Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A First Look at New Works in Progress

Photo Credit: Claire Kretzschmar
BalletCollective has set out to create two new works this year. Unlike years past where a librettist and painter were involved, this year’s new works are collaborations with a choreographer, composer, and photographer. This combination lends itself to an interesting and rather different process than previous collaborations. With each photographer, the choreographer and composer would discuss their own individual processes and ideas that inspire them. From there, the photographer would venture out to capture images that then become the driving force for the music and dance.

New Work Maffi, (let’s call it until it is titled) is a group ballet with choreography by Troy Schumacher, musical composition by Ellis Ludwig-Leone, and photography by Paul Maffi. Maffi a fashion art photographer, whom Troy and I have worked with closely in the past on shoots such as CR Fashion Book Series 2 and video shoots. Maffi offered images that spurred BalletCollective's resident choreographer and composer on to a new direction. The outcome of this uncharted territory is a series of seven songs and three interludes which take you on a journey of introspection. BalletCollective’s Lauren King, Meagan Mann, Claire Kretzschmar, myself, David Prottas, Taylor Stanley, and Harrison Coll are all featured throughout this 25 minute ballet. The work is packed with group dance, female pas de deux, male trios, and an introspective male solo. Each dancer has moments of his or her own and moments that explore new levels of emotion and connectedness through movement.

Photo Credit: Troy Schumacher
New Work Dafy Hagai, until titled, is an eight minute male pas de deux for Taylor and David. The work introduces two new collaborators to BalletCollective: Dafy Hagai and Mark Dancigers. Israeli photographer Dafy Hagai and Now Ensemble director Mark Dancigers have created quite a thrilling piece for their first go at BalletCollective’s process. The source photography, a series of four images, provided a canvas for Dancigers to create a well rounded score. The score explores tenderness, angst, difference, indifference, joy and humor. Troy took this music intended as a male duet and created a conversation.

Creating a male duet is a “first" for Troy but a dream come true. For as long as I’ve known him he has always been interested in exploring the ideas of a male duet and its rarity. The intensity, the roads uncrossed have intrigued him. Troy’s understanding of both David and Taylor, their friendship, their individual movement, temperament and qualities, were invaluable to this new work. Throughout the process, Troy took moments to check in with David and Taylor, hear their thoughts as he took the duet into uncharted territory. As his assistant I found that watching this develop gave me a new sense of dance. I hope to interview Troy to learn about his experience collaborating with the two new artists, Dancigers and Hagai, with whom he has never worked.

Photo Credit: Troy Schumacher

Both ballets will be premiered on November 4-5 at NYU Skirball Center along with last years Dear and Blackbirds and All That We See! Visit for Tickets!

No comments:

Post a Comment