Silvermine Arts Center in New Canaan will present a performance cabaret featuring C. Ryder Cooley and friends on Sunday, Jan. 8, at 5 p.m. "Xmalia," directed by Paula Josa-Jones, is a multimedia performance featuring songs, projections, aerials and ground-based movement.

The show unfolds as a series of musical vignettes about vanished creatures as told by a lonely musician who summons extinct animals back to life. A landscape of video and sound weaves the songs together, revealing a narrative about a musician who finds a home amidst these chimeric visions.

Th 70-minute vaudeville tragedy cabaret is performed on six-string ukulele and singing saw, autoharp, electric guitar, upright bass and percussion, and screen video projections. An inter-disciplinary artist, musician and performer, Cooley weaves together fantasy visions with cinematic performances and installation spaces. Her work reveals a terrain of lost dreams and phantom memories.

"Xmalia" is "wildly engaging and moving," Silvermine Arts Center said in a statement. And that's what Cooley is going for.

"I want people to be entertained and feel they've been somewhere," she said. "I also want them to walk away feeling concerned and to think about what we're doing to our planet and the other species with which we co-exist."

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"Xmalia" is the second performance in an ongoing series titled "Animalia." The first in the series, "Stories of Collapse, Calamity & Departure," invoked visions of human-animal relations, secret bee societies and haunted circus scenes. These performances, held in 2008-2009, were at numerous festivals and venues across the U.S. The "Animalia-Xmalia" series has been developed with support from NYFA, NYSCA, Robert Wilson's Watermill Center, MacDowell Colony and Yaddo. "Xmalia" is co-presented by 2440 Design Studio. For more information about "Animalia-Xmalia," visit http://Xmalia.tumblr.com/.

"Xmalia" artwork and performance documents by Cooley will be on exhibit in the School of Art Gallery on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 7 and 8.

The exhibit will showcase drawings, video and collage from her studio, as well as photographs, documents, and garments from "Animalia-Xmalia" performances and other related works. The gallery is open on Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.

Cooley received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in Sculpture, and an MFA in integrated electronic arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In early 1993, she moved to San Francisco and became an active member of the local art and music scenes. She has performed and collaborated with several bands including Fall Harbor, the Jug Stompers, the Darklings, Corner Tour and Down River.

Cooley has participated in a wide variety of exhibitions, performances, collaborations, public works and educational projects. Her work has been presented at locations including White Box and Exit galleries in New York City, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Theater Artaud in San Francisco, Robert Wilson Watermill Center on Long Island, Pan-American Art Projects in Miami, Dorsky Museum in New Paltz, N.Y., and Proctors Mainstage Theater in Schenectady, N.Y. She has also completed public art projects in Indonesia, El Salvador, France and the Czech Republic. Ryder is currently based in Hudson, N.Y.

Tickets for the performance are $15 for members and $20 nonmembers. Space is limited and reservations are encouraged. Call 203-966-9700 ext. 22 to purchase tickets in advance.

Silvermine Arts Center is one of the oldest artist communities in the United States. Located on a four acre campus, the center is comprised of a nationally-renowned artist guild, award winning school of art offering multi-disciplinary art classes for all ages, a gift shop and galleries, offering more than 20 contemporary and historic exhibitions annually. The center also provides innovative arts education in Norwalk and Stamford schools through its outreach program, Art Partners, and hosts a lecture series and special programs throughout the year. Silvermine Arts Center is a nonprofit organization.

For more information, call 203-966-9700, ext. 20, or visit www.silvermineart.org.