Choreographer, Janis Brenner and Composer,Jerome Begin Create Something New...
"The Mind-Stuff Variations" Premieres April 7th-9th at St. Marks Church
Janis Brenner & Dancers Presents 5 Decades II
By Christine Jowers
Janis Brenner possesses a wealth of dance stories in her body. Some of the tales have been passed down to her by mentor Murray Louis in whose company she was a soloist for 7 years, others by the master soloist , Annabelle Gamson, who set historical works of Isadora Duncan and Mary Wigman on Brenner from 1984-1987. Attention to music and vocal sounds bubble through Brenner's oeuvre, perhaps influenced by performing with Meredith Monk for 15 years.
5 Decades II promises to be a delightful realization of Brenner's life experiences as a dancer and choreographer. She is reviving Murray Louis' duet from Cleopatra; bringing back two pieces of her repertory, a duet from Pieces of Trust with music by John Lurie and Meredith Monk, as well as heartStrings to John Reed's string arrangements of Simon and Garfunkel,The Beatles, and Led Zeppelin; she's dancing two solos by Mary Wigman created in 1929; and finally, there is a new work, a world premiere, The Mind-Stuff Variations, that will be performed to live music by the talented composer-musician Jerome Begin and his ensemble. The dancers are going to vocalize and dialogue while they move.
Excerpts from Rehearsal - A Dance Enthusiast Dance Minute
A Dance Minute in St. Marks Church working on The Mind-Stuff Variations
I was fortunate to attend Brenner's company rehearsal at a very sensitive time--the first day in the performance space at St. Marks Church in the East Village.
The sacred space was strewn with socks,stretching bands, tennis balls, bandages, sweat pants and bits of lunch. The dancers were going over counts, figuring out their diagonals, wondering just how to enter the stage without the benefit of wings, and what comes next, what comes next. Brenner's stated goal by the end of the day was to run the new piece without any dancer asking, " What comes next?" (By the way, they did it.)
As light streamed through the stained glass windows of St. Marks' sanctuary, Brenner offered another goal for the performers,"Take in the beauty of the space while you take in the beauty of the dance."