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The SUNY New Paltz Student Art Alliance presents Cave Dogs' "Ferrous City" Nov. 13 at SUNY New Paltz

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NEW PALTZ -- " an all-ages event that promises to be a healthy dose of the sublime, the exciting, the absurd and the downright fun that will result in something wildly imaginative and infinitely compelling." Noah Fleisher, Taconic Weekend 2/15/01

" a startling original way of telling a story. Fluid camera-like angles dance in wild imagination across the screen." David Wildman, The Boston Globe, 11/1/98

Back by popular demand, the collaborative group Cave Dogs will present Ferrous City, a performance told through large-scale shadows, video projections, and an original sound score. This family-friendly event is on November 13, 7:30pm, McKenna Theatre, SUNY New Paltz.

Image available at Dogs is presented by the SUNY New Paltz Student Art Alliance; a funded member of the Student Association. Tickets are available at the door beginning one hour prior to the performance. They are $8 for general admission and $5 for seniors and children. SUNY New Paltz students with ID are admitted free of charge.

Ferrous City is the story of a family car trip. During a quintessential summer in the city, too hot to stay indoors, a mother takes her children for a drive to their grandma's working farm, and along the way they encounter the Fast Talking Man; Sam, the juggler; a wedding cake; and a bunch of hogs that will change how they arrive at their final destination. We view this world through the eyes of the mother, her children, and the people they observe.

Ferrous City is about the dispersal of families from rural to urban homes, and the struggle to maintain family ties. It celebrates the role the neighborhood, of strangers and friends in the development of a child, and looks at what it means to be a mother in the twenty-first century.

Image available at on the car culture that dominates the lives of many families in the U.S., the narrative is conveyed through the windows of the family station wagon. Along the journey, the characters experience the absurdity of everyday life and the extraordinary power of the ordinary. It is about how we encourage the life of the mind through childhood play and adult daydreaming, and how our lives shaped by these interior narratives. Finally, Ferrous City is a story about story telling: stories told in families, between siblings, and in communities.

Cave Dogs comprises visual artists, musicians, dancers, storytellers, and writers in the spirit of experimental collaboration. Performances consist of innovative, large-scale shadow projections cast onto a screen from sculptures, props, costumes, and the human body. Using improvisational techniques, cast shadows move in concert with projected video imagery, spoken narrative, and an original soundtrack. Working with a variety of artistic mediums, the group tells stories, creates visual tableaus, and produces effects that conjure both the dreamlike quality of early experimental film and the humor of contemporary animation. Cave Dogs attracts a diverse audience with varying levels of experience with art and performance. In this unique shadow medium, Cave Dogs tells life stories that charm, intrigue, challenge, and captivate adults and children alike. The text, visual imagery, and sounds weave together to create a rich multi-media artifact that documents, preserves, and celebrates important cultural voices and stories.

The exploration of this landscape is part documentary and, in the tradition of Cave Dogs, part fictionalized realism developed through extensive research, live recordings, and written preservation of oral traditions. Cave Dogs members include Suzanne Stokes, Jeanne Scheper, James Fossett, Wayne Montecalvo, Kari Giordano, Michael Crawley, Judith Muldoon, and Trudy Trutwin. Dean Jones created the soundtrack.

Suzanne Stokes, artistic director and performer, created Cave Dogs in 1992, while living in New York's Hudson Valley. Over the past twelve years, the collaborative performance work has grown and developed and Cave Dogs sustains a healthy, long-distance, collaboration with members in Boston, New York, California, and contributing artists throughout the United States. Cave Dogs performances include: Ferrous City (2002) How to Build a Raft (1998) Emily's Circus (1994) Sustenance (1993) Fall of Perception (1992) Shadows of Doubt and Other Precarious Truths (1991)

New York performances include P.S. 122, Henry Street Settlement, HERE, The Woodstock Comeau Property, The Widow Jane Mine, and Julien J. Studley Theatre and McKenna Theatre at SUNY New Paltz. Boston performances includee extended runs at Mobius, as well as engagements at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, The Massachusetts College of Art, The Cambridge Multicultural Art Center and Boston College. Cave Dogs has most recently performed at The Center For Contemporary Art in Santa Fe, NM. In 1999, WGBH-Boston's PBS affiliate-featured Cave Dogs as part of their Greater Boston Arts documentary series. WBUR-Boston's NPR affiliate-featured Cave Dogs on the afternoon special interest radio show "Here and Now," exploring the unique, creative process of the group and its musical sources.

They have received grants from The Jim Henson Foundation (NYC), The NLT Foundation (Boston, MA), and two consecutive years from Franklin Furnace (NYC). In June 2004 they received a third grant from Franklin Furnace, which is the first time in the history of Franklin Furnace that any group has been awarded this honor.

High and low resolution images are available at:


The State University of New York at New Paltz is a highly selective college of 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students located in the Mid-Hudson Valley between New York City and Albany. New Paltz is ranked 10th among the best public universities and 50th among public and private universities in the North that offer bachelor's and master's degree programs, according to the U.S. News & World Report's rankings for America's Best Colleges 2005. Degrees are offered in the liberal arts and sciences, which serve as a core for professional programs in the fine and performing arts, education, healthcare, business and engineering.