This week, I had the pleasure of sitting in on rehearsals for “Human Landscapes,” a collaboration between French choreographer Germana Civera, and the Core Performance Company. The dancers and creators have been working very hard the past two weeks, and have begun running the full piece in rehearsals - lucky me, I get to see a preview! Soon, they will begin rehearsing in the performance space at the B Complex, before premiering their work to audiences October 26-29.
In brightly colored clothing, the dancers explore the space with a circular walking pattern, occasionally cutting through the space. French, Spanish, and English wording and music is woven throughout the piece, accentuating the language of the body. The dancers are aware of each other, but take risks, creating a lot of “beautiful near-misses,” as Artistic Director of Core Dance Sue Schroeder described them. In rehearsals, the dancers are working on the evolution of sound on the body, including the sounds that one body makes when colliding with another (this involves a lot of SMACKing - ouch!). They’re also exploring facial movements, and experiment with moving different features like the eyes, teeth, and tongue. This part grabbed me, because how often do you think about dancing with only your throat?
The choreography is stunning in a dance studio, and I’m excited to see how it grows when the dancers begin rehearsing at the B Complex. The B Complex is a large, open warehouse with a beautiful path of tree and sculptures outlining the property. Although the production will include dance floor and theatrical lighting, the location guarantees that it will not have the feel of a typical dance performance. Instead of sitting in the plush chairs of a theater, the audience will surround the dancers on two sides, giving the performance an intimate feel.
Wear your walking shoes, and buy your tickets now for Human Landscapes!
October 26-29th at 8:00PM
Main Gallery at the B Complex
1272 Murphy Avenue SW
Atlanta, GA 30310
*The performance contains nudity.
**Some of the performance takes place outside on rocky and uneven terrain.
This week has been crazy busy over here at Core Dance. On Monday, Germana Civera arrived to begin the collaborative process of "Human Landscapes." (Check out this video clip here!) And Monday evening, Fall Fieldwork began. I had the chance to sit in on Fieldwork, which was a brand new experience for me. I suppose because Core Dance is a dance company, I was expecting to workshop dance. Much to my surprise, the artists' talents range from theater, to poetry; from singing to dance. Throughout the next few months, the participants will present and review each others' work using the guidelines of Fieldwork. The process is over 30 years old, and emphasizes the importance of safety and comfort in the space. (For more information on the background of Fieldwork, check out The Field's website here!) The artists are encouraged to be completely open and honest, and reach out to others for suggestions or ideas. Ann Ritter, this session's facilitator, used the term "cross-fertilization" to describe the many ways participants will influence each other. These artists are truly talented, and I can't wait to see what they produce at the end of the fall. Come see the magic that is Fieldwork at the showcase on December 3rd at Emory University. More details to come!
A continuation of my interview with Amanda Sierzadski, one of our Fieldwork participants
Q: What are some of your highlights of past dance experiences?
A: I was a founding member of the Community Arts Initiative, a collective whose mission is to engage and build connections between the academic and surrounding community by exploring the concept of “artist-as-citizen” and supporting performance opportunities beyond the proscenium stage. I co-created work as a performer, choreographer, and event coordinator with organizations such as Big Bend Hospice, the Southern Shakespeare Company, Work of South Festival, 621 Art Gallery, the St. Francis Wildlife Association, and Working Method Contemporary.
I was also the chairperson for the FSU School of Dance’s Interdisciplinary Performance Symposium. This event featured a keynote presentation from established dance artist Duane Cyrus, as well as workshops, works-in-progress showings, and talks on the topics of interdisciplinary research, bringing together a variety of scholars, artists, and community members.
I was a selected presenter for the 2016 and 2017 Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association’s annual conferences in Seattle and San Diego, where I shared research on the dualism in feminine identity and audience engagement in cross-disciplinary performance.
My culminating thesis work, fangirl & the liner notes, merged poetry, contemporary and vernacular movement, and spoken word, and utilized the venue and structure of a rock concert to build a participatory atmosphere for audiences. Plunging into the daydream of a former fangirl, this one-woman rock show (that used a duet of two bodies) explored what it meant to grow up in relation to the music we listen to, the strain between teenage rebellion and conformity, and how our individual identities are shaped as we come into adulthood. My aims moving forward from this work are to continue finding methods of making contemporary dance performance an accessible, honest, and immersive experience.
Q: What do you hope to gain from Fieldwork?
A: Narrative-based lines of thought pepper my poetry, journalistic pursuits, and choreographic projects, and my grounding questions as an artist have always been linked to how I can best tell any given story. More specifically as an interdisciplinary artist, how can I use my instruments—the body in space supported by the creative use of language and other modes of storytelling—to communicate intricate, honest, and relevant narratives?
During the ten weeks of Core Dance's Fieldwork program, I will be developing a continuation of my thesis work. I hope to discover unexplored corners of the world I was able to create out of poetry, music, and movement, and possibly adapt this unconventional two-person “one-woman show” into a more traditional one-person format.
Given the multi-disciplinary nature of Fieldwork, I’m excited to enter an environment with makers from various areas of expertise and engage in critical discourse surrounding our various works-in-progress. I hope to engage in enriching collaborations, find more access points inside the choreography, and serve my greater vision of using other discipline’s to create stronger communities around contemporary dance.
On Saturday, Fall Fieldwork begins in Houston, with the Atlanta sessions beginning on Monday. I'm fairly new here, and am very curious to learn all about Fieldwork. So, I decided to chat with one of the participants to see what she's expecting and hoping to gain from this process. This blog post covers the first half of our interview... Check back on Monday for the rest! Read on to hear what 26 year old Interdisciplinary and Community Dance Artist, Amanda Sieradzki, has to say!
Q: Can you tell me a little bit about your dance background?
A: I grew up in Florida’s Tampa Bay area, training in ballet and contemporary while spending my free time at the beach wrapped up in whatever YA novel was on the bestseller’s list. I earned my BA in writing with an applied dance minor from the University of Tampa, which is where my inclination towards interdisciplinary art making was first nurtured while taking tandem classes in journalism, poetry, dance, and choreographing for student concerts.
I traded my sun and surf for the polar vortex of New York City where I completed a year of independent study at the Ailey School. It was there that I gained a deep appreciation for the great moderns and underwent vigorous training in Horton, Graham, Taylor, and Dunham techniques under the auspices of Ana Marie Forsythe, Carolyn Adams, Marianne Bachman, and Joan Peters.
My dance journey then led me to the swampy panhandle’s capitol, Tallahassee, where I completed my MFA in performance and choreography at Florida State University. Now, I’m a freelance choreographer, journalist, and educator, brand new to the Atlanta area and eager to produce, as well as participate in, all forms of movement, writing, and community engagement.
Q: What are you doing now?
A: I am currently the feature writer for the Tallahassee Democrat for the Council on Culture and Arts and enjoy being able to delve into the artistic processes’ of visual artists, musicians, performers, and community organizers via one-on-one weekly interviews and profiles.
In Atlanta, I am on faculty at Expressions in Motion Dance and the Druid Hills Dance Center, and enjoy teaching a variety of styles. My pedagogical background pulls from Anne Green Gilbert’s brain-compatible methodologies, as well as incorporates creative writing elements to aid in movement exploration. I’ve taught all ages and abilities inside and outside studio settings, including universities, children's programs, healthcare facilities, & retirement communities.
Q: Where were you before Atlanta?
A: Before arriving in Atlanta this summer, I was attending Florida State University’s three-year MFA program, which I completed in May 2017. During my graduate studies, I pursued research on how interdisciplinary processes can connect students, audiences, and the greater community, and made collaborative works with musicians, visual artists, and the undergraduate dancers at FSU.
I taught classes in ballet, contemporary, jazz, and dance appreciation in FSU’s non-majors program, as well as served on faculty at the Ballet Arts Conservatory of Tallahassee as an instructor, rehearsal assistant, and contributing choreographer.
Although our 80 degree weather may beg to differ, fall is officially here, and Core Dance is fully embracing it. Right now, the Core Performance Company is celebrating the new season by dancing around the world! Just last week, our dancers were shimmying and shaking in Tel Aviv, and are now spending the weekend at a space-inspired performance in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Next month, while we all settle into sweatshirts and nurse pumpkin spice lattes, the dancers will be preparing for their performance of "Human Landscapes" at the B Complex in Decatur. This project, a collaboration with Germana Civera and DidierAschor, investigates the art of existence. Every day, we experience art even in mundane actions. When we have conversations at work, or walk the dog, we are knee-deep in art, even if we don't realize it. Some moments in life are more impactful, like when we start over in a new place. A new life and a new community comes with an unfamiliar, but still beautiful, artistic experience. In "Human Landscapes," the dancers will interpret a journey of a people, and the art that accompanies struggle and change.
As we transition into a new season, try to set apart some time to reflect upon your current space, and what has brought you here, to today. And at the end of October, don't forget to mark your calendars, grab your friends, and come on a journey with Core Dance.
Location: Main Gallery at the B Complex, 1272 Murphy Ave, Atlanta GA, 30310
Days: Thursday October 26th - Sunday October 29th, 2017
Featured Artists: Germana Civera, DiderAschor, and Core Performance Company
Ticket Price: $15
BUY TICKETS HERE