This program is a part of Second Sundays: March 2019 as well as presented on the occasion of the exhibition Atelier van Lieshout: The CryptoFuturist and the New Tribal Labyrinth
What does Utopia mean to you? Is it a physical, external place—or, might it reside internally?
Choreographed by Valerie Green and in collaboration with visual artist Keren Anavy with original music by Mark Katsaounis, VG/DE’s newest evening length work, Utopia, explores the idea of a perfect place through dance and visual art. The work questions whether Utopia might be an internal place, investigated through personal and intimate moments and alongside the community.
Anavy has turned her large-scale paintings into 10-foot cylindrical pillars to be used throughout the piece. The pillars act as an extension of the internal world, constantly forming barriers, spaces, and other environments for the dancers to both react to and orchestrate. The notion of what it means to be safe persists inside a dynamic art installation is in perpetual motion, being constantly built and dismantled. Acting as both props and set, Anavy’s painted pillars contribute to Utopia’s striking energy and challenge the viewer’s conception of how art, dance, and design interact with and influence one another. An original sound score created by Mark Katsaounis combines electronic sounds with acoustic percussion to make textures and moods that are as varied as the human experience.
“Meticulously Crafted, Contemplative, Mesmerizing.” – Catherine Grau, Queens Museum
About Valerie Green/Dance Entropy
Founded in 1998, Valerie Green/Dance Entropy believes in humanizing movement, both in Ms. Green’s critically acclaimed choreographic work and the company’s mission to plant creative seeds in communities across the world. Intersecting mortal and transcendent, sensual and sophisticated, visceral and self-aware, VG/DE invites the artist, the audience—the human—into a compelling, physical experience. Based out of its home studio, Green Space in Queens, NY, VG/DE combines performance and specialized outreach programs to inspire communities in cultural institutions throughout the world. As a professional nonprofit dance company, the communities we engage with have included at risk youth, adolescents, the chronically ill, trauma survivors, immigrants, senior citizens and aspiring/professional dancers.
Keren Anavy is an NYC-based visual artist, art educator and an art writer. Her interest is in the dynamic relationships between nature, culture and site, by challenging the boundaries of painting and drawing as a form of installation. Anavy has exhibited widely nationally and internationally, solo exhibitions include the Sunroom Project Space, Wave Hill, New York, The Janco Dada Museum, Ein Hod and the Haifa Museum of Art in Israel. Recent shows have been at SPRING/BREAK Art Show 2018, New York; Cultural Institute Mexico-Israel, Mexico City; Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, Flux Factory, NARS Foundation, The Israel Museum, Tel Aviv Museum of Art and the 2nd International Biennale of Painting and Sculptors, Croatia. Anavy is 2018 AIRIE Fellow, Everglades National Park, Florida. In Israel, she received her MFA from Haifa University; her BA in Art History from Tel Aviv University; and graduated from Hamidrasha School of Art, Beit Berl College.
Concept by Keren Anavy and Valerie Green
Choreography, Direction and Dramaturgy by Valerie Green
Visual Art by Keren Anavy
Performed by Emily Aiken, Daan Bootsma, Caitlyn Casson, Erin Giordano, Kristin Licata, Richard Scandola, and Hana Ginsburg Tirosh
Music by Mark Katsaouni
Vocals by Katie Mullins
Costumes by Deborah Erenberg
Light Pieces Design by Valerie Green
Floor Projection: Painting by Keren Anavy, Video Editing by Alex Lopez
Utopia has been made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and NYC & Company.