of the show. 

Bogira knows Matzen, who is trained in body mind centering, from college. Matzen also used to perform with Change of State, a group that often took the stage at the Bedlam Theatre many years ago. Bogira is attracted to Matzen's politically motivated work, which "can be abstract and nerdy and intellectual," she says. 

Also performing will be Moheb Soliman, who was a Naked Stages artist at Pillsbury House last year, and gave a presentation at a show organized by Kevin Obsatz at the BLB this summer. In both of those pieces, Soliman incorporated projections and spoken narrative to create fragmented bits of poetry with images. Soliman's pieces strike Bogira as tender and romantic. "There's this really gorgeous aesthetic treatment of his work," she says.

Pleasure Rebel aims to subvert at Bryant-Lake Bowl
Pramila Vasudevan

Choreographer Pramila Vasudevan also incorporates imagery and multimedia elements into her work. A former dancer with Ananya Dance Theatre, Vasudevan has her own company, Annicha Arts, which has performed at Intermedia Arts' Catalyst Series as well as at Northern Spark. Vasudevan's knack for creating challenging, political work that is visually powerful should make her piece one not to miss. For the evening, Vasuevan is challenging herself to work quickly, even though she usually takes months to work on something. "I'm interested in seeing what happens when she pushes herself in that way," Bogira says. 

While all three artists have done highly developed pieces in the past, Bogira says for this show they are all working on fairly new performances. "[They're] making something that feels fresher and newer to them, and probably feels vulnerable and risky because it's been through less stages of development," she says. 


Pleasure Rebel
8 p.m. Wednesday, August 27
Bryant-Lake Bowl
Doors open at 7 p.m.
Tickets: $8-$15 sliding scale advance; $10-$15 at the door.
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Bryant-Lake Bowl Theater

810 W. Lake St.
Minneapolis, MN 55408


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