CriticalDance Forum

Site-specific dance
Page 1 of 3

Author:  Jennifer [ Fri Jan 28, 2000 4:55 am ]
Post subject:  Site-specific dance

Hello,<P>After watching the athletic, high-flying Australian dance/theatre group "Legs on the Wall" fly from Sydney's skyscrapers for this year's New Years Eve celebrations, I'm keen to know who else is doing site-specific dance works. Artists with creative ideas on how to use our environment often make us see our environment in a different light. <P>Last year Stephan Koplowitz made the windows of New York's Central Station come alive with "Fenestrations 2" a dance work for the free celebration "Grand Central in Motion." I was overwhelmed by the numbers of New Yorkers interested in dance in public spaces. If anyone knows of any upcoming events, please let me know.<P>Thanks.<P>

Author:  Azlan [ Sat Jan 29, 2000 6:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Site-specific dance

Hi Jennifer, David Parsons did the choreogaphy for the New Year celebrations at Times Square. Does that count as a site-specific work?<P>With so much effort and energy that has to go into a site-specific work, one wonders: why do it? What does a site-specific work bring?

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Mon Jan 31, 2000 12:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Site-specific dance

Jennifer, here in the UK there is also a lot of interest in site specific works. The two largest modern dance festivals, Dance Umbrella and Spring Loaded feature at least one site specific work each year. <P>By far the largest impact has been made by Stephen Koplowitz. Some 4 years ago, his 'Genesis Canyon' at the National History Museum, was unforgettable with a concluding image of 50 dancers on the main staircase. Two years later, he created 'Babel Index' in the British Library, based on books and learning. Although there were central segments, at times there were up to 10 separate scenes running at the same time. Both works won major prizes.<P>'Salome' in Spring Loaded was an astonishing use of a lovely Victorian hotel concluding with scary scenes of decadence in the semi-derilict basement corridors. This year, Lea Anderson choreographed 'Sportarama' for dancers and amateur sports people in a large South London sports centre and was enjoyed by all.<P>There is something special about site-specific works, if they can link the themes to the building. It is this point which gives them a different slant from a conventional theatre production. My experience is that the success rate is much higher than for conventional works. In some ways the fact that they are short-lived is unfortunate, but also adds to the excitement.<P>I will continue to see as many of them as I can. <P>

Author:  Jennifer [ Mon Jan 31, 2000 5:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Site-specific dance

Hi Azlan & Stuart,<P>Thanks for your feedback. It's great to hear how much site-specific work is being done in your neck of the woods Stuart. I didn't realize Stephen Koplowitz got around so much. The work I saw in Grand Central Station was a bit pale, but I sensed that he had more up his sleeve. The dancers in his piece were moving on precarious platforms between glass windows, one of the limitations of the site, which may have restricted the magnitude of his work. Grand Central Station still came alive and gave people in all walks of life the opportunity to see dance; a chance some people may otherwise miss.<P>Thanks again for your information. I'd love to hear about more works too!<P>Did anyone see the New Years celebrations in Times Square? Was this site specific work or a spectacular, on going feast of performances?<BR>

Author:  Michael [ Mon Jan 31, 2000 5:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Site-specific dance

Jennifer,<P>You've latched on to an interesting and exciting departure from the dance norm. <P>Take a look at Project Bandaloop from Oakland, California. Bring your parachute and crash helmet, and tell them I said high. At <A HREF="" TARGET=_blank></A> <P>Also, check out the outdoors ballet photography of Narinder Dogra at <A HREF="" TARGET=_blank></A> <P><BR>

Author:  trina [ Mon Jan 31, 2000 8:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Site-specific dance

From what I understand, a "site-specific" work is done in a non-traditional space (not a theatre, gym, auditorium or such)and is done to relate to a specific architectural, geographical (if it's outdoors) or design feature.In other words, it "highlights" or "interacts" in a unique way, with some other artistic/design feature in the environment, in a way that traditional dance presentations do not. This is what makes it so exciting and difficult to repeat anywhere else. I don't know if the DAvid Parsons thing on New Years would apply, since, from what I understand, it was done on platform which approximated a stage/theater. Even though it was done outdoors, I dont' know if it really was "site specific." I didn't see it, so I'm not sure.

Author:  Jennifer [ Tue Feb 01, 2000 4:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Site-specific dance

Thank you for the link Michael. Project Bandaloop looks really exciting and appears to be the "site-specific" work I'm looking for (fitting Trina's well described definiation). When the company performed on Paris Las Vegas' Eiffel Tower, December 31st, did the show make the ABC international coverage it hoped for? <P>Are there any works planned during the year?<P>The photos were also interesting. Thanks again.<BR>

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun Apr 09, 2000 1:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Site-specific dance

New York City's oldest synagogue building, on Manhattan's Lower East Side is the setting for a site-specific work "The Amber Room" by Zvi Gotheiner and Dancers. This interview in the NY Times describes part of the process of creating the work. the venue and the way that the audience will move around it sounds a bit like awork I described earlier, 'Salome' by the Seven Sisters Group.<BR> <A HREF="" TARGET=_blank></A> <P>(This link will operate until 14 April.)<BR>

Author:  Jennifer [ Tue Apr 11, 2000 12:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Site-specific dance

Thanks Stuart. I tried to follow your thread but it's asking me for a password so I decided to leave for now. I'm afraid my days here in Australia are SO busy (what with hour long rides from place to place) that I don't find the time to spend on the net. Oh to be back in the Subway-happy city of New York! Please keep your informative links coming though, most of the time they work perfectly.<P>J

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Tue Apr 11, 2000 11:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Site-specific dance

Jennifer, glad to hear that the links are useful.....when they work! The NY Times requires readers to register for free. I must have set up a cookie as I never have to sign in - I go straight to the article when I click on the URL. As far as I can remember I have never recived any junk mail from the NY Times, so it is worth registering. <P>The NY Times articles that we put up will last a week, as they are the Sunday ones. Sadly the dailies, like a butterfly, last but a day, before they are dragged to the archive, never to see the light of day again. Can you imagine anyone paying $2.50 for an out of date review? <P>Thanks for flagging the problem. I'm sure others will face it too.<p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited April 11, 2000).]

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun May 14, 2000 1:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Site-specific dance

<BR> Image <P>1895 Alice Austen photo of a young woman selling newspapers on the corner of Sixth Avenue and 23rd Street in Manhattan. <P>Staten Island Historical Society <P><BR>Another site specific work, which sounds very intriguing. We are told that Ann Carlson has a knack for astonishing audiences. Her new work, '"Night Light," presented by Dancing in the Streets in association with the Kitchen for eight performances beginning on Wednesday, is a nighttime walking tour through the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan.' <P>There will be seven tableaus in all, although no single tour will visit every site. Included are images of three women in towels at a Turkish bath, based on a photograph from 1904 and another baed n the photo above.<P><BR>This link will last until May 21. Free registration at the NY Times site will be necessary:<P> <A HREF="" TARGET=_blank></A> <BR>

Author:  Jennifer [ Mon May 15, 2000 7:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Site-specific dance

Thanks Stuart, this is great. I actually went on Ann Carlson's introductory walking tour when she was in the process of formulating the idea using tableaus, last year. It was intriguing then, so I'm sure the real event will be a fun and interesting experience. <P>The funny thing is, this walking tour is more like taking a walk back in time than watching site-specific dance. As usual, Ann Carlson stretches the definition of dance to include everything from mime, to acting to comedy. Her audiences simply need to have an open mind. <BR><P>------------------<BR>[This message has been edited by Jennifer]<BR>

Author:  Azlan [ Tue May 16, 2000 6:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Site-specific dance

An open mind when watching a performance? What a novel idea! I must remember that next time.

Author:  grace [ Tue May 16, 2000 6:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Site-specific dance

VEEEERRRRYYYY funny, azlan! Image

Author:  Jennifer [ Wed May 17, 2000 5:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Site-specific dance

What's happening in your neck of the woods Grace? Any site-specific works? God knows, you have enough open space over there in West Australia!<P>..oops, left out the 's (so much for my editing Image)<P><BR>------------------<BR>[This message has been edited by Jennifer]<P>[Edited by Azlan at Jennifer's request]<BR><p>[This message has been edited by Azlan (edited May 27, 2000).]

Page 1 of 3 All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group