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Who Are The Velvet Noose?

>>Evocative, emotional, and ethereal. Theatrical performance, written scrolls, artifacts, video projections, spoken word, and sound bath music. Who and what are The Velvet Noose?

Photography by: Scott Semler


I had the pleasure of watching a semi-rare performance of this elusive group at Visual Studies Workshop. The performance was the culmination of the group’s six-week residency there, a multidisciplinary showcase that paid homage to author Steven Sherrill’s writings about the famed Greek mythological creature the Minotaur (part-man, part-bull). 

Photography by: Scott Semler

While the Minotaur was a central vehicle used to elicit thematic concepts, this showcase was most certainly an authentic creation of The Velvet Noose. Artistic director Harold Taddy and performing artists Alyson Trombulak and Rivkah Simcha led audience members through rooms at Visual Studies Workshop, each revealing new original media, and guided them towards their own understandings of struggle and triumph. 


“Everyone got a slightly different experience,” affirms Trombulak. She elaborates by examining a concept of having a “shared experience, alone,” in which spectators are in present company with both their peers and the performers, but are given ample allowance to examine themselves throughout the process. 


Without revealing too much, I will share a few parts of the performance that I found significant. Taddy commenced the experience by abruptly throwing loud juggling balls against a wall, and then developing a scene of physical battle and struggle. Trombulak read excerpts with a mesmerizing narration while navigating through the audience. The crux of the showcase, for me at least, was the final scene. Performers and viewers gathered in a large stage-like space, with the only some minor glowing lights that linked us together in luminescence. In actuality, we were threaded together by holding twine in hand. What followed was transformative. Simcha began to sing loudly and unabashedly while sound bath layering added peaceful vibrations. After some prolonged ritualistic and intertwined movement from all three performers, the singing stopped. The movement stopped. The performance was over. While it would be impossible to surmise each spectator’s experience, it’s safe to say we all left feeling a different way than when we arrived. A vital component to the work of The Velvet Noose is self-healing through confronting the darkness that we all carry within. CONTINUE READING.








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