“The good news is there is an abundance of residency opportunities around the world open to dance in general. The bad news is…there is a scarcity of residency programs with the capacity to fully support the specific needs of dance, particularly in the mid and late stages of developing new work.”
-Alliance of Artists Communities
Now in its Third year, ADI’s Incubator program was established as a way to provide resources, time and space to artists in advance of a national premiere.
ADI’s National Incubator is one of only a few late-stage residency programs in existence dedicated solely to the creation of new choreographic works. Designed for choreographers and companies based outside of the DC Metro area, the program provides travel support, housing, unfettered use of tech, a public showing and an artist per-diem/stipend. The National Incubator is currently by invitation.
All Incubator showings are works-in progress.
2013/2014 Incubator Artists
ADI National Incubator
Doug Elkins Choreography, Etc.
ADI National Incubator Showcase
“Doug Elkins is one of the most musical, witty and inventive choreographers of his generation.”
-The New York Times
January 31 – February 1, 2014 at 8:00pm
The irreverent choreographer Doug Elkins returns to ADI (Fraulein Maria, Mo(or)town/Redux, and Scott, Queen of Marys) with a merry band of dancers, actors and clowns to explore the sharp intersections between physical comedy, choreography, flirtation and romance. Expect near misses of physical action and attraction with high flying kicks and turns eliciting a range of emotions.
ADI National Incubator Showcase
From Once Between
April 4 – 5, 2014 at 8:00pm
“When John Jasperse makes a new work, it should be seen: end of story.”
- The New York Times
Everything looks like something. But apparently you can¹t judge a book by its cover. Despite the interplay and disjunction between essence and appearance, all artistic work uses its perceptual surface (what it looks like, sounds like, feels like…) as a means of transmission. The aesthetics of a work of art speak to the value systems of its author(s), which are in turn formed through the construction of such eternally slippery terms as beauty.
Most artists, even those plagued with self-doubt, somewhere deep down think that they are different, that they have something special to say. In some sense this is true: we are all unique. Nevertheless this attitude of uniqueness can also place us as artists to a greater or lesser degree in the position of an outlier–an “other” in relationship to the society at large. I am no exception, yet I increasingly think that this way of thinking, even in its most humble of forms, can fix us in a position of difference in relationship to society which is counter productive. It is one example among many of a focus on what separates us rather than what joins us together as a social whole, which permeates contemporary experience and which gives birth to the partisan mentalities that so strongly shape our world today. On a fundamental level it presupposes that all exchange including artistic exchange is on some level a sparring of ideologies in which someone will win and someone else will loose. Teaching and artistic expression could be viewed as converting someone over to your viewpoint, where your perspective wins and the other looses.
When examined in this light, there is a disquieting relationship to colonialist practices. I am increasingly convinced that these deeply rooted perceptions of our artistic selves as different and special ironically prevent us from accessing true creativity. I have read about the phenomenon of emergence, as explored in the fields of etiology, epistemology and ontology, where structures with radically distinct attributes result from the catalytic interaction of distinct parts that do not share those same attributes. Chemistry is full of such interactions. (e.g. 2 Hydrogen atoms covalently bonded to a single Oxygen atom is a molecule of H2O or Water). Within the field of aesthetic theory, the phenomenon of emergence provides a different model to base an understanding of the nature of authorship as distinct from an ego driven fulfillment of artistic vision or voice. Beyond Otherness (working-title) will use the concept of Emergence to consciously shape choice making in the artistic process of the creation of a new evening-length dance work by lead artist/choreographer John Jasperse, in collaboration with composer Jonathan Bepler.
In order to accomplish this I will examine practices that feel, in my own perception, alternately native and foreign. I intend to do this within dance practices as well as in the greater spectrum of life experience.
This work will start with trying to understand to the best of my ability what excites someone who appears to be very different than myself, but it will also be about dissecting and analyzing the components of my own proclivities. There will be an effort to reduce tendencies to their most simple components. From there I want to see what happens when we abstractly join these together within the process of dance making.
To give an example, I will seek out interactions with persons over the next year who I imagine would likely have radically different socio-political-economic experiences and perspectives than myself and each other i.e. a Memphis jookin dancer, a republican investment banker, a research scientist, a migrant farm worker, a religious monastic sufficiently in the world to make this connection possible and/or a sex worker. I would sincerely try to understand from their perspective (and experience, when possible) what they find exciting. From there I would attempt to break it down into its essential abstract components of energetics, form, dynamics, etc. Basically, I want to understand the aesthetics of that perspective. In tandem to this, I would try and look back through my own history and my current interests to understand what my own aesthetic biases are, to parse them out. From there I would try and take isolated components from each and work with them in combination, to see if there are any possible catalytic reactions where some new attribute emerges from juxtaposition and/or combination practices.
While I am interested in the potential of this approach for success, I realize that there is an ultimate inevitablity of failure built into the proposal. While this approach includes the notion of self in dialogue with other, the self is often strong willed in asserting its preferences despite our best intentions. While the process may aspire towards a utopian ideal, the product of the dance may not wholly achieve this. That said, perhaps this would indicate that the product of the performance could likely never exist as a fixed, achieved entity but rather as a point on a continuum that orients or aligns a continuously aspirant practice. The performance would never be done per se, but rather it would be something that we would be continuously doing.
Composer Jonathan Bepler has a long practice of mixing source material from diverse origins into one composition, where the disparate sources of Scottish bagpipes, children singing, and orchestral scoring retain their individual identities and yet manage to interact together within one composition.
Collaboration with dramaturges who are rooted in other aesthetic traditions is planned and is a critical component of the project. I am also interested in the dramaturgical interactions with lay persons in the field of artistic research–butcher as expert dramaturge of their own aesthetic.