The world premiere of a work is rarely the end of its evolution and in the case of Marksman this was especially true. It’s the first time you’re able to see all of the design elements complete the environment of the dance and understand how the reciprocal energy between the audience and the performers will flow. The information we gathered Marksman’s premiere spurred intense studio research and refinement in the 5 months between Marksman’s first performances American Dance Festival and its New York premiere at The Joyce Theatre in November 2017. This allowed us to continue to develop and refine the movement language of Marksman as well as the powerful collaborative elements of that infuse it. Choreographer Kate Weare, composer Curtis Robert Macdonald, visual artist Clifford Ross and lighting designer Mike Faba experimented and resolved, disassembled and reconfigured, contextualized and simplified, a research process that challenged the skills of the artists involved and pushed their work into new territory.
Continuing in partnership with Gibney Dance Center, Kate Weare Company offered a weekly partnering classes taught in rotation by company members that explored the intricate partnering systems of Marksman. In early fall, KWCo’s first appearance in Guggenheim Works & Process offered the public a lively discussion around the creation process for Marksman as well as excerpts of the dance chosen to reveal aspects of the collaborators’ dialogue and development. This platform provided Kate, Clifford, Mike and Curtis the opportunity to share with audiences the ways that their unique ideas and approaches to this work ignited their collaborative creative process.
With the support of a New England Foundation for the Arts National Dance Project Touring Grant Marksman next toured to American Dance Institute’s final season in Rockville, MD. At ADI, the company was given ample time in the theater that was invaluable in solidifying the evolution of Marksman’s production design elements. Changes to the set and score had space to breathe and settle into the unusual internal rhythms of the dance. The choreography and the score were especially lauded by the press. “Curtis Robert Macdonald’s original score is sparse and otherworldly, with an alto saxophone carrying melodic refrains. A combination of sound design, composition and improvisation, it unfurls deliberately, with plenty of space.” -Theo Boguszewski, The Dance Enthusiast.
Marksman had its New York Premiere at The Joyce Theatre in November 2016 coinciding with a dramatic and gut-wrenching moment in the national landscape, election week . The weekend of shows proved to be a critical success, but perhaps more importantly our incredible dancers – committed to the work and dancing their hearts out – reminded us all of art’s inviolable purpose: to connect us.
“Few dances are as sensual as Weare’s…her dancers generate a heat that seems to come from the glide and pressure and quick brush of skin against skin, and against the skein of air between moving bodies.”
– Deborah Jowitt, Arts Journal Dance Beat
“…those of us lucky enough to attend Weare’s opening were rewarded with the quintessential experience of art – thoughtful contemplation, kinetic exhilaration, and healing.”
– Gus Solomons, Solomon Says
“Marksman is…like a breath: the rush of an inhale, the pause at the top with its acknowledgement of potential, and then the relief of an exhale. It’s a mechanism beyond our control, which motivates and sustains — people and nature inextricably intertwined.”
– Theo Boguszewski, The Dance Enthusiast
“Percussive and ambient, never intrusive, occasionally silent, the sound environment supports the dance without calling attention to itself.”
-Gus Solomons, Jr., Solomons Says.
“When it comes time to nudge your friends past the likes of, say, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater or New York City Ballet, why not gently suggest Kate Weare Company, with its true choreographic rigor and sensuous pleasures, as a good next step?”
– Eva Yaa Asantewaa, Infinite Body