An evening of performances by Molissa Fenley and Roy Fowler, Troika Ranch (Mark Coniglio and Dawn Stoppiello), and the CORE Concert Dance Company.
Angle of Annunciation (2001) presented by Troika Ranch – Mark Coniglio and Dawn Stoppiello- combined a dance solo, performed by Stoppiello with music, video and interactive laser beam system created by Coniglio. In Plane (1994) combined solo dancer Dawn Stoppiello with music and visuals via MIDIdancer sensor input. A large backdrop projection illustrating both stillness and movement of the soloist-in larger than life images coincided with live performance of a solo.
The artists expressed their purpose of the two pieces in a public discussion following the performance. Troika Ranch expressed their aims to challenge the audience to make choices between technology and live solo performance; that each audience member reflect their own selection process when viewing the piece. Troika Ranch artists, Mark Coniglio and Dawn Stoppiello were interested in whether individual audience members focussed on the solo dancer and/or visual film media, and various individual conclusions of the work.
Aquarium Trio (2001) depicted an oceanic scene created by movement of three dancers in front of a painted backdrop. The environment, enhanced with designated light design (David Griffith, lighting designer) and the actual size and image of the painted drop (Roy Fowler, visual artist) sectioned off a portion of the stage, suggesting a small confined space. Choreographer Molissa Fenley designed a series of movement themes and designated the sequential order of those themes performed by each of the three dancers. The ordering of the thematic material determined the spatial relationships and interactions of the dancers, in the confined space.
The piece illustrated the vision of collaborative work created by combined choices of a choreographer, visual artist and lighting designer to create a very specific environment. Aquarium Trio is an excerpt of the larger interdisciplinary work Waterways (2001).
Pola’a (1996) was first performed at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Lee, MA. This solo, choreographed and performed by Molissa Fenley, was danced to a full symphony of music composed by Lou Harrison. The solo demonstrated the dance artist’s commitment to and interpretation of an interrelationship that exists between music and dance. In the discussion following the performance, Fenley described her process of making the solo, describing how the body can express experiences through body memory, in this case-her time spent in Hawaii. The music symphony created by Harrison and the experiences/sensations/feelings existing in the choreographer/dancer’s body memory were combined to create the solo and expressed in a language of dance that she has stylistically developed in the past two decades.
The final piece of the ICE Summit performance, Ocean (2001) explored the media layering of a digitally rendered film projected directly in front of the stage boundaries. The film, created by David Koffman, coincided with a dance on stage behind the projection choreographed by Bala Sarasvati. The digital projection presented to the audience viewers a very large and close-up view of water. Koffman also rendered animated creatures swimming in the water. In the film, cast on a black scrim, water flooded in appearing to gradually fill the entire stage (projection was approximately 28 feet high.) Dancers, moving behind the projected ocean image were costumed and stage lit to visually enhance the merging of the two components into one ocean environment. The viewer peered through the projected ocean, and through lighting effects and movement of the dancers, the combined media presented images in an oceanic environment.
The evening’s presentation proposed several collaborative and interdisciplinary possibilities. A common view shared by the collaborators/artists is that when choreographers, computer digital artists, dancers, musician/composers, computer technicians, visual artists, etc., intersect, the final multimedia projects are no doubt fuller in scope and dimension than when the individual artists work alone. All artists involved invited viewer open-ended interpretation of the mixed media projects, and the artists and audience agreed that by layering media, viewers are given a more active role in selection and interpretation when viewing the works.
The following comments were expressed following the summit performance presentation:
– Through discussion following, the audience viewers were able to gain a better understanding of various interdisciplinary collaborative projects, the process and development of the media layering, and how this coincided with the aims of the artists.
-Artists and students representing various art forms who viewed the performance were inspired to join with each other to conduct their own collaborative ventures in the future.
-Although artistic collaborations have always existed in the arts, technology supplies a new set of possibilities to explore and this component has become integral to an increasing number of live performance events in recent years.