2019 – Performance Night – Day 4

Presenting Performance 2019 video blog sharing the process of April Sellers Dance Collective in residence at Tofte Lake Center. Thank you to the MN State Arts Board & Fidelity Charitable / James K Spriggs Foundation for their generous support of this work.

Videography by Hamil Griffin-Cassidy

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2 Thoughts on “2019 – Performance Night – Day 4

  1. Mary Beth Schirber on July 7, 2019 at 7:56 pm said:

    Hey April,
    First of all I love the location of the Tofte Art Center–been there and have fond memories.
    Having dancers and non dancers is great! Something new should come forth. Love it when with your big laugh that you wanted the participants to “Just do stuff!”. Another way to come up with original.
    Choreography wise, when the environment and dancers were in unison with the window frame and the arms moving together–nice.
    What a fun way to get new ideas on a new piece of work. Way to go April!
    mb

  2. Ben Kreilkamp on July 9, 2019 at 2:08 pm said:

    April Feedback July 2019:

    APRIL S:

    Hi Ben
     
    Last week I was in residence at Tofte Lake Center working on a new piece called Man Blossom Man.  This new piece is a scary undertaking for me as I work to understand the themes emerging.
     
    While at Tofte we were able to post a few video blogs of our process to my website. It is a vulnerable place for me to share work this early in the process.   However, I am excited about this interaction and exposure to the work because I am eager to get feedback and responses from my colleagues that might serve to help me develop the work. 
     
    You have seen so many of my works over so many years.  I am hoping you would be willing to take a look at our blog post.  There are four of them in total and I would appreciate if you would post any comments or feedback you feel struck with.
     
    Here is the link to the web page.  You will need to scroll down to see all four.

    http://www.aprilsellers.com/tofte/

    Thank you
    XOXOXO April

    BEN:
    Hi April,
    happy to provide feedback.

    First, you’re doing well, focusing your work successfully towards your vision, gathering the forces that help you accomplish that vision, performers & resources, and developing the vision.

    It’s the last that I address, how to develop the vision, and I come at it as always from the sideways perspective of theater & plays instead of of “dance”. “Dance” will always be satisfied with the abstract combinations of themes and movement and performance of the sort you’re assembling. For my perspective that leaves me wanting more, or different. So everything I say I know may be irrelevant to your aims.

    What I’m suggesting is you’re missing some possible expansionary bets, directions to go in that remain unaddressed in your current vision, which is well within “dance” boundaries.

    Two aspects: one is thematically. You have themes and address them straight on: “queer”, group dynamics, spatial perspectives.

    I look at the Why of addressing these themes in public performance and I think one intention is not just to express them but to stimulate an audience’s expansionary thinking. I believe audiences think more about things that are somewhat mysterious, presentations that make them wonder What that was about?

    I guess the easiest summation of my wish would be to say Make it More Oblique, less direct. You would be dealing with those same themes but less straightforwardly, less obviously, so the audience observer has to reach the conclusions for themselves. Now you’re telling them what it’s about instead of laying out a landscape that stimulates their own internal discussion of what it’s about.

    So that’s one thing.

    The other thing is the performers’ independent agency. They’re very much carrying out your agenda. It might be possible to unleash more of their own energies and to put them in more direct relation to each other’s energies. I’d be more interested in seeing that than the containers you put them in which seem to me to predetermine their behaviors.

    I hope this is helpful and/or stimulating to your process. Reading it over I’m not sure what sense it makes to me much less what it will do for you.

    good luck
    BenK

    PS the videos are excellent imo, really capturing a LOT of your group process and your own presence and the dynamic with the audience.

    APRIL S:
    Thanks for the feedback! Ben

    Your insights are always valuable to me.  You see the work clearly in its function and I appreciate the reflections.  It bubbled for me the intensity involved in building an ensemble fun to think about.  

    Would you be willing to post any of your feedback directly to the website?  I am hoping to keep a sort of living document there.  

    Thank you so much 
    XO April 

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