What kind of memories do we create after we’ve had meaningful conversations? What becomes of those pivotal discussions? Are our memories the direct result of that significant interaction? How do we mark those moments in time?
These questions and more are explored in Guest Artist Gina Gibney’s new work, “Drafting Foresight,” which will make its world premiere debut during GroundWorks’ 2017 Spring Dance Series on March 17 & 18 at the Breen Center for the Performing Arts Center in Ohio City and March 31 & April 1 at EJ Thomas Hall in Akron.
“We come into an interaction, something transpires, we exit the interaction, we move away and we’re different,” says Gibney, Founder of Gibney Dance in New York. “What is essential is how we change through interaction. Whether it’s short – something you see or said that could be just one word – to how you can evolve through a long conversation. It’s like playing with time. It could be this slow evolution or something that happened in a matter of seconds, but how those interactions shape who we are.”
The title, “Drafting Foresight,” is inspired by one of Gibney’s collaborators, New York native Ezekiel Honig, a well-known figure in the electronic music community. “I’ve been listening to Zeke’s music for several years and I’ve always been inspired by it,” she says. “He works a lot with manipulation of found sounds like distant voices, street sounds, the weather – it feels very urban.”
Honig’s sound conveys a beautiful passage of time, according to Gibney, and has a spiritual quietude to it. His music was a tremendous influence on the work, she says.
Given her long history with GroundWorks, it was a joy for Gibney to return and work with familiar faces. “To be able to build on that relationship is incredible,” she says. And the creative process was extremely collaborative. They did a lot of writing and drawing on memory and then constructed movement based on that writing and internal exploration.
“The dancers are not only well trained but also wonderfully open hearted and open minded,” Gibney says. “There is a new energy with Michael [Marquez] and Lauren [Garson] and my long-standing relationship with Felise [Bagley] and Damien [Highfield]. They are all an absolute joy to work with.”
“Drafting Foresight” includes multiple creative collaborations. In addition to music by Ezekiel Honig is visuals by Joshue Ott of superDraw and costume design by Felicity Sargent. Ott, who created superDraw as a line drawing program giving an artist complete control of all aspects of a line and its visual representation, will be creating video sets for Gibney’s piece.
Sargent, a NYC-based writer, stylist and digital consultant, works like a sculptor, says Gibney. “She doesn’t work in a traditional way, but in this layered sense that brings in different elements. It’s an interactive process and it works really well for me,” she says. “I love dancers being comfortable in their costumes.”
Perhaps one of the best things about creating “Drafting Foresight” is the fact that it brings her back to GroundWorks.
“I have so much respect for David [Shimotakahara]’s business and creative integrity,” Gibney says. “It’s not easy to keep an artistic enterprise going. I always love coming back.”
[Photos: Mark Horning/GWDT]