The Cutouts (Matisse)
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The Cut-Outs (Matisse) photo
Photo of our performance of The Cut-Outs (Matisse) at the Anderson Collection on March 14, 2019. Photo © Harrison Truong.
The project we are presenting titled, The Cut-Outs (Matisse) features choreographer Molissa Fenley, poet Bob Holman and composer Keith Patchel. Bob Holman writes The Cut-Outs (Matisse) and sets his spoken word to music by Keith Patchel. Molissa Fenley choreographs dance to the words and music; all is presented together in live performances.
We premiered this piece March 14, 2019 at The Anderson Collection, in Stanford, CA, and plan to have an East Coast premiere performance at Howl or the Bowery Poetry Club, both in New York, NY later in 2019-20. A subsequent performance is scheduled for March 14, 2020 at the Mills College Art Museum in Oakland, CA.
We are working on this project because Bob Holman and I have a long history of collaboration. Our dance and poetry pieces have been presented since 2008, and ten years later we felt it was time to create a new work to celebrate. We firstly met at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, artists’ residency in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. That first meeting resulted in STEP, a work read by Bob standing among the nine dancers, his words reflecting, auguring, considering the actions of the dance. Further exploration continued with Double Beginning, where again after visits to the rehearsal studio a work of words was invented to accompany in rhythm, in idea, in inspiration. Most recently, Bob and Molissa collaborated on Rue Surf, where the words and the dance were inspired by paintings by artist Roy Fowler and performed as part of the painting exhibition.
The poetry is written to/from the famous cut-outs by Matisse, the music reflects the joy of that writing and adds its take on the art, the dance considers the writing, the music, the art and combines with an exuberance of physicality. Together, the dance, poetry and music unleash the humor, poignancy and significance of the visuals. The abstraction of the Cut-Outs comes full force into life as the combination of the arts create a play field for the imagination. Each of the artists involved brings their very particular passion to the mix.
The mix carries themes of high art to rock and roll: the music switches from operatic oratorio to Satie-like invention to the crunch of the composer’s punk guitar. The poetry is of urgency, of relevance; the dance is of physical engagement, the body in the present moment. The mix is of contemporary techniques animating the combination of visual, sound, sequence of physical form.
The joy is inherent in this proposed collaboration of art explorations – art inspired by other art, artists inspiring each other.
For this piece, The Cut-Outs, the poetry is written to/from the famous “cut-outs” by Matisse. The music reflects the joy of that writing and adds its take on the art. Bob Holman is reciting poetry, Keith Patchel has written and composed the music. This was recorded in 2018 in New York.
Molissa Fenley and Bob Holman have a long history of collaboration, their dance and poetry pieces have been presented since 2008. Double Beginning was created in 2010 after Bob visited the rehearsal studio, and a work of words was invented to accompany in rhythm, in idea, in inspiration.
Choreography: Molissa Fenley
Poem: “Step” written and performed by Bob Holman
Performers: Molissa Fenley, Katie McGreevy, Cassie Mey
Performance March 26,27,28, 2010
Venue: Harkness Dance Festival
92nd Street Y, Lexington and 92nd Street, New York
Poem, STEP written and performed by Bob Holman
Choreography: Molissa Fenley
Dancers: Kristina Berger, Molissa Fenley, Wanjiru Kamuyu, Katie McGreevy, Cassie Mey, Elisabetta Minutoli, Paz Tanjuaquio and Alyssa Lee Wilmot
Created at the Atlantic Center for the Arts where both Bob and Molissa were in residence in 2009. Bob watched rehearsals of the work underway taking notes of phrases spoken during the choreographic process, directions taken, relationships expressed, movement described. These notes were then translated into the poetic form.
Start and End Dates
03/14/2019 — 04/30/2020
New York, New York