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Dancespace Project Presents


Friday, October 5, 2012 - 12:00pm

David Gordon: The Matter/2012: Art & Archive

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Danspace Project Presents



THE MATTER/2012: Art & Archive (premiere)

October 25-27, 2012 [Thu-Sat] 7PM & 9PM (two shows per night)

Admission: 8 (2 Danspace members)

Tickets on sale at www.danspaceproject.org or call (866) 811-4111


Open Rehearsals take place on Thursday, October 18 and Friday, October 19 from 7PM - 9PM.

Open Rehearsals are free and open to the public.


Part of PLATFORM 2012: Judson Now


New York, NY, October 4, 2012 -Danspace Project presents the premiere of a new movement/theater/music work directed and choreographed by David Gordon, one of the founding members of the Judson Dance Theater. THE MATTER/2012: Art & Archive marks a series of anniversaries for Gordon: 50 years of making work and the 40th anniversary of The Matter (1972), which he revisits in this new production.


Performances on October 25, 26, and 27 include two shows per night (7PM & 9PM) and two open rehearsals, (7PM-9PM on Thursday, October 18 - Friday, October 19) during Gordon's two-week residency at Danspace Project - part of Danspace's Choreographic Center Without Walls.


Consistently cited over the years by press and scholars as an artist "defying classification" David Gordon is also known for wit and irony. "He is a supreme ironist, subverting impressions as fast as he projects them" according to writer Sally Banes. Last June Claudia La Rocco referred to as him as "a smart, romantic trickster" in a New York Times review.


At the very first concert of dance at Judson Memorial Church in 1962, Gordon performed a solo, Mannequin,in a bloody lab coat. Ten years later he choreographed The Matter, a group work based on a series of bodies in motion by photographer Eadweard Muybridge. A cast of 40 included local artists, NYU students, and Valda Setterfield, who danced a nude solo created by Gordon from a score of Muybridge photos (now in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art); the entire cast sang and danced Gordon's 1962 solo Mannequin. Now, fifty years later Gordon's archival adventure includes new work, music (including Philip Glass), new and archival images, lighting designed by Jennifer Tipton, performance by Gordon's own Pick Up Performance Co(s), 25+ theater students from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, and Valda Setterfield.


THE MATTER/2012: Art & Archive reflects Gordon's recent archival investigations. It is in keeping with his methodology over the last 10 years, during which he has explored the work of Aristophanes, Brecht, Pirandello, and Shakespeare. This was referenced in a May 2012 New York Times profile, "Most recently Mr. Gordon's explorations led him to two theatrical ancestors in particular: Brecht and Ionesco, and consequently to Luigi Pirandello, whose work influenced them. All three, Mr. Gordon said, dealt with 'the stuff that's been interesting me for an entire career, which is essentially about illusion and reality, identity, character, family, where I came from, how I got here, what's left to where I'm going - life.'"


On Monday, October 8 at 7PM David Gordon and longtime partner and collaborator Valda Setterfield will be joined by Dance Magazine editor Wendy Perron in conversation about Gordon's current work and its relation to Mannequin, and The Matter; the use of scores for choreography; how he thinks he learned to improvise; and the influence of his daily life on his work. Setterfield lends her unique perspective on their long term working relationship. The Story Behind the Story Behind Mannequin (1962) and The Matter (1972) with David Gordon and Valda Setterfield is in partnership with Barnard College and takes place at Barnard College's Event Oval, The Diana Center (3009 Broadway at 116th Street, New York, NY 10027)


THE MATTER/2012: Art & Archive is a Pick Up Performance Co(s) Production





Commissions for directing &/or choreographing include:

Actors Studio, American Ballet Theater, American Conservatory Theater, American Repertory Theater, Barbican (London), BBC Channel 4, UK. British Dance Umbrella, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Dance Theater of Harlem, Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project, Guthrie Theater, Joyce Theater, The Kitchen, KTCA Alive TV, Mark Taper Forum, New York Theater Workshop, On The Boards (Seattle, Wa.), PBS Great Performances, Serious Fun @ Lincoln Center, Spoleto USA, Theater For a New Audience, Walker Art Center, White Oak Dance Project.

Awards include: two Obies, three Bessies, two Dramalogues, two Guggenheims,

two Pew Charitable Trust Grants (in both Theater and Dance),

three National Endowment for the Arts' American Masterpiece grants.

Current member: The Actors Studio, Center for Creative Research.

Previous panel/chair: NEA Dance Program.

Founding artist: Grand Union/Judson Church Performances.

Previous performer: Yvonne Rainer Co./James Waring Co.



The Pick Up Performance Co. Inc. (producer) was founded in 1971 and incorporated in 1978 to facilitate projects by David Gordon, the company was expanded in 1992 to include projects by Ain Gordon, and subsequently renamed The Pick Up Performance Co(s) in recognition of the plural artistic leadership with individual yearly projects. From his seminal beginnings as a founding artist in the Judson Dance Theater, David Gordon has purposefully examined and expanded the line between theater and dance and pioneered the use of text and textual narrative in movement work. In this early work Gordon not only presaged his later writing and directing for the stage but also predated the live theater form which came to be known as "performance art." Cementing his dual status as a dance and theater artist, Gordon was awarded a Pew Charitable Trust National Dance Residency grant and National Theater Residency grant in successive years. In 1992, Ain Gordon (David Gordon's son) joined the company as Co-Director. Starting with his first work in 1983, Ain Gordon found his roots in the performance art world his father helped to create and by the late 1980's he was producing and touring his work nationally. In 1987 Ain Gordon was awarded support from National Endowment's inaugural round of "New Forms" grants - designed specifically for artists who defied clear classification. By 1992, Ain Gordon began a move toward a more continuous emphasis on text-based theater or playwriting. In 1993, Ain Gordon and David Gordon collaborated on The Family Business (as writers, directors, and performers) and received an OBIE for their work. In recent years, at the invitation of Mikhail Baryshnikov, David Gordon directed, choreographed and wrote narration for a tribute to and revival of dance/theater work from the Judson Church era that toured nationally and internationally. His work has been seen at many venues including The Actor's Studio, the Barbican in London, the Brooklyn Academy of Music Next Wave Festival the Danspace Project, Joyce Theater, Joyce SoHo, On the Boards in Seattle, Peak Performances@Montclair State University. www.pickupperformance.org


LOCATION: Unless otherwise noted, all performances and events take place at Danspace Project in St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery, 131 East 10th Street, New York, NY 10003.


TICKETS: Tickets are available for purchase at www.danspaceproject.org or by phone at (866) 811-4111.   




PLATFORM 2012: Judson Now

Fifty years after the first Concert of Dance at Judson Church in 1962, Judson's radical experiments are still influencing the way artists work today. Many artists who participated in the more than 200 experimental evenings from 1962-1966 are still making, performing, exhibiting, and touring their work. Their generative cross-disciplinary experiments gave rise to some of the most important movements of the 1960s and 1970s and still inspire younger generations in multiple disciplines to take artistic risks.


"Judson Now is not a comprehensive survey but rather a snapshot of Judson's influence in the current moment. Judson Dance Theater's mythic reach is vast, its artists were many, its experiments were multidisciplinary, and the anarchic energy and vision spilled out of the Judson Church into lofts, theaters, churches, and even to other cities," writes Hussie-Taylor. "There is no one narrative to sum up Judson and this generative period in downtown New York."


Judson Now takes place over 10 weeks. Public events include performances, discussions, panels, film showings, and artists' residencies. Danspace Project will publish a catalogue co-edited by Jenn Joy and Judy Hussie-Taylor featuring archival and contemporary images, interviews, and essays.  


PLATFORM 2012: Judson Now has been organized by Hussie-Taylor with assistance from a research team comprised of Jenn Joy, Huffa Frobes-Cross, Lydia Bell, Judith Walker, and Adrienne Rooney. Wendy Perron has served as artistic advisor. Judson Now coincides with and complements other Judson 50th Anniversary events throughout New York City, including workshops and presentations presented by Movement Research.




Danspace Project's PLATFORM program is a series of guest artist-curated programs that are part of the Choreographic Center Without Walls (CW²). As a framework for Danspace's presentations and commissions, CW² aims to examine and discover ways of providing context, curatorial support, and space for choreographers and their works. The CW² and its PLATFORM series receives major support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. In addition, this fall's PLATFORM 2012: Judson Now has received lead funding from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.  


Special thanks to all our space and presentation partners: Abrons Arts Center, Barnard College, Gibney Dance Center, Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance at Wesleyan University's Center for the Arts, Mount Tremper Arts, Movement Research, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Performa, and The Poetry Project.




About Danspace Project

Danspace Project presents new work in dance, supports a diverse range of choreographers in developing their work, encourages experimentation, and connects artists to audiences.  


Now in its fourth decade, Danspace Project has supported a vital community of contemporary dance artists in an environment unlike any other in the United States. Located in the historic St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery, Danspace shares its facility with the Church, The Poetry Project, and The Incubator Arts Project. Danspace Project's Commissioning Initiative has commissioned over 430 new works since its inception in 1994. 


Danspace Project's Choreographic Center Without Walls (CW²) provides context for audiences and increased support for artists. Danspace Project's presentation programs (including Platforms, FOOD FOR THOUGHT, Draftwork), Commissioning Initiative, residencies, guest artist curators, and contextualizing activities and materials are core components of CW² that offer a responsive framework for artists' works. Since 2010, we have commissioned 67 emerging and established artists, produced six guest-curated Platforms, published six print catalogues and four e-books, launched the Conversations Without Walls series, and explored models for public discourse and residencies.

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