artistic process | Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts

artistic process

Daily Recap: Thursday

Thursday, the final day of the Under Construction Arts residency, was focused on new creation, reorganization as well as the Facebook livestream that evening.


The morning began with Megan Bridge and dancer Tyra Jones-Blain arriving before everyone else to choreograph a new solo for Tyra to be used that evening. Megan wanted to add the solo because it allowed her to introduce some of the material that appears later in the work and allows the audiences to more properly enter the evening.


 A note received from a viewer of the Wednesday night Livestream spurred Megan to rethink the order of the pieces that had been created for The Alt.terre. She realized starting with the pieces that focused more on presence allowed the night to flow in a more logical way. It became a more deliberate and gradual flow for the night. This required time to practice the new order and build transitions.

Megan worked with the technical team on lighting, camera angles and music transitions in preparation for the final Livestream which went off successfully. The final presentation showed all the work created over the last week and ended with a moderated dialogue about the whole experience with Megan and the dancers.


A major storm had run through Annapolis during the performance and we were all greeted with a stunning rainbow when we departed Maryland Hall for the final time.

A very special thank you to the performers from Fidget and the Annapolis community for participating in this inaugural Under Construction Arts residency.

Daily Recap: Wednesday

We opened Wednesday morning with another interview recording. This time we focused on one of the major underlying themes of The Alt.terre: presence and altered states of consciousness. The conversation flowed through the research done for the piece and Megan’s own history of exploring presence in her choreographic practice.

A majority of the day’s work was spent preparing for that evening’s work in progress live stream. Megan worked with the dancers to hone in specific movements and made sure they felt comfortable with the material that was created throughout the week. Two distinct worlds of The Alt.terre have taken shape over the residency and in preparation for the showing, Megan and the dancers created a choreographed segue between the two sections to create one cohesive structure.

As the rehearsal day came to a close, Fidget and the Maryland Hall tech team experimented with lighting, camera angles and music transitions for the livestream.

The evening’s Facebook Livestream went off without a hitch. Audiences were encouraged to watch the work created and look specifically to see how they felt about the transition between the two distinct worlds and whether they noticed any of the performers really embodying a state of presence during the performance. The evening closed with a brief discussion about the evening’s showing and Fidget’s reaction to the presentation.

 

Daily Recap: Monday/Tuesday

Under Construction Arts kicked off Monday morning with another interview with Megan Bridge. This time we discussed more in depth what she is trying to accomplish this week in the residency.​

After the interview and dancer warm ups, the Fidget team spent the morning in some structured improv activities in order to build the movement worlds that will inhabit the piece. The worlds have taken the names of ‘particle lines’ and ‘quivering/bouncing’. Each world has a different energy that the dancers inhabit and each world has its own structure and rules the dancers use to create.

They closed the morning exercises by expanding on pieces that were created for The Alt.terre in January/February of this year.

Monday afternoon was spent expanding on the work done earlier in the day. Fidget has found a balance between moments of intellectual/structured development and improvisational work, finding that switching between these different creative energies allows the dancers to balance their energy while both building movement and exploring presence.

On Tuesday Megan encouraged the dancers to build a phrase on their own. She showed them three movement ideas and told them that she wanted them to travel in space, exhibit certain movement qualities (weight and momentum) and asked them to build it for 16 counts. This is what the dancers created:

After lunch the dancers and the Maryland Hall team did a Facebook Live test to prepare for our scheduled livestreams on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Not only did this allow us to practice our sound and camera angles, the dancers were able to watch a video of their work and learn from it.

We closed the day out by working specific movement sections to allow different dancers to inhabit different roles in the piece.


Daily Recap: Saturday/Sunday


The Fidget dancers arrived in Annapolis early Saturday evening. After checking into the Westin, the crew met at Maryland Hall for a walking tour of downtown.


After strolling down to city dock, the artists enjoyed Dinner Under the Stars at Tsunami on West Street before turning in for the night.

Megan Bridge, Co-Director of Fidget, arrived at Maryland Hall first on Sunday morning to record an interview about her company and the project, The Alt.terre she will be developing in Annapolis this week.

Here is a quick introduction to the team that is visiting. All performers engaged in the Temple University Dance program. The Alt.terre is a part of Megan’s MFA thesis.

 "Royalty Free Music from Bensound"


The rehearsal day was split into two blocks. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. The morning workshop was focused on improvisational play and trying to embody different movement worlds.

A special thank you to Preserve Restaurant for providing lunch and dinner for the artists during their stay in Annapolis.

Afternoon rehearsal was focused on building structure for the dance. Instead of Megan choreographing the movement for the dancers, the collective worked collaboratively through a structured ‘game’ to develop content.

 

The day wrapped with the development of about 4 minutes of material that the company can use and refine for The Alt.terre


Under Construction Arts: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Creative Process Through Dance

 

Photos from Fringe Arts by Kevin Monko

This week we are launching a new program at Maryland Hall called Under Construction Arts, a week-long residency that will become an annual and ongoing project to celebrate the artistic process.

In this inaugural developmental residency, we will work with Philadelphia based company Fidget, a platform for the experimental, collaborative work of Megan Bridge (choreographer) and Peter Price (composer/video art). Fidget is a think tank for research and discussion, offering historical, political, and philosophical access points for a deeper understanding of the art. Maryland Hall will share their development process on a new artistic piece, The Alt.terre, with our community and provide opportunities for you to connect with the creative process.

Under Construction Arts focuses on the artistic process, hosting and highlighting work in progress in order to build a deeper connection between artists and audiences. There will be opportunities for digital interaction with dancers through feedback on performances and daily group conversations.

You will be able to follow the entire process here, on this blog, with daily recaps, videos, and more. We will also be sharing throughout the week on our Facebook and Instagram accounts.

  

(left) Photo by Kevin Monko from Fridge Arts (middle) Photo by Ryan Collerd, courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art (right) photo by Kevin Monko from Fridge Arts


Save the dates for two Facebook Live events:

Wednesday, June 24 at 6:30pm we will share a work in progress showing and solicit your feedback on different aspects of the work.
SET A REMINDER ON FACEBOOK

Thursday, June 25 at 6:30pm we will present a final look at what Fidget created in their time in Annapolis as well as discuss the importance of supporting the creative process now more than ever
SET A REMINDER ON FACEBOOK

Under Construction Arts is a part of how Maryland Hall envisions gathering people together again in our new environment. We encourage you to read our Call for Artists and see how we plan to activate our space through the summer and into the fall.


 

Photos by Kevin Monko from Fridge Arts

The Alt.terre - The Alt.terre is a multi-sensory performance experience that uses dance, music, video projections, and architectural lighting design to construct an uncanny world. Performers dance along the line where deeply embodied movement practices tip into alternate states of consciousness. Tension grows between the warm, generous presence of the dancers and a crisp, post-human aesthetic.

The Alt.terre Concept & Background
Dance and performance can catalyze altered states of consciousness, for both performers and audience. Many dance practitioners talk about performance presence as if they are brought “to another place” in the moment of performance, and share stories of profound or life changing experiences through the act of performance. Where do dancers “go” when they enter an altered state of consciousness? What happens, and what is brought back? Where do audience members go when they experience being profoundly moved or have an epiphany in response to a performance or any artistic experience? The Alt.terre grows out of all of these questions.

The Alt.terre creates a holistic experience for audience members—sonically immersive, visually inviting, and relational. The concepts of hospitality, generosity, and presence are central concerns in this work.

The Alt.terre is also a play on the words “altar” as a place of reverence, focused attention, and worship, and “alt-“ (meaning other) and “terre,” the French word for ground or earth. Magic, artificial or other-worldly intelligence, and the uncanny are all conceptual underpinnings of this work.


About Fidget

Founded in 2008, Fidget is a platform for the experimental, collaborative work of Megan Bridge (choreographer) and Peter Price (composer/video art). Bridge and Price have created more than twenty original works that involve live performance, sound, and visual design. Fidget is a think tank for research and discussion, offering historical, political, and philosophical access points for a deeper understanding of the art. In 2009, Bridge and Price opened Fidget Space, a warehouse live/work space and experimental performance venue in Kensington, Philadelphia, which serves the arts community by providing education, space, production support, employment and internship opportunities for local artists. Central to Fidget’s mission is decreasing the distance between art and life, and between theory and practice.

 

(left) Photo by Ryan Collerd, courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art  (right) photo by Daniel Kontz

 

 


Megan Bridge (choreographer) is an internationally touring dance artist, producer, and scholar based in Philadelphia, USA. Her choreography presents formalist structures that are populated by somatically generated, often improvisational movement material. She is particularly interested in the historical lineages and discursive frameworks that situate her work. Bridge has worked with choreographers and companies such as Group Motion, Steve Paxton and Lisa Nelson, Jerome Bel, Willi Dorner, Lucinda Childs, David Gordon, and Susan Rethorst. Deborah Hay, Manfred Fischbeck, Brigitta Herrmann, Erin Manning, and Merian Soto have been major influences. Bridge is currently a graduate fellow in the Dance Department at Temple University in Philadelphia, where she is pursuing her MFA.  

Meghan Frederick (performer) is a dance artist based in Philadelphia, PA. Her choreography has been presented and supported by creative residencies throughout New York City and the Northeastern United States, most recently by VOX POPULI and Leah Stein Studio in collaboration with Kate Seethaler; Space Gallery (ME), Movement Research (NYC) Brooklyn Studios for Dance (NYC), Arts on Site (NYC), Center for Performance Research (NYC), STUFFED Dinner and Dance (NYC), and The Living Room (ME). Meghan teaches dance to children and adults, as a Guest Artist at Summer Festival of the Arts (ME), and at institutions throughout the Northeast. Meghan was a member of the Brian Brooks Moving Company from 2008-2014 and has recently performed with Liz Lerman, Carlye Eckert, Maya Orchin, Catherine Galasso, and Kendra Portier, and as a guest with SUBCIRCLE Dance Company.

Tyra Jones-Blain (performer) is a recent graduate of Temple University’s dance program. She is currently working as a teaching and performing artist throughout the Philadelphia area. By her sophomore year, she began teaching children and hosting her own adult workshops at local studios. Jones-Blain also participated in Philadelphia's first non-binary performance competition, Mx. Everything. In this 12-week competition, she went head to head with drag queens, magicians, contortionists and ended up taking home the grand prize. She has presented original works in Temple shows, and performed for choreographers including: Dara Meredith, Merian Soto, Laura Katz, Marion Ramirez, Megan Bridge, and Dinita Clark. Dance for Jones-Blain has always been second nature. It exists within her habits, how she talks, how she interprets; It is her soul's playmate. She discovers new things about herself and her environment everyday through the act of dancing, and she loves to share her discoveries with the world.

Rachel DeForrest Repinz (performer) is a New York based dancer, choreographer, teaching artist, and creative director. Rachel received her BA in Dance from SUNY Buffalo State College, and is an MFA candidate in Temple University’s Dance Performance and Choreography program. Rachel has presented her work nationally and internationally, at venues including the biennial Decolonizing Bodies: Engaging Performance conference at UWI Barbados, the 2018 NDEO conference held in San Diego, the 2019 NDEO conference held in Miami, DaCi’s 2017 national gathering, the Institute of Dance Artistry and more. In the past year, Rachel has been honored to perform premiere works by Dr. S. Ama Wray using Embodiology techniques, Merian Soto, Awilda Sterling-Duprey, and as a principal dancer for Enya Kalia Creations among others. Rachel has created works for the UN’s World Water Day, Utah All State Dance Ensemble, the Buffalo State Dance Theatre Company, and more. Most recently, Rachel has returned from Tokyo, Japan, where she conducted fieldwork research on pedestrianism as improvisation in preparation of her upcoming MFA thesis concert, All You Can Eat! 

Peter Price (music) is a composer, electronic musician, video artist and media theorist who creates sonic and visual environments for live performance. His musical compositions, dance films, multi-media productions, and lectures have been presented in Bogota, Warsaw, Kraków, Tokyo, New York, Vienna, Berlin, Dresden, Philadelphia, Istanbul, Johannesburg, Zurich, and the Universities of Basel and Lausanne. Peter’s deepening engagement with digital media technologies/practices and critical theory/continental philosophy led him to study at the European Graduate School (EGS) where he earned his MA and PhD. Peter has published two books of music philosophy with Atropos Press: Becoming Music: Between Boredom and Ecstasy with in 2010, and Resonance: Philosophy for Sonic Art in 2011.

Tiana Sanders (Performer) is a dancer and choreographer from Wilmington, Delaware. She is currently an undergraduate student at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as a dance major, and Delaware Technical Community College as a business major. She trained at Christina Cultural Arts Center also in Wilmington, Delaware, under Dara Meredith. She attended the DCNS Summer Dance Intensive where she’s taken numerous Master Classes with Nationally and World-Renowned choreographers. In 2015, she joined Eleone Connection, under Charon Mapp, and was a part of this company for two seasons. She also taught an introduction to modern and two hip hop classes with Christina Cultural Arts Center’s HeArt Under the Hoodie Program.

Mijka Smith (performer) is a dancer and choreographer from Elverson, Pennsylvania. She has been dancing since age three, primarily trained in ballet, contemporary/modern, and hip hop techniques. She spent her junior and senior years of high school as a dance dual enrollment student and company member at West Chester University while continuing to study, teach, and choreograph at her home studio, Remix Dance Collective LLC in Morgantown, Pennsylvania. Mijka is now studying at Temple University where she pursues a BFA in dance. Since coming to Temple in 2018 she has had the opportunity to perform various works, some of her favorites including Megan Bridge’s Malo as part of the Grounds that Shout! project and Marion Ramírez’s kNots and Nests. Now working as an Administrative Assistant for Fidget, Mijka continues to study, perform, and choreograph as she enters her final year at Temple.

Under Construction Arts is Supported by:

Sallie Findlay and Gene Nelson

Food for artists provided by Preserve Restaurant

Housing for artists provided by The Westin Annapolis

Recording and streaming made possible by the Goldstein-Cunitz Center for Film & New Media

Logistical support for Call for Artists and reopening provided by Katcef Brothers Inc.

Special thanks to Wiley H. Bates Middle School for providing the dance floor

   

Safety

In preparation for the Under Construction Arts residency, the six Fidget artists decreased their non-essential activities for a period of two weeks before their arrival and showed no symptoms of COVID 19 during that period. Maryland Hall has established a separate section of our facility for the activities associated with this effort including a separate entrance for arrivals and departures from that of current building users and contractors working in the space. The Maryland Hall technical team will maintain safe social distancing procedures in addition to other measure to provide a safe environment for these artists to create. The dancers will be performing together in a way they feel comfortable and have mutually agreed to.

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