A Letter Compiled from All Letters

The project premieres at New Hazlett Theater in Pittsburgh, PA, June 13–15, 2019
as part of a pilot program aimed to support artists who are shifting beyond emerging status. Tickets here.
To make a tax deductible donation to support the project click here.

Description
A Letter Compiled From All Letters (ALCFAL), an evening-length, contemporary dance work merging live performance and video projection, began with letter-writing. Collaborators Maree ReMalia (director/choreographer), Gigi Gatewood (multimedia artist), and Lillian Cho (performer) wanted to investigate connection and communication in an era of digital media. So they asked friends and acquaintances to write them letters sharing moments of significance and the impacts of digital communication in their lives. The answers were profound, mundane, and hilarious. Aspects of the letters influenced the initial development of improvisational scores to generate movement and conduct early experiments with video, music, sound, text, and set design for the work. Since these early stages, the work has evolved in unexpected ways.

The collaborative team works with cross-disciplinary cast members David Bernabo, Joseph Hall, Moriah Ella Mason, Jil Stifel, and understudy Sarah Friedlander. In a moment in which we often perceive scarcity of time and the ability to be in constant contact and simultaneous distance, the artists consider the currency of attention and experience of intimacy. While feeling into the physicality, pace, and content of analog letter writing alongside the fleeting communication that exists in virtual spaces, they question what we hold dear and what is disposable. The performance migrates between minimalist moments and amplified scenes and movement that is almost-pedestrian and semi-virtuosic. Dancers vocalize and visual artists move. Stop-motion videos and oversized projections help magnify what is compelling and toy with the distance between carefully-curated selves and true realities. Live and recorded sound rove between hymn-like vocalizations and sparse tones indicating spaciousness and fullness of time. The performers activate a mobile, wooden set designed by visual artist, Natalia Gomez and are costumed by designer, Emily Vallozzi. Wood, paper, pencil, devices, objects, movement, sound, and text collapse and meld and affect each other as human bodies try to resist, succumb, absorb, utilize, control, and react to them. The creative team invites audience members to experience the resulting abstracted portrayals that are tender and unpredictable, offering escape from, and new angles into our dialogue with each other and our ever-evolving technologies.

This project is presented in partnership with New Hazlett Theater through a new pilot program aimed at helping artists who are shifting from emerging to established status. Funding for the A Letter Compiled From All Letters was provided by the A.W. Mellon Grant and Investing in Professional Artists Creative Development Grant of The Pittsburgh Foundation, Opportunity Fund, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (a state agency), The Heinz Endowments Small Arts Initiative, Amherst College Guest Artist Series, Kelly Strayhorn Theater Fresh Works Residency, PearlArts Studios PearlDiving Movement Residency and New Sun Rising donor, Courtney Harris.

8F6E09CE-6AB8-409C-93DB-6DFC3A5D476B

Amherst College Theater and Dance Department Residency | Fall 2018 rehearsal experiments 

In November 2018, my collaborators and I continued work on our project A Letter Compiled From All Letters through Amherst College Theater and Dance Department Guest Artist Residency Series. The residency invites artists to the college and provides space to rehearse as well as hosting a work-in-progress showing and a master class.

Concept Maree ReMalia, Gigi Gatewood, and Lillian Cho
Director Maree ReMalia
Movement generation/composition Conceptual team, performers, Natalia Gomez, Susan Kuo
Performers David Bernabo, Lillian Cho, Gigi Gatewood, Maree ReMalia
Projection Design Gigi Gatewood and David Bernabo
Soundtrack Design David Bernabo
Text Moriah Ella Mason
Set Design Natalia Gomez
Stage Manager
Matthew Holliday
Letter Contributors Alaina, Ann, Anna, AnnaJo, Candace, Courtney, Dee, Ditty, Donnie, Heather, Huirong, Jenn, Jim, Jose, Keri, Lorenzo, Lynn, Megan, Michael, Pam, Paul, PinLing, Rachel, Sarah, Taylor, Will, Zac
Special thank you  Amherst College Theater and Dance Department, Ron Bashford, Bryan Bowser, Dante Brown, Suzie Rivers, Burch Fisher, Cathy and Robert Gatewood, Anders Johnson, Kelly Strayhorn Theater/The Alloy Studios, Adil Mansoor, Michael J. Morris, PearlArts Studios, Lola Sadai, ShaQjuan Tyler, Siena College, Point Park University Modern III, VII, VIII students, letter contributors, and the cast and collaborators. 

image_6483441
PDMR Artist Showing | Original photos by Kitoko Chargois

https://vimeo.com/282104318

PearlArts Studios PearlDiving Movement Residency Showing
June 10, 2018

In June 2018, my collaborators and I continued work on our project A Letter Compiled from All Letters through PearlArts Studios PearlDiving Movement Residency. The residency provides artists with space to research, explore and play, as well as offering production support to develop and present new works-in-progress. 

Concept Maree ReMalia, Gigi Gatewood, and Lillian Cho
Director Maree ReMalia
Movement Maree ReMalia in collaboration with the performers
Performers David Bernabo, Lillian Cho, Gigi Gatewood, Moriah Ella Mason, Maree ReMalia, and Jil Stifel
Projection Design by Gigi Gatewood and David Bernabo
Soundtrack Design David Bernabo
Stage Manager Ally Ricarte
Video Documentation Louis Cappa
Photo Documentation Kitoko Chargois
Letter Contributions by Ann, Anna, AnnaJo, Candace, Courtney, Dee, Ditty, Donnie, Heather, Huirong, Jen, Jim, Jose, Keri, Lorenzo, Lynn, Megan, Michael, Pam, Paul, PinLing, Rachel, Sarah, Taylor, Will, Zac
Special thank you PearlArts Studios team, Siena College, letter contributors, cast and collaborators, Burch Fisher, Cathy and Robert Gatewood, Anders Johnson, Kelly Strayhorn Theater/The Alloy Studios, Adil Mansoor, Michael J. Morris, Lola Sadai, ShaQjuan Tyler, Point Park University Modern III, VII, VIII students.

image_6483441-4
KST Fresh Works Residency Showing | photos Nancy Andrews & Maranie Rae + Kelly Strayhorn Theater

Kelly Strayhorn Theater Fresh Works Residency Showing
December 1, 2017

In November 2017, my collaborators and I began working on the project A Letter Compiled from All Letters through Kelly Strayhorn Theater’s Fresh Works Residency. The residency provides artists with space to research, explore and play, as well as offering production support to develop and present new works-in-progress. 

Concept Maree ReMalia, Gigi Gatewood, and Lillian Cho
Director Maree ReMalia
Movement Maree ReMalia in collaboration with the performers
Performers David Bernabo, Lillian Cho, Gigi Gatewood, Moriah Ella Mason, Maree ReMalia, Jil Stifel, and ShaQjuan Tyler
Projection Design by Gigi Gatewood and David Bernabo
Soundtrack Design David Bernabo
Production Manager Shane Richardson
Lighting Matt Washil
Video Documentation Stefano Ceccarelli + Kelly Strayhorn Theater, Anders Johnson
Trailer Gigi Gatewood
Letter Contributions by Ann, Anna, AnnaJo, Candace, Courtney, Dee, Ditty, Donnie, Heather, Huirong, Jen, Jim, Keri, Lorenzo, Lynn, Megan, Michael, Pam, PinLing, Rachel, Sarah, Taylor, Will, Zac
Special thank you Kelly Strayhorn Theater/The Alloy Studios Staff and Production Team, Siena College, letter contributors, cast and collaborators, Burch Fisher, Cathy and Robert Gatewood, Anders Johnson, Adil Mansoor, Michael J. Morris, Lola Sadai, ShaQjuan Tyler, Point Park University Modern III, VII, VIII students.

Advertisements