Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Written on the Body in Chicago

Brontë Society member Margi Cole wishes all Parsonage Blog readers a Happy New Year, greets everybody she met last June in Haworth, and says she is looking forward to the June weekend in 2008. The following is from a recent press release from TDC:

The Dance COLEctive (TDC), under the direction of award-winning choreographer and teacher Margi Cole, will perform a revised work, a premiere and two revivals for its Second Journeys Winter Concert Series February 21–23, 2008 at The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, 1306 S. Michigan Ave.

The program features a reconstruction of Artistic Director Margi Cole’s Written on the Body, plus works by choreographers Colleen Halloran, Jennifer Kayle and Ellie Klopp.

TDC also will participate in The Dance Center’s FamilyDance Matinee Series, presenting an hour-long performance geared toward families preceded by a movement workshop free to ticket holders on Saturday, February 23.

Written on the Body uses the lives of the Brontë sisters as a point of departure in its exploration of gender roles and stereotypes. The hidden identities of authors Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë, as well as the hardships they endured throughout their lives in Victorian England, provide the framework. Cole interprets the Brontës’ masculine and feminine personas, using images of power, strength, vulnerability and intimacy, exploring how each attribute can be related through movement.

Music for the piece is by Kevin O’Donnell, costumes are by Atalee Judy and videoscape is by Michael Cole.

“A pseudonym represents a way of disguising one’s identity to remain invisible,” Cole explained. “It is also a way to represent yourself as something other than what you are in order to be accepted. During the 19th century, Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë’s pseudonyms—Ellis, Currer and Acton Bell—allowed the three sisters to conceal their identities under a masculine persona. The work is titled Written on the Body because our bodies are where our truest histories are written.”

Chicago choreographer Colleen Halloran is creating a new work, tentatively titled It Is Okay To Leave. Working with five dancers, including guest artist Dardi McGinley Gallivan, the piece takes place in an atmosphere of suspended reality and explores issues of departure, observation and time. Sound design for the work is being created by Susan Aldous.

Also on the program are two revivals. Channel is a commissioned solo for Margi Cole by Ellie Klopp, former associate director of Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, with music by Alvin Curran. Jennifer Kayle’s award-winning at the receding edges is a moving meditation on the human and spiritual connection to the body of the earth and on the dangers of disconnection. Set on four squares of plastic grass, images of community, scarcity and disintegration appear and disappear in this poetic landscape.

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