Sarah Skaggs is The New Ecstatic
"The New Ecstatic" opens Danspace Projects Fall 2013 Season
Sarah Skaggs has always been drawn to ecstacy and spirituality. In the early 1990's she explored the joy and non-proscenium work by creating Higher Ground, a dance piece that that merged planned performance with a social dance party. Today we talk about immersive art works as if they are a brand new discovery, but Skaggs was inviting audiences to participate in her work back in 1993.
A Minute in rehearsal with Sarah Skaggs Dance
Travels to Bali and Indonesia were monumental to this choreographer's personal evolution and explorations of art. "In Bali and Indonesia ... I was really taken away by how there is not a word for “art”. Art and life and spirituality all mix together. That was a big paradigm shift."
To open Danspace Project's Fall Dance Season, performers Emie Hughes, Meredith Fages and Joanna Kotze will dance dance excerpts from Higher Ground.
The New Ecstatic is re-think of what ecstatic dancing can be in a post- September 11th world. This premiere, performed by Skaggs and Cori Kresge draws from various vocabularies and cultural artifacts such as the 13th-century French labyrinth at Chartres; the medieval dance form Danse Macabre; the woodcuts of Albrecht Durer; Martha Graham's Steps in the Street; and Joseph Beuys's social sculpture, a utopian vision of the artist's role in transforming society.
" After 9/11, it was a time in my life where I started to reconsider, I wanted to keep dancing, really dancing more purely if, you will. Running a dance company has its own headaches in terms of constantly managing that . I went to do an MFA to graduate school to a really good program ADF: Hollinsm and I took a more philosphical, quieter relationship to dance after that."
The evening also includes documentary footage of Skaggs's 9/11 - A Roving Memorial, a movement installation danced on the ten-year anniversary of 9/11 and documented by filmmaker Heidi Scheuermann. Joining the film screening will be a cameo appearance of twenty-five dancers from the film.