Mill Town Memories
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Here’s a terrific video of the highlights from Mill Town, our site specific, community-based performance installation set in the Bates Mill Complex in Lewiston, ME. The collaborative team worked together for six weeks to realize the production. Our community partners included Platz Associates, Museum LA, The Dance Center, Bates Mill Complex and DaVinci’s. Mill Town featured 49 performers including 9 professional dancers, 17 local teens, 9 local dance students, and 17 Festival dancers. The event was comprised of 5 sections :
- Shift (Prologue): Outer Courtyard
- Work: Adjacent Courtyard
- Water (Pass-Through Installation): First Floor Atrium
- Loom: Second Floor Atrium
- Prism (Media and Performance Installations): Third Floor Mill
- Space (Finale): Fourth Floor Mill)
We presented this promenade performance on three evenings, Aug 2-4, 2017 for an incredibly diverse audience of 575. We were thrilled to see many community members turn out who had grown up surrounded by the vast mill spaces of Lewiston-Auburn. Their nearly unanimous reaction was WOW!
A team of seven gifted collaborators including director and choreographer Stephan Koplowitz, composer Todd Reynolds, media designer Shawn Hove, lighting designer Michael Reidy, videographer Ellen Maynard, sound designer John Morrison, and costume designer Melody Eggen have been hard at work for three weeks in the Bates Mill Complex to build Mill Town, an immersive site performance taking place August 3 & 4, 2017. These collaborators along with forty-seven professional and local dancers will animate the courtyard, atrium and expansive mill spaces with movement, sound, video and light. Historical artifacts loaned by Museum LA will be incorporated into a series of nine installations that reflect and reference the textile and shoe manufacturing industry that was the lifeblood of the city for decades. A companion exhibit of paintings and photographs of the mills, Structures + Patterns: The Remnants Of Our Work, will be on display at the Museum LA Gallery.
This large scale project serves as the capstone event for the longtime Bates Dance Festival director, Laura Faure’s 30 year tenure.
Video Imagery with LINK
For some reason, the first link did not get published!
A compilation of video imagery
This is a short video that compiles much of the images that will be utilized in Mill Town as part of the performance/media installation. The footage, captured by Stephan Koplowitz with Ellen Maynard, was shot over a three week period, July-Aug. 2014 and is currently being re-edited for specific media/perforance installations inside the historic Bates Mill where the performance will take place.
The Bates Dance Festival will produce Mill Town Memories, a performance event directed and choreographed by Stephan Koplowitz in collaboration with Todd Reynolds who will create the sound score and perform live. The two-part work will take place in August 3 & 4, 2017 and be staged along the Androscoggin River that divides the twin cities of Lewiston and Auburn (L/A), Maine, and in the historic Bates Mill Complex. The project presents a portrait of the past, present, and future of L/A, integrating the area’s rich history of immigration and the lingering presence of the textile mills into a hybrid site-specific, installation-based, multi-media performance. Currently, L/A is experiencing an urban renewal, presenting an optimal moment to reflect on L/A’s 150-year history of immigration and change, and to re-imagine the future by animating these performance sites.
Mill Town Memories deepens the collaboration between Koplowitz and Reynolds who began working together in 2008. Reynolds collaborated with Koplowitz on his TaskForce project (2008), a site work throughout Los Angeles, for which Reynolds created six original scores. For years the violinist of choice for Steve Reich, Meredith Monk, and Bang on a Can, Reynolds’ compositional and performance style is a hybrid of old and new technology, multi-disciplinary aesthetic and pan-genre composition and improvisation. Reynold’s distinctive style is a perfect match for this project’s historic span of time. Reynolds will play live violin—the core instrument of traditional Franco music (a significant historical community of L/A)—intermixed with pre-recorded sounds that will be drawn from the site and history of L/A. His responsiveness to place and incredible sound environments will be instrumental in this large-scale site work (spanning almost 320 acres).
The Bates Dance Festival (BDF) is a six-week contemporary dance training, presenting and commissioning program based in Lewiston, ME. BDF serves as a gathering place for a diverse community of dancers and musicians, and an important laboratory for the development of experimental ideas and new work. BDF has a long history of producing community-based, site-specific performance works that engage the history of L/A. Mill Town Memories builds upon BDF’s past community projects by using the artistic process and the performance event to enhance L/A’s ties to its history and present day community. Mill Town Memories will serve as the capstone project to BDF director Laura Faure’s 30-year tenure and as a celebration of BDF’s 35th season.
Part 1 of the project begins along the river, on the connected walking paths and trestle bridge re-purposed for pedestrians and in the large grassy field of Simard-Payne Memorial Park. Reynolds and BDF’s world-class musicians will be strategically placed throughout the site and will create soundscapes that reference the river and interact with the performers. The performance then travels across Oxford St into Bates Mill Complex for Part 2, for which Reynolds ambient score combined with film projections will be used to create a layered sensory experience. Like a living exhibition, the audience will be invited to explore this environment before finally recollecting for a culminating performance.
Start at 01:05. On July 6, 2008, Stephan Koplowitz: TaskForce performed at 4 scenic and historic locations along the 51-mile LA River. The day long event featured original music performed and composed by Todd Reynolds and poems written specifically for these sites by acclaimed Los Angeles poet Suzanne Lummis. This work sample demonstrates Reynolds responsiveness to the space and dance with different sound environs as the performance changes locations along the river.
On July 3, 2008, Stephan Koplowitz: TaskForce created a site-specific performance for the Banning’s Landing Community Cultural Center at the Port of Los Angeles. In collaboration with CalArts Community Arts Partnership (CAP) visual artist-educators and middle school art students from the surrounding community, who created a visual installation as a backdrop. With original music performed and composed by Todd Reynolds, the 3 parts (Part 1 at 00:00, Part 2 at 2:30, and Part 3 at 4:03) showcase his range and responsiveness to the space and dance.
In 2008, Stephan Koplowitz: TaskForce converged on historically, culturally, and ecologically significant sites throughout Los Angeles. This excerpt is an hour-long ambient installation of structured improvisational dance and music echoing the rhythms and sculptural design of the CalPlaza public water court. With original music performed and composed by Todd Reynolds, the work sample is an example of Reynolds and Koplowitz artistic collaborations.
Start and End Dates
06/26/2017 — 08/06/2017