3S Artspace presents Sara Juli’s Burnt-Out Wife on March 6 and 7
3S Artspace announces two performances of Sara Juli’s latest feminist solo Burnt-Out Wife for two nights, March 6 and 7.
Maine-based artist Sara Juli takes on topics such as intimacy, loneliness, monogamy and other marital taboos, employing her comedic, text-driven dance style to explore the decay and detritus of marriage with equal parts wit and vulnerability.
For the past 20 years, Juli has made works that bring deeply personal topics to the stage. “Using movement, text, song, sounds, audience interaction and humor, I create what I call, ‘healing dances,’ to help reconcile something that is bothering me at the time. I wait for the topics to come to me, rather than seek them out,” said Juli. “For Burnt-Out Wife, I am very much in love with my husband, but have been challenged by the construct of marriage for some time now, so the time came to make a performance piece about it. In performing my works, I’m able to connect to audiences on these topics.”
Taking place in a pepto-bismol-pink bathroom, this evening-length dance-theater-comedy will spark intimate conversations while blowing up the marital institution with humor, reflection, and a complete reimagining featuring an original song, cake, and Juli’s seamless fusion of movement and text.
In terms of aiming to reach a certain type of audience with Burnt-Out Wife, the show has wide appeal and speaks to anyone who has been in or is in a relationship. “This show is for people struggling in their long-term partnerships, this show is for students (college aged) to see marriage from a less talked about perspective, this show is for people recently divorced or divorced (but not recently), this piece is for couples who have a healthy relationship to honor their communication skills and successes, this piece is for anyone who has doubts in the marriage or partnership and is looking for a place to exist in its uncertainly and fragility for an hour while laughing at the same time of the absurdity of it all,” Juli said.
When Burnt-Out Wife premiered in October of 2019, Maine’s Portland Press Herald called Juli “a master storyteller channeling over-the-top humor to help us digest a very serious topic." The show received the National Dance Project Award in 2019-20, a prestigious national dance award given to twenty artist recipients each year.
“Am I the only person challenged by their marriage? I don't think so,” said Juli. “I'm trying to approach the topic with bravery, vulnerability and humor as a way to acknowledge the burdens and begin to move past them. My further aim is to provide a space where audiences can co-exist on that same journey in real time and then reflect afterwards.”
Sara Juli has been creating and performing comedic dance-theater for two decades. In New York City, her work has been performed at Performance Space 122, The Chocolate Factory Theater, New York Live Arts, Danspace Project, Movement Research at Judson Church, the 92nd Street Y, Dixon Place, among many others. Nationally, her work has been performed at American Dance Festival (NC), Bates Dance Festival (ME), SPACE (ME), Napa Valley Opera House (CA), Connecticut College, The Yard (MA), UC Riverside (CA), Artown Reno (NV), Asheville Masonic Temple (NC), TEDxDirigo, among many others. Her work has toured internationally to the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, London, Edinburgh, and Russia.
“This will be our second opportunity to produce work by the inimitable Sara Juli,” said Beth Falconer, Executive Director of 3S Artspace. “When we saw her pitch this show at the New England Foundation for the Art’s Idea Swap in 2018, we were sold. Thanks to partial funding from NEFA, we were able to join others in New England in support of her inaugural tour for Burnt-Out Wife. This is a show not to be missed.”
A post-show Q&A will follow the performance and will include perspectives from local relationship counselors.
Juli produces Maine Moves, a contemporary dance series presenting Maine-based artists, and is a curatorial advisor to SPACE's Moving In Space performance series. She is chair of Bates Dance Festival’s advisory board, and is also an advisory board member of The Field in New York City. Her fundraising consulting practice, Surala Consulting, is in its tenth year and advises national artists and non-profits on strategic fundraising solutions. Juli was awarded the Arts Management Award from Brooklyn Arts Exchange in 2013. She graduated with honors from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY, with degrees in dance and anthropology. After 15 years in NYC, she relocated to Falmouth, ME, in 2014 with her husband and two children.
Burnt-Out Wife is created and performed by Sara Juli with dramaturgy by Michelle Mola, set design by Pamela Moulton, costumes by Carol Farrell, sound design by Ryan MacDonald, and lighting design by Justin Moriarty. Promotional photos by Nick Pierce.
Sara Juli’s Burnt-Out Wife is a co-commission by SPACE (ME), Portland Ovations (ME), Dixon Place (NYC) and American Dance Festival (NC) with additional funding from the Maine Arts Commission and New England Foundation for the Arts New England Dance Fund.
Burnt-Out Wife is made possible in part by the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The performance’s planning period was funded in part by the Expeditions program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional support from the six New England state arts agencies. Additional funding provided by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, and NEFA’s New England Dance Fund, with generous support from the Aliad Fund at the Boston Foundation.
The performances of Burnt-Out Wife at 3S Artspace are funded in part by the New England States Touring program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, made possible with funding for the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program and the six New England state arts agencies.
More about Sara Juli’s Burnt-Out Wife:
About 3S Artspace:
Curiosity. Creativity. Community.
Through the unique lens of contemporary arts experiences, 3S Artspace invites divergent perspectives and encourages lively discourse centered around issues of today.