2019 DOGTOWN PRESENTER'S SERIES
DOGTOWN PRESENTER’S SERIES INVITES RICHMOND AUDIENCES TO THE STRUCTURAL WORLD OF 1950s ARCHITECTURAL HONG KONG PHOTOGRAPHER FAN HO IN A THREE DIMENSIONAL DANCE EXPERIENCE
This fall, Dogtown Dance Theatre is excited to present a stunning collaborative dance work created by local Richmond choreographer Kara Robertson of KARAR DANCE COMPANY. Dogtown Presenter’s Series (DPS) is a two-week spotlight performance series that highlights the independent artists and organizations in Richmond, VA. Dogtown is home to many diverse dance and movement organizations that vary in style, from Latin and salsa dancing to Afro-Caribbean dance, Flamenco, modern dance, and hoop dance, to name a few. Each fall, one artist is accepted through a submission based application process to present choreographic work in a series of professionally produced performances and community workshops in the Dogtown Presenter’s Series. The Series increases community awareness of the artists that call Richmond home.
DPS is an innovative way of producing dance artists in the Richmond community. No other dance organization is providing the necessary resources needed for local artists to produce professional level concerts completely free of cost. Such resources include the rehearsal space, the technical production, marketing, public relations, and a guaranteed sizeable financial stipend. The Series’ mission is to expose Richmond audiences to choreographers who reflect the cultural diversity alive in dance today, to promote artists from a variety of dance styles and genres, and to support them in creating new works of expression.
One of the cornerstones to the Presenter’s Series is collaboration. Dogtown encourages dance artists work outside of their comfort zone and collaborate amongst one another and alongside artists that work within other genres. Dogtown is rooted in the belief that as independent dance artists, the blend of our artistic voices, audiences, and resources, will transform Richmond dance into a force to be reckoned with and a destination for dancers for years to come.
Dogtown’s Executive Director, Jess Burgess, says: “KARAR DANCE COMPANY and Kara Robertson are an exquisite example of Richmond choreographers producing ground-breaking dance experiences for our community. The collaborative feat for this year’s DPS will be a truly immersive experience for Richmond art lovers.”
Kara Robertson will premiere a new evening length work Circadian with her Richmond-based modern dance company KARAR DANCE COMPANY. Circadian draws inspiration from Fan Ho’s architectural photographs of 1950’s and 1960’s Hong Kong, titled Hong Kong Yesterday. The piece is rooted in the beauty of simplicity, reflecting movement in stillness and human habitual nature. Set design challenges the traditional dance performance space by breaking multiple boundaries for choreographer, dancers, and audience. Bringing the collaboration to the stage, the work embodies the juxtaposition of stillness and pure-movement in abstract storytelling through the use of movement, sight, and sound. This new work is performed in the round, visually creating boundaries for dancers, yet opening up endless possibilities of movement through the use of original architectural set and lighting design as well as music composition.
Five dancers showcase the value of routine, a theme often depicted in Ho’s photographs. Utilizing movement that captures simplistic beauty, the dancers transition through individuality and conformity, representing the effects of varying routines. The culmination of choreography and performance, set design by Crux Scenica, lighting design by Weston Corey, and an original music score by Ryan Davis, showcases multiple elements from varying artistic disciplines; each inspires, enhances and essentially alters the others’ art form, creating a collaborative professional evening of dance performance.
Set design is constructed by scenic designers Christina Delli Santi and Joshua Bennett of Crux Scenica. This asymmetrical grid-like set hangs parallel to the stage floor from the grid in the theater.
Weston Corey’s lighting design flirts with the scenic grid revealing the dancers below. Lighting shifts and evolves to dictate audience focus. The marriage of both set construction and lighting design creates additional depth to this piece, adding visual elements that would not be possible without the partnership among artists. Corey’s lighting design guides the dancers through the space, playing off of the set, offering mystery and wonder.
Ryan Davis’ original score accompanies the performance. This composition propels the work by varying dynamics and spacing, shifting movement quality, and inspiring the overall kinetic range. Music is developed organically along with the choreography of the work to create an overall arch for the audience to both hear and see the evolution of the evening-length work.
Dogtown Dance Theatre is proud to announce that the Dogtown Presenter’s Series will be our mainstage event in recognition for #artoberVA, a month-long celebration of arts and culture events hosted by CultureWorks Richmond. More information on #artoberVA can be found at https://richmondcultureworks.org/about-artoberva.
Dogtown Dance Theatre gratefully acknowledges support for the 2019 Presenter’s Series from the National Endowment for the Arts, Virginia Commission for the Arts, and Julia and Tunnicliff Fox Charitable Trust.