Shay Ishii Dance Company presents the second set of performances of Dancestry this year entitled Vivid, in three performances at the Debra & Kevin Rollins Studio Theatre, Long Center, Austin, TX, January 15-16. Dancestry is a celebration of artistic heritage and revival of historic dance. This performance of Vivid elaborates on masterworks of modern dance pioneers Loïe Fuller, Isadora Duncan, and Erick Hawkins with contemporary technology and media. The program culminates with new works by collaborating artists who have studied and embodied the techniques, philosophies and choreography of these dance icons. Collaborating artists include Meg Brooker (Artistic Director of Thel Dance Theatre), Jessica Lindberg Coxe (Lindberg/Slayter Reconstructions), Katherine Duke (Artistic Director of the Erick Hawkins Dance Foundation), Shay Ishii (Artistic Director of the Shay Ishii Dance Company) and Megan Slayter (Lindberg/Slayter Reconstructions).
Two of the works featured on the program include reconstructions of iconic Fuller works, enhanced with contemporary media and technology. Building on Fuller’s early twentieth century innovations in lighting design and theatrical technology, Lindberg and Slayter reframe two Fuller masterpieces Lily of the Nile and La Mer with contemporary media projections. The Los Angeles Times dubbed Lindberg/Slayter’s Fire Dance DVD the “hand book” for historical dance reconstruction, and Lindberg/Slayter’s work has been supported by grants from numerous organizations including the National Endowment for the Arts. Dancestry’s producing director Ishii and Lindberg will premiere their new collaboration exploring the theatrical elements of fabric, light, and smoke. Lindberg and Ishii are both local Austin artists, teachers on the faculties of Austin Community College and Texas State University.
Fourth-generation Duncan dancer Meg Brooker will highlight two aspects of Duncan’s dance legacy: her artistic relationships with France and Russia, as well as her inspired movement improvisation technique. Like Duncan, Brooker has traveled and performed throughout Russia, and Vivid features a suite of three choreographies representing the range of Duncan’s work and her travels to Russia between 1904-1922, layered with images of Brooker’s own travels between 1997-2014. In addition to sharing original Duncan choreographies, Brooker, in collaboration with soprano Misha Penton (Artistic Director of Houston-based Divergence Vocal Theater) and contrabassist Brent Fariss, will also present “Dialogue entre”, a structured improvisation with devised music for contrabass and voice, and featuring Penton’s original translations of French poetry. Duncan, commonly recognized as the “Mother of Modern Dance”, is famous for shedding both her shoes and her corset and for creating a technique based on natural movement principles, including gesture supported by breath. Brooker, who is currently an Assistant Professor of Dance at Middle Tennessee State University, has danced Duncan work throughout the United States, Europe, and Russia.
Katherine Duke, with members of the Erick Hawkins Dance Company, will restage Lucia Dlugoszewski’s “Motherwell Amor” (2000), an homage to Dlugoszewski’s friend and contemporary abstract expressionist painter Robert Motherwell. The Hawkins Company recently performed “Motherwell Amor” on December 10, 2015 as part of centennial celebration for Motherwell at the Dominique Lévy Gallery in New York, NY. The Dedalus Foundation has provided two beautiful Motherwell works, which will be projected for Dancestry: Vivid. Described as “boisterous and sensual” by Jennifer Dunning of The New York Times, “Motherwell Amor” originally premiered on the night of Dlugoszewski’s death. Dlugoszewski was the longtime partner of Erick Hawkins, after Martha Graham, and she taught and composed music for Hawkins, in addition to her own choreographic work.
Dancestry: Vivid will run for three performances Friday, January 15 at 8 PM, and Saturday, January 16 in the afternoon at 2 PM and again in the evening at 8 PM. Tickets start at $16 and are available online at www.longcenter.org or through the 3M Box Office by phone at 512-474-LONG (5664) or in-person at 701 Riverside Drive. For groups of 10 and more, call 512-457-5161 or firstname.lastname@example.org.