The past few weeks at Core Dance have been non-stop! I’ve barely had a chance to catch my breath with all of the events happening around here. American Playground and Two Room Apartment just had its Houston premiere this past weekend at MATCH in Houston. In addition to recovering from this trip to Houston, our Company Manager, D. Patton White, is choreographing a piece that will premiere in Atlanta the first weekend of March - in less than two weeks!. (Click here for more info!)
Two weeks ago, we had a guest artist, Rebecca Steinberg from New Dialect, come to teach “Guided Improvisation.” I took her class on Thursday morning, and it was an eye-opening, very sweaty adventure. We began class with a shaking series, and kept moving for at least half an hour without stopping. It’s amazing how difficult it is to continue this movement, even if you keep the shaking small. We later moved into contact improvisation, with one partner influencing the other with his or her touch. It was especially interesting because later that night, I went to a performance of “One: A Kinetic Journey” and saw this same exercise used in one of the pieces. (Which, by the way, was awesome!)
That Thursday was also our Lunchtime in the Studio event, during which we offer free lunch and Core Performance Company performs for our local community. For this Lunchtime, we featured excerpts from Patton’s piece, July 13, 2016: 4:10PM. This piece was inspired by the sudden and unexpected death of his brother, Claiborne, in 2016. Patton is working on including the audience in the performance, and allowing each member to experience his or her own interpretation of love and loss.
To begin Lunchtime, Patton asked the audience to listen to a piece of music, and to draw while they listened. After the music finished, we reflected on this experience. One young audience member said, “I feel like this music was meant to played here and on this day.”
Then, Core Performance Company performed an excerpt from the choreographed portion of the piece. After a brief reflection after the performance, the CPC Dance Artists each connected with one audience member, and walked with them around the studio. Patton encouraged the audience members to explore the space, and enter on a journey with the dancers. After this experience, a few participants spoke of a realization that we don’t have all the time in the world. Patton expressed that he feels it is important to focus on relationships, because these are what give our lives meaning.
One audience member summed up my own interpretation of the afternoon perfectly. He said, “I found the meaning and the beauty behind the madness.”
Later that day, students from East Atlanta Villages came to the studios. Core Performance Company performed a short excerpt of American Playground, and then led the students in a class. After the excerpt, the students responded to what they saw in the performance. Here are some of the phrases they used to describe their experience:
“It was amazing”
“They were working together”
“Was it all a part of the plan?”
“I want to be a dancer now”
For more information on future events including Lunchtime in the Studio, American Playground, and July 13, 2016: 4:10PM, check out the “Coming Up” page on our website!
Barbara Branson, Publications Manager, and the People of Core Dance