Is it real? Is it video? Surreal or a dream? It is the work of choreographers/performers Art Bridgman and Myrna Packer, acclaimed modern dancers who integrate live performance and technology into a cinematic experience where image and reality collide. Haled as “ingenious, magical and fascinating by the New York Times, they move with fluid partnering, sensuality and humor in “Under the Skin” and the newly released “Double Expose” April 23 and 24 presented by CDT at the Jarson-Kaplan Theatre Downtown Cincinnati.
No strangers to the Cincinnati dance community, the couple have a sense of connection with Jefferson James and The Contemporary Dance Theater not only through performing and choreographing but also Jefferson introduced composer and saxophone player Ken Field to them. “Jefferson has been extremely supportive,” says Myrna Packer. “We have worked with her for years.”
After six years, Bridgman/Packer returns with “Double Expose”, a sensual exploration of the human psyche, identity and relationships that are conveyed through “Video Partnering” using a total integration of live performance and video technology to create layered perspectives of the live and virtual. Each element from video, animation, music, lighting and costume revels in the multiplicity and exact timing to create fluid imagery that astounds the eyes.
The piece unfolds another innovation of “Technical Cubism” where live filming magnify the performer’s different angles and are then projected back onto their bodies creating layers of the human experience through sensual imagery.
“This embodies the human persona,” says Myrna Packer. “We see things that identify the archetypes of relationships: power structures, upper hand and sensual attraction with random flirtation leading up to romantic fantasy or obsession.”
Timing and skill take the work to another level. With the talent and skill of artists, such as, Ken Field composer/saxophone player, filmmaker Peter Bobrow, lighting designer Frank DenDanto III and animator Karen Aqua viewers are touched by sight and sound in an esthetically moving form.
“Under the Skin” combines the dancer’s bodies and costumes that become projected screens creating morphing and demorphing identities to reveal the hidden psychological depth. This interplay combines costuming from hoop skirts to modern vintage clothing that play off the light and dark perspectives. White lettering swims on screens as the dancers slip out of what is real and what isn’t.
Accompanying the couple is Ken Field, composer and saxophone player. Internationally known, he adds his own powerful element while enhancing the senses. “I feel strongly that music is a collaboration and needs to work out like a relationship. In the relationship of music and dance, both are strong individually but add strength to one another.”
No matter your dance experience, this is a feast for the senses. In a word: mesmerizing. Find out more about Bridgman/Packer through their website at http://www.bridgmanpacker.org. You can also move and relish in their mastery at class held on Saturday, April 24 12:30PM at the Contemporary Dance Town Hall.
Details on the show:
Where: Jarson-Kaplan Theatre. Walnut Street Downtown Cincinnati
Cost: $27-$22; $17 students/seniors
More about CDT at http://www.cdt-dance.org
Diana’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.kamasalsa.com