The next two weekends, Charlottes contemporary dance scene will consist of more than movement.
Technology and interdisciplinary collaboration play significant roles in Working With, a show presented by Martha Connerton/Kinetic Works and The KinetiCollective featuring pieces by five Charlotte choreographers. Martha Connerton, Bridget Morris, Camerin Watson, Arlynn Zachary and Jessica Stewart come together with the visual, musical, theatrical and video arts Friday through Sunday.
Next weekend, Caroline Calouche & Co. presents Spring Forward and The Nightingale and Other Dances, two shows featuring aerial dance and video projections.
The choreographers showcased in Working With sought connection with art forms outside of dance from the conception of their creations.
When we sat down to talk about this show, Connerton said, everyone decided to create a piece that involved some kind of collaboration even if that just meant collaborating with the dancers and including them in the creation of the work. Someone is working with a composer, someone is working with a painter, Im working with this computer program, and one piece involves how we communicate through technology.
Choreographer Bridget Morris turned to a morbid part of North Carolinas history for her piece, exploring the story of Tom Dula in Come Dawn. Dula was hanged in 1868 for murdering his pregnant girlfriend, Laura Foster.
Theories about wrongful execution and an accomplice surround Dulas story. He was rumored to have been in a relationship with another woman who wanted revenge on Foster, either out of jealousy or anger from contracting syphilis from their shared lover. This bit of controversy plays a big part in Morriss piece.
Morris worked with Craig Bove, an atonal composer and music professor at Central Piedmont Community College. Morris had previously heard and liked his work.
I approached Craig about this project, Morris said, and within weeks, I had tons of music.
Other pieces include Sent. Received. by Jessica Stewart; Press/Play by Camerin Watson; Inside This Painted Mind by Arlynn Zachary, during which artist Corina Brown will paint an abstract piece onstage while the dance is performed; and Las Hermanas Del Corazon by Connerton.
Working With is presented by the KinetiCollective, a subsidiary of Martha Connerton/Kinetic Works. This is their second annual event.
Morris is grateful for Connertons idea and generosity.
Im so happy Martha reached out and embraced all the choreographers in the community, Morris said. She created opportunities for all of us, financially and otherwise.
Calouche saw a way to incorporate something other than the dance floor into her companys performances. Since 2006, Calouche has taught and choreographed a combination of contemporary and aerial dance. Many of the works next weekend will happen in the air, suspended from bolts of fabric, bungees, harnesses and an aerial cube. One piece involves a suspended, swinging bench.
Spring Forward was intended to feature adult performers only, but a performance by two of her students ages 12 and 14 won her a choreography award at the Charlotte Dance Festival, and she decided to include the piece in the adult show.
Calouches family program, The Nightingale and Other Dances, will be performed between the two Spring Forward shows. It is designed for children, clocking in at an hour. Here, Calouche will debut her own version of The Nightingale with silks, bungee cords and a trapeze. Projected images will replace the traditional mechanical bird.