bend the even revisits Jennifer Monson’s research into the indeterminate phenomena that exist at the edges of human perception. Accessing new frameworks for emanating presence and animacy through the three mediums of sound, light and movement the work leaves the audience at the edge of perceptual comprehension. Undoing hierarchies of value between viewer and performer bend the even explores containment and relinquishing through ever-narrowing parameters. This work allows for the possibility that movement disappears and leaves only sensation, an emanation that is experienced through the skin and ears, not so much through the eyes. In bend the even this requires the viewer to relinquish what might be tangible about the experience in preparation for what is newly emerging.
Jennifer Monson’s iLAND premieres “bend the even” – Eva Yaa Asantewaa for Infinite Body
From the Prairie to the City, Dancing to Invoke the Dawn – Gia Kourlas for The New York Times
Review: A Dance About the Dawn, but Not the Quiet Dawn – Brian Seibert for The New York Times
A White Room Full of Nature – Martha Sherman for dancelog
The “Wild Beyond” of Jennifer Monson’s ‘bend the even’ – Emma Zigman
bend the even
(tickets now available at the link above!)
February 20-24, 2018
bend the even is a full length dance performance premiering at The Chocolate Factory in New York City in February 2018. Initiated by choreographer Jennifer Monson in collaboration with composers Zeena Parkins and Jeff Kolar, lighting designer Elliott Jenetopulos, scenic designer Regina Garcia, costume designer Susan Becker, and dancer Mauriah Kraker, bend the even returns to Monson’s research into the indeterminate phenomena that exist at the edges of human perception. The project focuses on the relationship between optics, reception and the shifting continuity between sound, light, and movement. The piece creates a system of relationships that weave the mediums of movement, sound, light and structure(both architectural and costume) together into a field of perceptual phenomena that leave the audience at the edge of comprehension. bend the even explores containment and relinquishing through ever-narrowing parameters.
The research for this project was started in February 2017 with weekly rehearsals at dawn. These rehearsals have generated material connections between light, music, and movement – not as a representation of the liminal states of dawn but as a way of accessing new frameworks for emanating presence and animacy through the three mediums. This work allows for the possibility that movement disappears and leaves only sensation, an emanation that is experienced through the skin and ears, not so much through the eyes. Through the choreographic process, the collaborators will research the physics of sound, light, and movement on multiple scales – both scientific and experiential – drawing on atmospheric science as well as particle physics to inform the dawn practice.
In the choreography, this manifests through repetition, vibration and vocalizing as well as through pressure and resistance of bodies with each other and the surfaces around them. The scenic elements – light, set and costumes – will enable collaborators to experiment with the ideas of refraction and reflection, using different opacities of material and mediums to bend perspectives of motion and light. The sound score, jointly authored by Parkins and Kolar, addressies issues of duration and continuity through the use of the more controllable sounds of the acoustic harp with the less determined sounds of radio waves and feedback. Objects located in different parts of the space are amplified and processed with a small synth. Parkins uses the acoustic harp to create continuous, mesmerizing patterns, that morph over time and offer the choreography a place to push up against, and off from. The electric harp, laid horizontally on the floor for this piece, emits tones in resistance to each other. The combination of the two sonic worlds of Kolar and Parkins will be influenced by the particle and wavelength behavior of sound and light.
All aspects of the piece will immerse the audience in a contemplative environment that shifts at varying rates from the imperceptible to the sudden. Sound will be projected from various sources throughout the building, including: live instrumentation of acoustic and electric harp, radio transmission, numerous speakers, The lighting design will illuminate the audience as much as the performers. Shadows cast from extreme angles of light onto structures of varying textures will partition the space. The tone and shape of the costumes will work in combination with light and movement to enhance the emanating vibrations of the movement.
bend the even is inspired, in part, by the work of Agnes Martin, whose grid paintings undo hierarchies of value between the viewer and the object, the surface and the field. Nothing is lasting or arriving; Every thing is barely perceptible through variations in scale. In bend the even this requires the viewer to relinquish what might be tangible about the experience in preparation for what is newly emerging.
Jennifer Monson and luciana achugar for special conversation at the
Saturday January 13, 2018
Refreshments will be served.
This event is free and open to the public.