Jennifer Monson’s newest work, Live Dancing Archive, explores the dancing body in conjunction with the moving image of video and other media as an archive of place, experience and systems. Working in collaboration with videographer/new media artist Robin Vachal, the project uses the conceptual framework of the archive to build two interrelated components: an evening length solo performance and a video/new media project that simultaneously investigate the nature of impermanence in relation to embodied identities and constructions of environment. The solo will be created from material selected, learned and set from the video documentation of 20 years of Monson’s performance work as well as from improvisational strategies developed from the experience of dancing in the outdoors. Parallel to the solo will be the production of a new media archive of video and material ephemera of Monson’s process.
This project draws on Monson’s history of choreographic research exploring the relationship of place to self and the ideological constructions of environment and embodied identities. The solo returns to ideas developed in her work in the 90’s when her involvement in queer activism was affecting her choreography, and connects to strategies developed in her recent work investigating phenomena such as animal migrations, geological formations, and watersheds.
Monson’s solo will create an intricate experience of place, with the help of composer and performer Jeff Kolar, who uses field recordings to reshape the acoustic experience of interior spaces, and with lighting designer Joe Levasseur, who will develop a design that evokes delicate and sophisticated atmospheres and shifting spatial parameters. The audio material in LDA is generated through live and pre-recorded field recordings experiments in the AM/FM, shortwave, Citizens, and unlicensed spectrum (27 MHz or 49 MHz band). The work highlights the subtle changes, modulation, and interferences found in electromagnetic waves. The audio generated is directly linked to specific locations of transmission. This process creates an open a space for transmission accidents, circuit feedback, and physical interference.
Robin Vachal’s video will be shown as an installation in conjunction with the performance and will have a web presence based on current archiving software. The goal is to propose new methods for archiving the fluidity of choreographic process and form through both live and virtual formats.
Live Dancing Archive premiered at the University of Vermont in September 27-29, 2012 at 8pm at the University of Vermont's Mann Hall.
This program is made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and additional funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Support for dance programs at The Kitchen is provided by Mertz Gilmore Foundation, The Jerome Robbins Foundation, The Harkness Foundation for Dance, and with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency. Additional support provided by a Creative Research Award and Research Board Grant from the University of Illinois of Urbana Champaign and the Marsh Professorship at Large program at the University of Vermont.