Exp(a/e)ndable (Fall), Stella Rose(n)fell (Spring), Re-envisioning the Fourth Wall: The Production of a Fluid and Mobile Stage An Investigation of the Placement of Experimental Dance in Museums (Paper)
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I’m interested in the bizarre, the dark, the disturbing, and the messy. I collaborate with my dancers to make movement that falls outside the pedestrian, yet remains human in the most peculiar and sometimes virtuosic ways. Exploring site specificity, with a particular focus on transforming spaces to create distinct experiences for viewers and dancers alike. Finding new ways to understand and engage with dance by re-situating the audience and giving them the opportunity to move with dancers, thereby creating their own frame of view and cultivating a personal experience with the bizarre world that they have entered. Right now I am interested in the extremities of time and space. Rubbing extreme, rapid motion against inertia by collapsing the distance between the viewers and the performers. Finding that the imposition of the audience presents my work with loss of control, keeping it fresh, new, alive, and unpredictable.
The performance in the Fall of 2013, Exp(a/e)ndable, was an installation I created for The Old Gym on the Bard College Campus. It stemmed from my investigation in the placement of experimental dance in museums. My three dancers and I created a work that lasted around a half an hour. We painted the floors white. Stage blocks painted in primary colours were located in front of the Old Gym atrium, so that the audience had to climb over the barrier to enter the space. There was no seating; the audience was invited to wander the white surface with the dancers, free to be close or far, watching from the tops of the blocks for a bird’s eye view. A pile of balloons were situated in the back left corner. They moved and spread with the audience/performers as the piece progressed. A single red balloon hung from the ceiling on a piece of gold tinsel: filled with glitter and small silver stars so that when it popped at the performance’s end, the contents spilled out onto the dancers and viewers. Through this work I question what happens when the dancer and the viewer inhabit the same physical surface? Does a stage emerge and if so, who creates it?
The work that I created for the Spring Senior Concert, Stella Rose(n)fell, was comprised of four dancers interacting with styrofoam wig heads. The heads were both on the ground and suspended in the air on fishing wire, so that from the proscenium seating it appeared as though they were floating. My four dancers begin with their eyes closed, making their way across the space towards a light, streaming from the opposite wing. As the piece progresses, the dancers interact with the wig heads in various ways: considerately arranging them, dancing with them romantically, throwing them across the space, rolling them on the floor, and dropping them with lost interest. The result of this is that the wig heads are seen in multiple lights. When they are propped on their necks they appear to be viewers: when they are lying on the side of their face they look like decapitated heads: and when they are thrown in the air they return to their material selves, nothing more than pieces of styrofoam.
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Meyer, Julia E, "Exp(a/e)ndable (Fall), Stella Rose(n)fell (Spring), Re-envisioning the Fourth Wall: The Production of a Fluid and Mobile Stage An Investigation of the Placement of Experimental Dance in Museums (Paper)" (2014). Senior Projects Spring 2014. 142.