Monday, January 26, 2015

We are working on LOVE this week and the upcoming weeks until Valentine's weekend at Callanwolde!
Learning phrases as a group brought us all together this afternoon. Then playing further with making Josh into this helpless fool of love... He is just doing everything to please us... From Superhero, to hot gangster, to Yogi and the devil... he is in for it all. Being rewarded with a beautiful red lipstick leopard print all over his body.

More fun to come!

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Diagonals, Grids, and 9-points- OH MY!

This week the dancers are back in the studio with Artistic Director Sue Schroeder and Guest Collaborator Amanda K. Miller-Fasshauer to revisit their process of "a world too wide" As per usual with this work, the dancers are whisked away well beyond their comfort zone, abandoning old habits and inhabiting a new type of body intelligence. Although many of us left the workday not knowing whether to laugh or cry, one thing was certain: we are evolving as movers and performers and will present something that Atlanta has never seen from CORE.

"a world too wide" incorporates a variety of elements to construct a new reality, a new world in which the dancers traverse grids, follow diagonals, and work through a system of "9-points" to develop a uniquely expressive vocabulary of movement. Although the show is a few months away, the work requires a great amount of concentration for it to be authentic. 

CPC's newest company member, Kristin D'Addario, has jumped right into the process, utilizing her strong ballet technique and professional experience to become part of this world! Catch her and the rest of Core Performance Comapny in "a world too wide" on March 7, 2015 at the Rialto Center for the Arts. Also follow us on social media and for more information about our other performances in Atlanta and Houston.

Until next time, keep moving!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

CORE at Cucalorus

Thalian Hall
This week, CORE has traveled to Wilmington, North Carolina to participate in the Cucalorus Film Festival. The dancers have created a piece to accompany a film by Company Manager Patton White. Their work will be shown at Dance-alorus, which is the official opener of the Cucalorus Film Festival; during this event, dancers and choreographers will be presenting work that pairs film and dance, shown at the historic Thalian Hall.

Following the show is an after-party at the Bellamy Mansion, where CORE will perform a site-specific work for the guests of the soirée.

Company Member Josh Rackliffe on the steps of Bellamy Mansion

View of Masonboro Sound, as seen from the backyard where the dancers are being housed

Friday, November 07, 2014

Finishing up the first week of rehearsal after our break last week...

We are getting ready for Willmington, NC to participate in the Cucalorus Film Festival specifically the Dance-A-Lorus. Beautiful, intriguing, moving pictures are going to be paired with live movement on stage. We had a blast just playing and getting silly while finding movement structures and meaning for this piece. Letting go and diving into absolute ridiculousness brought lightness, laughter and a quite fun dance.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Houston's Monarch School kicks off its seventh year as part of Dynamic X-Change

At the Monarch School in Houston, the beginning of CORE’s seventh year bringing Dynamic X-Change to their students has been fun and adventurous. Led by CORE's DXC Teaching Artist, local performer and choreographer Leslie Scates, the students at Monarch were thrilled to be having "dance class" with "Miss Leslie" again. The kids have been teaching her Gangnam style and The Wobble, and she's showing them moves from her generation as part of the new flash mob style format we're testing this fall.

This is a true collaboration with the kids and staff at Monarch to create an evolving class structured to facilitate increased interaction and engagement, which can be challenging for these kids, most of whom are on the Autism Spectrum. Nearly all of the students are enjoying the fast pace, repetitive moves, and popular music Leslie incorporates. About her first session back at Monarch, she said, "Eyes lit up and moves started emerging everywhere in the room. We learned to dance collaboratively this morning, which is my favorite sport."

The classes have also moved to a new location on Monarch Campus. They are now in the Living Building which is a freestanding sustainable building. It is solar and wind powered. The space is open, roomy and has doors that open up for outside/inside living. The space is a delight and allows for students that "need to take a break" to sit outside on the decks and still see the class inside.

"I miss dancing and I like how we are doing it again. I like the feeling of dancing and it is really fun." - Monarch student

The Monarch School is dedicated to providing an innovative, therapeutic education for individuals with neurological differences—such as those associated with autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit (hyperactivity) disorder, learning disabilities, Tourette Syndrome, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, traumatic brain injury and seizure disorders. Offering a learner-centered approach that helps students progress in Four Core Goal areas, The Monarch School is a service of the Monarch Institute for Neurological Differences, where we’re shaping lives from the inside out™.

And we're back, plus one!

And we're back! After a restorative and restful week off, we are back and busy in the studio! We haven't wasted a minute getting back in the swing of things - we started with a great class from Sue this morning (with lots of new faces, which we love!) and got right into remounting 'A World Too Wide' which we have had quite a long break from. 

We watched the gorgeous video from the performance in Houston at Miller Theatre, and reminisced on the experience before returning to some movement. The movement journeyed from foreign to familiar quickly and was deepened even more as we began to transfer the work into a new body: Kristen D'Addario! We are thrilled to have Kristen as a new part of our family and can't wait to experience a beautiful new process with her!

The company is also preparing for an upcoming tour to Wilmington, North Carolina where we will be performing at the Cucalorus Film Festival! Check us out Facebook and Instagram for more exciting updates and photos on that! #coredance

Monday, October 27, 2014

Foreign Exchange week: Israel, France, Atlanta, Houston

So last week was full of inspiration! On Monday the company got to take a workshop with the Israeli company Vertigo Dance. After the workshop, we got to visit with them and talk about our experiences on different sides of the world making dances. There are so many similarities in how the work is collaborative between director and dancers and how they explore movement in the studio. There are also many interesting differences like how they sometimes work in a kibbutz and even rehearse there. We were very happy to share the time with them and sad to see them leave so soon. Hope our paths cross again in the near future!

By Wednesday, we flew to Houston with the French choreographers Isabel and Adolfo from Association Manifeste. They performed their "Point of View on the Street Corner: The American Corner" piece outside the Magnolia Ballroom on Friday twice! It was so fun to see people getting off at a bus stop coming upon this wild, crazy, and thoughtful dance. It certainly was a beautiful evening for it too.
I'll never forget how one lady walked up to me to ask about what she was seeing and after watching for 5 minutes she responded, "Now THIS is art. This is how art should be." I'm wondering if she was referring to the fact that it was free and available for everyone to see.

Earlier on Thursday, we previewed the collaborative work we created between CORE & Association Manifeste called "Je Suis/I am" at the French Consulate-General's house. It was a blast! So many people there that night enjoyed the dance AND dancing with us. 
Then on Saturday we performed the full version of "Je Suis/I Am" at the East End Festival. One viewer decided to stay immersed in our dancing by sitting on a bench with us during our character section that took place on the bench. Talk about best seat in the house. 

Hope all of the Houston-ites enjoyed the weekend of French & American dancing!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Celebrating Southern/France: a Petanque and Fried Chicken Party

CORE had a big weekend in Atlanta with multiple performances of “Point of View” and “Je Suis” in collaboration with Toulouse, France-based Association Manifeste: at the High Museum, on street corners downtown, and in Historic Fourth Ward Park as part of the closing day of Art on the Atlanta BeltLine. And because that didn’t seem quite enough for one weekend, CORE co-presented Israel-based Vertigo at the Rialto. Phew!

A weekend that full deserved a party at its conclusion, and party we all did… on the pétanque courts in the back yard of Pearl and Tom McHaney’s home. There’s a bit of a story to how CORE, Association Manifeste, Vertigo, the deputy-mayor of Toulouse, representatives from the French Consulate, and other VIPs ended up in the McHaneys’ back yard Sunday night.

Pearl is director of Georgia State’s Center for International and Collaborative Arts (CENCIA) and Associate Dean for Fine Arts, and has published extensively on Eudora Welty. Tom is Professor Emeritus of American Literature at Georgia State and a William Faulkner expert. And they’re both big-time Francophiles. I learned this last Christmas, when myself and fellow CORE board member Gregory Burbidge (Senior Program Specialist with the Atlanta Regional Commission) were asked by a mutual friend to run as two of the three French hens in a “12 Days of Christmas” run on Christmas morning. Gregory sourced the chicken beak masks. And the wine bottle filled with Gatorade. I took care of the baguette. We each found our own berets. But I was having the darndest time finding French mime shirts. Or, as I’ve learned they’re more appropriately called, French Navy shirts. You know the ones: horizontal white and black/navy blue stripes. Couldn’t find one anywhere. So I put out the word on Facebook.

Pearl McHaney, who I knew from her and Tom’s longtime support of the AJC Decatur Book Festival, got in touch. She had my mime shirts. She and Tom had bought them in France. They were tres authentique. I made sure she understood that we would in fact be sweating profusely in these shirts. She said this was not a problem.

So I made my way to the McHaney’s Decatur home to pick up the shirts, and it was then that I learned they had two pétanque courts in their back yard. Actually, it was then that I first learned that there was such a thing as pétanque. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s very similar to bocce ball, but with metal rather than wood balls. Pearl and Tom told me that they had a weekly pétanque gathering, and that I should come play anytime. I filed this information away.

Months later, Sue Schroeder told me she was looking for a place to hold a cast party when Association Manifest was in town. I knew the pétanque court and the McHaney’s home was the perfect setting. I got in touch with the McHaneys and, as I knew they would, they loved the idea.

If you haven’t met the McHaneys before, well, that’s a tragic omission in your life. They are two of the most fascinating and friendly people you’ll ever meet. And on Sunday night, after we’d all had a very full weekend, they welcomed us warmly to celebrate. Five nations that I know of (and undoubtedly some that I missed) were represented among the guests (France, Israel, Germany, Ghana, and the U.S.).

Dancers did pirouettes and leaps on the pétanque court in preparation for their throws. CORE company manager Patton White turned out to be a natural at the game. One of the Association Manifeste choreographers was a ringer for his team. I managed to score one point during my time on the court. A minimum of three languages echoed off the trees. Pearl and Tom taught and coached and refereed the games. We all feasted on chicken and Tom’s homemade pimento cheese. We drank wine and looked back with more than a little wonder at all that this overflowing weekend of art had managed to hold.

Our thanks to the McHaneys for a magical night!

Tom Bell, Board President at CORE