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The Dream Cycle

GAGA-Gaku  (2011)

Choreography: Karole Armitage

Music: Lois V Vierk 五Guitars (Go Guitars) 
and Red Shift

Lighting Design: Clifton Taylor
Costumes: 132 5. ISSEY MIYAKE 

Performers: 8 dancers

Total Running Time: 25 minutes

Gaga-Gaku draws upon the mysterious worlds of Cambodian court dance, Japanese Noh Theater and Balinese dance.  The music is rooted in Gagaku, the ancient court music of Japan. It is refined yet roiling with forces from beyond the visible world. Artaud wrote in On The Balinese Theater in 1931 that “the drama does not develop as a conflict of feelings but of states of mind -- portraying the unleashing of cosmic forces and chaos waiting behind the mask of order we try to impose on life. It is an internal conflict.” Composer Lois V Vierk is a student of gagaku. She transforms the ancient music into a caffeinated, trans-cultural present. The sculpted, origami-based costumes by Issey Miyake are conceived in collaboration with a computer scientist and made with recycled materials. The dancers stomp and glide moved by forces they cannot see, each in their own universe. Complex contrapuntal phrases performed by single dancers or groups of dancers whirl beside those that coalesce into states of slow-motion trance. The music courses through their bodies, like the unseen forces that surround us.

Touring personnel (11): Karole Armitage, Stage Manager, Tech Director, 8 Dancers.

Watch excerpt here

 

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Connoisseurs of Chaos (2007)

Choreography: Karole Armitage
Music: Morton Feldman, Patterns in a Chromatic Field
Set Design and Video: David Salle
Costumes: Peter Speliopoulos
Lighting Design: Clifton Taylor
Length: 30 Minutes

Connoisseurs of Chaos alternates restless group sections with intimate personal scenes. Each scene is swept up in the swirl of constant change. Morton Feldman, hailing from Brooklyn, does not employ theatrical and psychological devices that characterize the music of Bartok and Ligeti. Instead he speaks of the influence of painting on his composition. “My music takes an allover approach to the time-canvas like a Pollock painting. Recurrent melody serves no structural function. It comes back more as a memory than as something that moves the work along. Situations repeat themselves with subtle change rather than developing. A stasis develops between expectance and its realization. As in a dream there is no release until we wake up, and not because the dream has ended.”

Watch excerpt here

 

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Ligeti Essays (2006)

Choreography: Karole Armitage
Music: György Ligeti
Set Design: David Salle and Clifton Taylor
Costume Design: Peter Speliopoulos
Lighting Design: Clifton Taylor
Performers: 7 dancers
Total Running Time: 25 minutes

The dance is choreographed to a suite of three, jewel-like song cycles composed by the late György Ligeti.  In these haiku-like compositions, Ligeti expresses the full gamut of our complex and contradictory natures: from the humorous to the trivial and sarcastic, with passages of languorous, beautiful daydreams.  The ballet is set off to perfection by David Salle’s stunning set. 

Touring personnel: Karole Armitage, Stage Manager, Tech Director, 8 dancers.

Watch excerpt here

 

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In this Dream that Dogs Me (2005)

Choreography: Karole Armitage
Music: Annie Gosfield
Design: David Salle
Costumes: Peter Speliopoulous
Lighting: Aaron Copp
Sound Design: Jody Elff
Running Time: 30 minutes

In this Dream that Dogs Me was based on a dance language derived from calligraphy including Chinese characters and the Arabic and Khmer alphabets. Additionally some sections were inspired by the South Central Los Angles street dance known as krumping. The commissioned score by  Annie Gosfield was performed live by four musicians playing sampler, cello, electric guitar and percussion. They interacted with the dancers on stage, both moving in space to create new architectural spaces, and acting as physical agents partnering with the dancers. The environment, designed by David Salle, defined a geometrical space, which the dancers deconstructed, at times incorporating themselves into the landscape, and alternately breaking free. 

 

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Time is the echo of an axe within a wood (2004)

Choreography: Karole Armitage

Music: Bèla Bartók Music for Strings Percussion and Celesta
Costumes: Peter Speliopoulos
Lighting Design: Clifton Taylor

Total Running Time: 30 minutes

Dancers enter and exit through a shimmering, beaded curtain designed by painter, David Salle that surrounds the stage. The curtain heightens a feeling of ambiguity between dream and reality. Time is the echo is concerned with time, not clock time but the way time affects us in dream, memory and daydream. 

Watch excerpt here

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