The show received strong critical reviews in Israel and is now making an international tour with stops including the Centre National de la Danse in Paris, the Teatro Franco Parenti in Milan, and, luckily for us, Atlanta's Goat Farm Arts Center. Sheinfeld and Laor will perform "Two Room Apartment" from November 1-3 to help open the second season of Tanz Farm, Atlanta's new contemporary dance performance series. I chatted with the duo via email to ask them about "Two Room Apartment," what Atlanta audiences can expect from them, and what they might be expecting to find during their first visit to Atlanta.
Under an apocalyptic sky last Thursday night the Atlanta Ballet unleashed its last Wabi Sabi creation at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, waiting for the first performance to start, a crackle of thunder could be heard and a little girl screamed. And then seven different performances took place throughout the gardens with a roving audience moving throughout the grounds. It was an epic setting for close to two hours of dramatic outdoor ballet. The crowd of mixed ages seemed put into a trance by the dancing although some of the older folks seemed a little confused by the soundtrack which included Animal Collective and a street soundscape from South Korea. "The dancing was gorgeous," one older woman was overheard saying to another, "but the music was awful."
"Camino Real" was an unusual play for Williams, a work of magic realism in which iconic characters including Kilroy, Don Quixote, Casanova, Lord Byron, and Violetta from "La Traviata" wander through a surreal dead-end town somewhere in the Spanish-speaking world. The poetic work, which was written in 1953 just after the huge hit "A Streetcar Named Desire," was a commercial and critical failure at the time of its premiere. However, theaters have picked it up again from time to time, and it has more than its share of proponents, including this critic, who feel that it's actually one of Williams' best works, certainly among his most intriguing and inventive. Theatrical versions have been notoriously difficult to produce successfully, so we're already curious to see how it will fare as a dance work in May of 2014. The fact that it will be paired on a program with a world premiere by company dancer and choreographer Tara Lee makes it even better.
You see, Corian Ellisor was recently selected as one of "20 Atlantans to Watch" in 2013, and the performance confirmed how right we were.
New York choreographer Sidra Bell will be among the artists to present work at the second installment of Tanz Farm, Atlanta's newest platform for cutting-edge contemporary dance. Her company will perform the new piece Nudity this weekend, December 14-16, in the Goodson Yard building at the Goat Farm Arts Center alongside new work by Seattle's zoe|juniper, Atlanta's Staibdance and Atlanta composer Klimchak. We caught up with Bell to ask a few questions in advance of her company's first-ever Atlanta appearance.
Tell us a little bit about the work we'll be seeing at the Goat Farm.
It's brand new. It's pretty physical, but it's also incredibly emotional. It deals with intimacy, it deals with loss and restoration from loss. It's typical of my kinetic movement, but I think it's a lot more human than some of my other work. A lot of my other works are kind of fantasy-based, but this one is a lot more intimate in a certain way ... The entire work, which is about an hour, is called Nudity. The movement is pretty recognizable as my movement aesthetic which is very kinetic and gestural and robust, but at the same time it's very purified in this piece. You really see the form displayed.
How would you describe the personality of the Atlanta Ballet? What sets it apart from other companies you've worked with?
The dancers are always ready. What I mean by that is that I can come into the room with my coffee and say, "Okay, I'm thinking about this," and they are ready for the ride, whatever it is. There is a curiosity in the dancers. That comes from the top. It goes back to the type of dancer picked to be in the company. For John [John McFall, Artistic Director of the Atlanta Ballet], it's not just physical talent. It's a spirit he needs to connect to. It's a spirit that's curious. There's an urgency behind their need to be in this profession. And I also have to say they're just very nice people. For lack of a better word, it's a generous group.
A recent feature in Creative Loafing reported on Tanz Farm, the new contemporary dance platform at the Goat Farm Arts Center. Unfortunately, severe weather in the Northeast has forced some last-minute schedule changes to the line-up. One of the most anticipated acts in the first series, Sidra Bell Dance NY, is currently unable to come down to Atlanta for scheduled performances November 1 and 3.
Fortunately, like all good farmers, the creators of Tanz Farm have come up with an alternate plan. It affords Atlanta audiences the opportunity to see the theatrical version of Atlanta-based filmmaker Micah Stansell's much talked-about work from 2009's Le Flash festival, Presynaptic Potential, and Atlanta's Zoetic Dance Ensemble premiering new work. Theater group Théâtre du Rêve and singer Eliza Rickman will perform as planned.
Pre-paid tickets can also apply to another performance series or receive a refund. New schedule after the jump:
Beacon Dance will present the appropriately-titled Closing the Space on Friday and Saturday, October 26 and 27, at 8 p.m. each evening, in the Beacon Hill Arts Center. Artistic director D. Patton White refers to the free show, which features the visual art of sculptor Martha Whittington and the music of composer Jon Ciliberto, as "part celebration and part requiem."
The Beacon Dance company has long been tied to the Beacon Hill space. The group participated in renovating the former school library at 410 West Trinity Place into a studio and black-box style performance venue: the space was christened with an inaugural performance in November of 1987 by Beacon Dance. After using and sharing the space for 25 years, Beacon Dance received word earlier this year that the City Schools of Decatur needed to re-claim the facility for administrative offices while other facilities were undergoing renovations.
What's it like to build a house made entirely of cardboard? And what motivates someone to put together the "50,000 square feet of cardboard, 100 gallons of glue, 30 artists, 70 volunteers, 2000 hours" (and an average of 50 cups of coffee a day) to make it all happen?
Threshold, a performance that took place August 16-19, 2012, in a house made entirely of cardboard on the campus of Georgia Tech, was one of the most talked about Atlanta dance productions of the year. The Creative Loafing feature article detailed the fascinating collaboration between the dance artists of the Lucky Penny and the innovative architectural firm Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects. The production was a Critic's Pick in our recent Best of Atlanta 2012 issue, as was the creative mind behind the vision, Blake Beckham.
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