Sunday, August 10, 2008

New Project + good news

So, for those of you that read this blog who don't know me, some exciting news:
I've been selected as a Van Lier Fellow* for Dance Theater Workshop's 2008/2009 season!

I was nominated at the beginning of the summer (along with a good friend and fellow artist) and spent the summer working out an application. DTW asked each school participating in their college partnership program to nominate two dancers that had just graduated, and out of those 16, my friend and I were both lucky enough to be asked in for interviews (along with two other dancers out of the sixteen). In the end, it was narrowed down to two, one being myself! (a later post on the grossness of having to battle between friends like that, and that feeling of getting it).

The fellowship includes:
100 hours of studio time at Topaz Arts in Queens
a paid internship at DTW (which i'll be doing feb-august of next year)
a mentor (yet to be decided) who i'll meet with 12 times throughout the internship
workshops on grant writing, life as a dancer etc.
discussion groups with other DTW artists
and free tickets to DTW's entire season!

This is obviously a * HUGE * deal for me, and honestly hasn't even really sunken in. Suffice it to say, it feels like all the work that i've put in for the last four years has really been recognized. To have DTW say that they're excited about what i'm doing is probably the most exciting part of the whole thing. It feels damn good.

In my proposal for the fellowship, i detailed both the dance and hypermedia work that i've been doing (and sharing with you, ferocious reader). As part of the proposal, i noted that i would be chronicling the work that the project entailed here, on the Urgent Artist. So, you're in for a new project that's both interested in movement making and hypermedia theorizing/actualizing.

Here's the just of the proposal:
- make a piece using the same basic structure of "spots of time" that i used in my piece-before-last, "the What's Left Over After". The idea of the "spot of time" is Wordsworthian, but i came across it through Joyce, in the way that he uses it in Ulysses. The idea is basically that there's a single event (the one that sticks out for me in Ulysses is Bloom and Molly's tryst in the countryside with the seedcake...god what a scene) that multiple characters orbit around - somehow stuck on what occurred (each noticing different parts and taking different impressions). I really like the idea of making these little events, and really getting them the way i want them - crafting a "reality" for the "characters" in the dance. Then, once these self-contained "spots" are set in stone, the piece is choreographed by decaying and interconnecting the spots - taking the event of the spot, and showing it from multiple viewpoints and memories, as well as giving it a context beside the other spots that are occurring. So. What i'm doing for the fellowship is just making these spots. Really taking the time to get them right. Ideas for spots so far include: "13 variations on a car crash", "glassbox", "headphones for lillie", "the timeline", "Him and Her", "catalog of dreams i've had since", "you fucker, you punched me in the throat", "sugarcubism at the Picaso museum", and "drunk woman song". I definitely won't end up using all of them. It's just a starting point.

- I'm also invoking hypermedia yet again. After all this non-embodied theorizing, it's high time i get back in the studio with it. So i'll be filming every rehearsal, just like last time. I want to look especially at how hypermedia (and film footage of everything) is helpful to me as a choreographer - actually, how it can evolve me and restructure the dance-making - as well as if it can be helpful to the dancers in a parallel way. I've also asked a technologist friend if he wants to sign on to the project and play with "artifacting" our makings, but i'm waiting to hear back if he's available.

So those are the two main points. And that i'll be blogging about it all the way. With you. I hope you're excited for this! Or maybe just waiting and seeing. That's okay too.

So to end, here are some things that I want to explore in the piece itself:
- using an understanding of video editing/FCP mindset to make movement (especially playing with slow/superfast motion and with retrograding but with that re-wound look)
- visual art component (in the last piece it was the letters, i'm seeing red string and plywood sheets for this one...)
- as always, hard falls
- the way a bird looks when it flies one direction, then all of a sudden has to change to a different direction
- partnering-heavy duets, some of them using sexual actions (like kissing, not a whole lot more, don't worry...that's another project) as movement
- ideas from Chuck Palahniuk's "Rant" (which i HIGHLY recommend)
- brief, exact, drunk unison
- images from specific dreams i've been having
- cubism as a structure for editing and re-working movement

So that's that.
As ALWAYS, would love to hear any ideas and/or responses! I'm in the process of looking for music still (not even for the final project - just to get me thinking), and one more male dancer. If you know where i can find either, give me a holler.

More to come!

* The Van Lier Fellowship is a program of Dance Theater Workshop and is supported with funds from the Van Lier Fund of the New York Community Trust


matt gough said...


Sarah A.O. Rosner/The AOMC said...

thanks matt!

Copy_ said...

I knew this project would go amazing places! I'm so glad you've gotten some recognition for all your hard work, and brilliant ideas!! Great going! don't forget to keep me posted about this stuff!