A Letter Compiled From All Letters (work-in-progress)
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Maree ReMalia (PA) collaborates with lens-based visual artist Gigi Gatewood (NY) and performer Lillian Cho (DC) to create the evening-length, contemporary dance work, A Letter Compiled From All Letters. They work with Pittsburgh-based artists David Bernabo, Natalia Gomez, Susan Kuo, Moriah Ella Mason, and Jil Stifel to merge live performance and video works incorporating movement, sound, and text. ReMalia and her collaborators seek creative antidotes to communication that does not always support connection; in our current social-political climate, communication through media and online platforms is often fleeting, inflammatory, divisive, untrue, or highly curated. Behind the scenes and in the rehearsal process, the artists explore how individuals can slow down and interact in honest ways that cultivate a sense of care, intimacy, and curiosity with others. The artists then explore how this type of interaction influences the choreographed work in abstract ways.
To explore the project’s lines of inquiry, in the early phases of creative process, ReMalia and her collaborators invited individuals across diverse identifications from their personal networks and beyond to write them letters sharing significant moments from their lives. These letters were a means for intimately connecting with individuals beyond the artistic team and involving audience in creative process.
The letters also provided source material for improvisational scores designed to generate movement and conducting experiments with video, music, sound, and text. These early experiments have been developed into choreographic material, video content, music tracks, live sound, text, and sketches for set design. These become the materials from which the piece is composed. Research is an integral part of the creative process to develop new ways of communicating through multiple mediums, exploring methods for collaborating, developing vocabulary reflective of the cast, and expressing beyond literal translation. The artists will continue to develop, hone, and refine the work between fall 2018 and spring 2019. Join them for the premiere at New Hazlett Theater in June 2019!
This project is made possible in part with generous support from Amherst College Residency Series, Kelly Strayhorn Theater Fresh Works Residency, Opportunity Fund, New Hazlett Theater, PearlArts Studios PearlDiving Movement Residency, and The Pittsburgh Foundation Creative Development Fund.
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 by Maree ReMalia, Gigi Gatewood, and Lillian Cho
Directed by Maree ReMalia
Movement created by Maree ReMalia in collaboration with the performers
Performed by David Bernabo, Lillian Cho, Gigi Gatewood, Moriah Ella Mason, Maree ReMalia, Jil Stifel, and ShaQjuan Tyler
Videography and Set Design by Gigi Gatewood and David Bernabo
Sound by David Bernabo
Production Manager Shane Richardson
Lighting Matt Washil
Video Documentation Stefano Ceccarelli + Kelly Strayhorn Theater, Anders Johnson
Video Editing Gigi Gatewood
Letter Contributions by Ann, Anna, Candace, Courtney, Dee, Donnie, Heather, Huirong, Jim, Lorenzo, Lynn, Michael, Pam, PinLing, Rachel, Taylor, Will
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, Michael J. Morris, Lola Sadai, ShaQjuan Tyler, Point Park University Modern III, VII, VIII students.