Fall started for us in the middle of August when we went back to rehearsal for The Partner Project/Scene in Public (PPSIP) which will premiere at The Danspace Project Dec 9-11. We had the good fortune to start off with a two week rehearsal residency at the big, beautiful Music Theatre Group studio in Dumbo. It was a joy to have that large light space to work in and we’re grateful to Diane Wondisford and One Arm Red folks for making it possible.
PPSIP deals with the nature of partnerships – we enter into them in many ways throughout our lives – friends, lovers, spouses, adversaries, teacher/student, parent/child. We each shape the partnership and are shaped by it. How? We often, especially in big cities, encounter intimate moments between two people. How is their duet affected by us, the “audience”, and how are we affected by them, the “performers”. I’m sure I’m not alone in often feeling inspired, angry, scared, confused by a momentary glimpse into a relationship that I encounter by chance. There is a lot we try to screen out of our experience but mostly I think it doesn’t work. Maybe that’s because I don’t have an ipod.
We’ll spend a few of our rehearsal days shooting video footage outdoors. Video artist Barbara Bickart who created the video score for Whole Sky in 2004 is going to create a very different kind of video score for this piece. We’re taking some of the movement material in to public venues and videotaping not just the dancers but the watchers and the avoiders. It’s so interesting to see what people do to avoid something unfamiliar and to see the different ways in which people watch something they find both unsettling and fascinating. We’ll use this footage in the live performance.
We recently had the opportunity to show this piece in progress at The Music Theatre Group space as part of the Dumbo Arts Festival. We got great feedback which is helpful in moving the piece forward. On Oct 10 we’ll show excerpts of it in Rosendale, NY at the funky, charming Rosendale Theater which is presenting its first Dance Film Festival. Our performance there will be preceded by a screening of Rites of Passing from 1981. It is a sobering blast from the past. The original performance was commissioned by Creative Time as part of Art on the Beach. The dance takes place on the sandy landfill that eventually became Battery Park City and the World Financial Center. But in 1981 it was just sand. All that was there was the Twin Towers which are prominent in the film.
Upcoming projects include collaborating with young people in Sunset Park, Brooklyn to create a dance for dancers and skateboards. We’re also in the planning stages of One Town One Dance which will involve, we hope, all of Marbletown, NY in Ulster County. More to come.