Galumpha (Andy Horowitz, William Matos and Emiko Okamoto) will perform at the Anderson Center at 2 p.m. Nov. 2 before heading to the China Shanghai International Arts Festival.
Photo by Photo by John Laguio
Galumpha to follow local show with China tripTweet
Just because Galumpha is leaving for the China Shanghai International Arts Festival hours after performing at Binghamton University doesn’t mean that the hometown show is a rehearsal for a stage across the world.
To the contrary, said Andy Horowitz, president/director/co-founder of the troupe that combines dance, acrobatics and physical comedy. The show, scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, at the Anderson Center for the Performing Arts (tickets are $20, adults; $12, students; $10, children 12 and under; $50, family four-pack), will feature performances both old and new from Horowitz ‘89, Emiko Okamoto ’13 and William Matos ’10.
“We are going to do a very polished road show that will include four dances that are new to Binghamton and were in fact new to the world just a few months ago,” said Horowitz, who is also an artist-in-residence in Binghamton University’s Theatre Department. “Along with those four dances, there will be some of our favorite pieces going back over the decades.”
Horowitz enjoys that Galumpha has the flexibility to reach all kinds of audiences.
“In some countries, we’re known as a gritty, edgy act for grown-ups,” he said. “We’re often booked at 10 p.m. at The Chamaeleon (Theater) in Berlin. That same quirky, fun-loving acrobatic dance can equally be seen as for kids. So sometimes we are booked for a kids’ show. I love it. We will waltz into a theater and perform for any audience.”
On the morning of Nov. 3, Horowitz, Okamoto, Matos and production manager Howard Klein ’02 will depart for Shanghai, home of the only state-level International Arts Festival hosted by the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China and organized by Shanghai Municipal People’s Government. For the past 14 years, the festival has featured the best music, drama and dance from China and the world.
Galumpha will perform for eight days (Nov. 5-12) across a variety of festival sites before returning to the United States on Nov. 13.
“I know a lot of Chinese faculty and have a lot of Chinese students,” Horowitz said. “When I mention the festival, it’s very famous to them. It’s one of the biggest performing-arts festivals in China. We are quite lucky to have our debut in China be at this festival.”
The road to Shanghai has taken more than a year for Galumpha. The troupe was headlining at Bumbershoot, the largest arts and music festival in Seattle, in September 2012 when a representative from the China Shanghai International Arts Festival arrived to scout the group.
“The scout didn’t talk with me and I didn’t even know anyone at the show was considering us for future engagements,” Horowitz said. “That very same day, our agent – DCA Productions – got the call from the Shanghai representative. That was the beginning.”
Horowitz who has performed in more than 40 countries with Galumpha, said “negotiating with China was the hardest of all” and he is anxious about the mystery of the festival and the country.
“We are definitely going into an adventure without as much knowledge of the environment as we ordinarily would have for any other gig,” he said. “They haven’t told me a lot. I’ve been trying to get tech specs for the stage. I’m not even sure what format I’m supposed to take the music in!”
Communication with the festival – and the Chinese government – meant hundreds of e-mails, faxes and the securement of business visas from the Chinese consulate in New York City. The festival also demanded to see every dance that Galumpha might do onstage. With no Twitter, Facebook or YouTube in China, Horowitz created a Vimeo page with parts of the group’s many different dances.
“We like to be able to make spontaneous decisions about our content,” he said. “In order to do that, we had to have China examine, watch and vet every second of what we might perform. … They asked questions about each dance, but finally approved them all. Why wouldn’t they?”
Galumpha won’t rest after returning to the United States. The troupe is scheduled to perform at Genesee Community College in Batavia on Nov. 15; the University of Maine on Dec. 2-3; and a New Year’s Eve show at Sugarloaf Ski Resort in Carrabassett Valley, Maine; with more shows slated for 2014.
With more than 3,000 performances across dozens of countries, Galumpha and Horowitz display no signs of slowing down.
“I take life day by day,” Horowitz said. “Right now, I’m focusing on the (Binghamton University) show. Even though I’ve played here many times before, it still feels great. I love to be onstage and I don’t mind if it’s one that I’ve been on 20 times before.
“I love what I do. I don’t feel like saying: ‘Job well done, now it’s time to do something else.’ I want to choreograph more, create new works that are interesting and compelling, and continue to perform all over the world.”