FringeArts favorite Kate-Watson Wallace returns with Mash Up Body, a contemporary dance piece that examines the evolution and destruction of identity. This haunting and thrilling performance runs June 4th-6th at 8:00pm. All performances are at FringeArts’ waterfront headquarters, 140 N Columbus Blvd. (at Race St.). Tickets cost $15-25 and are available by phone at 215-413-1318 or online at FringeArts.com.
What happens when an artist creates, and then invites other artists to destroy their creation? The structure of Mash Up Body is a result of this kind of artistic process. “When I got into the room with the dancers, there was a moment when they had very clear ideas about what they wanted to explore that I hadn’t gotten to,” says choreographer Kate Watson Wallace. “So we went there. It was messy and uncomfortable and amazing. So it became the structure of the piece.”
Mash Up Body is comprised of two parts. First, a dance that embodies the value systems of the choreographer is imposed on the ensemble. Dancers adorned in black hoods and masks mimic and elaborate on movement, remaining inside the strict boundaries that have been set out for them. Second, the cast remixes and destroys the systems of the original dance. The channel changes from black and white to a Technicolor acid trip, and all rules go out the window, demonstrating a dancer’s ability to declare the autonomy of their own body. By doing so, the piece uses performance to reflect larger cultural and political power structures.
“I always think it is deeply political for a woman to be in charge,” says Watson-Wallace. “This is a female and trans cast because there was something I was trying to get at about these experiences in particular. I also keep trying to understand for myself what a feminist rehearsal room looks and feels like. I think straight white men could learn a lot from this process.”
Watson-Wallace directs a dynamic all-female and trans cast of four dancers in this remix: Jasmine Hearn, Cori Olinghouse, devynn emory, Haylee Nichell, and Melanie Cotton. Electronic music tastemaker Hprizm, High Priest formerly of the legendary hip hop trio Antipop Consortium, will be mixing a live improvisational score onstage, providing a sonic landscape inspired by hip-hop, experimental jazz, and ambient electronica.
Direction & Choreography: Kate Watson-Wallace
Conceptual Collaborator and Music Composition: Christopher Sean Powell
Visual and Costume Design: Kate Watson-Wallace
Live Electronics: HPrizm
Dramaturgy: Jaamil Olawale Kosoko
Outside Eye/Spirit Guide: Miguel Gutierrez
Dancers: Jasmine Hearn, Cori Olinghouse, devynn emory, Haylee Nichell, Melanie Cotton
Mash Up Body
Thu, June 4 at 8pm
Fri, June 5 at 8pm
Sat, June 6 at 8pm
FringeArts, 140 N Columbus Blvd., Phila
$25/Student and 25-and-under $15/Members save 30%
Call 215-413-1318 or visit www.fringearts.com to purchase tickets.
ABOUT THE CHOREOGRAPHER
Kate Watson-Wallace is a choreographer, director, and visual artist based in Brooklyn, NY. She creates experimental performance for the stage, site-based locations, and music videos. Works include HOUSE, a performance for 15 audience members inside an abandoned row home; CAR, a performance for 4 audience members who sit inside a moving vehicle; STORE, a performance installation inside an abandoned mega-store; and Everywhere, a participatory online dance experience and contest. Her interactive and site-based performance work has been funded by The Map Fund, Doris Duke Foundation through Creative Capital, Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, Independence Foundation, The Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, and PA Council on the Arts. She is a 2007 Pew Fellow in the Arts in Choreography. She works extensively in the music world as an art-director and choreographer. Current projects include curating an interdisciplinary music series with her partner King Britt at Fringe Arts in Philadelphia, and directing and choreographing a new performance in collaboration with future beat-maker Ryat that integrates electronic music, mapped video, interactive media and choreography, premiering at Central Park Summerstage in 2015. As a performer, she toured with Headlong from 2003 to 2011, and is currently an incubator artist with the company. She has worked as a facilitator for Artists U, a professional development program for artists.
ABOUT ANONYMOUS BODIES
anonymous bodies art collective is an interdisciplinary performance company that aims to create spaces for intellectual curiosity, healing, and new futures. Kate Watson-Wallace co-directs anonymous bodies with her art partner, Jaamil Kosoko. As a collective, the co-directors create work independently and collaboratively, creating an array of art projects that range from solo performances in gallery settings to larger performance installations on-site. It is a project-based company that collaborates with a diverse group of artists. It draws upon the traditions of visual art, post-modern dance, site-specific study, conceptual and performance art, audience participation and public spectacle.