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Restagings No. 1: Choreographing LeWitt at Fridman Gallery
Video documentation of the complete 30 hour performance work Restagings No. 1: Choreographing LeWitt
July 23-27, 2017
sound designer Dave Ruder
video and editing Esy Casey
Choreographing LeWitt premiere at Fridman Gallery
Re-stagings No. 1: Choreographing LeWitt
July 23-27, 2017 | 12-6pm
Fridman Gallery | 287 Spring Street
Abigail Levine interprets Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawing #56 (1970) as a choreographic score, taking 25 hours over the course of 5 days to complete the 3,744 lines. Sound design: Dave Ruder. Choreographing LeWitt is the first in the multi-work series Re-stagings, which reads modern and postmodern visual artworks as scores for performance.
Sunday, July 23, 12-6pm
Monday, July 24, 12-6pm
Tuesday, July 25, 12-6pm
Wednesday, July 26, 12-6pm
Thursday, July 27, 12-6pm; Closing Reception 6-8pm
Video Preview | Kncokdow. Center
After a week’s residency, we prototyped Choeographing LeWitt for an invited audience at the Kncockdown Center. Here’s a look at the work in progress, shot and edited by Matthew Bernard.
Work in Progress showing | March 21, 3-5pm
Join us tomorrow for a work in progress showing of Choreographing LeWitt in the monumental main space of the Knockdown Center. We’ll run the piece from 3-5pm. Come by anytime.
LeWitt to Lucier
Last year, I saw the premier of Alvin Lucier’s Palimpsest, performed by Joan LaBarbara with text by Lydia Davis. It was an intimate room, and the performance was stunning in the effects of its clarity and simplicity. (This is, of course, not surprising considering the artists involved.) I wondered if I could translate Lucier’s composition in some way into a choreographic score. What resulted was a week long installation, writing and then erasing parts of Davis’s text in Lucier-specific proportions.
This work is something of a cousin to the LeWitt project, both in its use of choreographed writing and in the transposition of an artist’s score from another medium into dance.
Choreographing LeWitt composer March 3 premier
Join project composer Dave Ruder at Roulette for the premier of his Jerome Foundation commission: The Gentleman Sleeps, a work for five vocalists and five musicians about the congressional session that certified the contested 2000 presidential election results. Legislative procedures make for surprisingly moving poetry!
March 3 @ 8pm
We’re getting ready to go into residency at the Knockdown Center in March. Wall Drawing # 56 has 2870 lines…
Choreographing LeWitt is a durational performance installation by choreographer Abigail Levine and composer Dave Ruder, created by interpreting a Sol LeWitt Wall Drawing as choreographic score. Each line of a Wall Drawing—often thousands of them—is drawn by hand. Historically, the execution of the drawing was unseen, but as LeWitt remarked, the installation process looked quite like a dance. The proposal of this project is to present this dance for the first time.
LeWitt spoke of his instructions, rather than the drawings, as the works themselves. It is a small step, then, to propose to read these instructions as a performance score. By interpreting his instructions in this way, the work’s emphasis shifts from the completed drawing to the act of drawing itself. To further transform the work from visual object to live performance, composer Dave Ruder will create a sonic realization of LeWitt’s instructions, produced live by amplifying and layering the sounds created by the act of drawing. The transposition of LeWitt’s work from visual to time-based media offers the viewer a visceral insight into the internal logic of the Wall Drawing, unfolding in space and time.
Choreographing LeWitt will be performed twice, once in a gallery and once on the waterfront of Brooklyn Bridge Park, as a featured project of Make Music New York‘s citywide festival on June 21, 2015. The gallery installation, performed by a single dancer continuously during gallery hours over an entire week, allows the resonant simplicity of LeWitt’s work to fill a space on its own terms. In the park, the designs and sounds of the abstract composition—performed by six dancers—will be laid out against the city skyline and bustle of urban life, framing and absorbing the city in its performance.
We are working with an exciting group of institutional partners to realize this project. In addition to MMNY’s collaboration, the Marina Abramovic Institute, a center for durational performance, is advising this project and will partner in promotion, individual fundraising, and documention of the work. The Knockdown Center has offered us an invaluable residency in January 2015, where we will be able to construct a wall to experiment fully with the technical aspects of the work and present an in-progress showing. Curator Nina Felshin and LeWitt scholar Erica DiBenedetto are advising the relationship to LeWitt’s works.
In addition to her choreographic work, Levine brings her experience with durational performance, both as a creator and a performer for artists such as Marina Abramovic, Carolee Schneemann, and Pope.L, as well as her successful track record of choreographies for varied public spaces, to bear on this work. Ruder builds from his own electronic compositions and durational performances, as well as his work with award-winning choreographers Joanna Kotze, Dusan Tynek, and Kimberly Bartosik.
LeWitt’s work provides the architecture in which to deeply investigate interdisciplinary work. Each component—choreographic, musical, and visual—become functionally tied to each of the others, the choices of choreographer, composer, and performer each pushing the others into new artistic territory.
Refrain creates a cyclical choreography through the writing of a repeated phrase. A precisely crafted movement incantation, these danced refrains produce visual documents that, like their performance, expands the original phrase through imperfect repetition. ||
Score: Write a single phrase 500 times. Begin in the same place each time. Remain touching the wall while writing. Do not look at the wall while writing. To mark each repetition, move a stone. The installation requires 8 hours to complete.
Performed in darkness, Distance Measures borrows formal elements from mathematical models of chaotic systems. Although not apparent or predictable, these systems are highly structured and confoundingly beautiful.
The dance evolved collaboratively alongside Derek Bermel’s Orbit Design, a musical algorithm for three or more players, which is performed live with the dance. Performed by dancers Aaron Mattocks, Storme Sundberg, and Abigail Levine and musicians Eric Lamb, Alex Sopp, and Derek Bermel.
Music created for Joanna Kotze’s Bessie-award-winning piece “it happened it had happened it is happening it will happen”, premiered at Danspace Project, Spring 2013.
Music by Dave Ruder; all instruments played by Dave Ruder.
Start and End Dates
05/05/2014 — 07/27/2017
Brooklyn, New York