THE SET UP
2012 - 2017
a series of 8 dances by Wally Cardona & Jennifer Lacey
and 8 international masters of existent dance forms
“These collaborations carry within them many pre-existing notions around cultural exchange; contemporary & traditional practice; access, privilege, survival, economics, policy-making; dance-making; pedagogy; belief & doubt; presence, re-presence & representation; encoded systems & production tropes; identity – of dance, of body; the role of expectation in perceiving; ‘pure’ dance; exoticization; and how ‘the other’ is a man-made distinction that lends itself an air of inevitability.
Many of these notions are long-held. They can never be under-interrogated.
The Set Up challenges these notions and preconceptions, held by people in and outside of the project. It does not seek to demonstrate, represent or display. But it does seek to embody, engage and create movement around these notions within the work itself, its multi-stage process and responsive product.”
Choreographers Wally Cardona and Jennifer Lacey share an interest in undoing tendencies toward certainty in art. Five years ago, they started down a path of discussing/doing/dancing with non-dance-specialists, including an astrophysicist, a sommelier, a social activist, an architect, a medical supply salesman and others. The end result was TOOL IS LOOT (2010), made with composer Jonathan Bepler. They now continue this discussing/doing/dancing - around context, meaning, purpose, value and need – with dance experts, in The Set Up.
The Set Up is a series of 8 full-length dances. Each dance displaces contemporary practice by living temporarily within a distinct tradition of mastery. Initiated in 2012, development of the series is evolving over a 5-year long practice of “embodiment”, grounded in a pedagogical and performance-based process.
The series’ construction is a recurring re-examination of habitual aesthetic valuations, both physical and conceptual. It is purposefully designed to confront belief systems that are knowingly, and unknowingly, transferred from body to body, culture to culture, generation to generation.
Creating perceptions that construct an image can be important (and hard) work. The Set Up is grounded more in the “letting go” of an image: of self, of “other”.
To develop the series of 8 dances, each installment of The Set Up is made through a three-stage process and first presented individually, as a draft. To date, 5 dances have gone through these three stages:
Stage 1 – Master artist
Each dance launches with “American contemporary” artists meeting a “master of a traditional”, sometimes “ancient”, form. The master artists are invited to teach Cardona what they deem most important about the form to which they have dedicated their lives. Not a normal construct for learning, it is immersive yet finite. It calls into play a combination of historical authority and personal authority of a form, carrying within it the personal dimension behind knowledge.
This period - its effort, failure, disorientation, re-orientation - is the root of all that follows. This is true for Lacey too, as she holds her own distinct experience of this period, outside of Cardona’s involvement in learning/embodying. Their dissimilar roles are a purposeful attempt to incorporate different ways of knowing - intellectual, physical, imaginative, projected - into the process with each master.
Each encounter with each master lasts 8-12 weeks and takes place both in the master’s place of origin and the U.S. Selection of the master artists has evolved over several years, each encounter informing the next, opening relationships to new individuals.
The 8 master artists (and area of expertise) are:
Junko Fisher (traditional Okinawan)
Proeung Chhieng (classical Cambodian)
Jean-Christophe Paré (French baroque)
Heni Winahyuningsih (Javanese refined)
Nyoman Catra (Balinese Topeng)
Saya Lei (Mandalay-style of classical Burmese), assisted by Myint Mo
Kapilu Venu (Kutiyattam & ritual artforms of Kerala)
1 Artist TBD
Stage 2 – Response period
Immediately following the work period with the master artist, new activity begins as Cardona and Lacey transition from the pedagogical process, guided by the ever-present master artist, to a period of “response”, when the master is absent.
The multi-layered work of trying to “presence” an existent form now moves into the realm of “re-presencing”, “representing” and back to sheer presence.
Stage 3 – Performance / Location
The many facets of how an audience encounters a dance are seen as vital parts of each of the 8 dances created, and The Set Up revolves around temporary habitation of any location.
Looking to stretch traditional notions of venue or place, each dance is made and presented at its own distinct site outside of a traditional theater. This means the artists are always working, not just performing, in unusual locations, generating adaptability as a deep practice. Purposefully, the available elements of a space are used as each dance’s technical and theatrical palate, rarely adding outside light and sound equipment.
During this final stage, a dance is made. Before presenting it to the public, it is first presented to the master artist, and his/her own personal/cultural reading, interpretation, and opinion is solicited. The final dance that comes out of this dialogue is what is performed and titled The Set Up: Name of Master - i.e., The Set Up: Proeung Chhieng. (Ideas are so often propagated and disseminated anonymously. This titling places the individual as source, as conduit.)
To date, sites have included an empty office space; a small landscaped park on the upper deck of a pier; a 30’x40’ gallery-like white box; the historic Board of Officers room at Park Avenue Armory; and a vast 5000-square-foot empty storefront on Wall St.
The Set Up: Saya Lei
River to River Festival (site TBD)
Original Music: Jonathan Bepler
Dancers: Wally Cardona, Jennifer Lacey and others TBD
Saya Lei is a master dancer and musician dedicated to the preservation of the underrepresented Mandalay style of classical dancing.
The Set Up: Artist TBC
The Set Up: Kapila Venu
River to River Festival (site TBD)
Original Music: Jonathan Bepler
Dancers: Wally Cardona, Jennifer Lacey and others TBD
Ms. Venu, renowned practitioner of Kutiyattam (traditional Sanskrit theatre), is the director of Natanakairali, a research and performing center for traditional arts in Kerala, India.
Rauschenberg Residency on Captiva Island
Final stage of development begins
Each draft is examined from a new vantage point gained from 5 years of development
Cardona works again with all 8 master artists
The Set Up – Series Premiere
Full series of 8 dances in 8 distinct sites
River to River Festival
The Set Up: Junko Fisher
River to River Festival - indoors, empty office space
Original Music: Pete Drungle
Dancers: Dylan Crossman, Wally Cardona, Jennifer Lacey
Ms. Fisher is a traditional Okinawan dancer and folk singer of the Miyagi Ryu Nosho-kai Ryukyu School.
The Set Up: Proeung Chhieng
LMCC’s Project Space - indoors, 30’x40’ gallery-like white box
Original Music: Megan Schubert
Dancers: Rebecca Warner, Wally Cardona, Jennifer Lacey
Mr. Chhieng, master of Hanuman (white monkey), was a principal dancer with the Royal Cambodian Ballet and played a major role in the post-war reclamation of Cambodian dance.
The Set Up: Jean-Christophe Paré
River to River Festival - outdoors, upper deck of Pier 15
Original Music: Jonathan Bepler w/ The Guidonian Hand
Dancers: Jason Collins, Ingrid Kapteyn, Rennie McDougall, Wally Cardona
Mr. Paré, a former principal dancer with Paris Opera Ballet, studied Baroque dance with Francine Lancelot, achieving international acclaim for his interpretation of Morphé in the 1987 production of Jean-Baptiste Lully’s opera Atys.
The Set Up: Heni Winahyuningsih
Park Avenue Armory – indoors, the historic Board of Officers room
Music: Reiko Fueting w/ Drake Anderson, Nani Fueting, Jeffrey Gavett, Jacek Mioduszewski
Dancers: Silas Reiner, Wally Cardona, Jennifer Lacey
Ms. Winahyuningsih, dancer and teacher at the Sultan Palace, Yogyakarta, is a lecturer at the Indonesia Institute of the Arts Yogyakarta.
The Set Up: I Nyoman Catra
River to River Festival - indoors, 5,000-square-foot empty storefront on Wall St.
Original Music: Jonathan Bepler w/ Megan Schubert and Randy Gibson
Dancers: Rebecca Warner, Wally Cardona, Jennifer Lacey and 10 dancers
Nyoman Catra is a master of Balinese Topeng and lecturer at Indonesia Institute of the Arts Denpasar.
A production of WCV, Inc., THE SET UP is made possible by commissioning support from Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Extended Life program; Asian Cultural Council; National Endowment for the Arts; Creative Capital; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the city council; and the Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards program.
THE SET UP is being developed as part of LMCC's Extended Life Dance Development program made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Park Avenue Armory's Under Construction series; a Vermont Performance Lab residency; and Portland Institute for Contemporary Art's Creative Exchage Lab. Additional support provided by Amrita Performing Arts, Phnon Penh; ISI Yogyakarta, ID; and Les Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers.
TOOL IS LOOT
2011, available for touring
WALLY CARDONA & JENNIFER LACEY
with JONATHAN BEPLER
“We would like to believe that our bodies and our brains are fantastically flexible and responsive to change, containing - at any moment - both the abstract and the specific. Well… what we’ve learned is that this is both gloriously true and frustratingly untrue. But that’s okay, really, and this dance proves it. There will be a swan, a prince, a robot, sexual behavior and two chairs. Sometimes all at once.”
– Wally Cardona & Jennifer Lacey
For one year, choreographers Wally Cardona and Jennifer Lacey worked apart, holding tandem projects, in the U.S. and France respectively. Each artist solicited weeklong encounters with non-dance experts, voluntarily subjecting their aesthetic position to a barrage of assessment, opinions and desires from the “outsiders”, including an astro-physicist, sommelier, architect, film editor, medical supply salesman, kinetic sculptor, baroque opera singer, art critic, acoustician and social activist. None of the material generated from these encounters is in TOOL IS LOOT. Rather, the work has been formed through aesthetic propositions that persisted because of their foreignness. The opinions and interpretations of composer Jonathan Bepler and lighting designer Thomas Dunn function as yet another clarification and reinterpretation of TOOL IS LOOT.
"TOOL IS LOOT...is utterly original, deeply comic and deviously beautiful."
– The New York Times
"...it's a bit of heaven."
– Dance Magazine
"TOOL IS LOOT was a wonderful, thoughtful and engaging performance..."
"...it’s exhilarating watching these two superb artists approach dancing ..."
“…intimacy and vulnerability amid a circus of cerebral gymnastics.”
- Dance Enthusiast
Choreography, Libretto and Performance: Wally Cardona and Jennifer Lacey
Original Musical Score: Jonathan Bepler
Musicians: Julia Alsarraf (Viola and Brass), Ian Antonio and Russell Greenberg (Percussion), David Bebb (Clarinet), Bryan Brundige (Trombone), Jeremy Gold (Saxophone), Zeena Parkins (Harp), Jonathan Bepler (Voice, Violin, Piano, Guitar, Flute, Brass). The Ensemble Modern. Bass Soloists and Children’s Choir of Opera Frankfurt. Recorder Club of Echigo-Tsumari, Japan
Lighting Design: Thomas Dunn
Production and Creative Assistant: Francis A. Stansky
Production Manager: Jeff Englander
Managing Producer: Ben Pryor / tbspMGMT
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
JONATHAN BEPLER, a composer who has worked largely on dramatic/cinematic scores, achieved international acclaim creating soundtrack material for several works by visual artist Matthew Barney including Barney’s Cremaster Cycle films. He has sung title roles in operas, supervised sound installations, taught music and composed scores for dozens of other films. He has created works using a wide variety of materials: 600 voices (in the Herodeon Theater at the Acropolis), orchestral ensembles, children's choirs, opera soloists, foley artists, multi channel installations, mobile soundtracks and butcher’s knives.
In the last 10 years, WALLY CARDONA has created projects of every scale, in a wide range of venues/ festivals in the U.S. and abroad, including BAM/Next Wave, PICA’s TBA Festival, Helena Presents, International Festival of Arts & Ideas, the Cannes Festival and Dance Umbrella/London. Selected works include Everywhere (2005) – a work where all action was shaped around 300 objects, and vice-versa, with Phil Kline (composer) and the string quartet Ethel; Site (2007) – a work for wood, paper, tape and The Capital H.S. Band, Helena, MT; A Light Conversation (2008) – a physical and recorded dialogue on aesthetics, ethics, love and commitment, performed in a 20x32 ft area, created/performed with Swiss/British Rahel Vonmoos; and Really Real (2009) - a “people piece” for 100 individuals, dancers and non-dancers.
THOMAS DUNN designs lighting for architecture, dance, music, theater, and visual art venues in the US and abroad. Design credits include works with; The Civilians, Gone Missing and Paris Commune, DD Dorvillier/human future dance corps, Coming Out of the Night With Names, No Change or “freedom is a psycho-kinetic skill,” Nottthing Is Importanttt (for which he received a 2007 Bessie Award) Choreography, a Prologue for the Apocalypse of Understanding, Get Ready!, Sens Production/ Noémie Lafrance, Noir, Agora, Melt, Rapture and Home, Trajal Harrell, Notes On Less Than Zero, Before Intermission, Showpony, and Quartet for the End of Time. Thomas is the recipient of a 2009 Kevin Kline Award for Outstanding Lighting Design, The Little Dog Laughed, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. He was educated at Bennington College and Yale School of Drama.
JENNIFER LACEY, based in Paris since 2000, has continually questioned the form a “dance” can take on. She has founded a number of highly regarded projects with “ambiguous borders”: Projet Bonbonniere, a research and living project designed to rehabilitate Italianate theatres; Prodwhee, a disposable series of performances using the dance residency as currency; and Robinhood, a mythic and invisible performance with artist Cerith Wyn Evans. Her extensive work with visual artist Nadia Lauro has been commissioned by many large-scale festivals (Lyon, Montpellier, Kyoto, Vienna) and a monograph of their work, Diapositifs Choregraphiques, was published by the Press du Reel in 2007.
A production of WCV, Inc., TOOL IS LOOT is co-commissioned by The Kitchen and EMPAC, Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY. Creation of the work was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project with lead funding from the Dorris Duke Charitable Foundation and additional funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Boeing Company Charitable Trust; a 2010-2011 Joyce SoHo Creative Residency, funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; CNDC Angers and FUSED; Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers with the Département de la Seine-Saint-Denis; Baryshnikov Arts Center; Dance Place (D.C.); Atlantic Center for the Arts; the National Endowment for the Arts; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; and Bossak/Heilbron Charitable Foundation. TOOL IS LOOT was commissioned through the Meet The Composer’s Commissioning Music/USA program.
Created by Wally Cardona and a local expert
Each Intervention is a five-day collaboration between dancer/choreographer Wally Cardona and an “expert” in a field other than dance. They enter the studio as strangers and through their intimate encounter they generate a new work. Each public performance provides the imperative. To date, experts have included an astro-physicist, sommelier, visual artist, architect, sound artist/social activist, a group of acousticians and a community activist.
Intervention is an adaptation of Paris-based choreographer Jennifer Lacey’s project, My First Time with a Dramaturge. In each project, they treated their artistic positions to the constant reassessment, opinions and desires of an “outsider”, resulting in a total of fourteen individual works. This shared history enabled them to begin their collaboration - Tool Is Loot - in a similar state of aesthetic disorientation.
HOW AN INTERVENTION WORKS
“I look to each expert to come in and initiate a disturbance — to my process, way of thinking, patterns of decision-making, and aesthetic stance. We begin as strangers and get acquainted through a weeklong working process. On Day One, I perform my ‘empty solo’ for each collaborator as a starting point and form of introduction. I present each expert with the same solo. Only the expert ever sees this ‘empty solo’, designed to bend to his/her interpretation, opinion, desire, or aesthetics. I try very hard to succumb. What I am most interested in is what each expert might want to see even though he/she might not yet know how to make it manifest; how to do this is discovered, together, in the studio. There is no system to the week and how it unfolds; it is unique to each expert. What we know is that a public performance is the final result, which the expert cannot make without me, and for which I am reliant on the expert's opinion. The expert is asked to play a part in all decision-making leading to the performance, including content, lighting, costume and any accoutrements related to the production.”
- Wally Cardona
DATES OF ACTIVITY
Intervention #1: Adam Shecter (visual artist)
July 16, 2010 @ Atlantic Center for the Arts, New Smyrna Beach, FL
Intervention #2: Heidi Jo Newberg (astronomer and physicist)
October 2, 2010 @ EMPAC, Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, Troy, NY
Intervention #3: Karina Lyons (sommelier and wine consultant)
December 18, 2010 @ Joyce Theater Foundation, NYC
Intervention #4: Robert Sember (sound artist and social activist)
January 8, 2011 @ Baryshnikov Arts Center, NYC
Intervention #5: Martin Kapell (architect)
February 12, 2011 @ Baryshnikov Arts Center, NYC
Intervention #6: Raj Patel, Rachid Abu-Hassan, Terence Caulkins (Arup Acoustics)
March 26, 2011 @ Baryshnikov Arts Center, NYC
Intervention #7: Silas Grant (community activist)
April 23, 2011 @ Dance Place, Washington, D.C.
2009, available for touring
Choreography and direction: Wally Cardona
Original music: Phil Kline (based on the writings of Sören Kierkegaard)
Lighting: Roderick Murray
Other music: Darby R. Slick, June Carter and Merle Kilgore, Jack Bruce and Peter Brown
Lyrics and Repetition text: Phil Kline, based on the writings of Sören Kierkegaard
Text and sound edit for He Led a Somewhat Uneventful Life: Wally Cardona (based on Kierkegaard’s life)
Sound design: Dave Cook
Costume consultant: Stephanie Sleeper
Stage manager: Parker Pracjek
Assistant to the choreographer: Joanna Kotze
Original music created on Brooklyn Youth Chorus Concert Chorus
Music performed live or with a recorded version of the score
Performers: Julian Barnett, Wally Cardona, Kana Kimura, Joanna Kotze, Omagbitse Omagbemi, Stuart Singer, Francis Stansky and other people
Touring Personnel: 7 dancers, 1 production manager, 1 stage manager, 1 sound designer, (1 composer)
Running time: 80 min., no intermission
In 1898 Joseph Conrad wrote, “I remember my youth and the feeling that will never come back any more – the feeling that I could last for ever, outlast the sea, the earth, and all men; the deceitful feeling that lures us on to perils, to love, to vain effort – to death…”.
With passion and abstraction, Really Real reflects on love, loss, desire, youth, beauty and power, using simple means to expose the intricate relationships and meanings that exist between people in a complex world. Set to an intimate acoustic sound score by Phil Kline, performed live by the Grammy Award-winning Brooklyn Youth Chorus, and three pop songs, Really Real’s design utilizes only a bare stage, people, and lighting by Cardona’s long-time collaborator Roderick Murray.
REALLY REAL premiered at the International Festival of Arts and Ideas, New Haven, CT, June 19-21, 2009 and in New York as a part of Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival, November 17, 19-21, 2009.
Click here for text and lyrics used in Really Real (it will download as a pdf file.)
A work of eventful moments…its poetry is meant to cohere in the mind of each beholder.
- Dance Magazine
Choreographers are mostly too naive or too knowing to be strange. They either mistake their commonplaces for the unusual or flaunt their originality until it feels like a pose. Weirdo Wally Cardona, however, is fierce enough in his preoccupations not to care whether anyone shares them and yet aware enough of dance history not to repeat it. Juxtaposing Kierkegaard, compellingly disjointed dancing and the sweet voice of youth in his second BAM commission, the New York choreographer baffles and endears.
- Financial Times
Does what you're always hoping for in a work - develop its ideas via its structure
- Foot In Mouth (Apollinaire Scherr)
Simultaneously riveting, luscious, and cold; a subtle and complex choreographic gem…. it’s satisfying to wait for those moments of choreographic ingenuity that inevitably evolve with Cardona’s work.
Beginning low and sweet, the harmonies slowly accumulate into an oceanic wave of innocence…the children sing: “To transform all this distance into one normal step into life is the single miracle.” Indeed. Forget what John Donne said. According to Really Real, every man is an island, and it’s alright.
- Financial Times
Cardona’s dances convey enormous emotional resonance through the movement itself, and Really Real is packed with luscious, uniquely inventive dancing.
- Gay City News
Really Real achieved what its title spoke of, a release into the freedom of the lived, the actual, but it also showed that this has to be a complicated and earned and actually performed process, that it cannot be done with a snap of the fingers.
- The Tropes of Tenth Street
A production of WCV, Inc., Really Real is co-commissioned by Brooklyn Academy of Music and the International Festival of Arts & Ideas. / The creation of Really Real was made possible by a commissioning residency at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas (New Haven, CT). / The music for Really Real, developed on the Brooklyn Youth Chorus Academy, was commissioned by WCV, Inc. and the American Music Center Live Music for Dance Program. Support for creation and live performance of the score is provided by The O’Donnell-Green Music and Dance Foundation and Surdna Foundation. Additional support provided by Meet The Composer’s MetLife Creative Connections program. / Funds for the creation of Really Real were made possible, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts and Bossak/Heilbron Charitable Foundation, Inc. / Supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts. In Kings County, the Decentralization Program is administered by the Brooklyn Arts Council, Inc. (BAC). WCV, Inc. has received funding from the 2008 JPMorgan Chase Regrant Program, administered by the Brooklyn Arts Council, Inc. (BAC). / Development residencies for Really Real were supported by the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography, “MANCC” (Tallahassee, FL); Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, “MASS MoCA” (Massachusetts); The White Oak Plantation (Jacksonville, FL), owned by The Howard Gilman Foundation; and BRIClab (Brooklyn, NY). The work was created at New 42nd St. Studios, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Joyce SoHo, Danspace Project and Mark Morris Dance Group studios. Really Real is also made possible by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Swing Space program (Project space is donated by Capstone Equities.).
A LIGHT CONVERSATION
2008, available for touring
Choreographers & Performers: Wally Cardona and Rahel Vonmoos
Lighting Design: Roderick Murray
Sound Score: Wally Cardona (utilizing In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg, Café Tacuba, Shoji Hano, and Jefferson Airplane)
Touring Personnel: 2 dancers, 1 production manager
Running time: 50 min., no intermission
An international dialogue between two mature artists, Wally Cardona (USA) and Rahel Vonmoos (UK), A Light Conversation reflects on life being lived...choice, commitment, pleasure, sacrifice, boredom; aesthetics vs. ethics; uncertainty of the future; and last but not least, love – first love, erotic love, marital love, mature love and friendship. The work takes place within an intimate 20x32 foot space with viewers placed on three sides and black curtains on the exterior, enclosing all four sides.
Where does one dancer begin and the other end? In the arresting “Light Conversation” the truth is that they don’t.
- Gia Kourlas, The New York Times
Watching this small, remarkable collaboration, I sense, as if by contagion, the shadows that beset a thinker’s mind, the moments of illumination, and the constant struggle between these. The painful contest between desire and what is perceived as truth lodges in the heart.
- Deborah Jowitt, The Village Voice
Truth? It's right here the dancers seem to be saying -- it's the evidence before you, how these two exhausted people are managing to stay upright. Intellectuals may debate the existence of freedom; here was the proof of it.
- The Washington Post
Kierkegaard felt he could only illustrate his philosophy by obscuring it. So, too, Cardona and Vonmoos obscure the philosophy they perform through the immediacy of performance itself.
- Erika Eichelberger, Dance Magazine
Riveting in its intricacy and apparent simplicity
- Susan Reiter, NY Press
A co-production of WCV, Inc. and Tanzhaus Zurich, additional support for A Light Conversation is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, Bossak/Heilbron Charitable Foundation, space exchange, a working residency at The Performing Arts Section of London Metropolitan University, the New York State Council on the Arts and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. The 2008 premiere performances of A Light Conversation at Joyce SoHo (NYC) were made possible by support provided by the Executive Director Discretionary Fund of The Joyce Theater Foundation.
Choreography, Direction and Setting: Wally Cardona
Original Music: Phil Kline
Lighting Design: Roderick Murray
Musicians: 15 local musicians*
Created in collaboration with the performers:
Julian Barnett, Wally Cardona, Kana Kimura, Joanna Kotze, Bill Manka
Running time: 70min., no intermission
Touring Personnel: 5 dancers, 1 composer (optional), 1 sound engineer, 1 production manager
With SITE, it is “the very act of construction and the sometimes seemingly insignificant action” that fascinates Cardona. Throughout, performers and audience alike are asked to deal with and re-define their relationship to entities they probably recognize the character of (people, paper, tape, and wood), creating a tangible environment that must be navigated by the people onstage and off. The materials used are simple, making it more evident that it is not about the materials but about what is done with the materials - how they are used, related to, shaped, altered – giving SITE a hand-crafted, made-in-the-moment feel. Building upon Cardona's ongoing interest in alternate sound sources and how this can re-construct perceptions of space and its dimensions, the evening-length work features approximately 15 musicians displaced from a conventional relationship to the viewer/listener in the theater. At various moments, groups are placed offstage left, underneath the audience seating, in the lobby behind the audience and, sometimes, from all of these positions at once, adding support, distraction, surprise, confusion and competition to the choreographed construction onstage. The recorded score features the fifty-seven members of the Capital H.S. Band from Helena, MT.
Cardona’s choice of prop materials is so simple, and yet so backhandedly radical.
- Susan Yung, CultureVulture
A production of WCV, Inc., SITE is a National Performance Network Creation Fund Project co-commissioned by Dance Theater Workshop (NYC) in partnership with The Myrna Loy Center/Helena Presents (Helena, Montana), and the National Performance Network. SITE was commissioned as part of a national series of works from Meet The Composer's Commissioning Music/USA program, which is made possible by generous support from the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Francis Goelet Trust, the Helen F. Whitaker Fund, Target, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Supported, in part, by the National Dance Project, the New York State Music Fund, American Music Center Live Music for Dance Program, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York State Music Fund, the Bossak/Heilbron Charitable Foundation, and funds from a 2006 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. Developed in part at Jacob’s Pillow through its Creative Development Residency Program.