Archive for September, 2012

September 29, 2012

Fall Arts

by ashleyandersondances

Kathy Adams writes the Fall Arts Guide for the Trib and this year it had a unique slant. Because we all usually know what companies have full seasons, or the websites to look at for pick-up projects (Sugar Space, the Rose, loveDANCEmore), she looked at unique efforts by companies to expand their work beyond the theater.

We all know dance doesn’t just have patrons fall into seats and that it requires strategic planning and programming. These challenges grow every year and we think it’s great that Ballet West is collaborating with breweries, RSL fans might head out to see RDT.  Odyssey’s collaboration seems the most apt, as will take their commercial work to the specific venue of a haunted house where I think it will be met on new terms and interest people that might not head to the theater.

Although “Mudson” has become a dance space in it’s own right, we are happy to be included on the basis that experiments are regularly offered and can emerge by vacating the traditional theaters of SLC. While she rightly chose to highlight Sam and Kitty for their bold decision making, the experimentation continues for even those artists participating in traditional idioms, apply for the spring and see for yourself. Applications should be up before the weekend is out!

 

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September 28, 2012

don’t forget studio series tomorrow

by ashleyandersondances

Saturday, Sept. 29th, 2012 from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
Balcony Studio, Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center
Ai Fujii Nelson (Ririe Woodbury Dance Company, Utah Valley University, Virginia Tanner
Creative Dance Program, Ballet West Academy)

If you visit them on Facebook you can get all the details on upcoming guest artists in their rotating roster.

Also mark your calendars for RDT’s season opener next weekend. We thought we’d give the opportunity for a high school dancer to review the (mostly) historic program given that the rest of our attitudes on Michiyo Ito and Merce Cunningham aren’t super fresh! But remember all reviews welcome via lovedancemore@gmail.com

September 23, 2012

a reflection on the artys

by lovedancemoreguest

Recently I attended the City Weekly Artys reception with Ashley Anderson. loveDANCEmore received an award for it’s continuing work in our city. Not to brag, but we have accomplished a lot this year. Why? Because we have been able to collaborate with so many talented people here in our local dance community. I think Daughters of Mudson in particular showcased an array of uniquely compelling work by five female choreographers. Rachael Shaw, Emily Haygeman, Leah Nelson, Kitty Sailer and Ashley Anderson are all making work worth following. Mudson at the Masonic Temple also continued to create opportunities for people to workshop diverse new dances. loveDANCEmore’s March collaboration with LA-based Dances Made to Order resulted in three new dance films that have already played at several festivals. Screen Deep at UMOCA showcased the dance film of 5 countries and 9 U.S. states.

In short, I think loveDANCEmore deserved this award. We had a lovely time, but felt slightly out of place. We didn’t see any of our peers in the dance community there. It got us thinking about who we would have had honored alongside us had we been charged with handing out awards that night. What follows below is a the result of a casual conversation. It is by no means an is an attempt at a comprehensive look at the last year in dance. Of course there are gross omissions. We invite your thoughts, criticism and most of all your own award show fantasies.

Excellence in Performance: Karin Fenn perfomed beautifully in My Turkey Sandwich’s The Yellow Wallpaper (which was honored with an Arty). She was also stunning in Raw Moves’ Babble. As a performer she fully commits to her work and really dives in.

Sustained Achievement: Chara Huckins, who left RDT at the end of last season has consistently delivered nuanced, dynamic performances across the company’s diverse repertory. Chara’s passing into a new phase deserves special recognition. I’ve heard some of my peers say her performances can be glib and to them I say that her arabesque is better than yours.

Excellence in Teaching: Hilary Carrier has taught hundreds of dancers at Salt Lake’s largest most diverse high school for a dozen years. Her pedagogy is revolutionary in its inclusiveness, intelligence and humanity.

New Program Serving Dance: Nox Contemporary, a local art gallery,  launched an ambitious festival of live performance (including dance) this past July. Simply called Performance Month, it has already forged new connections between the visual arts and dance communities.

Innovation in Dance Journalism: This year, more even than before SLUG magazine has broken rules and forged new precedents with print, online and audio coverage of dance in our community. Alex Ortega, Johnny Logan and Brian Kubarycz in particular have made dance a priority at the publication.

Established Program Serving Dance: This award goes out twice. Firstly, SUITE is an annual season performance at Sugar Space exclusively exhibiting female choreographers. 2013 will be it’s fourth cycle. Apply now women! The second mention goes to Studio Series (formerly Masterclass). Administrated at the RW studios by company alums Ai Fuji and Juan Carlos Claudio, this program is the only open class for professionals to have survived the economic downturn.

Emerging Choreographer: Efrén Corado’s solo performance TRANSCRIPTS at the Sugar Show was stellar. It was a dance memoir that explored loss through language. In a mixture of Spanish and English, Corado expressed his fear of the inevitable loss of his past, as personified by his grandmother.

Award for an Independently Produced Season: Kitty Sailer and Rachael Shaw’s independently produced show at the old New Media Wing at the U was one of the most innovative evenings I’ve ever seen in Salt Lake. I’ve never seen a better use of an abandoned space as these two women managed last spring.

Cinematic Achievement in Dance: The greatest regret of my undergraduate career is that I didn’t get to dance for Deborah Hay when she came to the U in 2006. Ellen Bromberg’s new film Deborah Hay Not as Deborah Hay made my regret deeper and more poignant. See it now at dance-tech.net.

Samuel Hanson helps out where he can at loveDANCEmore and contributes regularly to the blog. He also makes dances and films, teaches, writes and makes coffee.

September 20, 2012

FOUR, a conversation/review

by ashleyandersondances

It’s no secret that peer reviewing has been a talking point on the blog. As a sometimes reviewer, other times choreographer Erica has grappled with ways to write about work and read what others say about her own work. As an administrator and choreographer Ashley oversees these tensions on an ongoing basis. So we tried to write this conversationally after watching RW’s season-opener “FOUR” tonight at the Rose. We write with the hope that multiple opinions and a casual approach creates a balanced discussion. (Let us know how we do). Part of the way through writing we realized a conversation format doesn’t allow for standard “descriptions,” so keep in mind this is designed for those who have seen this show, and we definitely  think you should.

AA: The evening featured a huge amount of dancing by the extremely talented six member company and the choreographic variety was immense. All the dances but one featured the full company and I’m really amazed at the end of every RW show that they can physically get through it.

EW: The show order seemed a little complicated but I agree that the dancers were in fine form and there was an array of movement aesthetics that would please eclectic audiences.

AA: I feel like we were both pretty into Charlotte Boye-Christensen’s new duet, “The Finish Line” which was performed by Brad Beakes and Tara McArthur. While it displayed Charlotte’s classic athletic style, it was more distilled than her past work and seemed softer. (When Martha Graham fell in love with Erick Hawkins her arms starting curving, just saying!)

EW: I agree, right out of the gates I felt we were seeing growth from Charlotte as a choreographer. It reminded me of a well-worn relationship where intimacy, playfulness and aggression all reside equally in the physicality and performance. They embody those things, Brad and Tara were really successful. I felt like all the movements were necessary, nothing was arbitrary.

AA: Totally agreed. I found the choreography to be engaging and was so relieved that it was real duet and not a duet for six, but how does this make you feel about her second work on the program, “Turf”, from 2009? For me it really changed my impression.

EW: This was the first time I’d seen “Turf” and I was hopeful in the beginning. I liked the competitiveness of a trio from the men but really the difference between the two works was that in the duet I saw two humans having a real experience on stage and in “Turf” I wasn’t given permission to get to know the dancers in the same way.

AA:  I can see we were both underwhelmed by “Turf” after the success of the duet. It also, honestly, seemed rehearsed less than the other material on the program.

EW: I did find the opening piece “Grid” to be a little bit like “Turf”. There were some nice moments but conceptually and physically things did not settle for me in a conclusive way. The piece takes place in an environment of stage-length, chalk covered, elastic bands and it brought up issues about how our environment affects our decisions. And when those barriers are removed do we make the same decisions out of habit or are we able to make new decisions? As a choreographer I thought that it would be interesting to work with a prop like the that and even take that prop away at the end of the process. What would the dance look like if the “grid” was absent? I wonder if we could still feel it’s presence and think we could, maybe even moreso.

AA: It’s hard because I don’t want to re-choreograph dances from the audience but I had similar concerns about how “Grid” was functioning despite the obviously engaging tactic of the prop. It related to the John Utans piece on the program as well. In that piece the stage was littered with TV’s with rural Utah vacation footage and the beginning and ending moments of movement alongside them peaked my interest but as it went I fell into watching the TV’s exclusively and was in some kind of bad-audience-trance.

EW: Oh that’s funny, I didn’t watch the TV’s at all.

AA: So it’s clear we worked our way through the show with ebbs and flows but I think we both agree that something we had no questions about was Ann Carlson’s re-staged “50 Years”. If Charlotte’s duet was distilled then I don’t even have an adequate description for this work. Every second of the dancer-vocalized-score seemed essential to me and it’s really rare I feel that way about a dance.

EW: Throughout, this piece gave me kinesthetic responses.

AA: What kinds of responses? For me, it was cold chills and constant wonderment at what would be next from the voices and bodies of the dancers.

EW: For me it was during the moments of complete stillness where there was real settling in my skin and bones. It brought me on an organic journey where each section took the time it needed to fully resonate. It inspired me as a choreographer to be more patient and not doubt a seemingly simple idea.  I don’t know how to say this without being cheesy but it was through the simplicity that metaphors were made, and she must have had a real trust in her process and clarity in vision.

AA: It was also highly stylized and designed from the dirty, auburn costuming to the white-fabric floor and sparse light bulbs. Watching a choreographer make such clear choices (in 1996 by the way!) was a beautiful way to end the evening (that was also cheesy).

EW/AA: laughter laughter laughter

 

 

 

 

September 18, 2012

thank you! auditions! class!

by ashleyandersondances

Thank you for everyone who came out to Mudson last night. One of the largest turn outs yet and four of the hardest-working, experimental minded choreographers! Join us again the third Monday of October and November.

Also check out regular Mudsoners Movement Forum (aka MOFO) at their auditions TOMORROW from 7-9pm in the Rowland Hall Upper School dance studio. Check out more details at akamofo.com.

Also also don’t forget that Master Class is now Saturday Studio Series. We are totally into the name change which reflects a studio practice for professionals featuring a rotating roster of artists with a variety of interests. This Saturday class is with Juan Carlos, check it out on facebook.

September 14, 2012

Platform 2012: Judson Now

by ashleyandersondances

This fall and early winter Danspace Project presents Judson Now in NYC.

The Ashley Anderson Dances (which oversees loveDANCEmore) board president mailed me the catalogue which announces the multitude of performances, conversations and goings-on during that time.

The opening letter by Judy Hussie-Taylor (whose past work we’ve printed in learning to loveDANCEmore) really resonates with me about not only the mission of Judson, but by relation, the mission of Mudson and loveDANCEmore events overall.

(Without permission) here are some excerpts from that note.

“Fifty years after the first Concert of Dance at Judson Memorial Church in 1962, Judson’s ideas and radical experiments are still influencing the way artists work today….Their generative cross-disciplinary experiments gave rise to some of the most important movements of the 1960s and 1970s and still inspire younger generations in all disciplines to take artistic risks……Judson Dance Theater’s mythic reach is vast, it artists were many, its experiments were multidisciplinary, and the energy and vision spilled out of the Judson Church into lofts, theaters, churches, and even to other cities. There can be no one narrative to sum up Judson….”

If you imagine that Mudson is just one example of the far reach of Judson it’s easy to see that Mudson (this Monday! 7:30!) is not just about evaluating a dance based on your own enjoyment but about a model that enables freedom of thinking and making.

September 12, 2012

Artys/SLUG podcast/Mudson/more

by ashleyandersondances

This has been an awesome few days. Thanks to City Weekly for acknowledging loveDANCEmore in the 2012 Artys as the best forum for dance in SLC. We are glad this year honored some other independent projects as well alongside the readers choice awards that typically go to larger groups. With more support maybe independent projects can continue to flourish (and DTC can bring more outside artists for example).

Also huge thanks to Alex Ortega at SLUG for writing about Mudson in the September issue. SLUG also interviewed Sam Hanson about his work in September Mudson the podcast. Check it out (links are on the facebook page and on the SLUG website).

Also also also we are thrilled that ZAP has funded some of our 2013 projects. loveDANCEmore is still going strong but definitely requires the support of groups like ZAP, UDAM and the Salt Lake City Arts Council.

September 4, 2012

MUDSON

by ashleyandersondances

mudson is back. in just a few mondays (the 17th to be exact) the 7:30pm, free shows will resume.
this time catch works in progress by ashley anderson, sam hanson, annie robson smock, josie patterson halford AND a new dance film by aniko safran.

this friday pick up a copy of slug which has covered the events this fall.
it’s always free, it’s always fun.

September 3, 2012

labor day

by ashleyandersondances

The Huffington Post (and more) have been readily ablaze with articles about the unpaid dancer. For one reason or another, those brief essays leave me dissatisfied. Because they either write out the obvious flaws with art institutions or artists without exploring the relationships between them as well as the relationships with flaws in arts funding.

On the other end of the spectrum today is ablaze with essays like the one linked here which deal with the violent history of Labor Day and the way in which the United States still has a complicated way of considering it’s many laborers (to put it lightly).

The one is more specific than those about dance YET it doesn’t include any examples of artists who fall readily into the category of disenfranchised laborers. And yes, I realize, dancers haven’t historically died in factories which is more what this writer was after. But until the arts make their way into commentary, as above, they will stay in the territory of pithy essays about who we should marry to stay afloat. Obviously this super brief blog post is just as guilty of being pithy but that’s because I’m not an economic wizard by any means. And I call on anyone to write something more complex that doesn’t only find fault with us as artists or with the owners of presenting venues but also with the mechanisms that allegedly distribute our wages to us and the problems that come with being an independent contractor in a system that values salaries.

When you write it (and you have plenty of time while we are all barbequing our class warfare troubles away) I will print it here. And in the journal. And just about anywhere.

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