Burnish  (Studio 1, March 2018), photo by Natalie Fiol

Burnish (Studio 1, March 2018), photo by Natalie Fiol

Burnish (Magenta #2-5): Building and Making

Burnish is a dance work that aims to render the phenomenon (physics and psychics) of magenta into live-performance. With a cast of six performers, I explore afterimage, absence and saturation through vibrational frequencies and meticulous patterns. I create scores of wild movement that push towards an off-kilter elliptical rhythm and look for ways to suddenly sharpen action into something unnerving, boldly feminine, and poetic. I am wanting for color to become a vibrant articulation of bodies moving with velocity and tenderness. I believe this work is a confrontation with beauty, (abstract) narrative, and something deeply personal. As the work progresses, I am struck by the subjective experience of color as an intricate web of memory, science, math, mysticism, pleasure, and meaning; accounts of my mother’s young death have begun to surface by doing this work. This project inherently and relentlessly intertwines all elements of design as I am charged with deeply considering the relationship of light, sound, movement, and emotion. At this stage in the process, Burnish has lead me towards a range of sounds from ceramic plates clattering to haunting voices and driving pulses, juxtaposed with the roundness of tuba and horns (Sons of Kemet, Stephen Vitiello, Mind Over Mirrors, To Rococo Rot, and/or Gbop Orchestra and others have inspirations). 

Burnish is one part of a transdisciplinary dance project rooted in Color research. Drawing upon the work of Josef Albers (Interaction of Color) and Maggie Nelson (Bluets, The Argonauts) as well as my visual arts practice, the larger project is an ongoing vibration between Color and Choreography; tracing the intimacy and phenomenology of color, color as rhythmic expression, and emotion as invisible electromagnetic frequencies. Burnish is a dance, a work for the stage, it is also accompanied and furthered by a screen-print edition as well as written document, entitled Magenta: A Field Guide. I imagine the next installment in this Color series will be similarly intertwined with visual and written components, as I already have a kinesthetic impulse towards what is yet to come. In many ways, it is as if Burnish (Magenta) is calling forward its own afterimage.

Burnish is in-process and is created (in part) through the Tisch Summer Residency Festival at New York University, MFA candidacy at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, residency at Emory University, ShowDown at Gibney and Artist in Residence at the University of Maryland. I am further engaged in proposals for development and performance with Bates Dance Festival (ME) and Dancers’ Workshop (WY). The premiere of Burnish is tentatively set for the 2019-2020 season in NYC. 

This work is the most methodical process I have engaged in thus far. I believe it is a turning point in my creative process. This level of inquiry invites detail and depth, which has been personally and professionally profound, but also unfolds slowly. I need time, support, and dialog to fully realize Burnish as well as the Color Series I propose. I’m always happy to exchange/discuss/share ideas in person or digitally- so, say hello here. In the meantime, excerpts from an my thesis showing are strung together here (password: portier) for a better feel of Burnish.


Burnish (Magenta #1): Thesis at UIUC

Thesis version- the beginning beginning.

Through abstract considerations of color theory and design, six dancers weave distinctly charged movement frequencies into an ever-shifting elliptical landscape. From start to finish, finely crafted patterns of nuanced physicality pulsate through space with evocative complexity, leaving the audience bathed in a residual kinesthetic watercolor of saturation, tone, line, and vibration.  

#Just happened: First sketch performed at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts (IL), Studio 1 Theater March 1-3, 2018.

UIUC cast: Leah Wilks, Mary Kate Ford, Lindsey Jennings, Kaitlin Fox, Alexis Miller, Natalie Stehly, and guest Phoebe Ballard.

Lighting by Alena Samoray

Featuring sound, used with educational permissions, by Stephen Vitiello.

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