in the shelter of the fold / epilogue
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Doug Varone and Dancers perform “in the shelter of the fold / epilog” at BAM June 6-9, 2019
Doug Varone and Dancers (DOVA, Inc.) performed in the shelter of the fold / epilogue from June 6-9, 2019 at BAM Fisher (Fishman Space) in New York City. The four evenings were sold-out; the combined attendance for the run was 880. Support from New Music USA made it possible for DOVA to perform to live music for the first time in its 33-year history. The Bang on a Can All-Stars, PUBLIQuartet, and Lesley Flanigan performed music by Michael Gordon, Kevin Keller, David Lang, Raz Mesinai, Julia Wolfe, and Flanigan, herself. Also contributing to the production were lighting designers David Grill and David Ferri—costume designer Liz Prince, and sound designer/engineer Andrew Cotton. Dancing were DOVA’s core company—Courtney Barth, Hollis Bartlett, Bradley Beakes, Jake Bone, Whitney DuFrene, Hsiao-Jou Tang, Aya Wilson, and Ryan Yamauchi. They were joined by guest dancers Ross Honaker, Dequan Lewis, Paulina Meneses, Amber Morgan, and Paul Singh. For field, the duet section added to shelter just prior to the BAM performances, Barth was joined by Doug Varone.
The BAM run constituted the NYC premiere for the two companion pieces in the shelter of the fold and epilogue. They made for rich and varied program. shelter reflected the deep searching and contradictory impulses that accompany communal belief, with epilogue providing simultaneously meditative and ecstatic release. The proximity of the musicians to the dancers (either directly behind them or, in the case of Lesley Flanigan, down-stage center) as well as the variations in the musical performances from night-to-night, proved deeply inspiring to DOVA’s dancers—making their movement all the more gripping and fresh.
Like the best artistic projects, the BAM performances of in the shelter of the fold / epilogue unleashed new creative possibilities and collaborations. Dequan Lewis, after appearing as a guest dancer in June, has joined Doug Varone and Dancers as a fulltime company member. Varone, pleased with the outcome of this New Music USA-funded project, is already shaping a new piece that includes a live string quartet and chorus on stage with DOVA’s company as well as 19 guest dancers.
For more about the DOVA’s June 2019 BAM performances, please read Cindy Sibilsky’s review in Broadway World. Here’s the link:
Created for 13 dancers and three live music ensembles, the seven dances that make up in the shelter of the fold /epilogue comprise an inquiry into public and personal acts of faith—traditional and secular uses of prayer. in the shelter of the fold /epilogue explores the multitude of expectations inherent to belief and questions our spiritual means of coping, attaining states of realization, and making conflicted choices. To whom are we speaking and what are we asking for? Is this a mystical or spiritual experience, or is it simply a dialogue we’re having with ourselves? Why do we seek assurance from the unknown?
in the shelter of the fold / epilogue will have its New York City premiere at BAM Fisher, June 5-8, 2019. Each of the seven sections is set to its own musical score:
“horizon” (Lesley Flanigan’s Sleepy);
“folded” (Julia Wolfe’s Believing);
“shelter” (David Lang’s Child);
“enter,” (Michael Gordon, TBD);
“mass,” (Raz Mesinai’s La Citadelle);
“hope,” (Kevin Keller’s Hope); and
“epilogue” (Lesley Flanigan’s Hedera)
Individually, the sections articulate a perspective, direction, or approach to faith. The accompanying pieces of music were selected by Varone for particular qualities that would (1) evoke each dance’s state of belief and (2) guide its choreographic structure.
Bang on a Can All-Stars will perform works by Wolfe, Lang, Gordon, and Keller. PUBLIQuartet will perform Mesinai’s La Citadelle. Lesley Flanigan will perform Sleepy and Hedera. The ensembles will play from different locations in the performing venue: Bang on a Can, from a raised platform behind the dancers; PUBLIQuartet, from the theater’s balcony; and Lesley Flanagan will be located among the dancers. The size of the Fisher space, and the way Varone is configuring it promotes a sense that there is no division between the musicians and dancers—engendering an all-inclusive environment for everyone in the room.
Expressing their interest in the project, the Bang on a Can All-Stars note, “We always like to reach new audiences with New Music, especially the compositions of our founders—Julia Wolfe, David Lang, and Michael Gordon. Varone’s choreography, with its sweep and intricacy, integrates well with our artistic vision. Working alongside his dancers gives us a fuller sense of what our music can propel.” Leslie Flanigan comments, “This staging strategy ties together music and dance in physical space and physical creation. Both music and dance are performed by the human body and I believe this performance will meaningfully connect sound, body, gesture, breath, pulse, movement and voice.”
Describing the overall flow of the evening, Doug Varone notes: “As heavy, intense, and thick as in the shelter of the fold is, epilogue feels as if it is an alternate universe of lightness and air. It’s as if at the end of in the shelter of the fold, everything has been released and in epilogue we are allowed to look at the universe in a completely new way.”
from Doug Varone and Dancers’ IN THE SHELTER OF THE FOLD: “folded” (duet) with music by Julia Wolfe; and “shelter” (trio) with music by David Lang.
Cues: 41:27 for “folded”; 51:20 for “shelter”. The two dances play back to back.
Doug Varone and Dancers’ EPILOGUE , with music composed and performed by Lesley Flanigan.
By the time of the BAM performance, the piece will have been reconfigured to have Lesley Flanigan & her electronics at the center of the dance.
From Doug Varone and Dancers’ IN THE SHELTER OF THE FOLD, “Mass” with music by Raz Mesinai
Cue: 27:20, play for 10:00 minutes.
Start and End Dates
06/05/2019 — 06/08/2019
Brooklyn, New York