Jack Straw has been a fiscal sponsor and supporter of multidisciplinary performers Ela Lamblin and Leah Mann since their early years of artistry, and a regular collaborator with their performance group Lelavision throughout various projects ever since its inception. Ela and Leah began their collaborative efforts in 1992 in Atlanta, GA, using original kinetic sculpture, live music, and dance simultaneously in performance.
Ela was part of UMO Ensemble when they became one of the Jack Straw Artist Support awardees in 1994, the first year of the program. They produced a sound score for their theater work Caravan of Dreams.
In 1996, Ela and Leah founded Lelavision, a professional touring company that has coined and perfected its own genre of performance: Physical Music. In the same year, Ela produced a music album through the Jack Straw Artist Support Program residency, called Sculptaural, and four years later during his 2000 ASP residency he made a second album called Tone Pond. Both residencies were under his own name, but connected with Lelavision, as the sculptural instruments he recorded with are the centerpiece of Lelavision’s performances: artistic spectacles that cross all boundaries of appeal like race, education, language, religion, economic background, gender, and age. Both albums are available on all streaming platforms as well as for purchase online. Listen below to “Kelphorn Beach” from Sculptaural and “Eddies” from Tone Pond.
In January 2003, Leah and Ela came to the Composer Spotlight series at Jack Straw with their collaborator Sheli Potmesil to perform and talk about their upcoming project Rhythm of the Landscape, which found commonalities in celestial, ecological, and corporeal rhythms. Listen to the recording below.
In the fall of 2013, Lelavision performed at Seattle’s Olympic Sculpture Park during Jack Straw’s historic accessible audio tours for blind and visually impaired audiences, which was followed by questions and answers and opportunities to touch the performance objects.
Their collaboration with Composer Jason Staczek, Heavy Metal DëVices, was the subject of another Jack Straw Composer Spotlight in December 2013. Jason and Ela discussed the joy and challenges of creating new music for a menagerie of one-of-a-kind instruments played by eight musicians and dancers for the 90-minute work. Listen to the full talk below.
in 2017, Jack Straw teamed up with Lelavision once again for Murmuration Project:Interspecies Communication, a kinetic and musical sculpture inspired by the flocking behaviors of birds and other species that served as a platform for dance, live music, and communal celebrations at Phoenix, Black Rock City, and Seattle. Jack Straw and Ela received a grant from the city of Seattle’s Arts in Parks program to bring this project to life.
Ela came back to Jack Straw to perform for the Jack Straw Artist Showcase: 25 Years of Jack Straw Artists in November 2018, for a day of music, dance, readings, and other performances featuring past and present resident artists from the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.
In the fall of 2020, during the COVID-19 Pandemic, Jack Straw and Lelavision collaborated on TheImportance of Small Things, another series of performances in various locations funded by the Office of Arts & Culture Seattle, Seattle Parks & Recreation and the Seattle Arts Commission, which were designed to be small and reflective of the climate of social distancing, while celebrating community with a focus on healthy ecosystems.
Created Commons at Westcrest Park Jack Straw Artist Performances: September 4-5, 4-8pm Westcrest Park, Seattle FREE (Donations requested for Real Rent Duwamish) As part of the City of Seattle’s Created Commons initiative, Jack Straw’s partner Lelavision has invited us to collaborate on a neighborhood celebration featuring BIPOC-centered performances, wellness offerings, and science panels utilizing their […]