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Dancer: Zimmi Coker (American Ballet Theatre)
Violinist: Derek Ratzenboeck (New York City Ballet Orchestra)
Music: Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber "Passacaglia in G minor for Unaccompanied Violin"
Cinematography/Color Grading: Melissa Wu
Produced by Pigeonwing Dance & Arts on Air NYC (2020)
Rising Excerpts (2022)
Excerpts from a development workshop of "Rising," in collaboration with the Neave Trio (violin, cello, piano). "Rising" will eventually be developed into an evening-length work and features a commissioned score by composer Robert Sirota.
Dancers: Giovanna Gamna, Vivake Khamsingsavath, Gabrielle Lamb, Victoria Sames, Amy Saunder
Musicians: Anna Williams, Eri Nakamura, Mikhail Veselev
Cinematography: Joe Raffanti
Etude no. 16 (2021)
"Etude no. 16" is work-in-progress begun during a DanceLab NY residency in June 2021. Aaron Diehl's jazz-inflected reimagining of a Philip Glass piano etude inspired my own efforts to expand the classical vocabulary en pointe.
Music: Aaron Diehl
Dancers: Randy Castillo, Zimmi Coker, Erica Lall, Michael McBride
Cinematography: Amy Saunder
Viriditas depicts the changed pace of life during quarantine. Two dancers live and move on botanical time, aligning themselves with the rhythms of day and night and the changing of the seasons. It is danced by real-life roommates Amy Saunder and Tiffany Mangulabnan; and the idea for the film came from Amy’s return to NYC after the first months of lockdown. Coming home to an apartment full of green, she discovered that Tiffany had become a “plant person” during her absence. (June 2021)
Music: Hildegard von Bingen
Cinematography/Coloring: Joe Raffanti
Costumes: Christine Darch
Plexus: a work in knots (2020)
Premiered by Pigeonwing Dance in February 2020 at Gerald W Lynch Theater in NYC.
Plexus is a complex ecosystem of interdependent bodies, a mysterious network of fluctuating loyalties built upon an unsteady balance of power -- set to a commissioned electroacoustic score from composer James Budinich.
Production photos by Thomas Wilson / Promotional photos by Charles Roussel
Premiered by Marymount Manhattan Dance Company in February 2018. Onrush (22 dancers) is inspired by the movement of crowds through the streets and subways of NYC>
Premiered by Whim W'him at Seattle's Cornish Playhouse in January 2018. Joinery (7 dancers) is inspired by ideas of rupture, repair, and resilience.
Although the wind
blows terribly here,
The moonlight also leaks
between the roof planks
of this ruined house.
Premiered by Pigeonwing Dance at Bryant Park in July 2018. Aswim (4 dancers) is an exploration of fluid dynamics, loosely inspired by the recent discovery of octopus cities off the coast of Australia.
Can't Sleep But Lightly (2018)
Premiered by Dark Circles Contemporary Dance at Dallas's Watertower Theater in March 2018. Can't Sleep But Lightly (7 dancers) was a collaboration with composer/percussionist Brandon Carson, who plays all the instruments in the recording. The piece was inspired by words and phrases from Lydia Davis' short story A Natural Disaster.
Premiered by BalletCollective at NYU's Skirball Center in October 2017. Orange was performed by five New York City Ballet dancers to a commissioned piano quintet by composer Caleb Burhans, "New York's mohawked Mozart" (Time Out New York). Caleb’s music was performed live by The Knights, an innovative young chamber orchestra praised by the NYTimes as “spirited and vital”.
Ballet Collective’s unique process also asks the choreographer and composer to work jointly from a piece of source art, specially commissioned for the occasion. Our source artist, Trevor Paglen, is the recipient of a 2017 MacArthur Genius Grant and recently produced a fascinating body of work on machine vision. Read about the process in my interview with Whitewall Magazine.
Created for Pigeonwing Dance and premiered at Baruch College Performing Arts Center in November 2016. Bewilderness (8 dancers) is inspired by writings by author/activist Rebecca Solnit, and features music by Joan Cambon and Henry Purcell. Bewilderness returned for a three performance run at the 92Y Harkness Dance Center in March 2018.
Created for Pigeonwing Dance and premiered at Bryant Park in June 2017. Meristem (4 dancers) explores pattern formation in the natural world. The botanical term "meristem" refers to undifferentiated plant tissue cells capable of division, specialization and growth. On the Bryant Park stage, in the midst of Midtown’s tumult, the supple and articulate Pigeonwing dancers moved through a sequence of increasingly intricate spirals, waves, and vortices, all of it inspired by the simple rules governing some of nature’s most elegant patterns.
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