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20 North Main St (also enter on 224 Benefit Street) Providence, RI 02903

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Today is November 24, 2014. Closed today.

Open Rehearsal/Performance: Pieces of Language and improv/in/sight

May 18, 2014, 1:30 – 3 pm
Grand Gallery

Photograph by Augusta Cullity, courtesy of Jessica Howard

Open Rehearsals is a series that brings dance and movement beyond the proscenium stage and into varied cultural and architectural contexts. Today’s event is organized in collaboration with the RISD Museum.

The theater is a conceptual and physical space which conventionally specifies where performers perform and where the audience sits, and a set of learned behaviors about how to spectate. Similarly the art museum is a place that collects, preserves and displays artworks, and we can enter with all kinds of expectations about how to act, how to move, and how to look. Where do we direct our attention? How do we decide what to look at and for how long? Where and how do we position and move our bodies in space in relation to the performance, to artworks? How do the performers relate to each other and to the audience as a whole and as individuals? How do we experience and express agency as viewers?

For this event, a space is defined in the Grand Gallery for performances directed by Jessica Howard and Shura Baryshnikov. They present two different approaches to performance and performativity in context.

Jessica Howard’s program presents five set choreographic pieces exploring facial expressions and emotions in narrative. She writes, ‘The Language of Flowers is a story that illustrates the fine lines between beauty and suffering, limitations set by clinging and attachments along with a meditation on unconditional love and acceptance. Pieces of Language invites the audience to embark on journey through movement, music, performance and most of all a shared experience.’

Shura Baryshnikov considers composition and improvisation in her work improv/in/sight. Set parameters, the introduction of a sound score, the particularities of the space, and each dancer’s movement history and training will structure and determine how the event unfolds. Five improvisors will draw on the practice of Contact Improvisation to perform improvisational scores which they have composed collectively. Baryshnikov writes ‘Through investigation of physical contact in relation to physical laws such as gravity, momentum and inertia, movers create dance dialogues rich with sensitivity, spontaneity, physicality and risk taking.’ Performers are Shura Baryshnikov, Sarah Young, Rebecca Lin Bone, Stephanie Turner, Sarah Konner.”

—Li Jun Lai, artist, producer of Open Rehearsals

This program is free with Museum admission.

Jessica Howard is a performance artist & dance educator. She is on her third season performing with Lorraine Chapman, the Company and is currently performing with Ali Kenner Brodsky. She is also the Founder and Artistic Director of The Heron Dance Yoga & Meditation Studio.

Shura Baryshnikov is a performing artist, educator, improvisor and movement designer. She has recently danced in works by Betsy Miller, Ali Kenner-Brodsky, Heidi Henderson and performed with Aerplaye Dance, Festival Ballet Providence, Lostwax Multimedia Dance. She is a Teaching Associate in the Brown/Trinity MFA Programs and a faculty member at Festival Ballet Providence School.