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Reflections on Premiere Salon showing of "if... a memoir".

Updated: Oct 20, 2022

Last week, Core Dance held an evening salon event and premiered excerpts of if... a memoir.  Our dancers presented the work in process while the audience snacked on delicious food from White Bull. After the performance, the audience had a chance to ask questions and reflect on the piece. Benji, our Communications Intern, took a moment to write about their experience at the salon. Read on to learn about what they thought!

Photo courtesy of Benji Stevenson

Despite the cozy environment of the evening, the call to action was clear - we need to make a major change in our relationship with the Earth. 

If… a memoir opened with falling bodies and subtle movement. The choreography later escalated in an improvisational fashion. Flashing overhead, images and video footage by cinematographer Simon Gentry, displayed magnificent scenes from both natural and urban areas in Europe. The dancers moved to a soundtrack by Christian Mever, resulting in a powerful audio and visual experience.

During the Q&A session after the performance, an audience member compared if... a memoirto the acclaimed Philip Glass/Godfrey Reggio film Koyaanisqatsi. Koyaanisqatsi similarly depicts the harm we have caused our planet. Alarmingly, 35 years later artists are still creating work about this destruction. Both Koyaanisqatski and if... a memoir are important works that insight meaningful dialogue.

Although some audience members craved an ending section performed in unison, I found honesty in the chaos of the individual phrases. While a unison sequence may provide a sense of resolution, I do not feel that it would fit the theme, because:

  • It might further prove how jaded our perspectives are in regards to ongoing environmental issues

  • A piece that calls audience members to confront issues regarding our Earth and mankind's harmful effects should, in fact, leave us feeling unnerved and unresolved.​

The unsettling composition of this piece has already proven itself effective in its purpose. The potential of if... a memoir to impact future audiences is extremely promising, and I am excited to see the work in its next stage of development.

Join us at our next salon event on Thursday, December 6th to see excerpts of another work in process, Architecture of Space.


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Jun 30, 2022

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