The Six Brandenburg Concertos @Park Avenue Armory

The Six Brandenburg Concertos, one of J.S. Bach’s most iconic masterpieces meet Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, one of the world’s most acclaimed choreographers meet Park Avenue Armory, one of New York’s most iconic venues.  A winning combination and one of the highlights of the year.

”The Brandenburg Concertos consist of six concerti grossi, in which Bach deploys the instruments from the baroque orchestra in different, often audacious constellations. Against this backdrop, De Keersmaeker sets sixteen dancers originating in different Rosas generations. Following the premiere of Mitten wir im Leben sind/Bach6Cellosuiten De Keersmaeker approaches, as in Vortex Temporum (2013), Bach’s music as if it were a ready-made score for a dance piece, embodying Bach’s polyphonic mastery. The concertos are played live by the baroque ensemble B’Rock. Violinist Amandine Beyer, with whom De Keersmaeker previously co-operated for Partita 2, will conduct the orchestra.” – [source: Rosas]

October 1st, 2018

Judson Dance Theater: The Work Is Never Done [@MoMA]

”For a brief period in the early 1960s, a group of choreographers, visual artists, composers, and filmmakers gathered in Judson Memorial Church, a socially engaged Protestant congregation in New York’s Greenwich Village, for a series of workshops that ultimately redefined what counted as dance. The performances that evolved from these workshops incorporated everyday movements—gestures drawn from the street or the home; their structures were based on games, simple tasks, and social dances. Spontaneity and unconventional methods of composition were emphasized. The Judson artists investigated the very fundamentals of choreography, stripping dance of its theatrical conventions, and the result, according to Village Voice critic Jill Johnston, was the most exciting new dance in a generation.” – [source: MoMA]

Judson Dance Theater: The Work Is Never Done was a walk through the history of Judson Dance Theater with performances, films, photographs, posters and other archival materials. It was also an introduction to the very beginnings of the life and work of artists I have been admiring for some time – and others that were completely new to me.

Instructed by the filmmaker Gene Friedman not to talk or hide their faces, Judith Dunn and Robert Ellis Dunn looked directly at the camera with deadpan expressions until they both broke into laughter. Judith Dunn was a choreographer and member of Merce Cunningham’s company, while Robert Dunn was a teacher and Cunningham’s accompanist.

Gene Friedman
Excerpt from Heads, 1965
16mm film transferred to video


In his workshops, Robert Ellis Dunn presented his students with Cage’s score for ”Fontana Mix” and asked them to use it as inspiration for a performance. The score instructed performers to layer transparencies containing lines and dots over a grid to create a random visual arrangement, with they then interpreted using a variety of movements and actions. This exercise exposed the students to chance operations, a composition technique popularized by Cage that introduced randomness into the art-making process.

John Cage
Fontana Mix, 1958
Ink on paper and transparent sheets


Laughter poem* for James Waring, 2 August 1960, by Ray Johnson


*If you are curious to know how a laughter poem sounds, please click on this page: Atlanta Poets Group to find out. You can also listen to the first one: Laughter poem for Ray Johnson, 30 July 1960, by James Waring
Judson Memorial Church, New York – March 16, 1966
Fred W. McDarrah


Yvone Rainer
”Bach” From Terrain, 1963
Performed at Judson Memorial Church, April 28th, 1963
By Trisha Brown, William Davis, Judith Dunn, Steve Paxton, Yvonne Rainer and Albert Reid

Rainer’s first evening-length work Terrain, was a five-part dance for multiple performers. Some of the sections were choreographed, while others were structured like a game, with rules and strategies that defined each dancer’s behavior but still allowed for spontaneity and improvisation.

Lucinda Childs
Geranium, 1965. Performed at 940 Broadway, January 29th, 1965
Geranium was set to the sounds of a championship football game, complete with sports commentators describing the action on the field, to which Childs added her imitation of sports broadcasting and intervals of music. Using the tape as a score and its sounds as cues, Childs interacted with objects including a wooden pole, a tinfoil scrap, a hammer and a pound of soil. She used a hammock to support her weight as she performed, in slow motion, the movement of a football player who – according to the broadcast – raced toward the ball, stumbled and fell.

Huddle is part of Simone Forti’s Dance Constructions (1960-61), a continually shifting mass of bodies. Seven to nine performers create a solid base and take turns climbing over the group. In doing this, they create a sculptural form Forti has often described as a mountain.

Simone Forti’s Dance Constructions (1960–61) were key forerunners to Judson Dance Theater. Made from inexpensive materials, including plywood and rope, each “construction” prompts actions such as climbing, leaning, standing or whistling. Simultaneously sculptures and performances, the works were first presented at Reuben Gallery and the artist Yoko Ono’s loft, both in New York.

Huddle was performed live in intervals, throughout the exhibition.

September 15th, 2018

Available Light || Lincoln Center

Available Light was a 1983 creation, a collaboration between three American icons: choreographer Lucinda Childs, composer John Adams and architect Frank Gehry, commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art, in Los Angeles.

The work was revived in 2015 and it was this updated version that we had the chance to enjoy as part of Lincoln Center’s ”Mostly Mozart Festival”, in 2018. Lucinda Childs’ interpretation of John Adams’ music that moves and unfolds like an expanding universe, was a deceivingly simple – in reality highly complex, energetic choreography, wonderfully complemented by Frank Gehry’s architectural set design.

A compilation of interviews with with John Adams, Lucinda Childs and Frank Gehry, with photographs of the original production, can be found in this 2015 article, by Julie Lazar, curator of the original work, in 1983.

Jazz @ Lincoln Center

July 13th, 2018

 

 

Twinkle Twinkle

Little StarZ

@Park_Avenue_Armory

Interdisciplinary artist Nick Cave created a dance-based town hall—part installation, part performance—to which the community of New York was invited to “let go” and speak their minds through movement, work out frustrations, and celebrate independence as well as community. 

The Let Go – June 24th, 2018

Nick Cave || The Let Go

Nick Cave’s wearable mops soundsuits invaded the entire ground floor of the Park Avenue Armory. When they started dancing, they were mesmerizing.

Nick Cave’s Soundsuits are wearable sculptures that combine performance and textile art. They are named for the noise Cave’s first suit made, when he wore it and started dancing around. They are often made from found objects and cover the wearer completely, so as to mask their identity.  The inspiration for the first Soundsuit, created in 1992, was the brutal beating of Rodney King. Since then, Cave has created over 500 Soundsuits.

Park Avenue Armory – The Let Go

June 24th, 2018

In Conversation – III

Finding our inner balance.

@Park_Avenue_Armory

Interdisciplinary artist Nick Cave created a dance-based town hall—part installation, part performance—to which the community of New York was invited to “let go” and speak their minds through movement, work out frustrations, and celebrate independence as well as community. 

The Let Go – June 24th, 2018

In Conversation – II

Sharing the air between us.

@Park_Avenue_Armory

Interdisciplinary artist Nick Cave created a dance-based town hall—part installation, part performance—to which the community of New York was invited to “let go” and speak their minds through movement, work out frustrations, and celebrate independence as well as community. 

The Let Go – June 24th, 2018