A Letter Compiled from All Letters

PDMR Artist Showing | June 10, 2018 | Original photos by Kitoko Chargois

A Letter Compiled From All Letters (work-in-progress)
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A Letter Compiled From All Letters (ALCFAL), a new evening-length dance work merging live performance and video projection with movement, music, text, and a modular set, began with letter-writing. Collaborators Maree ReMalia (choreographer/director), 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 or how communication has changed with digitization.The answers were profound, mundane, absurd.

They are working with Pittsburgh-based artists David Bernabo, Natalia Gomez, Susan Kuo, Moriah Ella Mason, and Jil Stifel to explore how this correspondence cultivates a sense of intimacy with others and the ways this type of interaction influences the choreographed work. Aspects of the letters influenced the development of improvisational scores designed to generate movement and experiments with video, music, sound, text, and set design for the work. The portrayals in the live performance are abstracted and nonlinear. As the project grows, the performance migrates between almost-pedestrian and semi-virtuosic. It toys with the distance between carefully-curated virtual selves and true realities.

The project premieres at New Hazlett Theater in Pittsburgh, PA, on June 14–15, 2019 as part of a pilot program aimed to support artists who are shifting beyond emerging status.

This project is supported in part by New Hazlett Theater, Opportunity Fund, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (a state agency), The Heinz Endowments Small Arts Initiative, The Pittsburgh Foundation Investing in Professional Artists Program and Amherst College Theater and Dance Department Guest Artist Series, Kelly Strayhorn Theater Fresh Works Residency, and PearlArts Studios PearlDiving Movement Residency.

KST Fresh Works Residency Showing | December 1, 2017 | 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 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, 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, Michael J. Morris, Lola Sadai, ShaQjuan Tyler, Point Park University Modern III, VII, VIII students.

Universal Letter.