Bodies of TextApr 3rd, 2011 | By Steven Weisz | Category: For Immediate Release
Bodies of Text is a series of collaborative dance performances and art exhibitions tied to the book and its interdisciplinary interpretations. Premiering as a part of the 2011 Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts and its theme of Paris 1911, Bodies of Text is rooted in the idea of Art à la Rue and brings Art to the Street in Philadelphia’s Rive Gauche, West Philadelphia.
Philadelphia dance companies interpret seven unique books, selected from many submissions by Philadelphia Center for the Book members. The first installment of these choreographic creations, all world premieres, will be performed on April 16th at the Community Education Center (3500 Lancaster) at 8 pm and will feature works by Idiosyncrazy Productions and Rain Ross Dance. Tickets are available through the CEC (Box Office: 215-387-19111) and through PIFA at www. Pifa.org.
Idiosyncrazy director Jumatatu Poe’s new piece, A Big Enough Grief, is inspired by Lesley Mitchell’s abstraction of Astor Piazzolla’s song, Balada para un Loco, in her book of the same title. Mitchell’s book has caused Jumatatu to reflect on his experiences with grief and the situations that create it. Piazzolla’s lyrics illustrate a man’s obsessive love for a woman who is out of his reach. A Big Enough Grief examines the longing for those that are no longer within our reach and will also include text by James Ijames and new sound and music by Margel Overton.
Shannon Murphy, also of Idiosyncrazy Productions, has created Blast Vs Blaze, an investigation of an argument that can never be won or lost. Inspired by Monica Kane’s book Strike, which features photographic imagery within barbed metal pages, and with sound and video work by Steve Surgalski, this dance theater duet explores the definitions that keep us separated, keep us fighting, and that keep us from communication. In the duet, Murphy and Jumatatu Poe combat in unlikely ways. Their movement, often explosive and aggressive forever flues their battle without ever coming to resolution. Blast Vs Blaze is not a comment on who is right or wrong or good or bad. It is more a question of how we fight for ourselves and who we fight against.
Rain Ross Dance, in collaboration with book artist Mimi Shapiro, will premiere another duet, The Flight To Varennes. This choreographic work explores an unforeseen fantasy that could never be a reality, asking the question: does love fall into categories? Ross and dancer Lauren Kelly will perform this exciting and sensuous duet, with an original composition by Dan Roeder, in response to Shapiro’s unique collaged book.
Performances will be followed by a discussion between choreographers and book artists, examining the transformation from printed page to stage, and accompanied by storefront exhibits of artist books and related material. Featured books will also be on view alongside each performance. Book artists chosen for the May and September installments are: Ananda Connolly, Rebecca Kelly, Anna Mavromatis, Jude Robison, and Bonnie Whitfield.
On May 27th at Studio 34, Eleanor Goudie-Averill of Stone Depot Dance Lab, Alie Vidich, Heather Cole & Erin Shanti Desmond of Movement Brigade, and Zornitsa Stoynova of Here[begin] Dance Co. will present their new works (followed by encore performances at the Christ Church Neighborhood House). The final installment of the series will be an outdoor performance during the Philly Fringe Festival on September 3rd featuring Eleanor Goudie-Averill and Beau Hancock of Stone Depot Dance Lab and react/dance.
Drawing on the rich cultural traditions of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Center for the Book serves as a catalyst to advance the book as a vital contemporary art form, connecting the diverse community of institutions and individuals whose passion is books, PCB facilitates exhibits, workshops, and book fairs, as well as collaborations with Philadelphia-area special collections libraries. Quarterly members and friends meetings are open to anyone interested in learning more about the organization.
Bodies of Text
Performance and exhibition featuring:
Jumatatu Poe and Shannon Murphy of idiosynCrazy Productions & Rain Ross Dance Company
April 16, 2011 at 8 pm
Community Education Center, 3500 Lancaster, Philadelphia