"…an intense compilation…ranging from tentative touching to violence….Very powerful." Pittsburgh CrossCurrents
CONNOTATIONS: unknown began as an idea that hatched during my run as an actor in Bricolage's STRATA. It wasn't until after the show came to an end that I was able to write down the jumble of thoughts and ideas swirling in my head about what had happened in STRATA. Over the 5-week run of the show I was there as hundreds of people experienced my room. I performed the same movements for each participant regardless of sex, age, or appearance; each one reacting differently than the last. Their reactions changed my intention, or the way I performed each movement. As I began to sift through these thoughts about 'how?' and 'why?' this happened, I became even more intrigued in using movement to continue to research human emotion and subsequent interactions. To me this work is a physical and artistic expression of my STRATA experience, and the result of the research we'd done in the studio. By investigating the superficial and emotional nature of these relationships, we created a work that transcended the confines of a traditional ‘dance piece’ and became an experience the audience and performers collectively shared.
This work was made in three sections.
Part One: Pathways – This section investigates the ways people weave in and out of each other's lives for various durations of time. This could include someone we've passed on the street, to someone who becomes an acquaintance or a friend. All of these people leave an impression on us. By exploring the intimate and distant proximities between the dancers, we created a space in which the dancers are forced to co-exist. As though pulled together by a vortex, the dancers bump, narrowly miss, and begin to understand how to interact with each other just before they are expelled from the space by a new presence. An excerpt of Part One premiered at the Kelly Strayhorn's newMoves Contemporary Dance Festival in October 2013. Photos from the show can be seen by clicking here!
Part Two: [Im] Passe – In this co-choreographed duet, Zëk and I sought to understand participants' emotional response to my room. What triggered their response? We only shared a few minutes together, yet the experience affected each of them - and myself - differently. After talking to many of them I came to understand that their reactions stemmed from our use of touch and non-verbal communication. Zëk and I called their reaction the 'aftermath". We discovered how non-verbal communication could be tender, exciting and violent. We played with physicality, visceral impact, moments of tenderness, intimacy, all the while testing the boundaries of [our] Trust, and pushed to find the point of exploitation [Trust]. We also performed this duet at the HATCH Presenting Series (NYC) in May 2014.
Part Three: stable [I] zation – Every time I interacted with someone it left an impression on me, and I flashbacked to various experiences in my own life. Part Three is my commentary. It is a solo that explores the 'void' of the 'aftermath'.
If you came to the premiere, I'd really appreciate it if you could take a few minutes to fill out a quick survey about your experience by clicking HERE. There is no time limit, and your feedback will be very helpful as I continue to write grants and pursue future projects. Thank you!
This project was supported in part by the Mary Lipple Memorial Fund through the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council. Help this award continue to support many more Pittsburgh artists by donating NOW!
Cast: Alexandra Bodnarchuk, Allison Garcia, Patty Petronello, Darcinda Schaffner, Zëk Stewart
Donors: Anonymous, Michele Ament, Norman and Sis Arendas, Scott Arendas, Fortuna Arumemi, Mario Ashkar, Brittni Barranco, Dan Brill, Kari Bodnarchuk (Wright), Larisa Bodnarchuk, Leslie Bodnarchuk, Paul Bodnarchuk, Ruth Brunner, Gail Cohen, Robbie Cook, Miaghen Siena Dahn, Billy Epting, Brandon Fullenkamp, Brian Gray, Fatemah Hajiyah, Mary Harbist, Celeste Janosko, Gary Kepple, Nancy Kepple, Eli Kramer, Hazel Leroy, Mara Mandradjeff, Lucho Marquez, Carol-Jean McGreevy-Morales, Cameron McKinney, Stan Nevola, Maree ReMalia, Renee Rabenold, Susan Richards, Dave Rullo, Maria Silvestri, Shana Simmons, Renee Smith, Laura Stokes, Skyler Sullivan, Ashley Thorndike, Alex Werner, Howard Wright, Chelsea Zimmer.