Archive for ‘miscellaneous’

April 26, 2013

“One…” last chance

by ashleyandersondances

“One…” presented by the Ririe Woodbury Dance Company runs from April 25-27 at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center.  This year the company’s season has acted as a countdown towards their 50th anniversary.  It has also been the last season for Artistic Director Charlotte Boye-Christensen as well as veteran member Jo Blake.  Included in the program were two pieces from 2005, Alicia Sanchez’s “If My Right Hand Would Say What My Left Hand Thought” as well as Boye-Christensen’s “Bridge”.  Also included and premiered on Thursday evening was German native Johannes Wieland’s “one hundred thousand” which was created on the company last Fall.

The show was a marathon for the dancers with the entire company utilized in each piece.  Sanchez’s “If My Right Hand Would Say What My Left Hand Thought” demonstrated the company’s physicality in a way they have become known for.  The piece was comprised of seemingly unrelated vignettes each ending unresolved and paving the way for a new story.  The material was at once quite personal and then uncomfortably distant.  As the relationships between the dancers were formed and destroyed, I had a difficult time understanding my own relationship to the dancers as an audience.  Sanchez made occasional use of breaking the fourth wall, but this decision seemed to leave me less involved than expected.  The work certainly had a story to tell; I just could not understand it given the language the dancers were speaking.

Following this was Boye-Christensen’s “Bridge” set to a fast past and engaging score by John Adams.  To be quite frank, I have never been the biggest fan of Boye-Christensen’s style and normally find her material vague and tedious.  “Bridge” however was anything but.  It acted as less of a bridge into the future and more of a cannon ball.  While it certainly had her signature, I found the piece to be thoroughly engaging and surprising.  There were moments that were private and ones that were quite explosive.  It was a seamless homage to the past with an urgency and expectancy of the future.  I felt that this was a successful farewell from both Charlotte to us and the dancers to her.

Following intermission the dancers completed the daunting task of performing Wieland’s “one hundred thousand”.  Though the format of the piece itself was not pleasing to me, I must commend the dancers on their accomplishment of such a production.  This company has never been said to be lacking in guts and gusto, and this was more evident than ever in Wieland’s work.  The piece itself utilized many theatrical elements that in my mind are becoming quite kitsch.  This along with a confusing array of music left me feeling quite alienated as an audience though the work itself was compelling, making me want more.  I felt no resolution, and perhaps not even a clear message from the work, but what was evident was that it was courageously inhabited by the dancers and ferociously honest.  With little room for error, the movement was raw and one could sense a real camaraderie between the dancers. 

The Ririe Woodbury Dance Company has launched itself headfirst into the next phase of its life.  Presenting such an energetic and dynamic program leaves me wondering what the new face of the company will look like.  There are two more chances to see “One…” at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center tonight and tomorrow both at 7:30.

 

Katherine Adler is an intern for loveDANCEmore. She will be graduating from the University of Utah with a BFA in Modern Dance next week.

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April 26, 2013

“One…” last chance

by ashleyandersondances

“One…” presented by the Ririe Woodbury Dance Company runs from April 25-27 at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center.  This year the company’s season has acted as a countdown towards their 50th anniversary.  It has also been the last season for Artistic Director Charlotte Boye-Christensen as well as veteran member Jo Blake.  Included in the program were two pieces from 2005, Alicia Sanchez’s “If My Right Hand Would Say What My Left Hand Thought” as well as Boye-Christensen’s “Bridge”.  Also included and premiered on Thursday evening was German native Johannes Wieland’s “one hundred thousand” which was created on the company last Fall.

The show was a marathon for the dancers with the entire company utilized in each piece.  Sanchez’s “If My Right Hand Would Say What My Left Hand Thought” demonstrated the company’s physicality in a way they have become known for.  The piece was comprised of seemingly unrelated vignettes each ending unresolved and paving the way for a new story.  The material was at once quite personal and then uncomfortably distant.  As the relationships between the dancers were formed and destroyed, I had a difficult time understanding my own relationship to the dancers as an audience.  Sanchez made occasional use of breaking the fourth wall, but this decision seemed to leave me less involved than expected.  The work certainly had a story to tell; I just could not understand it given the language the dancers were speaking.

Following this was Boye-Christensen’s “Bridge” set to a fast past and engaging score by John Adams.  To be quite frank, I have never been the biggest fan of Boye-Christensen’s style and normally find her material vague and tedious.  “Bridge” however was anything but.  It acted as less of a bridge into the future and more of a cannon ball.  While it certainly had her signature, I found the piece to be thoroughly engaging and surprising.  There were moments that were private and ones that were quite explosive.  It was a seamless homage to the past with an urgency and expectancy of the future.  I felt that this was a successful farewell from both Charlotte to us and the dancers to her.

Following intermission the dancers completed the daunting task of performing Wieland’s “one hundred thousand”.  Though the format of the piece itself was not pleasing to me, I must commend the dancers on their accomplishment of such a production.  This company has never been said to be lacking in guts and gusto, and this was more evident than ever in Wieland’s work.  The piece itself utilized many theatrical elements that in my mind are becoming quite kitsch.  This along with a confusing array of music left me feeling quite alienated as an audience though the work itself was compelling, making me want more.  I felt no resolution, and perhaps not even a clear message from the work, but what was evident was that it was courageously inhabited by the dancers and ferociously honest.  With little room for error, the movement was raw and one could sense a real camaraderie between the dancers. 

The Ririe Woodbury Dance Company has launched itself headfirst into the next phase of its life.  Presenting such an energetic and dynamic program leaves me wondering what the new face of the company will look like.  There are two more chances to see “One…” at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center tonight and tomorrow both at 7:30. 

 

Katherine Adler is an intern for loveDANCEmore. She will graduate from the University of Utah with a BFA in Modern Dance next week. 

April 26, 2013

“One…” last chance

by lovedancemoreintern

“One…” presented by the Ririe Woodbury Dance Company runs from April 25-27 at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center. This year the company’s season has acted as a countdown towards their 50th anniversary. It has also been the last season for Artistic Director Charlotte Boye-Christensen as well as veteran member Jo Blake. Included in the program were two pieces from 2005, Alicia Sanchez’s “If My Right Hand Would Say What My Left Hand Thought” as well as Boye-Christensen’s “Bridge”. Also included and premiered on Thursday evening was German native Johannes Wieland’s “one hundred thousand” which was created on the company last Fall.
The show was a marathon for the dancers with the entire company utilized in each piece. Sanchez’s “If My Right Hand Would Say What My Left Hand Thought” demonstrated the company’s physicality in a way they have become known for. The piece was comprised of seemingly unrelated vignettes each ending unresolved and paving the way for a new story. The material was at once quite personal and then uncomfortably distant. As the relationships between the dancers were formed and destroyed, I had a difficult time understanding my own relationship to the dancers as an audience. Sanchez made occasional use of breaking the fourth wall, but this decision seemed to leave me less involved than expected. The work certainly had a story to tell; I just could not understand it given the language the dancers were speaking.
Following this was Boye-Christensen’s “Bridge” set to a fast past and engaging score by John Adams. To be quite frank, I have never been the biggest fan of Boye-Christensen’s style and normally find her material vague and tedious. “Bridge” however was anything but. It acted as less of a bridge into the future and more of a cannon ball. While it certainly had her signature, I found the piece to be thoroughly engaging and surprising. There were moments that were private and ones that were quite explosive. It was a seamless homage to the past with an urgency and expectancy of the future. I felt that this was a successful farewell from both Charlotte to us and the dancers to her.
Following intermission the dancers completed the daunting task of performing Wieland’s “one hundred thousand”. Though the format of the piece itself was not pleasing to me, I must commend the dancers on their accomplishment of such a production. This company has never been said to be lacking in guts and gusto, and this was more evident than ever in Wieland’s work. The piece itself utilized many theatrical elements that in my mind are becoming quite kitsch. This along with a confusing array of music left me feeling quite alienated as an audience though the work itself was compelling, making me want more. I felt no resolution, and perhaps not even a clear message from the work, but what was evident was that it was courageously inhabited by the dancers and ferociously honest. With little room for error, the movement was raw and one could sense a real camaraderie between the dancers.
The Ririe Woodbury Dance Company has launched itself headfirst into the next phase of its life. Presenting such an energetic and dynamic program leaves me wondering what the new face of the company will look like. There are two more chances to see “One…” at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center tonight and tomorrow both at 7:30.

Katherine Adler is an intern for loveDANCEmore. She will be graduating from the University of Utah next week. Yay!

February 19, 2013

Mudson, Daughters & 15 BYTES’ 35×35

by ashleyandersondances

Along with the journal spring Mudson is on the way. The third Mondays of March & April will showcase works-in-progress by area choreographers including: Karin Fenn, Jordan Hagen, Conor Provenzano, Kate Monson, Erica Womack, Ariane Audd, Sam Hanson & Emily Haygeman with Margaret Tarampi.

As usual they take place on the third Monday of the month, 7:30pm, FREE ADMISSION at the Masonic Temple (650 E. South Temple).

If you need your SLC dance fix before Mudson rolls around March 8th will be the start of the 35×35 show at Finch Lane Gallery. Ashley Anderson has been selected as one of 35 artists to share her solo work, The Windy Gap, as part of the event. The exhibition will run March 8th-April 29th. The premise is 35 artists under 35 who are contributing interesting work of varying media to the community.

After Mudson and 35×35 are long gone Daughters of Mudson will also be back. Ishmael Houston-Jones has curated some past Mudson performances to be completed for the Rose Wagner Studio Theater. Among them are works by Efren Corado with Tara McArthur, Katherine Adler, Josie Patterson Halford, Eileen Rojas & Ashley Anderson. The show will take place in summer 2013 with more details forthcoming.

February 19, 2013

Gallery Stroll take-two

by lovedancemoreguest

15 BYTES , SLUG mag and Efren Corado have tackled the past Gallery Stroll performances along with the installed films at the Rio. Below, Aaron Wood takes on the second iteration of portions of Arrivals/Departures during the February Stroll.

The Rio Gallery located in downtown Salt Lake provided a superlative backdrop for loveDANCEmore’s latest endeavor, “Arrivals/Departures.” The gallery was overwhelmingly stark and sedate which carried over into the 17 film/dance installations presented by Ashley Anderson and crew. I am going to focus my impressions on two of the seventeen exhibits, thus steering clear of standing on a soap box for an erroneous amount of time and to avoid long-windedness. 

During the last few years as a dance enthusiast, I have been questioning the state in which our art form exists and where it is heading. I can’t help but wonder if every idea has already been explored. For example, Sam Hanson’s dance film “When We Were Young,” reminded me of a performance art piece I saw when I was 18 and on a theatre trip to Minneapolis. The name of the Minneapolitan artist escapes my mind, but I remember watching a video projected onto a clean white surface, showing people constrained in black clothing sluggishly moving around, on, and through a car parked in a deserted field. Without a doubt these two artists, Sam and the Minneapolitan, were exploring different themes, but I can’t help but feel those ideas don’t seem to matter now given that their explorations have become one in the same in my memory. I wonder how often we as audience members walk away from an experience feeling as though we have been there and seen that.

Another question I have been seeking an answer for is how much longer will I tolerate, with complete boredom, the use of still images in dance? What is the next step we can take as art makers to abstract the visual environment through which we interact, see, and connect? In her work “The Windy Gap,” Ashley Anderson uses an assortment of still images including various landscapes, animals, gathering places, and shared family-and-friend moments projected onto a sterile white wall. I have seen similar explorations in the past and yearn for something more. Anderson is on a path to finding a deepened sense of visual abstraction but has yet to realize her full potential. I will be anticipating the day it happens.

The performance of “The Windy Gap” took place in an oversized cubicle where the audience had the choice of sitting on one of four chairs or the hard cement dance floor. Originally, Anderson choreographed the “The Windy Gap” as a solo for herself, but it was a windfall to see Efrén Corado García perform it. Efrén took the movement vocabulary and embodied it with an impeccable sense of grounded ease and maturity. One particular standout moment was when Efrén fell to the floor with raw abandon, swooshed to an upright seated position, and then, with a brief smirk, he innocently looked at the audience drawing us into the delight of his adventure. The dance took place in front of a wall standing about six feet high and eight feet wide where photographs were cast upon and created a mixture of impressions. As I watched the images pass from one to the next, I reflected on the images in my personal memory bank and questioned if they belong to me and if there are any images from another person’s bank that I have inserted myself into but now catalogue as my own. The switching of still photographs was directed with a single monotone word “change.” As the performance continued and movement phrases repeated, I found myself longing for the employment of other words, such as “now,” “then,” “once,” “mine,” and “ours,” to be used as the command to switch the pictures. I have always enjoyed the added element of voice in dance but more recently I have come to appreciate how words and voice can be used to give a deepened sense of weight and clarity to both the movement and thematic intent of a work. For example, it was refreshing to hear Efrén’s “water howls” vocalized and echoed throughout the Rio as he sat looking at an image of a still mountain lake. On an adjacent wall, Anderson chose to project herself dancing the original solo. However, I think this choice was in excess. I would have liked to have seen the space clear of this unneeded obstacle which would have allowed more daring abandoned feats by Efrén and more opportunity to venture further away from the wall and towards the projector itself. What would happen if the projections became absorbed and minimized by a giant human form? The performance space was intimate enough where the audience could see such a distortion.

Having curated events, I understand the difficult challenge of bringing together all the constituent parts of stagescape. One has to be mindful of the overall arch and scope of an event and must consider and deal with every staging ingredient from the grand to minuscule. So, how does stagescape influence the audience experience? I pose this question because, while each exhibit was unique from the other, I felt as though my overall experience was frustratingly neglected due in part to the lack of lighting, obscure placement of exhibits, and being a slight germaphobe having had no disinfecting wipes to clean the surfaces of headphones for the video installations. I would suggest taking into more consideration the spacing and placement of exhibits and installations, involving various lighting sources, and having deliberately clear and distinct audience pathways. If the audience is confused as to where they are “allowed” to walk i.e., in front of live performers, then something should “change.” All the aspects of Stagescape should relate to and support one another rather than detour and confuse. For example, I recently saw Ellen Bromberg’s “GLYPH” at the Natural History Museum of Utah, and was taken aback with the juxtaposition of the performers’ dark blood red costumes interspersed with the muted grey and barren bones of the museum’s hallowed dinosaur figures. I was intrigued at how movement sensors were utilized to create giant word shadows on the large concrete museum walls. “GLYPH” neglected not one presentational component which allowed Bromberg’s whole vision of “time, embodiment, and the human drive to mark one’s existence” to successfully come to fruition.

While venturing through “Arrivals/Departures,” I appreciated the desire the curators had in offering Salt Lake audiences another viewpoint of dance and for giving an opportunity for current art makers to showcase their work. However, “Arrivals/Departures” did make me question the originality of the eleven involved artists. If the essence of movement is change, and dance is constantly moving, then how did this art form become so stagnant in thought and ingenuity? When will dance, if ever, be invigorated with a new sense of abandoned freedom? I’m not talking about that of the dancer’s ability of abandoned freedom but rather that of the art maker’s willingness to look beyond marginal inspiration. Are artists destined to interpret, through an unchanged fragmented filter, the same old same old laborious thematic devices of ego, love, sense of place, etc.? What and how do we contribute in securing dance as an art form of the future? I hope the artists of “Arrivals/Departures” continue to explore creative ways of unifying, inviting, and invigorating their audience, but as they embark on their art making quest remember that monotonous work is unsatisfactory, unappealing, and just plain boring.

Aaron Wood has danced for RDT since 2007. He also explores choreography with Sarah Donohue as part of “My Turkey Sandwich”. 

January 22, 2013

FCA congratulations

by ashleyandersondances

We here at loveDANCEmore are pleased to announce that the chair of the board of Ashley Anderson Dances, Ishmael Houston-Jones, was one of 14 recipients of the 2013 Grants to Artists award from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts (FCA). This is unrestricted grant of $25,000 was awarded by nomination to artists working Dance, Music, Performance Art, Poetry and Visual Art. It is interesting to note that although this is a national award and grantees were from various states, all four recipients in the Dance category, Faye Driscoll, Rashaun Mitchell, Kota Yamazaki, and Ishmael are all from New York. Big congratulations Ishmael, (maybe now you can use some of that well-deserved cash to come out to Salt Lake, hint)!

January 20, 2013

Report from New York

by lovedancemoreguest

Hey, we here in the “Snapple” are trying to recover from two weeks of ubiquitous dance, dance, dance. It was the time of year when the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, APAP, invades the City and every choreographer and dancer decides to put on a show for the invaders. On one hand, it’s a great time to see a lot of work in a very short time. On the other hand, it can be very overwhelming and by the end one hungers to stay home and watch TV or go to a movie that features zero dance.

I hung out mostly at Ben Pryor’s fourth installment of his American Realness Festival housed at the Abrons Arts Center.  http://tbspmgmt.com/AMERICAN_REALNESS_.html
I performed as a guest in Keith Hennessy’s “Turbulence, a Dance about the Economy.” This import from San Francisco, is a chaotic, messy, visceral, circus of political theater that features drag (of many types), nudity (of several kinds), trapeze work, poetry, economic theory, music (electronic and banjo), urination, allusions to the occupy movement, contact improvisation, fake healing of audience members – (“there is nothing wrong with you and I have no power to cure you”), and, btw, dancing. But out of this chaos, something very moving and powerful transpires.

Of the pieces I saw, I was most affected by Jeanine Durning’s “inging,” Miguel Gutierrez and Mind Over Mirrors’ “Storing the Winter,” and Neal Medlyn’s “Wicked Clown Love.” Some might find it difficult to characterize either Jeanine’s or Neal’s pieces as “Dance.”

In “inging” Jeanine moves very little. She does a tour de force of her current speaking practice and talks rapid fire, almost non-stop on a myriad of subjects for almost 50 minutes. She does walk amongst the audience who are seated in chairs that have been scattered randomly about the Abrons basement theater space. The spontaneity of her free association thoughts is astounding. She pauses only to catch a sporadic breath or to take a sip of water.

Neal’s piece takes place in the same performance space, but the audience is arranged more traditionally. But that is the only traditional thing that happens in “Wicked Clown Love,” Neal’s homage, evocation, exploration and critique of the Juggalos of Wicked Clown Posse. There are rituals, songs, poems, DJ-ing, lots of spraying of Fago™ Soda, and a memorial service. I confess that I had no knowledge of the phenomena of Wicked Clown Posse or Juggalos before seeing this work but I was dropped into and surrounded by this post grunge, testosterone driven, and pseudo mystical world. I left humming the chant “Suck my n*** B****, f*** you!”

It seems that all my favorite pieces happened in the small basement space. Miguel Gutierrez and Mind Over Mirrors, (Jamie Fennely), presented a deceptively simple dance and music concert there. Jamie, who has relocated to Chicago and Miguel have not performed together in some time. While the set up was straightforward, it was a pleasure to see Miguel simply responding to and leading the spellbinding whirs of Jamie’s music; to appreciate what powerful, yet subtle physicality he possesses. And after experiencing his more intricate and extravagant new group choreography, “And lose the name of action,” in which I am a cast member, it was a real joy watching him dancing in blue jeans and a t-shirt (and one very large false eyelash.)

These were my personal favorites, but I actually saw 10 full-length pieces in a little more than 10 days. Others of note were Faye Driscoll’s “You’re Me”, Jack Ferver’s “Mon Ma Mes”, and Chris Cochrane. Jassem Hindi, Jen Rosenblit & Enrico D. Wey’ s “…or and animal…”

And tonight I will perform in Yvonne Meier’s improv structure, Gogoloretz at the closing party. Although it has been a rich two weeks, I’m not sure if I’ll want to be seeing much dance in the coming week. (Except Judson on Monday and something at Dixon Place on Thursday and something either at NYLA or Danspace Project on Friday); it never ends here. Never!

Ishmael Houston-Jones is the chair of the board of Ashley Anderson Dances.

January 15, 2013

New Theatre at SLAA

by lovedancemoreguest

If you regularly drive down 200 E, you may have noticed that the Salt Lake Arts Academy is under construction. Why is this of interest to the dance community? Because they are building a new black box space. For the past six years, the dance program has been housed in a tiny studio even smaller than a traditional classroom. The mission of the school, to provide intensive daily arts instruction that integrates with the core curriculum, is fulfilled by an innovative and daring student body.

This weekend, in honor of the new construction which has brought larger facilities for all of the arts disciplines, the dance students will perform collaborations between themselves and dance teacher Karin Fenn. There will be live music by Salt Lake Alternative Percussion and Judson Armstrong.

Eventually, the space will be available for rental by independent choreographers and producers. For now, SLAA and Fenn need the local dance community to come out and support them as they present a concert and try to raise the funds to finish everything up. More information and a rendering of the new building can be found at slarts.org/arts-wing-project. Donations for admission will solely support the completion of the dance and other arts facilities including mirrors, barres, marley floor, sound equipment and other essentials. It’s Thursday and Friday January 17 and 18 at 7PM. (Still time to attend and make it to Arrivals/Departures by 9pm during Gallery Stroll).

January 3, 2013

Call for Submissions

by ashleyandersondances

learning to loveDANCEmore has released five volumes since 2010 and while it’s hard to believe it’s been three years since the first issue we are hard at work on volume 6. Themed around “collaboration” the issue will take on the historical collaborative spirit that exists in modern dance but also the way in which collaborations can be difficult (even impossible) to navigate. Whether you take is a formal essay or photodocumentation of your recent creative work submissions of all formats are accepted via lovedancemore@gmail.com

Submissions are due February 14. Yup, Valentines Day. We love dance that much.

January 3, 2013

first studio series of 2013

by ashleyandersondances

Ai Fujii and Juan Carlos, coordinators or Ririe Woodbury’s Studio Series classes, are offering their first class of the year free of charge.
Next Saturday (January 12th) from 10-11:30am in the Rose Wagner Balcony Studio.

Studio Series features a rotating roster of teachers from the Salt Lake dance community and offers discounts for students and those using public transit. Check it out by looking for Studio Series on facebook.

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