"Cacophony for 8 Players" is a dance, sound and visual-theater
collaboration between director/multi-media artist Torben Ulrich, composer/musician
and choreographer/dancer Beth Graczyk.
- Its evening-length premiere was Jan. 23-26, 2014, at Washington Hall in Seattle, Washington, USA.
- A 30-minute version was performed at the
Dance+ festivala t Conduit Dance in
Portland, Ore., July 11-13, 2013.
and a 20-minute version at the
Northwest New Works Festival
at On The Boards in Seattle, June 16 and 17, 2012.
- Future performances are planned for San Francisco, Santa Fe and Copenhagen.
Drawing upon historical forms and ideas from theater, dance and music, "Cacophony for 8 Players" explores
collisions in time and space of divergent artistic elements and inspirations. Eight voices of the past press
against each other through the flux of dissonance and possible concordances, weaving fragments of dance,
music and textural audio into an enriching backdrop for a new voice (a peaceful ninth) to emerge.
Applying key texts written by eight prominent figures of the performative arts —
Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham,
Maya Deren and
Pina Bausch — the work is built upon a desire
to honor ideas of history, in a meeting open to both confluence and rebellion, in a structure both deliberate
Joining Ulrich and Graczyk are celebrated dance artists Allie Hankins and, for the
Seattle 2012 performance, Peggy Piacenza. In subsequent
performances, Baldoz also was the fourth performer. The four interplay with four movable body sculptures,
clothed in perforated gut-skin, pointing to the past, still vivid yet deteriorating. While still giving
space to solo forms, this collective structure reflects divergent textures and energies, ricocheting and
meshing like the figures of history.
"Cacophony for 8 Players" begins with a recorded overture composed by Baldoz and featuring Tari Nelson-Zagar on violin. In addition, Baldoz performs live on bass guitar, trumpet, flutes, voice and electronics, dynamically interacting with the dancers as well as with the sculptures, which emanate audio recordings of the historical text-fragments, interpreted by Baldoz, triggered through independent speakers inside the four sculptures.
The sculptures were created by Portland-based visual artists Steven
Berardelli and Micki Skudlarczyk. Lighting design is by Amiya
Brown, costume design by Mark Ferrin, scenic design by Corrie Befort and
video work by Clyde Pedersen.
Very special thanks go to artist Gertrud Parker for early inspiration for the sets.
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