Performance Pieces

Presence

Presence Photo Gallery

Lisa Miles: Music, Producer & Artistic Director
Michele Dunleavy: Movement
Joelle Levitt & Michael Mangiafico: Blown Glass
Jan Vojta: Stained Glass


Reviews and Articles

Booking Information

WRITE LISA regarding having Presence restaged, original music performed or DVD of performance/ Q & A shown at an Event or Conference:

lisamilesviolin@comcast.net

Contact Jan Vojta:  janvojta@comcast.net

Jan also did the cover & disk art to Lisa’s CD NALADA. Check it out on her Original Music page & see Jan’s appearance on PCTV’s Arts & Music show.


Collaborators

  • Pittsburgh Jung Society–Dr. Marilynn Goldsmith & Dr. Stanley Perelman
  • Duquesne University Psychology Dept.–Dr. Eva-Maria Simms
  • Slides of Glass Art Photographed by Joelle Levitt
  • Soundtrack Engineered & Co-Produced by Mike Michalski
  • Text by Lisa Miles
  • Voice-Overs Lisa Miles, Michele Dunleavy
  • Studio Musicians: Anne LeBaron, Harp
  • Mike Marcinko: Bass
  • Charles Hall: Cunga
  • Mike Michalski: Acoustic guitar
  • Andrew Volz: Violin
  • Lisa Miles: Acoustic & Electric Violin & Mandolin

THIS PROGRAM IS SUPPORTED BY THE HUMANITIES-AND-THE-ARTS INITIATIVE, ADMINISTERED BY THE PENNSYLVANIA HUMANITIES COUNCIL, AND FUNDED PRINCIPALLY BY THE PENNSYLVANIA COUNCIL ON THE ARTS.

FUNDING ALSO IN PART BY EAST LIBERTY DEVELOPMENT, INC. & THE KINGSLEY CENTER. SOUNDTRACK FUNDED BY MEET THE COMPOSER, INC. FISCAL SPONSOR: KELLY-STRAYHORN COMMUNITY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER.

Presence was first performed in Feb. 2000 at the Garfield Artworks and was funded by Meet The Composer, The Pittsburgh Foundation and the Heinz Endowments; Small Arts Initiative.

  • COVER IMAGE: Joelle Levitt
  • PROMOTIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY: Lori Grosick
  • DESIGN: Michael Moran

presence
Introduction
Disconnection
Negative Energy
Chaos
Acceptance
Contemplation
Creative Dance
Constructive Energy
Contemplation/Peace
Transformation

Artists’ Statement

“Presence” melds four artists’ contemplation upon the concept of finding an authentic sense of self in life’s journey.

Lisa is committed to the belief that we should always search for who we most are, stripping away acquired masks that keep us from our potential, weaving together disparate facets of our character, and going after a life that incorporates what most speaks to us. For her, creative work has urged on that transformation, contemplation of the self and of creative community.

Michele’s gestural movement grew out of the strong identification with the idea that our needs and desires do evolve over time and various experience, with this as the catalyst to constantly reevaluate ourselves.

The perfect metaphor for the developing self, Joelle & Mike’s glass works, as well as the captured process of blowing that glass, became a natural evolvement of this second incarnation of the piece.

All four artists collaborated to transform their individual conceptions into a collective vision, one that suggests the creative call to awaken to individual strength and weakness, essentially, to one’s innate presence.

Note on the Collaboration

With the goal to explore ways in which the arts can be widely understood and valued, The Humanities-And-The-Arts Initiative began funding projects just this year. The artists would be eloquently articulating what the humanities professionals could then bring their substantiation and experienced voice to; spoke Eva Simms last summer when Lisa approached her of the potential to collaborate on this piece about self-development.

Marilynn & Stan equally embraced the idea to mingle the humanities and art, and to further the communication and cooperative ventures between psychology and the arts. Please stay in the theater after the performance to hear of our mutual artistic process, and how the piece was informed by the humanities guests.

Where emotions wrestle and wreak havoc on calm composure,
To surface and recede in a troubling yet contenting tide–
We are all fragments,
Shades of our soul like shards of glass
that cut, yet reflect best, our presence.

Bios

Lisa Miles has been working within the Pittsburgh independent art scene for over ten years, establishing herself not only as a musician who writes original material for string instrumentation, but as a strong collaborator with theatre, film, movement and visual artists.

Michele Dunleavy, once founding member of the DANA Movement Ensemble, and a principle dancer with Pittsburgh’s Physical Theatre Project, is about to begin graduate studies in choreography at George Mason University, and will continue on as faculty for the International. Summer Dance Program at Point Park College.

Joelle Levitt & Michael Mangiafico are the husband and wife team of FIG Studios–Forms in Glass, at their Penn Hills home; they’ve been internationally recognized for their sculptures and beads, and have won numerous commissions and invitations to teach and demonstrate at conferences.

Notes

THERE WILL BE INCENSE USED ON STAGE DURING INTRO & CONCLUSION
Join us for a reception in the lobby after performance & panel discussion Friday eve. Please attend our free community dialogues Sat. & Sun. afternoon (listed on cover)

Glass works, except mask, are for sale. Stars $150 each, Bowls $60 on up

Opening Text, Contemplation; Lisa Miles’ Unsilenced:  The Spirit of Women
All music Lisa Miles, except original improvised & arranged parts by each studio musician

Andrew Volz is an improvisation student of Lisa Miles. His original violin part can be heard in Chaos, for which it was especially created.

All material recorded at 35 Overlook Street, except Miles & LeBaron duo–recorded at Frick Fine Art, Sept. ’99, as part of University of Pittsburgh’s Inside the Edge program. Engineer, Michalski.

CDs of the soundtrack are for sale in the lobby.

THANKS

George Davis, Stephanie Flom, Russ Walsh, Evan Knauer, Jim Mueller, Tim Dunleavy, Jan Vojta, Christie & Penny @ ProArts, Lilan Laishley, Lisa Grugan, Virginia Fahey, Maelene Meyers, Susan, Maureen, & Kathy @ TRFN, Shirley Wilson, Latika Jones, Gene Burger, Virginia Fahey, Muzz Meyers, Mike & Lavinda, Conservatory of Performing Arts at Point Park College, Rebecca & Alan @Copies at Carson, Laurie Tarter, Gail Ransom, Mary Brenholts, Jane Vranish, Justin Hopper, and all others who’ve been supportive as this second production became a reality.


“Lisa is a dedicated artist with an exceptional vision.Her artistic direction of ‘Presence’ is an example of her commitment to collaboration not only between artists, but also with the community at large. In my dual capacities as a mental health professional and an educator, I see the value of ‘Presence’ to the general public in helping them gain a better understanding of what makes a person healthy in body, mind, spirit and emotion…. It articulates the struggles that are involved as one goes from despair to healing, and epitomizes the collaborative spirit that leads to open communication and evocative dialogue.”–Lilan Laishley, M.S., L.P.C.

Future Performance Projects

Another cross-disciplinary performance piece that Lisa initially began and would potentially like to develop is a music & movement reflection on primitive Pennsylvania painter Edward Hicks’ works, The Peaceable Kingdom.