Wealth from the Salt Seas explores the embodiment of assertion and agency through visceral somatic experience. Vocalist and composer Gelsey Bell joins Anna Sperber in performance to collaboratively mine the physical space of the theater for its poetic and emotional vibrations. The female body emerges as a resonant, echoing force within a visual landscape conceived in collaboration with scenographer Sara C. Walsh and lighting designer Elliott Cennetoglu.
Meant for an intimate audience, this evening-length dance takes place in an imagined room — which is continually expanding, contracting, shifting directions, refracted within the actual room. Morphing like clouds, performers and space share a swirling energy. Sometimes the dancers mirror each other; sometimes they are “ordinary people” (under a dark cloud) whose frustration, anger, and sadness propel them toward destructive behavior. Delicate structures often slip out of sync into unruliness, reconfigured through the nudge of a current. These unseen forces extend to the viewers, guiding their physical proximity in relationship to this de-centered work as it progresses…with a heightened sense of sharing the experience.
Choreographers Archibald and Ring reoriented themselves in order to re-examine the black box theater as a site, as a volume with properties real and imagined. In this collaborative work, performed by Archibald, the figure/the performer points to the space highlighting its presence rather than the other way around. This work in four parts (durational action, videotaped actions, laboratory, and dance) subverts the normal use of theatrical space to frame action and drama, “negative space” is instead made visible — as are molecules, gases and air.
ANTHEM weaves together existing and imagined vernacular dance styles to explore labor, play, and the relationship between personal and shared feminine experience. Drawing inspiration from contra dance and counterpoint, the four women in ANTHEM generate a repetitive yet complex movement vocabulary that evolves as the dancers rotate hypnotically within the confines of a square. Over time, the meditative rigor of their steps gradually dissolves into a tangle of performative commotion, blurring the distinction between the mundane and the glamorous. Choreographer Milka Djordjevich works with long-time collaborators Chris Peck, whose percussive score both supports and subverts the rhythmic contrasts of the choreography, and Madeline Best, whose lighting design emphasizes the psychedelic visual character of the piece.
Line Death Dance is an ongoing performance residency project celebrating, self-reminding and sharing the nonlinearity and ambiguity of being in the creative process.The Chocolate Factory Theater’s transition into a new performance space provides the grounds for the developing time/space structure of the engagement.