Co-curated by Beth Gill and Cori Olinghouse
December 3-5, 2015
THURSDAY December 3, 2015, 8 pm
Nelisiwe Xaba Fremde Tänze [Foreign Dances]
Created and performed by Nelisiwe Xaba
Nelisiwe Xaba was an early catalyst in our conversations on plasticity in art making. Watching her solo work and discussing what drew us to it helped us to articulate a shared space of interest for the festival. What we saw and were captivated by was a calculated shifting of sculptural portraiture and the visual puzzling of materials: costume, objects, light and the body.
Her work Fremde Tänze was created during a project in Freiburg, Germany in which she was asked to consider and respond to early German choreographers such as Mary Wigman who were influenced by exotic dance. These pioneers of modern dance in the 1910s and 1920s often presented a series of short, exoticist pieces accompanied by music. In her evening of “Foreign Dances”, Nelisiwe Xaba turns around the perspective and exoticizes the Black Forest.
FRIDAY December 4, 2015, 8pm
Gwen Welliver What a Horse!
Abby Zbikowski double nickels on the dime
What a Horse!
For the festival, we invited Gwen Welliver to share What a Horse! inspired by Paul Klee’s image of the same name (Was für ein Pferd! 1929). In her piece, Welliver embraces “formalism and fantasy” as she uses the lines of the body to conjure and summon imaginative representations that hint at character, fantasy, and metaphor. The raucous, relentless, and poetic suggestions emerging from the physical body offer imaginative resonances that moves beyond abstraction.
“Lines in the body, between people and things—as pathway, intersection, collision, mark and cut—help me to understand what is happening in movement. These lines aren’t abstract or geometric; rather, they are common forms of human communication.”
- Gwen Welliver
double nickels on the dime
Abby Zbikowski will present double nickels on the dime. Zbikowski’s choreography is radical through the extreme use of labor in the body. Visual rhythms emerge in a brutish, demanding fashion. In post-modern dance, authenticity is often connected to ideas of easefulness and non-doing in the body. Zbikowski offers a new perspective—subverting the idea of an easeful or non-effortful body.
“This work interrogates effort in the body and its potential to manifest in multiple aesthetic worlds. This explosive effort in the body sustained across multiple movement worlds deliberately renders my political perspective on dance. I would call it a hybrid approach to moving rather than a hybrid movement vocabulary.”
- Abby Zbikowski
SATURDAY December 5, 2015, 8pm
Impossible Dances: Past and Future
Melinda Ring and Kai Kleinbard
Impossible Dance #2 (still life)
Original concept and improvisational structure by Melinda Ring from 1999
Gift interpretation and improvisation by Kai Kleinbard
Choreography by Melinda Ring in collaboration with the performers, Talya Epstein, Maggie Jones and Molly Lieber, along with Kayvon Pourazar
“She’s just impossible; I don’t know what to do with her!
Dance is impossible like an unruly teenager needing just enough freedom balanced with just the right guidance to flourish. I love her. She can be so beautiful, so full of energy and potential. Her desires, my desires for her, can be frightening. How can I be ultimately responsible for this unpredictable creature? It’s maddening.”
We originally approached Melinda Ring about her 1999 work Impossible Dances, inquiring if this was a work she could imagine ‘gifting’ to another artist. Gifting is a proposal we dreamed up as a possibility to redirect the typical exchange of artists appropriating other artists’ ideas and work. We see this process of gifting as a mentoring process; Kai Kleinbard will work closely with Ring to reimagine Impossible Dance #2 (still life) in his own aesthetic style. Our interest is to allow the exchange of information to remain dynamic through keeping the gift in motion. In this instance, the gift moves in an orbit between Melinda, Kai, and the audience. Impossible Dances: Past and Future imaginatively explores these spaces of remembering, gifting, and interpretation asking how ephemeral forms are transmitted, reconstructed, and exchanged.