CriticalDance Forum

Wed May 2 - Thurs May 3, 2007: Kinodance Performance
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Author:  Karl Cronin [ Sun Apr 15, 2007 5:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Wed May 2 - Thurs May 3, 2007: Kinodance Performance

Denizen by Kinodance Company

Bank of America Celebrity Series at BU Tsai Performance Center (Fenway & Kenmore )

Author:  Karl Cronin [ Thu May 03, 2007 6:56 am ]
Post subject:  Kinodance Company premiere Denizen

Denizen - Kinodance Company
Tsai Performance Center – Boston, MA
May 2, 2007

Last night Kinodance gave its world premiere of Denizen, an expanded cinema performance that the company has been working on for over a year. For this new dance, Kinodance expanded not only the beautiful film footage by Alla Kovgan, but the ensemble of dancers as well, which included Ruth Bronwen, DeAnna Pellecchia, and Pape N’Diaye in addition to the core movement collaborators Alissa Cardone and Ingrid Schatz. For Boston contemporary dance audiences, Kinodance has been a shooting star to watch in the local scene, and it was exciting to see the company engaging an even broader range of artistic talent for this new work.

As described in the program, the creation of Denizen was greatly influenced by the work of Armenian filmmakers Sergei Parajanov and Artavazd Peleshian - in particular, Peleshian’s poetic depiction of a fictitious pastoral community, The Seasons. In 2006, Kinodance traveled to the Northern Lori region of Armenia to create the filmed components of the work, shooting footage in many of the exact locations that Peleshian used. A scene with a man playing a traditional Armenian instrument unfolds to reveal two dancers rolling and walking along a lush, green mountain-side in the distance. In another scene, two dark figures herding sheep in a field gently slip into a ritualistic series of steps before returning to their ambling gate. These are not dancers bringing something artificial to the land, but artists thoughtfully responding to the qualities interred in the environments they pass through.

It should be said here that while the dance’s origins are greatly indebted to Peleshian’s film, the footage the company shot in Armenia was only one element of the stage performance – and the most restrained element at that. What we saw on the stage was a treatment of film that at times merely served as an extension of the lighting plot or a wash of moving pattern projected on Dedalus Wainwright’s set, which richly evoked grander architecture. Images quietly moved across the stage while live bodies shared their memories of the land - invoking sweeping hills, ancient roads, and the movements of other denizens. What grew on the stage was a sense of nostalgia and reverence amongts the dancers for something that had past. This blended beautifully with the projected film, in which the audience could catch glimpses of younger versions of the dancers experiencing the original environment which was now being recreated for us on the stage.

What was palpable in the evening’s performance and became especially clear in the post-performance Q&A, is the humility and love for open dialogue that drives the work of this creative team. These are artists who are passionate about finding ways to intelligently integrate all the theatrical components they are working with. They were extremely humble in their recounting of their experiences while in Armenia - communicating their awareness that as foreigners they knew they were observing through foreign eyes. What I saw last night was not a postcard from their journey, but rather an evening of reflection, reverence, and story-telling through movement and film.

Author:  ncgnet [ Fri May 04, 2007 7:04 am ]
Post subject: 

From Terry Byrne in the Boston Globe:
A layered treat of sound, light, moving images
In the opening scene of the world premiere of “Denizen,” Kinodance Company’s contribution to the Boston Cyberarts Festival, two dancers wander the stage moving in unison -- arching their backs, reaching up in supplication, spinning and searching for a place to rest. To the sound of a bouzouki playing in a mournful minor key, the fluid choreography is hauntingly beautiful, filled with wonder and longing.


Author:  kinodance [ Mon May 07, 2007 9:16 am ]
Post subject:  from Ted Bale/Boston Herald

Ted Bale wrote:

"The last time I sat spellbound through a contemporary dance performance, surprised and refreshed by every event, was William Forsythe’s “Three Atmospheric Studies” at the Brooklyn Academy earlier this year. “Denizen” should be performed at BAM as well. It’s not only the most adventurous and complete work I’ve seen from your ensemble, but the best thing I’ve ever seen on the Celebrity Series’ “Marquis” series. It’s too bad I didn’t have an assignment to review the piece, because I would have raved over it!

These days most of the contemporary work I see is too austere and self-denying (as if all the emotion has been washed out of it), or too angry and overwrought (loosely referencing injustice and vague political anger). And rarely do I ever see such a true integration of film, lighting, stage design, music and movement. “Denizen” is lush and sensual, mysterious and vivid, formally sophisticated and painterly. To describe it I would use the term “geopsychic,” a word I learned from Bookhardt and Newlin’s 1979 book of photos and text called “Geopsychic Wonders of New Orleans” (I have a copy which I should show you some time). It evokes place and mixes it with the minds of the performers to create a certain dreamlike experience for the viewer. Also I would put “Denizen” side-by-side with Meredith Monk’s “Travelogue” works from the 1980s and early 1990s, though the movement style is entirely different and singular. I’m anxious to look at the film that inspired your dance, so I hope it’s available on DVD.

You should be truly proud of “Denizen,” and I can’t wait to see it again!"

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