Last night, audience members walked through the open doors at the B Complex, and entered the world of Human Landscapes for the first time. Over seventy people milled around the space, exploring all the nooks and crannies of the industrial setting. A couple sat on the carpeted swing that hangs from the ceiling in the center of the room as they watched the performers. I don’t want to give too much away, but the improvisation at the opening of the show truly highlights the talents of the Core Performance Company artists, from improvisation on the floor, to spiraling from the ceiling in aerial silks. When the dancers met on the dance floor, the audience grabbed a chair and a glass of wine, and became fully immersed in the vision created by Germana Civera and the Core Performance Company.
Ann, a long-time supporter and fan of Core Dance, spoke about a moment of the performance that grabbed her attention: "Although I was drawn to so many parts of it, I think my favorite was the chain all of you formed on the floor. That form and movement reminded me of a bracelet and how it moves on a wrist. I think of bracelets as energetic tethers, and so here we get to part of how the performance might have worked psychologically to ground me."
Many audience members stayed after the show for a talk-back, and discussed the process and results of the work. It was fascinating to hear what different people gained from the piece, and it was wonderful to gain insights from Germana and the dancers about what they feel when they perform and reflect on the work.
This magical performance will be running for three more nights here in Atlanta - tonight, tomorrow, and Sunday evening at 8pm at the B Complex. There will be post-show discussions after every performance. Unless you’re future plans include trips to France and Spain, these are your last chances to see Human Landscapes!
BUY TICKETS HERE
This week began and ended with a bang, with the dancers seeing the performance space for the first time on Monday, and the composer and sound designer arriving from France on Friday. On Monday afternoon, the dancers explored the B Complex and saw how the choreography would adapt to the new environment. The B Complex exists in an industrial colony where artists of all kinds create work. The dancers will perform in a large, open warehouse that is surrounded by plants, sculptures, and gardens. A portion of the piece will take place outside, with the majority of it in the main warehouse.
On Monday at the B Complex, the dancers celebrated Germana’s birthday with cake, song, and of course, dance (Feliz cumpleaños, Germana!) Throughout the week they worked the piece, focusing on different sections like “Walka Flocka” and “Body Sounds.” They rehearsed in the studio, but next week they will fully transition into having class and rehearsal at the B Complex.
The music has been fairly consistent up until this point, but today Didier Aschour, the sound designer, began observing rehearsal. The order of the sections and the music may change depending on what Germana and Didier decide, and the dancers are excited. When asked about the upcoming changes, Scott, the youngest member of Core Performance Company, exclaimed “I love process!” PhaeMonae, another member of CPC, said “I love having his eyes here, and seeing how the work evolves now that all the pieces are falling together.”
Phae also told me a bit about the dancers’ trip to the Atlanta International School on Thursday. The dancers performed excerpts from Human Landscapes, and discussed it with the students. Phae said, “The kids are intelligent and their conceptual thinking was out of this world!” Core Dance loves to participate in outreach programs to involve the community in the dance process.
At the beginning and end of every day, the dancers check in and check out. This means that every person describes how they are feeling, and what they found memorable from the day. Today, the dancers described their day with one word or phrase. Here is how everyone described today:
All the elements
Lots of moving parts on lots of moving ships
It’s gonna happen!
It’s a big family reunion in here today
Here we are
Human Landscapes will give the audience an up close and personal look at the journey of the dancers, choreographer, and composer. Don’t forget to buy your tickets!
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.
Barbara Branson, Publications Manager, and the People of Core Dance