Artist Chats with Roni Koresh: Creativity in Times of COVID

Artist Chats with Roni Koresh invites esteemed artists from Philadelphia and beyond for a round-table discussion centered around various topics. Hosted by Koresh Dance Company, these live conversations connect artists and curators in a space to exchange ideas, respond to featured works, reflect on current events, and engage with your questions. It is also an opportunity to get to know these artists more intimately. Online events will be prefaced with exclusive access to streamed works to spark questions, comments, and themes for dialogue. The Series will be streamed live on Koresh Dance Company’s Vimeo and Facebook accounts. Questions are encouraged to be submitted in advance but also welcomed live.

Sunday, November 1 at 6pm
Featuring guest, Brian Sanders from Brian Sanders’ JUNK

Brian Sanders from Brian Sanders’ JUNK will launch the series. Leading up to the first conversation, two choreographic works by Artistic Directors Roni Koresh and Brian Sanders will be streamed online Friday, October 30 through Sunday, November 1. The featured works address mental health, athleticism, creativity in restricted circumstances, and how artists can respond to emergent issues with a new sense of perspective and clarity.

Mr. Koresh will showcase an excerpt titled “Rain” from Koresh Dance Company’s Sense of Human, with musical collaboration by Nick Kendall (Time for Three), Greg Smith, and Karl Mullen. Sense of Human is a search for human emotion in the purest, rawest, most guttural state. The work delves into themes of perception, focusing on how we as people choose to wear carefully chosen facades that disguise, redirect, and hide the basic yearnings by which we exist. Sense of Human focuses on our obsessiveness to portray the desired self-image and how when we finally remove those masks, our true identity is revealed. In the piece, Koresh uses “command of characterization and solid storytelling” to connect the dancers with audiences.

Sanders shares a work that intentionally has no title. “The less I give in words, the happier I am,” says Sanders. The work was created as part of a live streaming event for the 2020 Fringe Festival in Philadelphia. Performed by JUNK member Jess Adams, the work is a solo created during both the intensity of COVID and the BLM protests. Three white ceramic urinals hang mounted at various heights on a tall cinderblock wall. A female performer navigates the space. The imagery and dichotomy of function and gender bend our minds in unpredictable directions. Sanders states, “You can feel anything from despair to hope when watching. What’s important for me is that you see and feel. I felt like an unfeeling slab from everything that was happening; I didn’t know how to feel. This piece is where I started to chip away at the stony surface”.

photo credit Ellen Rosenberg

Sunday, November 15 at 6pm
Featuring guest, Kun-Yang Lin from Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers

Sunday, November 15, at 6:00 pm, Artistic Director and Choreographer Kun-Yang Lin from Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers (KYL/D) will join Koresh. In preparation, Friday, November 13 through Sunday, November 15, Mr. Koresh and Mr. Lin share exclusive previews of what they are currently creating this season. Topics for discussion include isolation, hope, and humanity.

Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers will share a preview of their virtual performance at the Annenberg Center stage that will be streamed online on Thursday, November 17th. The full program will reflect on the world’s state amidst a pandemic with prevailing messages of hope and unity. Lin seeks to illustrate how isolation can provide opportunities to reflect, grow, and evolve, allowing us to form a deeper connection with all humanity.

Roni Koresh presents a preview of his latest film venture, The Light at the End of the Tunnel, edited by Sandy Mitchel. In this time of uncertainty and fear, examining the themes of perseverance and innovation, this work will premiere on both screen and stage – morphing from two-dimensional cinema to come alive on stage in 2021. Movement is inspired by and set to a soundtrack of the spoken word written and recorded by multimedia artist Karl Mullen. Mr. Koresh explores the dance artist’s path as they emerge from this time of social isolation and adapt to (a currently undefined) ‘new normal.’ Exploring questions include: What does re-emergence look like? Is it an on-off switch or a journey? Did we grow and develop, or just hit pause on life?” Mullen’s captivating voice sets the rhythm and the temperament of the work; “Adrift in the vast multiverse, we cling to hope. The Light at the End of the Tunnel”.

Streaming on Vimeo and Facebook

Roni Koresh and Brian Sanders
Sunday, November 1

Roni Koresh and Kun-Yang Lin
Sunday, November 15

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