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Callous Physical Theatre

Mission Statement: Callous Physical Theatre embraces the challenge of creating original intermedia trans-disciplinary performance and art works responsive to the 21st century. CPT is dedicated to an arts practice that values integrity, professionalism, diversity and inclusiveness.

Founded in 2004 as the resident professional performance company of Barefoot Studios in Tacoma, Washington, Callous Physical Theatre creates and performs original performance works directed by Joséphine A. Garibaldi and Paul Zmolek. CPT has continued as a pick-up company since Garibaldi and Zmolek have relocated to Pocatello, Idaho. Current members include Bridget Close and Julie Leir-VanSickle.

We continue to explore cross-disciplinary performance as total theatre that values all elements of the production equally. Performances based in movement, text, sound, lighting, costume and visual design deal with human issues in a non-linear episodic montage to create emotional impact. This work is inherently and resolutely collaborative; a text-infused choreographic devising methodology that draws upon the performers to create the source elements of the performance which we then structure. Movement, text, images and sound - created by the collaborators who solve specific compositional problems throughout the process - are then structured into a coherent whole.

Our work is cultured by contemporary modern, folkloric, and classical dance, refined by the traditions and craft of theatre, and inspired by the transgressions of performance art. Spawned in theoretical research and personal experience, these performances work to reveal the transformative power of ritual within a theatrical form that is also entertaining to audiences.

This work does not fall neatly into one genre or another. It is undeniably choreographic yet it is not just Dance. It utilizes text to reveal emotion and create character yet it is not contained by Drama. It manipulates sound and rhythm yet it is not what is typically called Music. It utilizes visual design elements yet it is a time-based art. Throughout our career we have labeled our work as Dance/Theatre, Interdisciplinary Performance, Physical Theatre and Post-Dramatic New Music Theatre.

Once thematic material has been winnowed, connective tangents are cultivated. Collaborators agree upon the work's parameters, providing a rubric to solve. We cull a cast of collaborator/performers of different shapes, shades and sizes of various ages with unique life experiences and artistic practices. With our collaborators, text emerges from a dialectic process of research, writing, free association and exchange. Text is edited, resonant words are identified and then paired through chance operations to manipulate body parts, movements, pathways, time, space, energy, sound and timbre. By this process, performers create source movement integrating the text rather than pantomiming the text.

Our work attempts to find a synthesis between theatrical events and community-based ritual informed by underlying cultural belief systems. We strive to create entertaining theatrical experiences that have transformative effect upon the performers and the audience members through movement, sound, light, text and, when possible, taste, touch, and smell. We create these works to engage in a fully human act that can integrate the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual in the present moment of creation/destruction. The efficacy of ritual and the entertainment of theatre can join in a liminal moment of communitas between audience and artist. Our practice is to share this with our collaborators, performers and audiences.

Joséphine Garibaldi
Joséphine A. Garibaldi has performed, choreographed, directed and taught internationally and nationally for over 30 years including production of site-specific arts festivals Train and SiteWorks in Tacoma, WA. SiteWorks: Dance on Tour in Southeast Missouri and Big Dance/Little Space in Idaho. An interdisciplinary artist, Joséphine's body of work includes text and movement based physical theatre, fibers art, costume design, environmental installations, sound design, videography, and photography.

Recent performances and exhibitions include Assisi, Italy; Tampere, Hameenkyrö, and Helsinki, Finland; and collaborations with internationally renowned Finnish poet Karri Kokko, longtime creative partner Paul Zmolek, videographer Tom Hallaq, composers Robert Fruehwald and John Morrison, and poet/librettist G.B. Waldschmidt.

In addition to devising, directing and choreographing original performance works such as Mystical Bedlam, In God We Trust, Zaum: Beyond Significance, On the Backs of Our Mothers, Subcutaneous, GrudgeMatch, The Rule of Life, Sometimes it works Sometimes it doesn't, and Double Blindsided, Joséphine co-directs Callous Physical Theatre and is former owner/director of Barefoot Studios in Tacoma, WA. In 2006, Barefoot Studios was honored by the Pierce County and Tacoma Arts Commissions with the Margaret K. Williams Award for Excellence in the Arts and AMOCAT Award for Arts Outreach.

Joséphine holds an M.F.A. in Dance from UC Irvine, an M.A in Interdisciplinary Creative Arts from CSU San Francisco, a B.A. in Dance from CSU Long Beach, has held faculty appointments at CSU Dominguez Hills, Loyola Marymount University, Alma College, Luther College, Southeast Missouri State University and currently heads the dance program at Idaho State University.

While based in San Francisco and Los Angeles, Joséphine co-directed the nationally renowned African-Brazilian Omulu Capoeira Performance Group and founded Omulu Capoeira Sul creating collaborative works with masters of Taiko, Flamenco, Kathak, Capoeira, Maculele, and Congolese dance that have been featured in the International Taiko Festival, the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival and other prestigious venues.

Paul Zmolek
Paul Zmolek is an award-winning interdisciplinary dance artist/educator whose dance/theatre/opera/performance/installation works have been featured throughout the Western US as well as Latvia, Finland and Italy.

He has performed professionally with dance and theatre companies, directed Physical Theatre and a Youth Dance Improvisation companies in the Seattle area, a Dance/Theatre company in San Francisco, and Capoeira groups in San Francisco and Los Angeles, choreographed stage combat in L.A., was founding member and movement specialist for a S.F.-based Theatre company, created collaborative performance works with master artists from Brazil, China, India, Spain, the Congo, and Japan, built/own/directed an inter-arts center, collaborated on the creation of a BFA in Performing Arts and a BA in Dance, created/directed an afterschool performing arts academy for youth in San Francisco’s Mission district, and served as Public Arts Planner for Pierce County in Washington state, managing 1% for the Arts Projects.

Highlights of his performance career include creating roles in an original theatre production at the Lorraine Hansbury Theater under the dramaturgical supervision of Ed Bullins; the creation of title roles in the world premier of three ballets by Frank Zappa as the only human character interacting with life-sized puppets; performing in seminal works by Paul Taylor and Anna Sokolow; performing with master artists from around the world and within his own works.

Recognized for his expertise in pedagogy and curriculum development, Paul has served as Theatre and Dance faculty at numerous universities throughout the United States. With extensive experience as an Artist-in-Schools, Paul was selected for inclusion in the Idaho Commission on the Arts, Directory of Teaching Artists.

Julie Leir-VanSickle
Julie Leir-VanSickle is a dancer, choreographer/creator, performer and mixed media artist. She is currently interested in creating original theatrical work, exploring the intersection of performance and technology, and investigating different ways to create and tell a story. She enjoys exploring all of these through a lens of playfulness. She has choreographed for the children’s community theatre group J.U.M.P co in Twin Falls Danson, ISU’s student dance company, Kinetikos Dance Alliance, Acadamie de Danse, and Extend Dance, as well as creating original shows for Old Town Actors Studio in Pocatello, and producing the performance installation Tell Me a Story in the Transitions Art Gallery in Pocatello. She has performed with Kinetikos Dance Alliance, Callous Physical Theatre, I-Move, Dance ISU in concert, and Extend Dance. She has instructed dance at Nielsen’s School of Dance, The Logan Recreation Center, Acadamie De Danse, Mind Your Body Wellness Studio, Extend Dance, and run Creative Moves Dance Studio in Pocatello.

Bridget Close
Bridget Close has an MA in theatre and a minor in dance. Her interests lie in the study of the performative nature of human emotion and its sedimentation into a body knowledge that shapes an identity of self and the social actor. Through queries of emotion and the body, she creates character memes and motifs where the self is an active agent in the creation or (re)creation of a certain social reality. Some of Bridget's original productions include: The Collectors, Vortex, Obsession, Taken, Rue for Ophelia Revisited and Crazy Little Thing Called Love. Bridget has performed and collaborated with Callous Physical Theatre for over 6 years and she is going on her 5th year as a board member for the Old Town Actors Studio in Pocatello Idaho.