Performa/Dance presented its third major production, Midsummer Offerings: Three Dances, June 23 and 24, 2017. Paring innovative, local artists with award-winning, nationally recognized masters of dance in a trio of world premieres, we continued to fulfill our mission to present work by minority and women artists: creating dialogues with artists across geographies and media, inviting them to take risks and cultivate art, with the aim of fostering cross-Cultural understanding and deepening artistic excellence.
First on the program, we presented Uri Sands, from St. Paul, Minnesota’s TU Dance. Sands, a USA Fellow and winner of the prestigious Princess Grace Award, and a former member of Alvin Ailey Dance Company, has received national recognition for choreography that is notable for the fusion of classical elegance with edgy, contemporary action. Sands' new work, Better Left Unsaid, introduced Austin audiences his unique blend of dance styles, including classical ballet, modern, and African styles fused with an urban vernacular movement that distinguishes him from other modern choreographers.
Artistic director and resident choreographer of Performa/Dance, Jennifer Hart, whose work has been labeled “surprising” and “brilliant,” presented her new work, Fellow Travelers, which examined notions of togetherness and separation, hope and pessimism, fears of the unknown, and desires for escape. Spurred by the current political landscape, Fellow Travelers is set in a train station: stories unfold of a group who are strangers and yet are headed in the same direction. Hart says, “I’ve always been interested in that liminal space between coming and going and those feeling and ideas of where you’re at and where you’re going. There’s and anticipation and apprehension along with curiosity about what lies ahead.”
Rounding out the program was a young, highly innovative choreographer, Magdalena Jarkowiec, who created Overseas Phone Call, 1987. This work is a portrait in space and motion of conversations Jarkowiec’s family had in Socialist-era Poland as they spoke over a landline: the exuberant hellos; the assessing of the connection; the talking of young to old, and then the serious conversations between contemporaries that followed; the parade of characters that would be summoned to the phone; and lastly, the protracted good byes. Through sculptural costuming and specific rhythms, this work examines the separation of families, the structures that aggravate distance, and the state of technology, all of which at any moment can define that distance in specific ways.
A special Thank You to our Kickstarter backers who collectively raised over $4000 and helped make this production a reality
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