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The ASU School of Film, Dance and Theatre launches into its 2016-2017 MainStage season with the annual dance showcase “Fall Forward!” at the Paul V. Galvin Playhouse Sept. 30 through Oct. 2. This year’s “Fall Forward!” features a wide breadth of artists and aesthetics, from musicians playing a structured improvisation to video installations to the featured dance pieces.
“The unique combination of live music, dance, design and media in this program should appeal to a broad audience,” said Mary Fitzgerald, assistant director of dance in the School of Film, Dance and Theatre. “The pieces feature some of our most gifted student performers, who share the stage with local professional artists. The audience will have a full experience of physically charged dance, music, film and visual design. There is something for everyone.”
The program includes works created by an impressive roster of local artists and ASU faculty. Using a range of dance and media platforms, these artists delve into complex ideas about time, space and our digital existence.
“Me, my quantified self, and I,” a piece choreographed by assistant professor Jessica Rajko, will be performed in three installments throughout the evening. The work explores how our lives are increasingly entangled in digital spaces, yet we struggle to find common understandings of what it means to live digital lives. Dancers are joined by textile artists to create a dynamic, evolving landscape that asks, “How do we perform data, and how does data perform us?” Pushing back against the clean, minimalistic cyborg aesthetics, “Me, my quantified self, and I” reimagines our digital world as the messy, cluttered, complicated ecosystem it is.
Fitzgerald will present a new work entitled “Spaces Between.” The work is an episodic meditation on freedom inspired by Buddhist thought and the writings of Viktor Frankl. Comprised of 11 one to two-minute dance shorts and an atmospheric score composed by Barry Moon and Doug Nottingham, the piece searches for the power and freedom that exists in the open spaces in our bodies, our minds, our relationships and in the physical environment.
Another faculty member presenting work at “Fall Forward!” will be Melissa Britt, a professor of practice in the School of Film, Dance and Theatre. Britt choreographed the ensemble work “time IS.” The piece explores our relationship to time using a unique movement language that fuses urban forms with postmodern dance.
The program also includes group Thornapple’s “Distensions of Empire,” a piece choreographed by Melissa S. Rex called “now.” and faculty member and local artist Carley Conder performing a new solo piece created by internationally renowned choreographer Charlotte Boye-Christensen.
Merging together film and dance, Marcus White’s “subMERGE” will also be a part of the program. White, a new faculty member in the School of Film, Dance and Theatre, created the dance film in collaboration with Ana Maria Alvarez. The film was commissioned by the Detroit Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts in Spring 2016 and was featured in the American Dance Festival's “Movies by Movers” program this summer.
The first two nights of the show’s run will also feature a lobby installation created by Eileen Standley. The installation is a triptych of video selfies that help articulate and challenge ideas about appropriation, beauty and temporal anxiety and reference Aristotle’s Poetics, Pamela Lee’s Chronophobia and cultural privilege. What roughly ties the three videos together is an interest in the degraded image and disintegration, which belongs to larger themes of ephemerality and our mortality.
“Fall Forward!” will take place at the Paul V. Galvin Playhouse, 51 E. 10th St. on ASU’s Tempe campus. The show will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30 and Saturday, Oct. 1 and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2.
Tickets are $16, general; $12, ASU faculty, staff and alumni; $12, senior; $8, student. Purchase tickets online or call the Herberger Institute Box Office at 480-965-6447.