Dance Theater Workshop
Three choreographers test the limits.
Mon Oct 5 2009
Flomin; Photograph: Julieta Cervantes
The backstory: “I grew up in Israel but spent two years of my life in Toronto, from ages 3 to 5. My dad took a lot of films over the years, and there’s a lot of footage that I discovered last year. They’re going to be projected through a video installation that will partially be on screens and the back wall. I’m trying to create a feeling that we’re entering the piece slowly, like going into the memories, and the memories will open up and reveal themselves.”
The cast: Antonio Ramos, Colleen Thomas and Flomin. “I showed the footage to Antonio and he said, 'Oh, you should make a piece and I’ll be your brother,’ and he is my brother in New York. We are best friends and we’ve danced together with many choreographers. I was kind of in search of a sister, and Colleen and Antonio and I danced with Kevin Wynn in 1992. I wanted to perform with people who are my age and my friends and who went through the same experiences.”
The composer: James Lo. “We’re trying to think of sound and images that reflect the ’70s, and one thing we’re working with are some of my favorite TV theme songs. Little House on the Prairie is one example. At that time, TV was something that really formed your childhood. I literally grew up with Laura and Mary and The Muppet Show.”
Fields of Ida
The backstory: “It’s a title of one of my father’s unpublished novels. That’s my own backstory, which is how I knew about it. But it’s also a place from Norse mythology that’s basically apocalyptic. The gods have been killed, worlds have been destroyed, and what’s left is this field that’s the Ida plain, and it’s an ending and a beginning at the same time. Structurally in the piece, there are multiple false endings and beginnings and then it doesn’t really end.”
The music: “In the past in my work there have been no external sound scores—the performers have made the sound, mostly with humming. In this, there is one song—-a Swedish lullaby—and I sing it myself. I’m a terrible singer, but I had this idea that I was interested in exploring all the modes of expression for one person. And I was interested in singing also because it makes me very uncomfortable.”
All by herself: “I wanted to try to make a solo, completely and truly solo, and to involve other people as little as possible. So I’m doing the light by myself with all the lamps from my home.”
What it is: A fatalistic work in which each dancer speaks the same fantastical text but employs different timing and emotional approach.
The cast: Nishimura, Kai Kleinbird and Floanne Ankah.
A sample of the text: “Help, help, Birdman, help! This monster is evil...”
The backstory: “Basically, I did free writing while I played the sound of a mockingbird, which has been in my backyard since May. For three months, he would keep singing from 11:30pm to 4am—that made me really crazy of course. I threw water and tried to attack him, but I got used to it and I started feeling sympathy for him because he was alone. He was crazy. He used different voices every ten seconds and in the silence, there was a real echo and it was unrealistic.”
...and the dance: “I think what fascinates me most in the process of working on this piece is a kind of silence, even when people are talking. It’s like seeing an echo of elements in the space.
Ursula Eagly, Ori Flomin and Mina Nishimura will perform at Dance Theater Workshop Thu 8--Sat 10.