Friday, November 26, 2010

Into Me See @ The Lab

At 6:30 pm, Wednesday night, on the corner of 47th and Lexington, on a chilly Thanksgiving eve, I watched through a storefront window as two dancers move in and out of a misty nylon cloud that had taken over The Lab.

I was mostly interested in this cloud, designed by e+i architecture, and how the dancers moved through it.  

e+i architecture was founded by architect/choreographer Eva Perez de Vega Steele and architect Ian Gordon, forming an interdisciplinary architecture practice also involved in interior design, product, set design and choreography. The work of e+I has been exhibited in New York (AIA Center for Architecture, Van Alen Institute, RIVAA Art Gallery) as well as internationally, in Milan, Venice Rome, Madrid, Stockholm and Seoul.

There were varying densities, at times you could not see them, at times they were exposed in the open space.
Sometimes they were together, sometimes far apart.  I was standing next to a couple, chatting with them as we were waiting for the show to begin, and they asked me, "So, what do you think of this?  Is this architecture?"  I replied that to me, it is a landscape.  A landscape composed of varying densities of space, and that I was curious to see how this would (or would not) affect the movements of the dancers.

It was interesting to note that much of the time in which they were the closest to each other, moving together, was in the densest part of the cloud, almost completely impossible to see what they were doing. Were they hiding their closeness from the viewers?

Here's the full explanation, as described on The Lab's website:

Into Me See, is a duet created by Nu Dance Theater (Eva Perrotta and  Sophie Bortolussi) in collaboration with the architects Eva Perez De Vega Steele and Ian Gordon of e+i architecture.
Trying to reconnect with themselves and each other, two women face their own shadows in an endless effort to find intimacy. Tearing apart the many layers resisting vulnerability, together they travel through an invisible maze of unspoken beliefs and opinions. The fish bowl environment of The LAB offers an inherent and incredibly rich tension to the exploration of intimacy, how to transgress the unspoken, publicly and openly, without only provoking, but more importantly going beyond our stigma of sexuality and gender differentiations.
The cloud like installation, constructed of 80,000 feet of hanging nylon string of varying densities and lengths, aims to build an intimate world of soft layers, evoking a sense of mist and condensation.The work interfaces the exposed nature of The LAB creating secluded and hidden zones where dancers moving in and around the installation can appear and disappear, thus shaping an ambiguous ‘in between’ zone where exterior [audience] and interior [dancers] meet. The limits of the space are visually dissolved though the layered strings, giving  both audience and performers a sensation of an endlessly enveloping and boundary-less inner world.
Nu Dance Theater was created in 2006 by Artistic Director, Eva Perrotta. Sophie Bortolussi, the founding dancer, became Artistic Associate of the company in 2009. The work of the company has been presented at the Puffin Room, La Guardia High School of Performing Arts, Merce Cunningham Studio Theater, Dumbo Dance Festival, Dance New Amsterdam (RAW Material), Boston University Theater (MA), The Outlet Dance Project (NJ), The Goose Route Festival (WV), The Theater for the New City and Triskelion Arts.  The company’s residencies include Spoke the Hub in Brooklyn in 2008 and SILO residency (PA) in 2010. Following Hinterland (2009) a Site Specific itinerant piece created for a former Synagogue renovated into a four story house , Nu Dance Theater has been invited to create “Si seulement Si” (2010) a site specific work for the 6BC botanical garden in the East Village and “Into me see” (2010) for the LAB Installation + Performing art at the Roger Smith Hotel in NYC.

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