dances made to be viewed in the dark (series outline)

There's a thing that happens in the absence of light.
  

An impermanence, a fragmented fluidity to the nature of things, an absence that unfolds a subtle new presence into the invisible space.
   

A gap opens between perception and comprehension, and our awareness unfurls into the delicate, unfamiliar terrain of the present moment.
   
  

Darkness is sanctuary – the unfilled space at the verges, out of sight, where unusual, unvalued, unseen things congregate. Outside the bounds of clear form and designated nature, we can encounter ourselves, each other, our world without fear.
  

Darkness is liminal – the space and stuff between, the transition, the punctuation in thought and action. What happens we when fold ourselves into that darkness, when we disappear into it?
   

Darkness is a solvent – it dissolves as it touches, altering architecture and geography, rendering everything less concrete. Objects shift, edges melt, our surroundings become fluid, and so do we, shifting freely, tendriling out from our established center. This isn't evolution, rather a playful freedom to expand, trying on what it feels like to flow into the empty space, one to the left of ourselves, one to the right.

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dances made to be viewed in the dark
invites us into the darkness, as a refuge and a yawning chasm, as a dissolution of certainties and separation of self and surroundings. We conjure the darkness, embrace and embody it, and seek moments of recognition within its fluid, mutable contents.

The research pursues both structural and social contents – on the one hand, how can re-imagine the situation of live theatre, making darkness the focal point instead of the bookends of a live performance? How can darkness and limited visibilities open the audience toward a new richness of sensory experience? And on the other hand, what social contents has our society relegated to darkness, and how can we engage with it? What do we find – and become – when we venture into the dark?

This multi-work project explores darkness as a space for solace, communion, fear, and transformation. Over multiple works across diverse media with varying constellations of collaborators, the exploration seeks fragmented, non-didactic engagements with the concept of darkness through disparate lenses and experiences, from parenting practices and recurrent childhood nightmares to drag and trans subcultures, pre-AIDS gay communities, and the Black Lives Matter movement. Ultimately, we seek in the darkness a series of transcendent sensory states and momentary utopian experiences.


SERIES WORKS (previous, current, upcoming)


CAVE / dances made to be viewed in the dark

A descent into darkness. An embrace of the thrill and solace of the world out of sight.

This evening interlaces two duets for intimate found spaces, conjuring a lush, nuanced experience of the world just out of view. A collaboration with Boulder dance artists Lauren Beale & Brooke McNamara.

Premiere run: March 2016

Full project description here.

  

  
WHOLENESS
Darkness in the negative – an inversion of color, materiality, and familiarity.

This live/physical/digital installation transforms negative to positive space, darkness to brightness, and separation to connection in a looping meditative gallery-style event.

Premiere: August 2016

Full project description here.  
 

  

ALONE WITH TODD
A meditation on solace, deprivation, and disappearance – the threats and potentials of darkness.

This series of duets for dance artist and musician unpacks composer Todd Bilsborough's experience returning from military deployment in Iraq.

Premiere: October 2016

Full project description here.
Press kit forthcoming – please inquire with interest in touring presentations.

  

  
Tiny Utopias
A fleeting act of resistance against reality. An ephemeral manifestation of a vision of something better. A creation never intended to remain, a match lit in the darkness.

Created for and with the dancers of Open Dance Project in Houston, TX, this half-evening work embraces its audience with an exploration of imperfect, idiosyncratic utopian attempts.

Premiere: November 2016

  

  
Setting Fires
A demonstration emerging from the darkness. Equally an act of resistance and an embodied example of what can be.

This ensemble stage work mobilizes darkness as a space of resistance and transcendence, using tactics of subcultural gestation and civil rights movements.

Premiere: April 2017

   

   
OBJECT-ENVIRONMENT

A collision in the darkness.

This curation of works by other local artists examines the experience and contents of darkness through diverse lenses and entrance points. A dissolution of self and authorship.

Premiere: Fall 2017


AGGREGATE IMMATERIALITY
A a collaboratively conceived immersive transcendence into darkness.

This culmination of the dances made to be viewed in the dark series seeks to solidify the project's fragmentary findings and ephemera of experience into a rich, immersive world for audiences to explore.

Premiere: January 2018


 

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