Seen hereabouts in recent years creating dances based on the archives of the Woodstock Historical Society in Overlook and blending contemporary radio news with classical Persian culture at Olana in Geographica, Hélène Lesterlin is director of programs at Mount Tremper Arts and a performance artist whose disciplinary niche is virtually unclassifiable. Her longtime obsession has been collecting and studying traditional European beast-fables and their manifestations in songs, tapestries and other artforms, even naming her Saugerties base of operations Studio Reynard. Lesterlin has long been at work on a satirical, multipart theatrical magnum opus whose populist antihero is Reynard the Fox, utilizing troubadours, costumed dancers and hand, stick and shadow puppets.
That work, collectively titled Fox vs. Kingdom, is projected to premiere in its entirety in 2016. The latest episode under development will be performed this Saturday, October 17 in the Old Glenford Church in the context of a dinner salon, meant to evoke a medieval feast at which entertainment is served along with a “locally sourced and handcrafted” meal. Sculptor/baker Mor Pipman’s “artist-run pop-up restaurant” is being transformed into Café Isegrim – named after Reynard’s lupine nemesis – especially for the occasion.
Café Isegrim will open with dinner at 6:30 p.m., and the performance, featuring Anastacia Bolina, Laura Brenneman and Lesterlin herself, will wrap up around 9:30. Seating is limited and advance reservations are a must. The price for the evening’s entertainment is $35; to reserve or for more information, call (917) 622-0294 or visit https://studio-reynard.com or www.artful.ly/store/events/6948. The Old Glenford Church is located at 210 Old Route 28 in Glenford (a few miles from Woodstock).