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For Immediate Release
21 May 03
Media Contact: Anne Edgar, Anne Edgar Associates,
646-336-7230 or


Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM)
The Builders Association and motiroti's

New York -- From December 2 - 6, 2003, as part of its New Wave Festival, The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) will present five performances of Alladeen, a new large-scale multi-media performance work conceived and produced by The Builders Association, New York, and motiroti, London. Developed intercontinentally in the United States, India, and the United Kingdom, Alladeen will travel to The Barbican Centre, London, the Singapore International Theater Festival, RomaEuropa and other venues worldwide through Spring 2005.

Directed by Marianne Weems, Alladeen virtuosically interweaves new video techniques, electronic music, and live performance. The performance pioneers a combination of new media with live action in a vibrant, engaging form which questions how technology impacts us as human beings in the global marketplace. Aladdin's fantasy of personal transformation is played out in the surreal "call centers" of Bangalore (India's Silicon Valley), where Indian phone operators have been trained to "pass" as Americans. This is a world where Indians, answering calls made in the U.S., conjure up fictional American lives and practice broadening their vowels to convince Americans 8,300 miles away that they are just next door.

"What would it feel like to have anything you want--instantaneously-including boundless wealth and complete personal transformation? These questions lie at the heart of the Aladdin story and, across thirteen centuries, still drive popular culture today. In the call centers of Bangalore, we found a perfect setting to explore how such transformations are enacted, and the ways in which cultures continually reinterpret each other's signs and stories," says Marianne Weems, director. "Certainly the story of Aladdin has been filtered through viewpoints as disparate as burlesque, Bollywood, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Walt Disney."

Alladeen encompasses three collaborative works. As well as the cross-media stage performance directed by Weems, there is a music video directed by Ali Zaidi featuring the London Asian Underground sound of the celebrated composer Shrikanth Shriram (whose recordings are distributed internationally as "Shri and Badmarsh") and visuals by Peter Norrman. The Alladeen website has also been directed by Ali Zaidi and designed by web artist Petra Goebel. Although distinct, these three works have been created in tandem and have been conceived together by Weems, and motiroti co-directors Ali Zaidi and Keith Khan. They each draw on a common pool of imagery and information, with materials from each interwoven into the others.

The Builders Association creative team includes Marianne Weems as director, and longtime collaborators Jennifer Tipton (light designer); Dan Dobson (sound designer); Christopher Kondek (video designer); and performers Jeff Webster and Heaven Phillips, as well as new performers Tanya Selvaratnam and Rizwan Mirza. It also includes dramaturg Norman Frisch, who has collaborated with both companies in the past. The motiroti team includes designers and co-creators Keith Khan and Ali Zaidi along with performer Jasmine Simhalan. Kim Whitener is executive producer for the performance.

Other recent New York City appearances by The Builders Association include the OBIE-award winning JET LAG, a collaboration with the architects and media artists Diller + Scofidio (The Kitchen, 2001) and XTRAVAGANZA (St. Anne's Warehouse, Brooklyn, 2002.)

Co-producers for the project are Arts International, Barbican BITE:03, and Le Maillon, Strasbourg. Co-commissioners are the Wexner Center for the Arts, Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), the Walker Art Center, REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater), and the MIST Residency Program at The Kitchen, NYC. Major UK support for the project is provided by London Arts, the British Council, the PRS Foundation for new music, and Asian Music Circuit.

Notes to Editors:

03 July - 12 October 03 - Alladeen documentary material is to be exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art as part of the 'The American Effect' season

The Alladeen website is on line at

For further information on motiroti's work see

The performance will also be presented at The Barbican Centre, London; the Singapore International Theater Festival; RomaEuropa; and many other venues through spring 2005.

Headline credit:
The Builders Association/motiroti's ALLADEEN

Performance credit:
Directed by Marianne Weems
Conceived by Keith Khan, Marianne Weems and Ali Zaidi

Website credit:
Directed by Ali Zaidi
Conceived by Keith Khan, Marianne Weems and Ali Zaidi
Designed by Petra Goebel

Music Video credit:
Directed by Ali Zaidi
Conceived by Keith Khan, Marianne Weems and Ali Zaidi

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