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IMPRESSIONS: Cathy Weis' Sundays on Broadway Series Featuring Laura Bartczak, Emily Climer, and Diane Madden

IMPRESSIONS: Cathy Weis' Sundays on Broadway Series Featuring Laura Bartczak, Emily Climer, and Diane Madden
Deirdre Towers/Follow @spiffmoves on Twitter

By Deirdre Towers/Follow @spiffmoves on Twitter
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Published on November 28, 2018

November 11, 2018

WeisAcres, 537 Broadway

Choreographers: Laura Bartczak; Emily Climer; Diane Madden  

Filmmaker: Matthew Burdis

Dancers: Rachel Sigrid Freeburg, Mae Maeda, Dustin Maxwell, Katie Skinner, Katelyn Hales

Amity Jones, Cherie Burnett, Kay Ottinger, Hadley Smith, Corinne Cappelletti, Erin Sheehy 
Sound design by Aaron Rourk. 

Costumes by Rachel Sherk and Emily Climer

Pictured above: Film Still from Take 3; A collaborative work between dancer Diane Madden and artist-filmmaker Matthew Burdis; Photo courtesy of the artists


Sundays on Broadway, now in its fifth season at WeisAcres, makes you feel like you are in very cool company. If chosen to participate in this well-attended series, you may be on to something.

The performance opened with Laura Bartczak’s piece that mines the sculptural aspects of sleep with a super 8mm short film (untitled) of Erin Sheehy’s torso, with glimpses of flying hair twisting under dark fabric. Is this meant to represent the undulations of one’s unconscious? While the film was projected, a woman lay face down. When the film ended, six more women entered in silence to lay on the floor. We rested as they  rolled face up, then again, face down. Continuing in this leisurely pace, the women (of all shapes) individually claimed a spot on each other, and then arose to reposition themselves, shifting the topography and gradually moving their somnolent group from center stage to stage left. Towards the close, one rose to dance, her limbs floating unencumbered.
 
A group of artists in a long tableau arrange themselves on the floor.

Laura Bartczak’s untitled; Photo: Laura Bartczak

 
Next up was Emily Climer’s Phantoms Ghost Phantoms with delightfully odd movements (particularly those of Dustin Maxwell) and two artists dressed in padded costumes perfect for riding in bumper cars. The press release aptly described this dance as one “of sustained disorientation wherein two duet worlds collide, connected by states of unknowing, feelings of being unsettled, and sudden attempts at order.”
 
Take 3, a meditative film on layering made by Diane Madden and filmmaker, Matthew Burdis, closed the program. Shot during their residency at the Mahler & LeWitt Studios in Spoleto, Italy, the film weaves together images of Madden’s hand on a table and Torre Bonomo, a medieval tower in the background, with superimpositions and fabrics passed in front of the camera. 
 
Two dancers lay on the group and stare at one another.

Emily Climer’s Phantoms ghosts phantoms; Photo by Andy Ribner

 
Dancer/choreographer Vicky Shick, one of four guest curators for the WeisAcres fall season, including Jon Kinzel, Jennifer Miller, Mina Nishimura, curated this hour-long program. Hosted by Cathy Weis in her 537 Broadway loft, once owned by Simone Forti, the audience can sense palpable history as they ascend the wide stairs toward the space. The storied loft, located one flight above Emily Harvey Foundation (where dance filmmaker Elaine Summers once lived and worked) exists in the building erected on the spot where P. T. Barnum museum burned down in 1865. One may wonder if  Barnum’s uniquely intuitive spirit continues to lurk in 537.

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