On Stage: Prix-ty Terrific!

January 31, 2011

This week all eyes at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre are on two students, Aviana Adams, 15, and Anwen David, 16, who are competing at the prestigious Prix de Lausanne (pree  deh  la-ZAWN). This international Swiss competition and educational workshop was designed for pre-professional dancers ages 15 to 18.

Out of 205 candidates representing 31 countries, 82 dancers were selected to attend the 2011 festivities in Lausanne scheduled to run Feb. 1 through 6. There are eight female contestants from the U.S. and PBT is the only sponsor with more than one female participant.

The company gave the two dancers a send-off last Thursday, where they could showcase their talents at the PBT studios in front of family and friends. In his introduction, artistic director Terrence Orr called the Prix “the creme de la creme of all competitions. We’re so proud of the school and our students. They’ll be working with directors and coaches, who will see how much they learn and adapt.”

The students could choose one each from the Prix list of classical variations and contemporary solos. PBT school director Marjorie Grundvig explained the students’ ultimate selections.

Aviana picked the second variation from the Kingdom of the Shades’ pas de trois from in “La Bayadere,” which played up her impeccable lines. Anwen chose a “Coppelia” variation from the first act, which also showed off some of her acting skills to go along with a naturally exuberant technique.

According to Marjorie, Aviana’s contemporary variation, “Caliban,” was by Cathy Marston and involved a” lot of difficult floor work.” It can be performed by both the girls and the boys. Anwen picked “a slightly more playful one” called “Traces,” by the same choreographer.

During the course of the week, the two will take classes with the 15-16 year old age group. They will also be coached in their variations, and in the case of the contemporary solo, by Cathy Marston herself. A panel of judges will observe their progress.

All of the contestants will perform on Saturday and then the finalists will be announced. The finals will take place Sunday, Feb. 6 at 3 p.m. CET, which is 9 a.m. Pittsburgh time and will be streamed live.

Said Aviana, “Getting this far is amazing and I’m still in shock. Everything from now on is icing on the cake. Anwen looked forward to the future in noting, “Hopefully we’ll have a great time and learn a lot.”

That goes without saying…

Check the nifty Prix de Lausanne website, chock full of more information at http://www.prixdelausanne-live.com. Certain candidates will be spotlighted throughout the week on http://videoblog.prixdelausanne.org, which will be updated daily.

Prix de Lausanne Artistic Committee member and rector of the Palucca Schule Dresden Jason Beechey will tweet about the experience at http://twitter.com/jasonbeechey.

For the Prix scene through Aviana’s eyes, check her tweets at http://twitter.com/aviana71

More to come…

On Stage: Gaga for Dance

January 29, 2011

The last time Pittsburgh saw Lauri Stallings she was dissecting ballet terminology in “The Great Gatsby.” But when I walked into the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater on Wednesday, the dancers seemed to be either primordial organisms or creatures from outer space.

Oh, how times change…but maybe not.

The quartet were distorting their various bodily planes to a whole pastiche of iPod tunes, never mindful of what was playing, be it electronic, an eastern European song or a music box tune. Hips jutted. Arms did a slow flail. Spines were askew.

After a while, Lauri came over, her eyes bright with dance. She has the kind of face that is developing into a comforting landscape of smile lines. (After all, she is immersed in the art that she loves.) Her clothes had the complex layering of her choreography — over-the-knee socks, brown tracksuit pants, a patterned mini-skirt, black turtleneck and a sweater on the verge of urban decay.

Mismatched? Hardly, when it’s a style that actually suits her so well. She simply says, “I’m just trying to keep warm.”

The four dancers, all from Lauri’s company, gloATL in Atlanta, have her choreographic back these days. They also seem to be periodically surprised — but then that’s part of the choreography, too.

It is, she openly admits, Gaga, a movement innovation created by choreographer Ohad Naharin. According to Lauri, it relates “to the onlooker, to the audience, to the public, to the community.” It’s about “trying to be available…that’s the third grade form explanation.”

It is also “movement coming from the inside out,” for Gaga is derived from the Martha Graham technique. “It was no accident — he was in her company,” Lauri explains. “It’s simply the power of Martha — given her contractions. He softened it all and completely internalized it.”

The beauty of working this way is that “I discover all this hidden movement. I can literally channel it and see where its going in the body and find it. And with that, what’s really exciting is that we conjure up the senses with it. That’s where the Gaga is. You can’t touch it — it’s where the humanity is. If our heart is beating, then the body is moving.”

She’s also into movement research, something that has resulted in a connection with director Julie Taymor (“Across the Universe”) and Cirque du Soleil, and will soon complete her Bogliasco fellowship to study the “relational aesthetics” theories of French critic Nicholas Bourriaud in Italy.

It’s been a busy last year for the Atlanta choreographer, one that included 12 commissions (Ballet Augsberg Ballet, Atlanta Ballet). So she’s glad to have the week to rehearse with this core of four dancers at the Kelly-Strayhorn, for what she considers “stage two” of “This Is a World,” based on the concept of flight and focusing on man’s preoccupation with his inability to fly. The piece will have it official premiere at New York City’s Duo Theatre in mid-May.

In the months after that, it’s presumed that Pittsburgh will see the finished project at the Kelly-Strayhorn.

In the meantime, check out the Next Stage Residency Artists concert tonight with Pittsburgh choreographers Jamie Murphy and Renee Smith at the Kelly Strayhorn at 8 p.m. Tickets: $5-10.

On Stage: “TAKES” Takes to the Kelly-Strayhorn

January 27, 2011

Maybe Nichole Canuso’s “TAKES” didn’t theoretically break any new ground, but it still felt like it did. A seamless combination of dance, installation and cinema, it took the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater audience (including me) on a journey of our own making.

We arrived for a pre-performance meet-and-greet, then were escorted into the theater and onto the stage, where a giant gauze cube, 20 feet on each side and 10 feet high, nearly swallowed the performing space. Approximately 40 chairs were arranged in linear clusters on three sides and we were cautioned to stay away from the front edge.

The idea was to blur artistic lines of the three art forms — the ephemerality of live dance, the viewing flexibility of an art gallery and the changing perspective of film. I was escorted to stage left for the start of the performance.

Nichole entered the cube with Dito Van Reigersberg for “TAKES,” a piece steeped in the nodules of everyday life between a man and a woman. There were a few skeletal set pieces — a small ladder, a chair, a table — that would come into play.

There was also an old record player and occasionally the couple would play pieces that created an atmosphere, perhaps reminiscent of places they had been. It was subtle, but the music needed to take a subsidiary role because there was so many visual images to absorb.

I can’t say that we were exposed to emotional or physical intimacies that made things uncomfortable. In fact, I found that I was sometimes indifferent to the couple, because ‘TAKES” wasn’t about the emotions, but about the abstract interplay of the various images.

So I moved. It was a little awkward — you felt as if you were interfering with others who were seated. Then I used the ramp that led to the stage. It allowed me to take in that fourth wall, either by sitting in the audience or standing at various locations on the ramp. Generally that is my favorite location in a theater, just far enough away to assess the total artistic vision.

But “TAKES” had close-knit moments requiring floor work as well, best seen by moving back up to stage right to eliminate the distance. This final solution — repeatedly moving down the ramp and onto stage right — enabled me to have the best of both worlds, so to speak, with less interference for the other audience members.

It was an odd sensation, even though I have attended other performances where movement was possible. With this production, my eyes felt like a camera lens as I walked around.

I wasn’t sure I totally understood the circumstances that surrounded this couple, given the non-linear time frame. Nor did I need to care. There was a such a serene beauty in “TAKES”  that it superceded any one of the art forms. Thus the dance, film and art created a synergy in which the whole transcended the sum of the parts.

Dance Beat: Evolve, Parsons, Tharp, Carnegie

January 26, 2011

NEW YORK BARGAIN. If you happen to be in the New York area, David Parsons’ company, Parsons Dance, is presenting three world premieres at The Joyce Theater Jan. 26 – Feb. 6, 2011. David will account for two of them — “Portinari,” which was inspired by Brazilian artist Candido Portinari, whose sculptures, “War” and “Peace” adorn the United Nations, and “Walk,” reflecting on human positivity and negativity with music by Steely Dan. Choreographer Monica Bill Barnes was commissioned to do the third premiere, “Love, oh Love,” using music by Kenny Rogers, Lionel Ritchie and Diana Ross to convey “details from everyday life.” Also on three separate programs are Parsons’ favorites such as “Caught” and “Hand Dance,” along with a couple of works that have been presented at Point Park University’s Conservatory Dance Company, “The Envelope” and “Nascimento.” But here’s the good part — for those of you reading this, there is a 50 percent discount on all performances except Fridays and Saturdays. The code is BLOG.

A NEW YEAR. With enthusiasm riding high at the New Hazlett Theater, EVOLVE Productions started 2011 with what amounted to a dance festival that  featured, for the most part, “Emerge”-ing choreographers. It was great to see some of Pittsburgh’s companies lending a helping hand, with Pearlann Porter (The Pillow Project) in a silky improvisation, “[here],”  Kaitlin Dann’s (Bodiography) neatly morphing trio, “Harbored Indecisions,” plus the sustained  intensity of Shantelle Jackson’s (August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble) duet, “Nightingales,” Gabriel Ash’s thoughtful urban style in “Bleed” and Staycee Pearl’s (STAYCEE PEARL dance project) own take on celebrity in selections from “circlePOP.” Uniontown’s Fluidity once again showed a disciplined approach to Pascal Rioult’s “Views of a Fleeting World” and artistic director Joci Hrzic’s “Extremity.” But it was mostly Sarah Parker’s show, with young talent under her umbrella organization, EVOLVE, and a sneak peak at her new group, called Continuum Dance Theater and due to debut formally this spring. Sarah and company were set in the mode of “So You Think You Can Dance,” wearing their hearts and accompanying emotions fully on their sleeves. But they will have to be careful to develop more thoughtful and  complex pieces. And a suggestion for the future — include program bios for the choreographers so that audience members can easily become more familiar with the next generation of choreographers.

TWYLA ON FRANK. A friend sent me this link to a conversation with resident American genius Twyla Tharp on KNPR radio Las Vegas and how she transcribed Broadway’s “Come Fly Away” to Vegas’ trimmed-down version, “Sinatra: Dance With Me.” A fascinating background look into a complex choreographic mind. Also great if you’re a Sinatra fan. By the way, it looks like the video has the Broadway cast pretty much intact. I don’t think enough has been made of the choreographic opportunities for these exceptional veteran dancers, who established successful careers along the way with Alvin Ailey, American Ballet Theatre and Merce Cunningham, plus other.

HIP HOP HEAVEN. Dedicated to creating well-rounded commercial dancers in Pittsburgh,  Jame Elis’ JamDANCE Productions is bringing in Sean Bankhead and Xavier Wilcher for an “Industry Ready Workshop” at Dance Alloy on Sunday, Jan. 30. There will be two 90-minute classes, the first at 11 a.m. – 12: 30 p.m. and the other at 12:30 -2 p.m. This duo has worked with Beyonce, Diddy-Dirty Money, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber and more. $20 per class, $35 for both.

On Stage: Petronio — 25 and Counting

January 24, 2011

Photo by Yi-Chu wu

Stephen Petronio Dance Company blew into town with an anniversary program for Pittsburgh Dance Council. Read about it in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

On Stage: Welcoming a new MAC

January 21, 2011

Gerard Holt is following his dream and, as a result, Pittsburgh has a new ballet company. Called Mid-Atlantic Contemporary Ballet Company (MAC Ballet for short), it’s making its debut Saturday night at the Father Ryan Performing Arts Center in McKees Rocks.

Gerard is best known as a former corps member of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and remained in the Pittsburgh area to teach, primarily at La Roche College’s dance program. There he and Miriam Scigliano, co-founder of MAC Ballet, talked about starting a new company.

“I pretty much ran the department at La Roche that way,” says Gerard. “But it was hard to do both, to keep the academic setting and still prepare the dancers for a professional environment.”

“I had known for some time that I was going to have to make a major change,” he admits. So with Miriam’s help, the two started the non-profit paper work in the spring of 2008. But Gerard knew that he would have to make a major change to take things to the next level, so he resigned from La Roche last year.

The two founders have designed a program around their own choreography for the company’s initial performance. Miriam will contribute “Now We Rise,” a “haunting,” but inspirational piece set to music by Nick and Molly Drake, and a duet to Rachminoff that was “well-received” when it was performed  in New York City by La Roche dancers. Gerard has created “A Tribute to Vivaldi” and is collaborating with local pianist Erica Lynn on a Schubert work.

Now Gerard is happily facing a different kind of challenge, teaching at Sandra Lynn’s School of Dance to pay the bills and moving around his dancers’ work schedules. It’s obviously worth it all to him because Gerard’s passion comes through as he talks about bringing another professional outlet to Pittsburgh dancers.

“You get to the higher levels and there’s nowhere to go for people who really want to stay here,” he explains. “Not everyone can dance with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Dance Alloy or Attack Theatre. I want to be able to contribute. Being able to support yourself as an artist is very important to me.”

See Listings for more information.

On Stage: New York City Pet

January 21, 2011

Photo by Yi-Chu Wu

In a telephone conversation that seems to conclude in a New York minute, it’s easy to see why choreographer Stephen Petronio has been the intellectual darling of the SoHo crowd over the past 25 years. He rattles off the reasons for his own love affair with the Big Apple —  “constant ongoing energy, the diversity, the information, people all around you — it’s a barrage. Plus you can get any kind of food at any hour.”

It also may be that he grew up in the East Village, where you can still “see the latest in everything.” But his success also came from two major inspirations — that prowling panther of ballet, Rudolph Nureyev, and the father of contact improvisation, Steve Paxton.

Stephen just wrapped them into his own singular style, which Pittsburghers saw a decade ago at the Pittsburgh Dance Council. So the two of us proceed to play our own private numbers game during the conversation. He quips that he has “gotten much handsomer” in the past ten years. But more than that, he says, “The seeds of the work have been there from the beginning — they just keep developing. I think they’ve gotten deeper and I have the pleasure of continuing and watching.”

As for the 25-year milestone, this quintessential New Yorker is happy to be “staying alive, keeping the company in the game” because “it’s like running an obstacle course.” Better yet, he says that Pittsburgh audience will have a sampling of some of his career highlights on the Byham Theater program this weekend.

Photo by Sarah Silver

The first is “# 3,” a favorite solo from 1986, with music by a friend, Saturday Night Live band leader Lenny Pickett, and one that Stephen will perform. And the second is “MiddleSexGorge,” a work that “crystallized the sexual nature of the AIDS crisis” when it was created in 1990. “It really became fundamental in developing the aggressive tack of the [movement] language — the push and the slipperiness of the spine,” he explains.

He also will bring his penchant for pop songs, parlaying a love for Elvis Presley into  another solo, “Love me Tender,” and an admiration for Radiohead (“Creep”), into “Foreign Imports,” which Stephen created for the Scottish Ballet.

“I like to work with ballet companies,” Stephen says, Ballett Frankfurt and Lyon Opera Ballet among them. His own dancers are ballet-trained, but he “wouldn’t consider them classical dancers. In a spectrum from black to white, I think the classical dancers are more about the quick refinement of the feet, more about holding lines and shapes. My dancers are interested in moving through them.”

He notes that “what you lose in flow in a a classical company, you gain in vertical articulation,” although he likes to “mess them up and throw them off their action.”  But even with his own company, he looks for “wild ass dancers who are not afraid to look awkward. And also, the technique has to be so good it’s invisible.”

Speaking of invisibility, he’ll also be presenting a new work, “Ghostown.” After 25 years of defining his movement, he wanted to bring something that seemed like it was no longer there.” Set to music by Radiohead’s lead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, the work uses a recording with 33 strings, “Popcorn Superhet Receiver,” which he calls “beautiful, haunting music” that is “quite arhythmic. It’s a kind of a disintegration, a very challenging piece.”

It’s symptomatic of Stephen’s daring dance that he collaborates on such a wide scale. “Dance is a social form primarly and it must be done with most diverse social group I can gather. I mean, we’re there to push each other as we do.”

That extends to his dancers, who he calls “spectacular — I worship the floor they dance on. They are energetic and fearless and they keep me moving forward. One of the nice things in my life is that I get to watch them every day.”

See Listings for more information.

On Stage: Bach Attack

January 19, 2011

Photo by Dana Casto

It was breakdown Bach to my ears recently at Attack Theatre‘s rehearsal space. I was suddenly listening to the last movement of Bach’s Double Violin Concerto, delivered by Pittsburgh native and guest musician Jonathan Moser on first violin in the title and Attack music director Dave Eggar on the less-expected cello and difficult second violin part, with Tom Pirozzi supplying a rock bass and Chuck Palmer in and out on drums. Keeping in line with the band’s philosophy, the music was presented with a fresh approach, where they came together and split apart, allowing snatches of the original to peak through periodically or to disappear in favor of a percussive interlude.

The Bach will be part of “Beginnings,” a world premiere featured on Attack’s newest program in celebration of its 15th anniversary this weekend at the New Hazlett Theatre. (See Listings.) “We knew we wanted to repeat some work, but we knew we didn’t want to do a traditional restrospective,” said Michele de la Reza, founding director with husband Peter Kope, as she sat cross-legged on a sofa near the coffee bar.

Instead the Attack members identified thematic threads for the program, offhandedly titled “Show #58” (and still quite an achievement over 15 years). The first half will be connected to technology, often a part of the Attack experience with live feed video and slide show inputs.

It will start with “R.A.M.,” one of the group’s more recent works and designed for a family-friendly audience. But the original was created to tour and this time the Attackers wanted the opportunity to “up the values of the piece to sculpt the eye through lighting, [plus] upgrade the set and rechoreograph some things.”

If “R.A.M.” will use the latest technology, it will be followed by the pre-computer “Typeset,” a ’40’s film-noir of a piece from 1996. After all, the typewriter was the “technology” for many years, anchored by the tell-tale tick-tacking sound of the keys. But the real connection between the two works lies elsewhere, according to Michele, noting that  “it’s still about documenting an idea, where the writer takes kernels of that idea and puts it down on paper.”

Just like I’m putting her ideas down on this CrossCurrent “paper.”

Photo by Matthew Kleinrock

But on to Act 2, based on the notion of time — past, present and future. “We’re thinking so much how we devour the present, which is the sum of the past,” Michele offered. Speaking of that, “Trapped,” with ethereal music by internationally renowned Japanese composer Somei Satoh, focuses on the past. “These characters are “trapped” emotionally and psychologically in their own personal history,” she said. “They cannot get past their past — they’re haunted. But even though the subject is so inward, the actual [artistic] exploration was about the future for us. Somei Satoh’s music sent us in a forward direction aesthetically and choreographically.”

Which led her to the premiere of the night, “Beginning,.” where the dancers looked at all the beginnings of ideas. They were instructed to write “two lines of a book you never wrote.” Since each dancer turned in six suggestions, there was “a whole slew” of beginnings from which to choose, hence the more traditional Bach substructure. “We won’t mimic the music,” Michele asserted. “The Bach will be the glue.”

As for the ending? We’ll see…

While I was in the studio, I came up with this Deoro update:

Dave Eggar: Dave revealed that the group scored a Grammy nomination for “Best Musical Arrangement” Of “Itsbynne Reel” from Deoro’s latest CD, “Kingston Morning” (Gil Goldstein, arranger and Grammy winner himself). It’s up against multiple Grammy Award-winning arrangers Vince Mendoza and Patrick Williams and long-term heavy hitters like Ted Nash and Frank Macchia. The winner will be announced Feb. 13, 2011. Dave said that the nomination has generated a great deal of interest in the group, which has been doing a lot of touring in Europe and Appalachia.

Tom Pirozzi: Tom talked about Deoro’s return to the Phillipines last summer, where the guys drove into the mountains for eight hours to a remote village. “When you’re up there, you feel like you’re a million miles from everything,” he said. One of his fondest memories was drinking his morning coffee in a treehouse. But in case you’re wondering, the village did have some electricity for his electric bass, although “not 100 percent dependable.” And one of the natives was surprisingly computer savvy and gave the village a Facebook page.

Chuck Palmer: Chuck is a native of Columbus, Ohio and, after 10 years of residence, now considers himself “officially a New Yorker.” “But Pittsburgh is really a nice combination of the Midwest and East Coast,” he said, as he went on to explain the band’s reason for its long-term relationship with Attack Theatre. “From the first day, I said, ‘Okay, I love these people. I love them as artists. I’m committed to them. I’m committed to the creative process.’ Maybe that’s because Chuck is a workaholic like everyone associated with Attack. He revealed that they open a show and then go back to the “house” and watch the video. They immediately begin “changing things to make it better — that’s the drill,” and then keeping repeating the process. He’s also grown with Attack. Chuck pinpointed the event where he began expanding his musical boundaries —  a gig at Muhammed Ali’s celebrity-laden “Fight Night” to fight Parkinson’s disease in Arizona, where he played with Dave, Gil and eclectic violinist Lucia Micarelli. “Gil changed the way I looked at music,” he said, explaining that he learned to let “the rhythm live in the room.” So Chuck has built on that, particularly in the all-improv “Assemble This” at various Pittsburgh art galleries and museums last year. In fact, he thanked Peter “because I never had this much safety and freedom within a musical and artistic setting before.”

Opinion: On Competitions — Everything Old is New

January 16, 2011

In my Google meanderings, I came across an article on “The A.W.A.R.D. Show!, a choreographers’ competition sponsored by one of the bastions of new concert dance, New York City’s The Joyce Theater (!). But it appears that Pittsburgh was ahead of that game (for once) in the early ’80’s. For several years running, the Pittsburgh Dance Council sponsored its own choreographers’ competition at Chatham College’s Eddy Theater. Dance aficionados packed the place, offering loud vocal support for their favorites and trying to influence a trio of professional judges that were flown in for that purpose.

In the end, it wasn’t the competition itself that lost its steam, but the fact that the choreographers themselves decided that it demeaned their work. How times have changed!

However, it wasn’t all for naught. That competition led to the Choreographers’ Continuum, an adjudicated format that gave selected choreographers a stipend to create new work. It helped to identify a burgeoning Pittsburgh dance scene and ran for 16 years through 1999.

Now, given the tidal wave of dance popularity, is this the next trend — to take young “serious” choreographers and set them at each other, even in a so-called “congenial” atmosphere? Certainly the argument can be made that they will receive exposure and feedback, maybe even a monetary prize.

But the new format will probably have to be adapted to today’s all-inclusive social media, where everyone has a voice. As the article suggests, this could turn into a popularity contest where the audience picks the winner.

What do you think? Is the time ripe to promote a Pittsburgh dance competition in an electronic fashion? Maybe everyone could vote via Facebook or Twitter in a wireless-friendly theater (although more likely paper ballots). Maybe it could showcase at the Kelly-Strayhorn — after all, the East Liberty theater most closely resembles the Joyce.

On Stage: Making “TAKES”

January 14, 2011

Sometimes art and life go hand-in-hand and it’s up to us to meld the two together. This weekend at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater, audiences will be able to affect not only their own lives, but their perception of art in Nichole Canuso’s collaborative “TAKES.”

Conceived by Nichole and multi-media director Lars Jan, “TAKES” focuses on a couple (Nichole and Dito Van Reigersberg) trapped inside a thin membrane of a box with 20′ by 10′ walls. “We really wanted to expand the range of simple, everyday gesture — almost like cinema verite — where you’re really seeing the mundane essence of their life,” she explains. “And then we wanted to go to the end of the spectrum with emotional abstraction in fully-danced excerpts.”

But in the danced moments, they’re “still characters and very theatrical” and in the simplest of actions they’re still “very choreographic and thinking spatially about where we are, which camera we’re in. Yes, choreographically it’s still complex — I mean even the simplest things can be complex.”

That’s because there are two live bodies and, with four screens, an additional eight filmed bodies, resulting in 10 real and Memorex cast members. By adding in various film techniques such as underlays and overlaps, the options are virtually limitless.

This piece brings together two people and shows their relationship over time. But the events are not necessarily in order. The Philadelphia choreographer likens them to photos that are washed up on shore, some clearly focused, others that are not. “So we have an assortment of these things. They’re not necessarily the epic moments; they’re the most important moments, a collection of small events that add up to a life together.”

That “life” story actually emanated from another production called “Wandering Alice,” where a cast of 15 led the audience through four floors of a warehouse wonderland, weaving through rooms abutting on staircases and tight spaces. This “Alice” was “an investigation in the role that the audience plays in the work,” where it could could become the main character at times.

But Nichole and Lars came up with “a lot of material that didn’t fit “Wandering Alice,” but was “really interesting.” The two decided to do an additional project on a smaller scale “with the focus on the relationship of the movement to the video design.” In this production, though, the audience doesn’t influence the work, but they can influence their own experience.

The two artists wanted the audience to have the freedom to navigate the space like visitors would navigate an art gallery. Because film was involved, they wanted perspective — being able to view it closer or from far away. And because it was also live performance, it would be occurring in a unique moment and would happen the same way again.

So the audience will surround the dancers and their film cube. They will also be able to get up and move around. “Some don’t move,” notes Nichole. “They find a spot that feels right and they stay. Others wander around as if it’s a sculpture — it has that openness in it.”

So there’s no right moment to move far away and no right moment to get in close. The choice is up to you in what amounts to an artful life experience that you will determine.

See Listings for more information.

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