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The Dance Enthusiast Hits The Streets to Celebrate a Book and Film Launch

The Dance Enthusiast Hits The Streets to Celebrate a Book and Film Launch
Deirdre Towers/Follow @deirdre.towers on Instagram

By Deirdre Towers/Follow @deirdre.towers on Instagram
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Published on June 15, 2015
Another Telepathic Thing- Film Still

"Danse A Catalog" edited by Noemie Solomon and "Another Telepathic Thing" a film of Big Dance Theater by Jonathon Demme



DANSE: A GLOSSARY Celebrating the book launch of “Danse: A Catalog”
Venue: Cultural Services of the French Embassy
Curator: Noemie Solomon
Performers: Anja Andus L’Hotellier, Michelle Boulé, Gerard & Kelly, Antonija Livingstone, Dean Moss, Richard Move, Chrysa Parkinson, & Valda Setterfield

Noémie Solomon, editor of “Danse: A Catalogue”

A glitch can sometimes take over the entire situation and thereby become invisible as itself,”said Chrysa Parkinson, brought to give this presentation for the cultural center by Independent Dance Dialogues, as one of her eight short notes on Glitch.

Glitch is one of eight keywords  chosen by Noémie Solomon, editor of “Danse: A Catalogue,” with her assembled friends and artists, around which they developed a five minute presentation for this book launch at the elegant 5th Avenue home of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. For Parkinson, “Glitches revealed themselves to me as part of my dance language in a movement material and phrase I created for Anne Teresa/Rosas’ “Cesena’ (2011). The movement material was made up of quotes, symbols and glitches.”

This immensely stimulating evening varied from the charming life stories of Valda Setterfield, as sparked by the keyword Experience to Michelle Boulé’s vulnerable stance created to evoke Empathy. Two overlapping sound tracks competed for our attention on the keyword History while Dean Moss put in his mouth a knob to the back of a disk that erased his head from our view. Trembling is a word of high personal importance for Antonija Livingstone who has studied this emotional, corporal state with her partner for many decades. Archives, Labor, and Transmission were the other keywords sparking reflections by Sanja Andus L’Hotelier, Gerard & Kelly, and Richard Move.

Dean Moss / The Keyword is HISTORY


This clever alternative to the normal wine & cheese book party was introduced by Bénédicte de Montlaur, French Cultural Counselor, who explained that this event is a continuation of DANSE. A French-American Festival Performances and Ideas presented in NYC in May, 2014, and part of DANSE, a four year program of exchanges in contemporary dance between French and the US (2015-18).Solomon has edited two books: “Danse as Anthology (2014) and Danse: A Catalog” (2015) published by les presses reel, new york series, co-published by The Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the US. “Danse: A Catalog” is divided in three parts: “Present Histories,” “Foreign Intimacies,” and “Collective Acts,” with 12 essays commissioned to reflect on the mutual influences of French and American choreographic cultures.

To share one example that is telling of distinct cultural differences in “Danse: A Catalog,”  Solomon’s questions Peggy Phelan, “You recently used the phrase ‘erotics of knowing’ to describe dance. This to me beautifully evokes Georges Bataille…” Phelan replied, “Unfortunately, I am not a good reader of Bataille. I ‘feel’ his prose, but cannot claim to comprehend his work…”

Besides Solomon and Phelan, the texts are by Bojana Bauer, Boris Charmatz, Douglas Dunn, Adrian Heathfield, Judy Hussie-Taylor, Emmanuelle Huynh, Ana Janevski, Latifa Laabissi, Claudia La Rocco, Thomas J. Lax, Xavier Le Roy, Boyan Manchev, Felicia McCarren, Catherine Perret, Julie Perrin, Will Rawls, and Christophe Wavelet.

“Another Telepathic Thing”  June 8, 2015 at Baryshnikov Arts Center
Featuring: Big Dance Theater Choreographer: Annie-B Parsons- Stage Director: Paul Lazar- Film Director: Jonathan Demme
Performers: Tymberly Canale, Stacy Dawson, Molly Hickok, Cynthia Hopkins, Paul Lazar, and David Neumann - Music: Cynthia Hopkins- Set by Joanne Howard

“I am so blown away. I know I shouldn’t be saying this, but I am sitting here watching this and thinking how did she (Anne-B Parsons) do this?” exclaimed the Academy award winning director Jonathan Demme in the talk-back after the premiere showing of “Another Telepathic Thing.” Friends and mutual fans for years, Parsons & Demme joined forces in 2000 for a filming of Big Dance Theater’s performance of “Another Telepathic Thing” at Dance Theatre Workshop.

Marta Renzi, representing the board of Dance Films Association (DFA), asked Demme to explore how the film was more than just a record of the stage event.  Demme replied that he chose to do close-ups when the characters were particularly engaged. Parsons, who was seeing the film for the first time, shared that the editing was equivalent to a re-choreographing of her work.

Parsons credited choreographer/dancer Susan Marshall as the one who introduced her to Mark Twain’s “The Mysterious Stranger,” a novella that inspired this production. “That last speech is so bittersweet and sad,” said Parsons. Unfortunately the sound quality was rough so it was hard to decipher the words at the close of this word-heavy production, which had particularly strong performances by Cynthia Hopkins and Molly Hickok. Parsons showed perhaps her most ingenuity in the many ways she manipulated a strip of wooden slats, that alternately carried or concealed a performer, among other things.

“Another Telepathic Thing” was completed in 2015 with funding from DFA’s Production Initiative,  with support from a Rockefeller Foundation Innovation Fund. 53 Street Press ( published a book on this production available for $25. The book combines oral history, drawings, video stills and an annotated script, which combined Twain's novella The Mysterious Stranger, illicitly recorded audition tapes, and several parasols.

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