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FALLS BRIDGE: new movement, improvisation, and performance festival

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Over 20 local Philadelphia + East Coast Improvisers spanning five decades of age and  experience are joined by visiting artists from the Lower Left over two evenings of performances at Mascher Space Cooperative and Philly PARD, presented by FALLS BRIDGE: new movement, improvisation and performance festival.

On Saturday, January 19th, 8pm at Mascher Space Cooperative, Rebecca Bryant and Margaret Paek perform their duet, Available Space. Lower Left is known for its collective gathering of creative voices and its artful compositions. Come see what thrilling, satisfying, sweet or astonishing dancing happens when these artists assemble on stage. In addition, five other sensational groupings –as established as Manfred Fischbeck & Group Motion Company Members and as new as Marion Ramirez & Katherine Keifer Stark– will experiment adding vibrancy and pluralism to the idea of what improvisational performances look like.

On Sunday, January 20th, 6pm at Philly PARD, Rebecca Bryant performs Suite Female: Part IX.i, the latest installment in Bryant’s critically acclaimed Suite Female series, which rigorously explores cultural constructions of gender identity. Also at PARD, An ensemble of two families perform Resident Artists: dancing/familiar: Musician/father Loren Kiyoshi Dempster, dancer/ parents Margaret Sunghe Paek, Marion Ramirez and JungWoong Kim, along with their performing progeny, Eleanor and Ari (two and three years old), collectively create an intimate, elegant dance that reframes everyday motion and challenges typical notions of performance. Fleshing/filling out the rest of the program, will be two dynamic Philly-based duos, a solo, and a quintet.

Additionally, on Friday, January 18th, 6pm, at University of the Arts, Rebecca Bryant, Margaret Paek will offer a free workshop showing with their Ensemble Thinking workshop participants. Ensemble Thinking offers dancers an opportunity to explore movement improvisation while delving into the collective art-making process. Working in both solo and ensemble structures, we will cultivate compositional clarity, find a greater range of movement vocabulary, and diversify our spatial and temporal choices — all in an intimate setting that facilitates collaboration, deep trust and risk taking. Aiming towards performance, we will begin with exploring the solo body, drawing on approaches that diversify awareness and neuromuscular states to forge unique movement. We will then use Ensemble Thinking structures to learn to cooperatively compose in the moment as a group, clarifying our communication through space and time.

Plus, on Wednesday, January 16th, 10am at University of the Arts, Lower Left will lead a juicy, engaging round table discussion with the dance community and the public about the craft and practice of Improvisation and Performance. The Lower Left, through workshops, discussion and performances will enrich the philadelphia dance community with their wisdom, experience and deep history of practice and research in the field of dance improvisation.
LOWER LEFT
–  a collective of dance and performance artists committed to artistic innovation.
–  spans seven cities, three countries, two continents, one earth.
–  embraces today’s dance and performance community as a global phenomenon.
–  connects virtual and ideological cohorts, providing a web of support for artistic growth and daring.
–  artist follows his/her own artistic trajectory while also being invested in ensemble building and collective art-making.

Margaret Paek, a collaborative dance artist, is inspired by connection and integration and sees dance as a life practice. Recently, she has been investigating and challenging notions of domesticity, family, and community. She has been deeply influenced by her relationships with gymnastics, contact improvisation, Ensemble Thinking, Alexander Technique, Nina Martin, Shelley Senter, Barbara Dilley, Loren Kiyoshi Dempster and their daughter. Margaret is a Lower Left artist (www.lowerleft.org) and has enjoyed creating with Stochastic Ensemble (co-founder,) projectLIMB, BodyCartography, Keith Hennessy, Lionel Popkin, Milka Djordjevich, and Mary Overlie. Her cooperative and individual work has been presented in Mexico, Europe, and across the United States at venues including Joyce SoHo, Judson Church, and Danspace at St. Mark’s Church. Last year, she directed an ensemble of performers and their progeny for the Whitney Museum Biennial. As the practice of teaching is integral to her creative process, she is faculty at Movement Research, Marymount Manhattan and Manhattanville Colleges in NYC and this past summer taught in Budapest and Berlin. In Spring 2013, she will be teaching Dance History at University of the Arts. Margaret has authored articles forContact Quarterly and learning to loveDANCE more, serves on Movement Research’s Artist Advisory Council and the board of Marfa Live Arts, and received her MFA from Hollins University/ADF. (www.margaretpaek.com)

Coming from a visual art background, dancemaker Rebecca Bryant creates performances that combine both pre-determined and improvised movement with text, video, sound and objects. Known for her “wonderful insistence on making art about complex ideas” (Janice Steinberg, SanDiego.com), Bryant is interested in blurring the lines that separate artistic disciplines as she addresses current societal phenomena. In addition to solo work, she is an active collaborator, creating performances with Lower Left Performance Collective (dance/theater) and the Past Modern Performance Duo (dance/percussion/new media). She has danced with renowned and emerging choreographers including Victoria Marks, Nina Martin, Wally Cardona, Kim Epifano, Shelley Senter, Lionel Popkin, Liam Clancy, Marianne Kim, Randé Dorn, and Manuelito Biag. Bryanthas performed across the US and in Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, with projects being supported by residencies at Djerassi Resident Artist Program (California) and Guapamacátaro Art and Ecology Residency (Mexico). Dance critics have called Bryant’s work “humorous, subtle, and provocative” (David Lemberg, Artscape Media), “exploding with suggestions” (Zachary Whittenburg, Chicago Dancemakers Forum), and “a stunning and witty experience.” (Nancy Wozny, Dance Source Houston) Bryant has taught workshops in New York, Stockholm, Oslo, Berlin, Budapest, Buenos Aires, San Diego, at the Los Angeles Improvisational Dance Festival, West Coast  Contact Improv Festival (Berkeley, CA), Texas Dance Improvisation Festival (Houston, TX), Contact Festival Freiburg (Germany), TransContact Festival (Romania), and at numerous universities across the US. Her subjects include contemporary technique, improvisation, ensemble improvisation, contact improvisation, somatics, performance praxis, and composition. Bryant currently resides in Indiana where she is Assistant Professor of Dance at Purdue University.

FALLS BRIDGE: new movement, improvisation and performance festival, founded in in 2010 by Curt Haworth and Nicole Bindler, is a laboratory for the investigation and performance of dance, music and movement-based performing art forms. Based in January, FALLS BRIDGE offers improvisation classes and workshops taught by internationally known artists and innovators; as well as performances and showings for established, emerging and student artists. Valuing the individual artist, their creative process and vital role within society, FALLS BRIDGE is dedicated to the creation and implementation of affordable programs that nurture and initiate experimentation within performance. In addition, FALLS BRIDGE acts as a vital line of communication between the improvisation and performance community of Philadelphia and the University of the Arts. 2010 featured K.J. Holmes. 2011 featured Ishmael Houston Jones and Yvonne Meier. 2013 features the Margaret Paek and Rebecca Bryant of the Lower Left.

Mascher Space Co-op is a home for new dance in Philadelphia. Artist imagined, artist founded, artist shared and run, Mascher provides space that is affordable and versatile. We are a community of support that cultivates a flow of ideas and modes of deep problem solving and inquiry. Bound not by aesthetics, but a common commitment to working cooperatively and sharing administrative tasks and resources, Mascher wildly nurtures the development of its Artists-In-Residence at various stages in their careers, lines of research, and explorations.

Philly PARD (Performance Arts Research & Development) is a laboratory for the investigation of dance and movement-based art forms. PARD offers a range of classes and workshops taught by movement artists and innovators; as well as performances and showing cases for up-and- coming and emerging artists. Valuing the individual artist, their creative process and vital role within society, PARD is dedicated to the creation and implementation of affordable programs that nurture and initiate discourse and experimentation.
FALLS BRIDGE 2013 Conversations, Showings and Performances.

Wednesday, January 16th, 10am – 12noon
@ University of the Arts, 1401 Walnut St, 2nd Fl.
Brunch ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION on the field and practice of improvisation and performance, topics tbd. Free and open to the public!

Friday, January 18th, 6pm
@ University of the Arts, 1401 Walnut St, 2nd Fl.
FREE WORKSHOP SHOWING with Rebecca Bryant, Margaret Paek, and participants.

Saturday, January 19th, 8pm
@ Mascher Space Coop, 155 Cecil B. Moore Ave.
PERFORMANCES $10 / $8 (dance professionals/student/senior). Purchase tickets at the door.
Margaret Paek & Rebecca Bryant Andy Hayleck & Harmonica Semis
Bhob Rainey, Curt Haworth & Nicole Bindler Katherine Stark & Marion Ramirez
Manfred Fischbeck & Group Motion Company members Christina Gesualdi, Annie Wilson & Julius Masri

Sunday, January 20th, 6pm
@ Philly PARD, 1720 Mt.Vernon St.
PERFORMANCES $10 / $8 (dance professionals/student/senior). Purchase tickets at the door.
Rebecca Byrant
Margaret Paek, Loren Dempster, Marion Ramirez, Jung Woong Kim + Ari & Eleanor Curt Haworth, Maxfield Gast, Zach Svoboda, Leanne Grieger & Mike Pietrusko Bethany Formica & Megan Mazarick
Jenny Sawyer & Lee Fogel Jaamil Kosoko

Tickets:
$10 / $8 (dance professionals/student/senior). Purchase tickets at the door.

Websites:
www.mascherdance.org
www.mt-vernondancespace.com

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