In the past year I've had the pleasure of alternating between making work for live performance with work on video: a see saw that only seems to add to my job satisfaction. Too much time spent editing at the computer can drive a girl crazy. On the other hand, I have spent decades weighing the expense of rehearsal studios, dancers' pay and commuting time against the rewards of presenting live work in tiny theaters. When Arthur Aviles invited me in early 2010 to show something at Dixon Place, I hadn't made a live dance since...
It was a complete pleasure to create - at a subsidized rate, right in the theater where it would be performed - NOBODY'S DARLING, with the help of Tina Vasquez and Amos Wolff. A live dance, got it?
But then, inspired by Matthew Murphy's cropped stills of that dance, I borrowed a camera to shoot a rehearsal of the duet - with an eye to capturing footage that would work as a dance/film. The results of that no-budget video project have already been seen in festivals in Brazil, Chile, Portugal, Argentina, and Istanbul - oh, and Boulder, Colorado! - with more international screenings to come (see below). Video, got it?
But then, in fact, the live version of DARLING also got other viewings - with Arthur Aviles replacing Amos, at BAAD in the Bronx, and at DanceNOW in Manhattan. But each time for one night only. See what I mean about live work: what's the calculus for expense vs reward?
In September I had an opportunity to choreograph something - live work this time - during a Bessie Residency on Martha's Vineyard. I made THE GREAT WORLD SPINS, which led to WORLD 2.0 performed by the wonderful trio of Esme Boyce, Ching-I Chang and Andy Chapman in November in NYC (see updated slideshows below).
Meanwhile, earlier in the summer, like a squirrel storing nuts for the winter, I had seized the moment to capture some projects on video. One was pre-planned, at a swimming pool, with a few rehearsals, shot by someone other than me. (In fact, it turned out to be two someones: Charles Castor-Dudzick a local college student whose work I'd admired - and long-time collaborator Chisa Hidaka who just happened to have an underwater camera from her Dolphin Dance Project.) The other summer video project was spontaneous: inspired by the scaffolding set up to scrape my neighbor's house, I enlisted a friend who was visiting, and Rory Kaplan (BRICKTOWN, THOSE DAYS, REUNION, CARTOON LOVE) to improvise at risk for about an hour. So now at the end of 2010 I have 2 short video projects nearing completion.
I should probably be ashamed of tossing off these modest projects - whether live or on video. And I do have plans to develop something more ambitious, worthy of a mature artist, really I do! On the other hand, my goal has always been to avoid pretension, to allow for spontaneity, to embrace accessibility, to promote the small. And it - more or less - seems to be working, as proved by upcoming events below: a few international screenings of new work, a few local screenings of old work. And a week in January in residency at Rhode Island College to make a new dance/film - the equivalent of a commission!
InShadow, 2nd International Festival of Video, Performance and Technologies
MY FERAL VALENTINE
Image, Dance, New Media, NU2
new dance/film project
Rhode Island College
Providence, Rhode Island
March 1 @ 7:00 pm
Dance/Films at the Flea
THAW, with works by others
The Flea Theater, NYC
March 16 @ 7:15 pm
CONSIDERING AN EXHIBITION
Anthology Film Archives, NYC
Incidentally, if you're experiencing some mid-winter quiet and have the time, check out the Archive below: a 1990 newsletter, startlingly consistent with my story 2 decades later. Plus ca change!