Cordoned Area – Queer dance performance at Vox Populi GalleryMay 28th, 2012 | By Steven Weisz | Category: Archived Articles
Jonathan VanDyke’s Cordoned Area, a durational performance by dancers David Rafael Botana and Bradley Teal Ellis, opens Painting Bitten by a Man , an exhibition queering the contemporary and historical resonance of paint on June 1st from 7-10pm at Vox Populi Gallery.
Unfolding over three hours, Cordoned Area expresses an evolving relationship between two men through fluid movement, their contact registered by the slow dripping of colored paint onto clean, white costumes. As they touch, paint mingles, merges, and eventually muddies their clothing and bodies, marking a carpet of unstretched canvas laid beneath them. That the dancers are a real-life couple lends intimacy to their passages of dominance and submission, aggression and tenderness, discord and unison, speed and rest, and athleticism and elegance.
Created by visual artist Jonathan VanDyke, who composed the score, for and with improvisational dancers Botana and Ellis, an earlier version of the piece was performed in 2011, outdoors at Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, New York. The dancers studied high school wrestling and homecoming footage, as well as films of the abstract artist Jackson Pollock at work and performances by Yves Klein to develop a range of collaborative movements informed by modern dance and contact improv. The performance – which viewers may enter at any time -
meditates upon questions of abstraction and materiality, and public and private gesture, key to the exhibition Painting Bitten by a Man.
Cordoned Area is part of Painting Bitten by a Man, a two-person exhibition of New York-based artists Brian Kokoska and Jonathan VanDyke, curated by Andrew Suggs. Both artists work with paint, queering its historical resonance and contemporary application. They use the medium to embody a push and pull between concealment and display, perhaps even “perverting” the very act of disclosure – the disclosure of hidden histories, rumors and fantasies, and “private” sex acts – in relation to painterly gestures and re-presentation. Their diverse bodies of work present a harmonious but complex merging of two distinct “painting” styles and introduce individual contemporary queer sensibilities through various approaches to figuration, abstraction, and materiality.
David Rafael Botana is a Cuban-American artist and improvisor born and raised in South Florida. After graduating from New World School of the Arts with a B.F.A in Dance Performance he moved to Brooklyn. He has been a member of the Repertory Understudy Group for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company joining in 2009. He also works with Jonah Boaker, performing in FILTER which premiered at Les Hirvernales in Avignon and On Vanishing performed in the Guggenheim Museum’s rotunda. In 2011 he was featured in VanDyke’s With One Hand Between Us, a 40-hour work that premiered as part of Performa in New York.
Bradley Teal Ellis is a Brooklyn based improviser. Originally from North Carolina, he received a B.F.A. in Acting from the University of North Carolina Greensboro. Bradley has studied and practiced Contact Improvisation for 13 years with teachers Nancy Stark Smith, Danny Lepkoff, Nita Little, K.J. Holmes and many others. He has performed improvisation at Dance Theater Workshop/NY Live Arts, PS1:Moma, Joyce Soho, 92nd Street Y, The Cunningham Studio, Movement Research at Judson Church, Performa and other institutions. Bradley has been a guest teacher at UNC-Greensboro, University of the Arts, Temple University, Dance New Amsterdam.
Friday, June 1, 7-10pm
Vox Populi Gallery
319 N 11th. 3rd Floor.
Philadelphia, PA 19107