Powered by humans and sun, the music is acoustic, the dancing is live and the lighting “design” is by the sky. This semi-composed improvisation from sunrise to sunset explores natural rhythms while expanding our senses of art, time, and humanity.
Vervet Dance presents “In the Light, “a semi-composed durational music and dance performance lasting from sunrise to sunset directed by Loren Groenendaal. Each season a large ensemble of skilled improvisers fill the space and the daylight hours with movement and acoustic sounds. The Summer edition of “In the Light” will be a 15-hour durational work on Saturday, June 16 from 5:31 am to 8:31 pm at The Iron Factory located in Kensington at 118 Fontain Street, 3rd Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19122. The audience is invited to arrive at any time and come and go throughout the performance. Tickets are available at the door or online at https://www.artful.ly/store/events/15398
Vervet Dance’s “In the Light” expands the duration of a typical performance into an astonishing length allowing for a deep exploration of rhythm within ourselves, nature, and our community. This long-form composition from sunrise to sunset is directed by Loren Groenendaal and broadens our senses of art, time, and humanity. The ensemble builds the composition from improvised movement and sound, enlisting repeating and patterned forms while recognizing there is no true repetition, shifting gradually and dramatically. While moving and sounding with breath, sensation, and awareness, the performers are composing at the moment and discovering new artistic territory.
Powered by humans and the sun, the music is acoustic, the dancing is live, and the lighting “design” is by the sky. The cast is only aware of time passing by their own experience and noticing the changes in the sunlight; they rest and eat when their bodies desire. Unlike most performances, the resting is not hidden from the audience as the ensemble is encouraged to rest in the performance area creating a radical aesthetic that values action and recuperation. The audience may arrive, leave, and even return at any time in our day-long performance.
Artists for “In the Light” include Alpha_Alpha, Sean Thomas Boyt, Erica Corbo, Michael Bradford Forbes, Loren Groenendaal, Curt Haworth, Jen Kertis-Veit, Katherine Kiefer Stark, Eliot Klein, Jenny Sawyer, Margot Electra Steinberg, Schuyler Thum, and Mauri Walton.
Loren Groenendaal was born in central Pennsylvania and raised on rural wooded mountains. Her childhood in this natural environment and the idea that humans are part of nature, informs her aesthetic and fuels the research for “In the Light.” Loren’s work investigates the community-building possibilities of live art, the spectrum between improvisation and composition and dares to blur the lines between ritual and performance. She has a pattern of making dances about the patterns in nature. As an improviser, she explores free and structured improvisation, solo, in duos with musicians, and in larger groups. She is a proponent of complexity, adaptability, resilience, curiosity, and empathy.
Loren is the founder, artistic director, and choreographer for Vervet Dance, a Philadelphia-based contemporary dance company. She has been actively creating, curating, and presenting work in Philadelphia and beyond since 2003. She earned an MFA in Choreography at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, a BA in dance and visual arts from Oberlin College, and a Certificate in Laban Movement Analysis from the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies. Loren’s work has been performed from Canada to Mexico in Baja, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Montreal, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia and has been supported by multiple venues and organizations. She has self and co-produced concerts and concert series of “colorFULL”, Fresh Juice, Making the Rounds, “Semi-Composed,” and The H-O-T Series of Philadelphia.
She is an educator focusing on creative and somatic movement for children and adults. She serves as key member of the Contact Improvisation (CI) community in Philadelphia, organizing a monthly underscore, assisting with the organization, teaching, and facilitating of weekly classes and jams. She is a founding member, current board member, artist-in-residence, and former program coordinator of the Mascher Space Cooperative, an artist-run space, and organization that benefits the artists in residence and the broader community. She is a founding and current member and curator for the Impermanent Society of Philadelphia, a group of Philadelphia-area arts practitioners and curators, who support freely improvised live performance.
Photo of Spring “In the Light” by JH Kertis of Chloe Newton, Sean Thomas Boyt, Margot Electra Steinberg, and Connor Przybszewski.