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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Weekend Arts Agenda: 'Dearly Departures'

Dancers (front to back): Alisa Mittin, Anna Bracewell, Claire Molla, Alex Abarca, and Erik Thurmond
  • Chris Carder
  • Dancers (front to back) Alisa Mittin, Anna Bracewell, Claire Molla, Alex Abarca, and Erik Thurmond

Dearly Depatures needs a bit of explaining. The dance show involves five people and a piece of technological metalwork that is officially called a split flap display, but which you should probably picture as a departure board, the kind you'd find in a 20th-century train station.

“To remain in communication is to stay in touch; to make contact is to get a hold of; something close is at hand. Expanding upon this language in our rehearsal process, we used touch as an entry point for exploring a range of emotional states and physical conditions," Choreographer Blake Beckham said in a release.

Beckham later told me it took 60 people and some six weeks to hand-craft the display, which is the central set piece of Departures, itself an expression of expression. She says it was a "privilege" to work with her five performers as they discovered "what this work is or wants to be together." The development process was organic and mutual. Beckham stressed sincerity over performance so that the show could better reveal itself. "So many of the scenes are rooted in physical contact," she says.

Departures runs through Aug. 2, at Georgia Tech's DramaTech Theater. Afterward, Beckham has plans to take the show on the road. (The departure board was built to come apart.) Tickets are $10-$25. More info here.

FRIDAY

Marc Brotherton, Aint It A Pity, 2011, acrylic, oil, and ink on canvas, 60x48 in.
  • Courtesy Kelly Kristin Jones
  • Marc Brotherton's "Isn't It A Pity?"

More than a decade ago, art critic John Berger wrote that "a pocket is formed when two or more people come together in agreement.” That thought has now given rise to The Shape of a Pocket: parallel thoughts in contemporary practice at Sandler Hudson. The 12-person exhibit, curated by Kelly Kristin Jones, seeks consensus from combination, the thought that our artistic vocabularies are made larger by the collapse of rigid boundaries. All of this, according to the exhibit's official description, is part of "introducing a new generation of practitioners." Participants include HENSE, Maggie Ellis (painting "her way through her family’s excessive longings"), Teresa Bramlette Reeves, Steffen Sornpao, and others. Opening reception from 7-9 p.m.

SATURDAY

flyer.jpg

Florida is a lot of things to a lot of people; not quite Southern, not quite real. But here are some facts about Florida: Juan Ponce de Léon set foot there in 1513 and a lot of people followed, not to mention those Floridians who were already there. All of this (and more!) is the subject of Contraband Cinema's La Florida at Beep Beep, featuring films by Lisa Danker, Carl Knickerbocker, and Georg Koszulinski. The night opens with Koszulinski's documentary Last Stop, Flamingo. Stick around for The Last Orange Grove of Middle Florida, because you should stay for anything animated and short. Doors open at 7 p.m., with the first screening starting at 8 p.m., and a Q&A after. $5 suggested donation.

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