Armitage Gone! Dance presents "A Pandemic Notebook" at New York Live Arts
Armitage Gone! Dance
ARMITAGE GONE! DANCE TO PRESENT A PANDEMIC NOTEBOOK
AT NEW YORK LIVE ARTS, MARCH 16–19, 2022
New York, NY (January 18, 2022) – Internationally acclaimed choreographer and “punk ballerina” Karole Armitage presents A Pandemic Notebook, a collection of world premieres with her company Armitage Gone! Dance, March 16–19, at New York Live Arts. An intimate look at Armitage’s creative explorations over the past 18 months, A Pandemic Notebook combines dance, visual art, fashion, and cinematic techniques to reveal the body from new perspectives. Armitage herself takes the stage with New York City Ballet legend Jock Soto as part of the company’s final season presenting new work by Armitage before it transitions to a new mission.
The program opens with a diptych, Beautiful Monster and Louis. Inspired by Luchino Visconti’s film La Strega Bruciata Viva (The Witch Burned Alive) and Roberto Rossellini’s La prise de pouvoir par Louis XIV (The Taking of Power by Louis XIV), as well as Trump’s presidency, the two works look at how celebrity and fashion can distract from the manipulation of power. Music for the dances is by Michael Gordon, Jean-Baptiste Lully, Thomas Adès, and David T. Little.
The second section of the program illuminates connections between film and live dance for the stage. Two world premieres, Head to Heel and Andy, adapted from works originally created for the screen are juxtaposed with two selections (Killer and Andy) from Armitage’s screen series Under the Dancer, which captures the body from extraordinary angles and perspectives, often with surreal distortions.
In Time/Times, an homage to slow cinema, Armitage performs for the first time since 1989, dancing with former New York City Ballet Principal Jock Soto in his first New York City appearance since 2005. They will present live excerpts from the film, framed by on-location stills from Crested Butte, CO—shot in six feet of snow—and in New Mexico at White Sand Dunes National Park, Plaza Blanca, and the Valley of Fire lava fields.
A real-time experiment, 6 Ft. Apart rigs the dancers with visible wires and devices—iPhones and accelerometers, a type of on-body sensor—that trigger sound in relation to motion. Armitage developed the project while a Director’s Fellow at the MIT Media Lab, in collaboration with engineer and designer Agnes Fury Cameron, who created the software, hardware, and sound design.
The program closes with Marc Jacobs featuring the dancers in select pieces from the eponymous designer’s Fall ‘21 collection. Set to Native American saxophonist and composer Jim Pepper’s Goin’ Down to Muskogee, it is a celebration of Armitage’s long-standing connections to the fashion world.
A Pandemic Notebook is performed by Karole Armitage, Sierra French, Alonso Guzman, Isaac Kerr, Cristian Laverde-Koenig, Kali Marie Oliver, and guest artist Jock Soto. Lighting design is by Tsubasa Kamei and Clifton Taylor.
Performances will take place Wednesday–Saturday, March 16–19, at 7:30pm, at New York Live Arts, 219 West 19th Street (between 7th and 8th Avenues), in Manhattan. Tickets are $35 (general), $15 (students and seniors) and can be purchased by phone at 212-924-0077 or online. Running time: 75 minutes. Information about New York Live Arts’ health and safety protocols can be found here.
Over the past 30 years, Karole Armitage and her dancers have shaped the evolution of contemporary dance through the creation and performance of new works. The most recent incarnation of the company, Armitage Gone! Dance (AG!D), was launched in 2004 when Armitage returned to the US after 15 years of working abroad. AG!D is known for its collaborations with innovators in music, science, and the visual arts. Dedicated to redefining the boundaries and perceptions of contemporary dance, the company extends the mandate of innovation that characterizes both Armitage’s earlier Armitage Ballet, founded in 1985, and her first full-time company, Armitage Gone!, founded in 1979. The company regularly performs to live music and has commissioned numerous scores since its debut. The company creates works on a wide range of subjects from punk to African aesthetics to commedia dell’arte, as well as fashion and popular dance forms with a strong commitment to work inspired by science. The core of the company’s work centers on a series of dance “dreamscapes” that take the viewer on a poetic journey to evoke mysterious landscapes of reverie, dream, and altered consciousness. Known for their free-spirited panache, the company members of Armitage Gone! Dance bring unique flavors and strong personality to the stage, contributing to the choreographic process in collaboration with Armitage. Armitage Gone! Dance is the resident dance company at Mana Contemporary in Jersey City, NJ.
Karole Armitage, Artistic Director of New York-based Armitage Gone! Dance Company, was rigorously trained in classical ballet and is renowned for pushing the boundaries to create contemporary works that blend dance, music, science, and the visual arts. Known as the “punk ballerina” Armitage’s work is at once both esoteric and popular. She has choreographed Broadway productions, videos for Madonna and Michael Jackson, several films for Merchant Ivory Productions, a show for Cirque du Soleil, and the Fall/Winter 2020/2021 Marc Jacobs fashion show. Beginning in the 1980s she worked at major European institutions and she continues that work today, including directing the 45-member Ballet of Florence; directing the Venice Biennale of Contemporary Dance; and serving as resident choreographer for the Ballet de Lorraine in Nancy, France, among others. She has directed operas and created new dance productions for major houses in the US and Europe, from the Paris Opera Ballet to Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, the Boston Ballet to the Boston Opera. She chose to return to New York City in 2004 to focus on her company, Armitage Gone! Dance. The company performs in traditional theaters as well as in non-traditional spaces including the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Armitage has collaborated extensively with visual artists including Brice Marden, Jeff Koons, David Salle, Karen Kilminik, and Philip Taaffe. She was honored with an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Kansas University in 2013, and received a Radcliffe Fellowship at Harvard University in 2016 to study Native American Plains culture. Armitage is currently an MIT Media Lab Directors Fellow.
For more information about Armitage Gone! Dance, visit: www.armitagegonedance.org.
"Head to Heel" dancers; photo by Alonso Guzman.
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