Landscape with the Fall of Icarus

Brueghel animation by Peter Kerlin
Brueghel animation by Peter Kerlin

Landscape with the Fall of Icarus is a multi-media, multi-character solo performance exploring the symbolic and poetic resonances of the Greek myth of Icarus. Told through the eyes of six fictionalized, historical and imaginary characters: Icarus, Pieter Brueghel, Henry Hudson, The Wall Street Minotaur, Amelia Earhart, and David Rockefeller, writer/performer Samuael Topiary takes us on a journey from 16th-century Antwerp through 20th-century New York City.  Two-time Bessie Award-winning choreographer/dancer Miguel Gutierrez directs this strange, funny, and chilling fugue about ambition and recklessness. Accompanied by Peter Kerlin‘s electronic sound score, with live musical saw, ukelele, and accordion by Ryder CooleyIcarus blends video projections, sock puppets, spoken word and original song, along with costumes designed by Jocelyn Davis, set design by Andrea Stanley, and lighting by Carrie Wood. Using Pieter Brueghel’s painting “Landscape with the Fall of Icarus” as a jumping off point, performer Samuael Topiary questions the human compulsion to escape our physical limits, tempt fate and reach for the unattainable.

Henry Hudson & sock puppets
Landscape with the Fall of Icarus premiered at the Abrons Arts Center November 11-20, 2010. It was developed during residencies at the MacDowell Colony, the Experimental Television Center, Mount Tremper Arts, and a Media Fellowship at Dance Theater Workshop and was presented as work-in-progress at the Wadsworth Atheneum, the Radar Reading Series, the National Queer Arts Festival in San Francisco and Dixon Place.
• written & performed by Samuael Topiary
• directed by Miguel Gutierrez
• live music Ryder Cooley
•  electronic sound by Peter Kerlin
• video by Samuael Topiary & Peter Kerlin
•  set design by Andrea Stanley
•  costumes by Jocelyn Davis
•  lighting design by Carrie Wood

project website  •   video documentation of the full show