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 Post subject: Beppie Blankert
PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2000 4:25 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 26, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 149
Location: New York NY USA
“That paradigm of human kind...endowed with movement,” Samuel Beckett

What do you expect when you walk into a performance space: to sit facing the stage or to turn your back on it? Do you expect a performer to be in the space before you arrive? Or do you expect the dimming of lights to signal the start of a performance?

Why all the questions? When I turned up at Dance Theater Workshop’s garage space in New York to see Beppie Blankert’s "Dubbelspoor" (Double Track), I realized how many preconceived ideas I have about the protocol of live dance. It took Blankert to show me that things can be quite different.

In Dubbelspoor, the only option is to face away from the stage. Instead of watching dancers on stage, the audience watches them on a wall of mirrors. The performance starts with a dancer, John Taylor, sitting on stage waiting for the lights to dim. The whole performance (60 minutes) explores the concept of waiting - "the time before the making of a decision," ( the program notes tell us). The setting is a train platform. That is, the stage is empty except for a park bench, but two screens above the mirrors show train platforms, each with a bench. Occasionally a train rushes across the screen and something changes about the images.

Without giving away too many secrets, Blankert’s choreography uses mirroring as a theme throughout. The dancers - eventually a second (Christopher Steele) appears as if from nowhere and then disappears into thin air – subtly mirror each other’s movements. The screens mirror what’s happening on stage and visa versa, Again, the mirroring is only subtly. The dancers integrate text from Samuel Beckett’s “Text for Nothing No.7,” using the idea of mirroring (movement mirrors text, text mirrors movement) to explore the waiting process. The dancing is accompanied by the electronic music and everyday sounds conceived by Louis Andriessen.

If you are anywhere near New York City between 7-8 pm, before May 21st, try to make time to take a look at Blankert’s remake of Dubbelspoor. Several years ago, the Dutch choreographer brought the original piece, made for two women, to New York. But this time the piece is different; it features two charismatic men and it has matured. “It’s more masculine,” Blankert said after the show. “Of course, I can do different things with two men.”

<small>[ 16 May 2003, 11:26 AM: Message edited by: Azlan ]</small>

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 Post subject: Re: Beppie Blankert
PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2000 9:21 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Image <P>photo by Charlotte Wissing<P>I've moved this preview article from further down, so you may have read it before:<P>A dutch duo bring their work to New York. It seems to be something to do with, err...trains and mirrors.<P>NO LONGER ACTIVE, SEE BELOW.<P><A HREF="http://www.nytimes.com/yr/mo/day/artleisure/dubbelspoor-dance.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.nytimes.com/yr/mo/day/artleisure/dubbelspoor-dance.html</A> <p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited May 18, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: Beppie Blankert
PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2000 9:32 am 
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Location: New York NY USA
Thanks Stuart, I hadn't seen this before. Unfortunately the thread isn't active anymore. The photos is great though! <P>Has Beppie Blankert been in London?<P>Cheers,<BR>J<BR>

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 Post subject: Re: Beppie Blankert
PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2000 1:56 pm 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Yes, that was rather stupid of me, Jennifer and very sweet of you to be nice about it. <BR>To ease my conscience, I have purchased the article from the NY Times Archive, to share with my friends:<P><BR>DANCE; Made for Two Women, Remade for Two Men <P>By KATE MATTINGLY <P>IN the hands of the Dutch choreographer Beppie Blankert, everyday events, like waiting, watching, wondering, can become extraordinary. In 1986 she made ''Dubbelspoor'' in collaboration with the composer Louis Andriessen. ''It contains one of the supreme theatrical surprise effects of my experience,'' said Christopher Hunt, the producer of PepsiCo Summerfare in 1987 when ''Dubbelspoor'' was first performed in the United States. ''Beppie certainly isn't someone whose concern is to get the largest numbers in, but rather to do something in exactly the scale that its inner integrity requires.'' <P>''Dubbelspoor's'' technical demands -- removable seating, high ceilings, total darkness -- makes it impossible to present at most theaters. Laurie Uprichard, executive director of Danspace Project, spent more than a year finding a suitable Manhattan space for the piece. <P>On Friday, ''Dubbelspoor'' -- Dutch for ''Double Track'' -- comes to Dance Theater Workshop's garage space for 13 performances as part of a nine-city European and American tour that closes at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in Massachusetts in July. Performances at the garage space are presented by Dance Theater Workshop and Danspace Project. <P>During a phone interview from her studio in Amsterdam, Ms. Blankert described ''Dubbelspoor.'' ''It began with the idea of making a piece where the senses were separated so that seeing and hearing would come from different spots,'' she said. ''I constructed it together with Louis Andriessen.'' (In July Mr. Andriessen's opera ''Writing to Vermeer,'' a collaboration with the filmmaker Peter Greenaway, will be presented at the Lincoln Center Festival.) <P>In addition to Ms. Blankert's choreography and Mr. Andriessen's music, ''Dubbelspoor'' incorporates Samuel Beckett's play ''Text for Nothing, No. 7'' and videos by Wilbert Blank and Paul van der Ploeg. Originally performed by Ms. Blankert and Caroline Dokter, ''Dubbelspoor'' now features two men: Christopher Steel and John Taylor. <P>''I thought, 'If I'm going to make this piece again, I want to do something different and not just repeat myself,' '' said the 51-year-old Ms. Blankert. ''And then of course I have the beautiful John Taylor, who I love to work with, and I wanted to make it for him. As a performer, he has qualities very much like my own. I recognize myself in his dancing. His movement is very big and large, and he can even do it better than I can. He is very inspiring for me. I never like dancing in my own work because I am somebody who looks. I look at who is standing in front of me and that is my inspiration. And you can never do that with yourself.'' <P>Born in Indonesia, Ms. Blankert took some classes in dance in New York in the late 70's at the studios of Merce Cunningham and Louis Falco. ''In a sense, I'm autodidactic,'' she said. ''I never did any formal dance training. I became a member of a small Amsterdam-based company called Dansproduktie and worked with them for seven years making one or two shows a year.'' This all-female collective enabled each member to dance and to choreograph. ''My biggest passion at that time was to be a dancer,'' she added. ''At a certain point I felt as if I needed a change -- it wasn't only about getting older -- I had been with such a small company for so many years. I quit and became an independent choreographer.'' <P>Her ''Ives Trilogy'' appeared at Danspace Project at St. Mark's Church in 1992, 1993 and 1997. ''Though there is a consistency in terms of Beppie's interest in music, 'Double Track' is so completely different from the Ives works,'' Ms. Uprichard said. ''The Ives pieces are really what I call 'dancey-dances.' The formality remains in 'Double Track,' but the vocabulary and the means of presenting the essence of the work are very different. In 'Double Track' there are characters based on a text by Samuel Beckett. It's very abstracted, like Beckett is. The fact that they could be two women or two men is very interesting to me; I think that there could be different connotations. I'm really curious to see it with two men.'' Ms. Blankert says she and Mr. Andriessen think this male version is much better. <P>On the staying power of the work, Mr. Hunt said: ''Most pieces, if they are re-staged, are in some ways out of date. I think 'Dubbelspoor' is completely timeless, and it could be revived well into the 21st century and still seem completely of its time. <P>''Beppie is always concerned with private, individual interests, with using art in some way to illustrate 'everyday problems,' which are, after all, the stuff of life.''


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 Post subject: Re: Beppie Blankert
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2000 5:21 am 
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Location: New York NY USA
You're great Stuart! Thanks. I live in New York but I tend not to get the same paper everyday, so I missed this article. I like to now what's being said about visitors to the Big Apple, as the crits here usually write about their old faithfuls; New York City Ballet and occasionally, American Ballet Theater. Sure, the Village Voice looks at downtown shows, but that free weekly can hardly cover every dance show on just one page. <P>Unfortunately that's about it on the dance-reporting front, apart from the odd newsletter or flash review here and there. Not much for a big city is it?<BR><P>------------------<BR>[This message has been edited by Jennifer]<BR>

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 Post subject: Re: Beppie Blankert
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2000 8:23 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
At your service, as always, Jennifer. I understand what you mean about the NY Press and dance. The NY Times does seem to have some good and thorough reports, but the problem is that hey are usually only available for a day, which means that they are not useful for us. The Sunday edition does last for a week om the net, but tends to be about Modern Dance I have noticed. <P>I have to say that the short reviews by Clive Barnes in the Post do not impress me compared with what we get in London. The Village Voice does provide a good round-up of the major events, but as you say does leave out a lot.<P>I am impressed by montrealonline, which has reviews of very small and avant garde groups. Perhaps it's partly because Montreal is a buzzy place.


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 Post subject: Re: Beppie Blankert
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2003 3:17 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
A collaboration with J Mandle Performance:

Quote:
Getting Physical With Platonic Love

By GIA KOURLAS, NY Times

For Julia Mandle, art begins not simply with an idea but with a place. In "Feast," a new collaboration with the Dutch choreographer Beppie Blankert, the first step was to find the Stable, a cathedral-like 5,000-square-foot former police stable near the Brooklyn waterfront. <a href=http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/09/arts/dance/09KOUR.html target=_blank>more</a>


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 Post subject: Re: Beppie Blankert
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2003 10:31 am 
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Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Quote:
Homer and Joyce meet modern dance
Women seize the spotlight in `Odyssey'


By Sid Smith
Chicago Tribune arts critic

Literary inspirations for dance tend to be short. A few hours of choreography aren't an ideal vessel to convey lengthy narrative or textual complexity. <a href=http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/arts/chi-0305110342may11,1,668937.story?coll=chi%2Dleisurearts%2Dhed target=_blank>more</a>


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 Post subject: Re: Beppie Blankert
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2003 11:35 am 
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Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Quote:
Blankert brings epic poem to life

Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

As a high school student, Dutch choreographer Beppie Blankert studied Greek and Latin, and read Homer's The Illiad and The Odyssey in the original Greek. <a href=http://www.suntimes.com/output/weiss/cst-ftr-beppie14.html target=_blank>more</a>


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 Post subject: Re: Beppie Blankert
PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 9:26 am 
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Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Quote:
'Odyssey' an entrancing, worthwhile journey

By Sid Smith
Chicago Metromix

"God in heaven," Molly Bloom exclaims in James Joyce's "Ulysses." "There's nothing like nature." <a href=http://entertainment.metromix.chicagotribune.com/top/1,1419,M-Metromix-CriticsReviews-X!ArticleDetail-60883,00.html target=_blank>more</a>


<small>[ 16 May 2003, 11:27 AM: Message edited by: Azlan ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Beppie Blankert
PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2003 6:59 am 
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Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Quote:
'Odyssey' marred by inclement weather of epic proportions

BY HEDY WEISS
Chicago Sun-Times

The site could not be more stunning: Looking south to the Chicago riverfront, from a hidden space just beneath the Merchandise Mart, the city's skyscrapers form a glittering necklace in the distance, L trains snake through the landscape at regular intervals, and delicate trees sway along the banks as a group of pheasants preen beneath them. <a href=http://www.suntimes.com/output/weiss/cst-ftr-ody17.html target=_blank>more</a>


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 Post subject: Re: Beppie Blankert
PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2003 7:23 am 
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Quote:
Points of View

Deborah Jowitt
Village Voice

Dutch choreographer Beppe Blankert has created some remarkable works that challenge perception: In Double Track, action on a high platform behind the audience in the old DTW basement was reflected before us by a wall of mirrors. <a href=http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0324/jowitt.php target=_blank>more in the second item</a>


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 Post subject: Re: Beppie Blankert
PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2003 12:20 pm 
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Posts: 1845
From Louise Kennedy in the Sunday Boston Globe:

Quote:
Western Mass. arts festival sets sail with 'Odyssey'

collaboration between two Dutch artists, the choreographer Beppie Blankert, and the composer Louis Andriessen, kicks off the 10th Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts program this week. The dance theater production, ''Odyssey: She Once Was a True Love of Mine,'' runs Wednesday through Saturday in downtown Holyoke.
More...


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