Thank You BODYTRAFFIC

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It’s been our mission to find work that is undeniably beautiful and that allows people to find passion, belief, and escape through artistic forms. Through the BODYTRAFFIC Residency at the Acadiana Center for the Arts, expectations were far exceeded. 

Serving as a breakthrough for dance in the Acadiana area, BODYTRAFFIC served the community through a beautiful performance and by interacting with residents through various outreach projects. From teaching three master classes to visiting Prairie Elementary School and the Miles Perret Cancer Centerthe company was immersed in culture and felt what it is to be a part of Acadiana. 

After building relationships through outreach projects, Tina Finkelman Berkett, Artistic Director of BODYTRAFFIC, expressed how powerful and personal it was to perform and recognize many of the faces in the crowdShe mentioned that the energy was different; more personal; and that the dancers could feel that on stage.

BODYTRAFFIC’s tour stop in Lafayette proved to be not only a performance, but also an immersion of culture and a precursor for change in the local dance community. The company was impacted by southern hospitality, community connection, and passion for art in all forms. The Acadiana Center for the Arts could not be more grateful for BODYTRAFFIC’s professionalism and level of engagement as stewards in our city, and we look forward to hosting the company again in the future.

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For a Few Moments, There was No Talk of Illness or Chemotherapy

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Choreographic works of Barak Marshall, Victor Quijada, and Richard Siegal have instilled inspiration, passion, and undeniable emotion in the professional dancers of BODYTRAFFIC. This week, throughout BODYTRAFFIC’s residency in Lafayette, the unique energy and spirit of this organization was felt through multiple outreach projects. 

BODYTRAFFIC hosted three master classes for aspiring dancers and visited a PACE 2nd grade classroom of students at Prairie Elementary, but their passion for movement and self-awareness was felt in the purest form when the organization hosted a movement therapy class for patients of the Miles Perret Cancer Center.

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BODYTRAFFIC, in conjunction with Clare Cook, founder of Lafayette’s Clare Cook Dance Theater, provided patients of all ages with more than a dance class. Through physical expression, human touch, and release of emotional movement, the experience provided the patients a time to see through the fog of illness and be present in a lively and zealous occasion. For a few moments, there was no talk of illness or chemotherapy, no feelings of fight or exhaustion, no whisper of the word cancer; only positive, healing, emotionally present human beings enjoying one of the most simple things in life that can be taken for granted: movement. 

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A Repertory From Today’s Most Distinctive Choreographers

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.


 

ONCE AGAIN, BEFORE YOU GO

Choreography: Victor Quijada

Victor’s work is known for eloquently re-imagining, de-constructing, applying choreographic principles to hip-hop ideology, and examining humanity through a unique fusion of aesthetics.


AND AT MIDNIGHT, THE GREEN BRIDE FLOATED THROUGH THE VILLAGE SQUARE…

Choreography: Barak Marshall

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

Choreography: Richard Siegal

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.

 

 

Check out BODYTRAFFIC’s performance at AcA March 5th at 7:30pm.

Victor Quijada, Choreographer

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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.

Quijada’s work, Once Again, Before You Go, is being performed by BODYTRAFFIC at AcA March 5th!

Richard Siegal, Choreographer

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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.

Siegal’s work, O2JOY, is being performed by BODYTRAFFIC at AcA March 5th!

A PLAYful Process

The performance of PLAY opens tomorrow night and that usually means crunch time for all those involved! One of those collaborators is Darolyn Robertson. Darolyn moved back to our community after receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. When Darolyn isn’t working on her own projects, or designing for local productions, you can find her at LJ Alleman Middle where she teaches art!

Our Residency @ the Center coordinator, Paige Krause, found a few moments talk with Darolyn about her collaboration and design work for the production of PLAY.

Paige: First off, you were one of the artist-in-residence last season at the AcA. What’s it like to be back working on the program, but now as a collaborator?

Darolyn: Being back at the AcA for this reason feels great. I really felt the residency helped me to push my limits creatively and experience the process of presenting work to an audience. In this case, the collaboration process gives me a new angle in which to see how another artist works to achieve the same goal. The process is different for everyone and I have learned a lot from Theresa’s artistic process to see her vision carried out. To add, an artist is often isolated with the work, so to collaborate in this way allows me to see a different translation of the concept, disseminate ideas with the director and cast, and ultimately critique the designs with another opinion at the table.

Paige: What can you tell us about your costume design work for PLAY?

Darolyn: The costume designs show different stages of PLAY in life. At the beginning, you will see a more adolescent expression of what is worn for the type of PLAY at that point in one’s life. Then, you will see the costumes evolve to exemplify the many other stages we may experience into adulthood. The emergence or departure from one phase to another is shown through the artistic elements used to design each piece. The physicality of the piece motivates the design the most. The dancers must not only look the part of the type of play they are expressing, but have to be able to freely experience it in the costume.

Paige: How closely did you collaborate with Theresa for the costumes of PLAY? Does she give you a concept or ideas? 

Darolyn: Theresa is very lucid in her vision for PLAY. She started off discussing her vision of the concept and that lead to discussions on how that would manifest in the costume designs. We considered the type of movement, set design, music, and what each section of the performance had to say. Just like with any costume designer/director collaboration, I present her with the ideas and then we edit so that it all makes sense for the production.

Paige: Where did you pull inspiration for the costumes and what research did you do while creating?

Darolyn: Like most costume designers, I pull my research from different image sources off of the Internet. However, I have the benefit of watching kids at play when I teach. By observing the children, I learned what was most essential to the playing experience. I created a board of all the pictures I felt really illustrated what people wore to play. In the process, I had to first answer the question, What are play clothes? Like many others, I have heard the words “play clothes” often in my childhood. I really wanted to capture that. Throughout time, there has always been an area of the fashion industry that tailored to the need of clothing to function for the purpose of play, such as children’s rompers, cruise clothing, fetish gear, and cosplay. So in the same way, I used an art + function formula to create the designs.

Paige: What do you think is the most important thing for a costume designer to think about when costuming a show?

Darolyn: I think the most important thing for a costume designer to consider is the story or vision of the production. The designs have to fully support that. The garments can be constructed beautifully and have amazing fabric selection, but if it doesn’t help tell the story then the costumes have lost their purpose.

Paige: Have you ever had any costume mishaps take place in live performance? Any interesting story you can share?

Darolyn: I haven’t had any major mishaps I can think of off hand (fingers crossed). But I have definitely experienced some “nail biting” moments. Once, I was working on a show called “1001”, as a wardrobe supervisor. I was responsible for the upkeep of the clothing, set the costumes, and also the changes within the performance. I had this one actor who played two roles, a human and a monster. The change into the monster costume was something like 90 seconds. In that time frame, he had to run from stage left to stage right (backstage), take off his full suit all while running, which included shirt and tie, put on a monster coat and spats. Those spats! They were so difficult to get on and he didn’t have enough time to take off and put on shoes. We did well with the change mostly, except for one night one of the monster spats did not make it. So he went on stage with a furry spat on one leg, and a dress shoe and and dress sock on another, leg exposed. It happens like that sometimes.

Paige: And last, but not least, how does Darolyn PLAY?

Darolyn: I don’t “play” much in the traditional sense. However, this show has me remembering the strong desire to play everyday as a child. I came from a neighborhood full of kids who shared that desire as well. As I grew older, I recognize “play” in my life as the process of creating art. I really love the playful process that happens when designing a new show and getting the fabrics for the first time. The joy is very similar to playing as child, except I wish it involved the same amount of physical activity.