BODYTRAFFIC is known for dynamic theatricality and refreshing abandon. The company has surged to the forefront of the concert dance world and was named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” in 2013 and the “company of the future” by the Joyce Theater Foundation. Known for commissioning today’s most distinctive choreographers, BODYTRAFFIC’s Lafayette debut will include works by Barak Marshall, Victor Quijada and Richard Siegal.
And at midnight, the green bride floated through the village square… is based in part on a true story about a family of eight sisters and one brother who were neighbors of my mother’s family in Aden, Yemen. The house they lived in became known as “The Burning House” because of the fighting, screaming and cursing that was heard from it at all hours of the day and night. It is a morality tale filled with dark humor that tells the story of how jealousy doomed all nine of the family’s children to a life filled with rage, unhappiness and loneliness. The soundtrack is comprised primarily of Jewish love songs and hymns from the Yiddish, Ladino and Yemenite traditions. —Barak Marshall
o2Joy is a playful, contemporary dance piece set to great American jazz music. The work is ballet based, peppered with syncopated hip-hop, and drenched in light-hearted humor. As its’ title suggests, o2Joy is an expression of sheer joy through music and movement.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Barak is the son of acclaimed dancer, choreographer and musician Margalit Oved. He has recently been appointed artistic director of the Inbal Company and World Arts Centre.
Barak is one of Israel’s most celebrated choreographers. Three years after accidentally starting to dance at the age of 26, his company appeared at the prestigious 1998 Paris Bagnolet Competition where it swept the awards before going to tour Europe—including performances at the Lyon Bienale de la Danse and Theatre de la Bastille in Paris. In 1999, Ohad Naharin invited Barak to become the Batsheva Dance Company’s first-ever house choreographer. A severe leg injury forced him to stop dancing in 2001. Seven years later, the Suzanne Dellal Centre asked him to return to Israel, marking the beginning of an artistic partnership. His works Monger, Rooster and Wonderland, have been performed over 200 times including appearances at Montepellier Danse, London’s Dance Umbrella, Jacob’s Pillow, Holland Dance Festival, Lyon Maison de la Danse, and Royce Hall. Barak is also a singer and has performed as a soloist with Yo-Yo Ma and Silk Road. He is currently completing a Creative Capital music production with Margalit Oved and Balkan Beat Box as well as new works for Ballet Jazz de Montreal and companies in London, Germany and South Africa. Barak studied philosophy at Harvard.
Victor’s work eloquently re-imagines, de-constructs, and applies choreographic principles to hip-hop ideology, examining humanity through a unique fusion of aesthetics. His vision stretches into the arena of theatrical interpretation, improvisational approaches, and the visual imagery of film. A magnetic and expansive dancer, by age 26, Victor had moved from the hip-hop clubs of his native Los Angeles to a performance career with internationally-acclaimed postmodern and ballet dance companies such as THARP!, Ballet Tech, and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal. Since creating RUBBERBANDance Group in 2002, Victor has choreographed over 24 short and full-length pieces both within the company structure and as commissions, and has toured with his company across North America, and in Europe, Japan, and Mexico. He has over a dozen film credits to his name either as choreographer, director, or dramaturge. Victor received the Bonnie Bird North-American Award and the Peter Darrell Choreography Award in 2003, the OQAJ/RIDEAU Prize in 2009, and a Princess Grace Awards Choreographic Fellowship in 2010. From 2007 to 2011, he was an artist-in-residence at the Cinquième Salle of Place des Arts in Montreal.
Founder and artistic director of The Bakery, has generated international attention for a body of work that includes music, visual media, choreography, performance, and publications. He has been commissioned by festivals and venues, including Festival d’Automne, Rencontres Chorégraphiques, Ircam, Centre Pompidou, YCAM, Tanz im August, Ballett Frankfurt, Danspace Project, and Théâtre National de Chaillot. Richard’s work with musicians has led to collaborations with Eric-Maria Couturier, Wolfgang Zamistil, Arto Lindsay, Lorenzo Bianchi, and Hubert Machnik.
Collaborations with architects and designers include François Roche, Didier Faustino, Virginie Mira, Peter Zuspan, and Alexander Kada for the Venice Biennale of Architecture. As a curator, faculty member, or resident artist, he has worked with ZKM/Karlsruhe, Bennington College, American Dance Festival, Baryshnikov Arts Center, and the annual Forsythe Festival. His work has been recognized worldwide and has received The Mouson Award from Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, a New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award, the S.A.C.D. Prize from Monaco Dance Forum, a Beaumarchais, and The German National Theater “Der Faust” Award. Richard is a MacDowell fellow and honorary member of The Bolshoi Ballet’s Benoit de la Danse.
BODYTRAFFIC is known for dynamic theatricality and refreshing abandon. Based in Los Angeles and founded by Lillian Barbeito and Tina Finkelman Berkett in 2007, BODYTRAFFIC has surged to the forefront of the concert dance world and was named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” in 2013 and the “company of the future” by the Joyce Theater Foundation. As an internationally acclaimed contemporary dance company, audiences are enveloped by the company’s sheer joy of dance. Known for commissioning today’s most distinctive choreographers, BODYTRAFFIC’s Lafayette debut will include works by Barak Marshall, Victor Quijada and Richard Siegal.
Education and Outreach Schedule
Thursday, March 3, 2016
BODYTRAFFIC will hold two master classes for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Dance Department. This event is closed to the public.
Master Class — This event is open to the public
Thursday, March 3, 2016 – 5-6:30pm
$5, or free with pre-purchase ticket to BODYTRAFFIC Performance
AcA’s James Devin Moncus Theater
Named by Dance Magazine as one of the 25 to watch, BODYTRAFFIC is a L.A. -based contemporary dance company known for its unique repertoire. This class will incorporate a short warm-up and the opportunity to learn sections of the company’s diverse repertory by some of the most distinctive choreographic voices today. To register contact Paige Krause at paige@AcadianaCenterfortheArts.org/337.233.7060 ex. 232
Friday, March 4, 2016
BODYTRAFFIC will work with a 2nd grade PACE (AcA’s year-round arts residency program) classroom at Prairie Elementary. This event is closed to the public.
Friday, March 4, 2016
In collaboration with Clare Cook Dance, BODYTRAFFIC will guide a movement therapy class with Miles Perret Cancer Services. This event is closed to the public.
The month of February marks Black History Month, or National African American History Month—an annual celebration of the achievements and major role of African Americans in U.S. history.
The Blind Boys of Alabama are a southern gospel group whose music is deeply rooted in African-American History. In the 1940s and 1950s, The Blind Boys of Alabama toured throughout the South during the Jim Crow era and flourished thanks to their unique sound. In the early 1960s, the band sang at benefits for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and were part of the soundtrack to the Civil Rights Movement.
Songs such as “Free At Last,” and collaborations “We Shall Overcome,” and “This May Be the Last Time,” were influenced by the marches, protests and tragedies of 50 years ago.
On February 23 and 24, The Blind Boys of Alabama take AcA’s Moncus Theater Stage with the Crecent City’s Dirty Dozen Brass Band for a joyous night of Southern spiritual music and New Orleans rhythms that brings the listener Down By The Riverside. Featuring individual band performances, as well as on-stage collaborations, the DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE tour finds these two legendary artists sharing the stage for the first time.
We got a chance to sit down with our Artist in Residence, Shane Courville! It was great to learn just a bit more about him and the fantastic opera he’s composed. Check out the interview transcript below.
Your opera, The Return ties into a larger concept being explored by many different artists. Why do you think the concept of Returning is so prevalent in the work of so many artists?
I think returning to where you come from is so prevalent because for some reason human beings need to feel rooted-some type of stability. For a lot of people it’s where they learned to love, for bad or for good. And I think after having matured, many 30 somethings gravitate towards home. It’s when you realize your identity isn’t just your own, but where you come from and where you’re going. We like forget where we come from early on. But eventually we crave it and return.
How has participation in AcA’s Residency program influenced your work?
Working as a resident artist with the ACA has definitely influenced my work. I’ve had to learn to edit my work in a way that fits the different circumstances that the residency puts forward such as the space we have to work with. I decided to use the entirety of the ACA building for my opera. Working with Paige Krause has been inspiring. She’s definitely been a great sounding board and has helped to be more innovative.Tell us a bit about yourself. How has your own experience of returning to Acadiana affected your compositions, particularly The Return?
I grew up in the country between Duson and Mire in a really great Cajun family where music was always playing so music has always been a love of mine. I started playing the trumpet in middle school and composing in high school then went on to get a degree in music from Loyola New Orleans. At Loyola I met the Jesuits and decided to join them, so I was with the Jesuits for almost 8 years. During my time with them, I developed my current compositional style and so of course liturgical are prevalent in my sound. You’ll hear them in the Return as well.
Your work is influenced by minimalism, are there any particular composers or pieces that you might say inform your practice as a composer?
My big three favorite composers are Philip Glass, John Adams, and Steve Reich. I think all three elicit a sense of mindfulness in their music that really guides their listeners towards contemplation. I try to bring my own listeners to the same place. Bjork is also a huge an influence on my music. She also creates spaces much like minimalist composers. Rather than a linear motion, your drawn to just sit and be with the music. I try very hard for this to come through my music.
What about the Longfellow poem?
The Evangeline story has always resonated with me. She was born in a sort of idyllic lace, was torn away because of something out of her control, and had to find home somewhere else. For me, she found a home in her love for Gabriel as tragic as that is. I think for many of us returning “home”, we’ve had to endure a sort of loss as well. But for some reason the love we find there remains and keeps us looking/searching for its meaning.
The artwork for The Return is influenced by Piet Mondrain and the philosophies of neoplasticism, How has the work of Mondrain affected your own work?
Piet Mondrian’s artwork has always been important to me. For me I’ve always connected to it in a sort of static way. It creates more of a space than a story. My compositions strive to do the same and I use his artwork throughout to remind myself and the audience of this. The story is there to remind them of the bigger question. It just so happens that the Acadian flag and Mondrian’s works have similar colors. So I thought by combining the two I would show the struggle to combine contemporary art with my Cajun upbringing.