Exploring Becoming Undone, Sex & Death, Excess, and Being Consumed
Highways Performance Space presents GUSH
5 New Contemporary Dance Works
By Choreographers Charlotte Adams and Jennifer Kayle
In Santa Monica, CA
Friday, May 29 and Saturday, May 30, 2015
Kayle probes the realm of mortal passion and the new era of human impact on the earth. Adams uncovers the body’s anatomy and its undoing, and the ludicrous toiling for success.
Five works immerse viewers in the distinctly visceral performance of eleven dancers and two musicians. The pieces include original music by composer Jason Palamara, and original video by Alex Bush and Tori Lawrence.
The two-hour event starts at 8:30pm at Highways Performance Space (18th Street Arts Center, 1651 18th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404).
General admission tickets are $20 in advance ($15 for students, Highways members, and seniors) and can be purchased here. Reservations may also be made by calling 310-315-1459.
Additional information is available at www.highwaysperformance.org
Also at the Highways Event Page
Listen to composer Jason Palamara on SoundCloud –
“The works in GUSH have different looks and languages, but share common blood,” according to Kayle. “The images pulse with intensity and dancers cut deep with words and gestures. Exposed limbs, flickering video, and poetic objects seep over the edge.”
In their second collaborative concert, Adams and Kayle reveal an ongoing dialogue. “The works accumulate in a gut-level conversation; feelings simmer in farewell waltzes, plastic rain, and seam-ripping fits,” says Kayle. “As people pile on gurneys, and sunbathe at the apocalypse, the darker tones mix with humor, satire, and hopefulness, cutting down to the bone and plunging the audience into the world of GUSH.”
Adams and Kayle return to Highways, armed with 5 new contemporary dance works. The two choreographers first presented work at Highways in 2010, when they brought their collaborative project Virtually Yours to Santa Monica. GUSH dancers include Jessica Anthony, Zach Bird, Emily Climer, Erin Corcoran, Crystal Gurrola, Emily McElwain, Tyler Nemmers, Anthony Pucci, Katie Skinner, Melanie Swihart, and Calvin Windshitl. The five works presented at GUSH in May include:
Riding Mad Horses (Choreography by Kayle) –
Riding Mad Horses reflects on passion as a double-edged sword – a life force that is the very essence of vitality, and also the cause of our undoing, sizzling our being with desire and uncontrolled drive. Particularly in the realm of the sexual, the sensual, and the romantic, passion is a dangerous line to tread. Despite hours of meditation to cultivate “detachment,” many have wondered if a dispassionate life is worth living … and even truly possible. Yet be forewarned: “A man in a passion rides a mad horse.” (Benjamin Franklin)
Five Rejections and a Funeral (Choreography by Adams) –
The contemporary dance cousin to the popular Dilbert cartoon, Five Rejections and a Funeral skewers the hardships, heartbreaks, and frustrations that affect employees everywhere in the new economy. Peer reviews, letters of rejection, bureaucracies, bosses, firings, auditions, and job applications all bring a “little death” with each receipt. Humorous at times, yet darker in intent, Adams’ piece acknowledges the negative baggage that comes along with working, while recognizing the weirdness of and humor in job-related predicaments.
Smoke Screen (Choreography by Kayle) –
Smoke Screen joins an interdisciplinary conversation in considering whether we are in a new geologic era, The Anthropocene, an epoch where human activities have a significant global impact on the earth. As technology merges with natural processes, as human powers increase to alter what was once labeled as “organic,” conventional distinctions begin to blur. With the human body at the center of its substance, Smoke Screen reveals the body as both a genesis of environmental and ecological impact, and a place where that impact is felt.
Dysphonia (Choreography by Adams, Music by Palamara) –
Dysphonia, a collaborative new work by composer Jason Palamara and choreographer Charlotte Adams, combines interactive electronics and dance in an exciting and devastating work exploring artificial intelligence. Sensors worn by a dancer communicate with Palamara’s computer program, HIDI, responding in sound to the dancer’s movement as Adams’ choreography toys with the idea of our obsession with searching and accepting “cures” in blind faith of technology. Palamara’s live violin is accompanied by Justin Comer’s saxophone and paired with the performance of six dancers.
Beyond Anatomy (Choreography by Adams) –
Beyond Anatomy utilizes the science of the body to transform the stage into a visual anatomy lesson. Opening with a “lecture” on human anatomy, veering gleefully to talking and waltzing skeletons, before descending to bodies out of control, the piece, ponders whether or not we are more than the sum of our parts. Beyond Anatomy is performed to music ranging from Patti Page to Stephen Foster.
Charlotte Adams, Choreographer –
Charlotte Adams’ choreography has been described as “arresting” (The New York Times) and “gorgeous … delicious” (The Tucson Weekly). Her style combines a signature wit and athleticism, with an eye for the poetry of human foibles. In 2001, Adams and Dancers had its premiere performance at New York’s Joyce SoHo and new work was selected to return in 2003 and 2006. Notable projects include the selection of Adams’ choreography for Highways Performance Space in Los Angeles, May 2015; The White Wave DUMBO Dance Festival, 2009 and 2012 in New York; a collaborative project with colleague Jennifer Kayle entitled Virtually Yours, presented by the prestigious El Museo Centro Leon in Santiago, Dominican Republic, and Highways Performance Space in Los Angeles, both in 2010; and an invitation to teach and present choreography at The University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, with The Dance Knots Project, 2013. Adams began her choreographic career in Tucson, Arizona as a founding member of Tenth Street Dancework and was awarded the $25,000 Arizona Arts Award. Under her direction, the company performed throughout the Southwest and in tours to Nebraska, Texas, North Carolina, as well as numerous cites in Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, Australia, and Southern France. Adams joined the faculty in The Department of Dance at The University of Iowa in 1998.
Jennifer Kayle, Choreographer –
Jennifer Kayle’s work has been chosen for festivals, for regional and national GALA concerts, and for grants including an NEA/CBE project to investigate improvisational methods for choreography. Kayle’s dancing has been referred to as having “muscular presence” (Dance Source Houston), while her work has been reviewed as “provocative, tight, with wit and stage craft… serious chops” (Vox Fringe), “distinct… affecting scenes” (Hampshire Gazette), and “memorable… shockingly poignant” (City Revealed). She is co-founder of MICI: Movement Intensive in Compositional Improvisation, a professional laboratory dedicated to performance improvisation. She actively presents her work in the U.S. and internationally at venues including New Territory/Cuerpo de Danza (San Juan, Puerto Rico), Performatica (Cholula, Mexico), El Museo Centro Leon (Santiago, Dominican Republic), 37 por las Tablas (Santiago, Dominican Republic), the Dostoevsky Museum Theatre (St. Petersburg, Russia), Osobniak Theatre-Body/Word International Festival (St. Petersburg, Russia), Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival, Links Hall (Chicago, IL), The Dance COLEctive (Chicago, IL), Joyce Soho (New York, NY), Symphony Space-International New Music Festival (New York, NY), Jacob’s Pillow (Becket, MA), Highways Performance Space (Los Angeles, CA), University of Utah (Salt Lake City), New Articulations (Tucson, AZ), and Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life, A Call to Action (Syracuse, NY). Kayle is an Associate Professor and Co-Director of the MFA Program in Dance at University of Iowa. She holds a BA from Middlebury College and an MFA from Smith College.
Jason Palamara, Composer –
Jason Palamara is a third year PhD student in music composition at the University of Iowa. He is an active performer on the violin, guitar, and laptop with Bonecrusher Ensemble of Louisville, KY, the 24+24 Hour Composition Project in Iowa City, IA, and the newly constructed Iowa City Laptop Orkestra (ICLOrk). Palamara currently works as an audio engineer and composer for the University of Iowa Department of Dance. He composes music for many dance department projects, specializing in electroacoustic music, collaboration, improvisation, and audience engagement. He also teaches songwriting and musicianship to the inmates at Oakdale Community Prison.
Highways Performance Space –
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Leo Garcia, Highways Performance Space is Southern California’s boldest center for new performance. Now in its 26th year, Highways continues to be an important alternative cultural center in Los Angeles that encourages fierce new artists from diverse communities to develop and present innovative works. Described by the Los Angeles Times as “a hub of experimental theater, dance, solo drama, and other multi-media performance,” Highways promotes the development of contemporary socially involved artists and art forms.