PRINCETON DANCE FESTIVAL
The first main event of the Program in Dance 2020-21 season will be an exciting and innovative, re-imagined virtual edition of the annual Princeton Dance Festival.
Along with the entire global dance community, the Program in Dance is exploring the challenges of dance in a socially distanced world. How can we create new methods of dance and choreography for the online environment that reimagine frontiers of physical practice and the choreographic space?
Six diverse, professional choreographers bring their unique aesthetics to the question of dance in the COVID era working with groups of Princeton dance students. These new works will explore the intersections of dance and multimedia performance, digital animation, filmmaking, site-specific theater and art, or music.
Peter Chu’s project explores the potential of human connectivity during a creative process that nurtures awareness so that individuals can better understand how to peacefully connect with themselves and others when perspectives and opinions begin to shift. This process is filled with thought-provoking yet playful journeys that evoke the artists’ spatial perception while encouraging them to explore their body’s internal breath and expression. Viscerally charged with moving imagery, this creative process will celebrate raw, curious, and honest communication.
Francesca Harper’s project, Emergence and Discovery: Digital Dance Portraits, facilitates collaborative construction and the development of personal films allowing movement, filmmaking, images, text, music, and discovery in natural and industrial habitat to be accessible and serve as inspiration. As dance artists emerge from isolation and reshape their lives, how do they preserve the moment? This existential question will be translated into art. The projects will draw inspiration from artists such as Frida Khalo, Carrie Mae Weems, Pina Bausch, Jean Michel Basquiat, Claude Monet, Kehinde Wiley, and Maya Daren, encouraging student artists to take risks and create a dance film that will forever document a unique moment in their story.
Rebecca Lazier explores Dance in the Site Specific Space with students asking: Where can dance happen? What can it do? And who can do it? This project examines the differing conventions of site-based art, site-responsive performance practices, and site-specific dance to generate student-led choreography projects within their communities. Urban space interventions, itinerant performances, environmental constructions, and immersive site-responsive dance pieces are examined for how they can negotiate the performer and audience relationship, reveal hidden histories, and become agents of activism and protest. The landmarks, parks, and streets of the communities where students are currently living are the inspiration for site-situated and site-responsive choreographic practices.
Dean Moss leads students in a Live and Surreal multidisciplinary dance composition project developing multimedia performances within the frame and features of the Zoom platform. The work draws parallels between the current cultural moment, and changes in national identity, labor, and art, in the 1920’s: when surrealism, modern dance, and social activism passionately reflected the zeitgeist of the Americas.
Silas Riener, a member of the former Merce Cunningham Dance Company, leads a project to make hybrid dance experiments by blurring natural, virtual, and augmented environments. Rooted in Merce Cunningham Technique, students are studying, practicing, and performing excerpts from Cunningham dances spanning over 50 years of choreography for stage and camera, leading to creation of new work adapting, misusing, and recreating Cunningham’s methods: chance procedures, indeterminacy, fixed and mobile camera perspectives, layers of structural complexity, animation, as well as new custom-built Instagram filters and augmented reality software to shape choreography and movement for a new and evolving digital platform.
Olivier Tarpaga leads a Movement Percussion project utilizing this high intensity hybrid movement transformation practice rooted in structured improvisation and rhythms to create a final collaborative project partly performed as a dance for camera and partly live on Zoom during the Princeton Dance Festival.
Program in Dance faculty and seniors are developing a spring season within the uncertainty of the global pandemic and what it means for the current state of dance. New choreography by seniors will further explore the worlds of creating dance specifically for the camera and creating works that are site-specific in the environments they find themselves at this time of isolation and remote connectivity.
Seniors will work together to present a work based on excerpts of Robert Battle’s repertory and staged by Elisa Clark. Eight of the seniors will perform new and repertory works by other choreographers.