Dance Projects presents "Spring Together' staring Beth Soll & Janet Aisawa
Dance Projects, Inc. presents:
An evening of Dance, Music, Poetry,
Visual Art, Theater, & Film
Directed by Janet Aisawa & Beth Soll
At the Medicine Show Theatre
On Friday and Saturday April 10 & 11 at 8 pm and Sunday, April 12 at 4 pm, DANCE PROJECTS, INC. will present Spring Together, an evening of collaborative work directed by Janet Aisawa and Beth Soll. Performances will take place at the Medicine Show Theatre, 549 West 52nd Street, 3rd Floor in NYC. Admission $20 with reservation. Reservations at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-927-0476. Tickets at the door without reservation $25. For additional information about these performances or about Dance Projects, see bethsollandcompany.org
Spring Together is an evocative program of multi-disciplinary works made in response to two germinal pieces by master choreographer Beth Soll and trapeze artist extraordinaire Janet Aisawa. In the making of their solos, Soll and Aisawa have been influenced by each other’s work, and in turn they have invited artists from other fields to make their work in an open-ended reaction to the original solos. Responding to the dances by Ms. Aisawa and Ms. Soll will be visual artist Elisa Decker, Baroque Fusion choreographer Carlos Fittante, film artist Andrew Gurian, musician Jeff Platz, writer Raphael Simons, and playwright Gary Winter. Costumes by Sally Ann Parsons and lighting design by John Nichter.
In choreographing The Way Back, Soll, now in her seventh decade, has been influenced by her sense of a life trajectory that, albeit full of dramatic, tragic, and joyous events, has been consistently shaped by her 60 years of commitment to dance. This new dance, while reflecting Soll’s poetic sensibility and her characteristically subtle and enigmatic qualities, is also based on the images of flight that are present in Aisawa’s aerial dance, Dancing in Circles. Soll’s dance is performed to the music of George Crumb, who is celebrating his 85th birthday this year. Aisawa’s Dancing in Circles chronicles her twenty-year relationship with her trapeze. This dance captures the soaring freedom and love, the repetition, the feelings of being trapped, and the compromise that is inherent in all relationships. Dancing in Circles will be performed to live music by drummer, Dewey Emadoo. Dancing in Circles and The Way Back will be performed twice, each time in a different sound and visual context as created by the other participating artists.
Elisa Decker, visual artist and photographer, usually concentrates on finding images reminiscent of abstract paintings, but because of her long association with the performing arts, she comes to this project with an insider's enthusiasm. In "The Other Side of the Mirror," her new series for Spring Together, the dancers seem to hover between the real world and a place of memory and mystery. Carlos Fittante, who specializes in Baroque, Balinese, and Spanish dance, will dance Chaconne de Phaeton by Louis Pecour to music by Jean-Baptiste Lully and set by John Woodrow Kelley. His dance, Icarus, a Baroque fusion solo inspired by Pecour’s masterpiece, will be danced by Andrew Trego with music by Elias Guzman and set by Elisa Decker. Jeff Platz, composer and guitarist of international renown, will improvise with electric guitar and electronics, both independently and with others’ works. Film artist Andrew Gurian, who has worked with many dance artists including Scott Caywood, Carolyn Lord and Yoshiko Chuma, will project a video re-interpretation of Ms. Soll and Ms. Aisawa's solo dances. The video will transform solos into duets, non-movement into movement, and movement into stillness. Raphael Simons, a poet, a published author, and an occultist, has written Philomela, a surreal poem that is based on elements of the Greek myth of the same name. It is composed of both words and phonemes extracted from the words, creating a mysterious landscape that he will recite when Ms. Aisawa performs Dancing in Circles the second time. For Spring Together, noted New York playwright, Gary Winter, who has received support from many foundations, has created two related monologues that explore the problem of being clumsy and examine the intersections of dance, nature, and George Crumb’s Appalachian roots (and his dogs). The monologues will be directed by Meghan Finn and acted by Melissa Diaz.
About the Directors
Beth Soll directed her own company in Boston from 1977-1997 and in California from 1997-2000, and she moved to New York in 2000. Often praised as “the most accomplished choreographer to have emerged from New England,” she is known for her enigmatic and powerfully expressive work. With her company, she has performed in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia and has worked with dance companies in the Midwest and in Boston and with many choreographers, including Janet Aisawa in Generations, Bill Evans, Ina Hahn, Rosalind Newman, Wendy Perron, and Mel Wong. Ms. Soll’s goal is to choreograph dances that evoke feelings, offer insights, and present the viewer with the familiar seen in a new light. Soll’s choreography has been supported by 7 Choreography Fellowships and numerous Dance Company Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, many grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and other state and civic agencies, and funding from many private foundations and corporations, such as Jacob’s Pillow, the LEF Foundation, the Bank of Boston, the Polaroid Foundation, and the Bossak/Heilbron Charitable Foundation. Ms. Soll, who has a Ph.D. Dance from the University Professors Program at Boston University, has been on the dance faculties of the University of Wisconsin, Boston University, the Harvard Summer Dance Center, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (where she directed the dance program for 20 years), UC Santa Barbara, Hofstra University, The New School, and numerous private organizations. She is currently performing and choreographing in New York City and is an adjunct faculty member in Dance at Manhattanville College. In addition, she teaches at the American Language Institute NYU. Soll's book, Will Modern Dance Survive? Lessons to be Learned from the Pioneers and Unsung Visionaries of Modern Dance, was published in 2002.
“Soll works like a collector – showing us in varying lights the odd and/or beautiful discoveries, the everyday objects treasured for their private significance.” - Deborah Jowitt in the Village Voice.
Janet Aisawa directed Generations, A Lifetime in Dance in 2012, where she first worked with Beth Soll. She is a founding member of Julie Ludwick’s Fly-by-Night Dance Theater an aerial dance company where she has been performer, rehearsal director, and assistant director. She collaborated with Mary-Clare McKenna on an evening length piece, The Nostalgic Body, 2003, at the Silver Whale Gallery in Jeffersonville, NY and at Chisenhale in London. She worked with Obie award winner, Lee Nagrin for 20 years, as assistant director, dramaturge, and performer. She has also performed with Ollom Movement Art, Laura Shapiro, and Dan Froot. She was the 2006 National Amateur Theater Arts champion in ballroom dance. She will be dancing (on the ground) with Kristin Hatleberg at Green Space at the end of April.
About George Crumb:
George Crumb (b. 1929) is one of the most frequently performed composers in today's musical world. Crumb is the winner of Grammy and Pulitzer Prizes, and continues to compose new scores that enrich the lives of all who come in contact with his profoundly humanistic art. Crumb's music often juxtaposes contrasting musical styles, ranging from music of the western art-music tradition, to hymns and folk music, to non-Western musics. Many of Crumb's works include programmatic, symbolic, mystical and theatrical elements, which are often reflected in his beautiful and meticulously notated scores. A shy, yet warmly eloquent personality, Crumb retired from his teaching position at the University of Pennsylvania after more than 30 years of service. Honored by numerous institutions with honorary Doctorates, and the recipient of dozens of awards and prizes, Crumb makes his home in Pennsylvania, in the same house where he and his wife of more than 60 years raised their three children. George Crumb's music is published by C.F. Peters and an ongoing series of "Complete Crumb" recordings, supervised by the composer, is being issued on Bridge Records.
Photo of Beth Soll, left, and Janet Aisawa, right.