This year, the CalArts Winter Dance—presented with Redcat—will be online, “an immersive, digital performance… synthesizing the embodied memories of the faculty and students… charting [their] personal and shared histories with fresh insights through cutting-edge cartographies, [imagining] new dances in new forms through new technologies”*
Maybe within the museum dance can have another rhythm, temporality, be made more elusive. Dance could then escape the heavily prescribed regime often found in theaters, with concise beginnings and ends and a required length. Here then it could even be made “ghostly.”
Even then, I can attest to my general feelings of unease with the weight of History and the collecting of objects within the museological frame. This unease also bears on questions of site/sight as it pertains to the museum as space for viewing dance and performance. I have become increasingly more comfortable and, let’s say, provoked by the role of seeing and being seen by an audience. This relation to an audience is crucial and in large part where the resistance lies in my work. — Ligia Lewis*
As the Hammer Museum, the Huntington, and an art-starved public wait for the chance to experience Made in L.A. 2020: a version in person, artist and choreographer Ligia Lewis has created a video documenting deader than dead, her work for the biennial.
Performed by Jasper Marsalis, Jasmine Orpilla, Austyn Rich, and Lewis, deader than dead “began with an intrigue-based inquiry into deadpan, an impassive mannerism deployed in comedic fashion in order to illustrate emotional distance. Utilizing this expression as a type of stasis, Lewis initially developed a choreography for ten dancers that remained expressively flat or dead, resisting any narrative or representational hold tied to a climactic build or progression. Lewis had relegated deader than dead to this corner of the gallery (a kind of ‘dead’ space) where the dance would ostensibly emerge, although deadened in its repetition, limited in its fate, as it ricocheted from wall to wall.
“[Lewis] abandoned this recursive ensemble of death due to COVID-19, reducing the cast to four performers and pivoting to a more traditionally theatrical presentation. In this new work the dancers use Macbeth’s culminating soliloquy (‘Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,’ a reflection on repetition and meaninglessness) as the beginning of a work that unfolds in modular parts, each one an illustration or parody of death, stasis, and the void, each one tied to its own carefully selected soundtrack or sample.”**
Amidst the isolation and racial uprisings in the early summer of 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic continued its spread, forty-four current and former company members came together (while being apart) to create something as a community in support of the Black LivesMatter movement… In 1991, three years after Arnie’s passing at the height of the AIDS pandemic, Jones made Arnie’s CONTINUOUS REPLAY choreography into a full company work—which has connected generations of company members and was, for most of them, the only way to know Arnie. The diverse cast of performers spanning four decades—including Arthur Aviles, Sean Curran, Odile Reine-Adelaide, Stefanie Batten Bland, Rosalynde LeBlanc, Heidi Latsky, Jenna Riegel, and many others—filmed themselves while in isolation across four continents. The original soundtrack is created by composer John Oswald and editing of the videos was done by Associate Artistic Director Janet Wong.*
Cécile B. Evans presents her “experimental ecofeminist thriller” A Screen Test for an Adaptation ofGiselleand a related performance work—Notations for an Adaptation of Giselle (welcome to whatever forever)—in Paris, through the first week of November. The works are part of the Move 2020 festival at Centre Pompidou.
Both A Screen Test—which combines digital footage, 16mm, VHS recordings, animation and AI—and the live Notations performances feature Alexandrina Hemsley as Giselle, Rebecca Root as Bertie, and LilyMcMenamy as Leonida.
Simone Forti will join artist and immigration activist Barnett Cohen for an online discussion about their poetry exchange, how the pandemic has shifted their practices, and the future of performance, post-quarantine.
The event is presented by Joan Los Angeles. See link below for Zoom information.