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New music and dance collaboration commission by Julianna Barwick and Jodi Melnick

"Charles Atlas: The Kitchen Follies" revue features new live music for dance by composer Julianna Barwick and choreographer Jodi Melnick

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Composer Julianna Barwick performed live along with choreographer Jodi Melnick and video artist Charles Atlas to create the opening work for The Kitchen Follies.

Posted on August 2, 2018 by The Kitchen

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Los Angeles-based composer and musician Julianna Barwick and New York-based choreographer Jodi Melnick premiered a new collaborative work as part of The Kitchen Follies, a multidisciplinary revue conceived by New York-based filmmaker and video artist Charles Atlas (May 3−5 & 10−12, 2018) in The Kitchen’s theater space. Other participants included musicians The Illustrious Blacks; choreographers Laurie Berg, Stanley Love, and Bessie McDonough-Thayer; and performance artists Johanna Constantine, DANCENOISE, IMMA, and Solo Termite. Described as the ultimate performance art variety show, the sold-out performances brought together Atlas’s long-time collaborators as well as new ones that represent the next generation of performers. The project garnered press attention, resulting in listings and reviews in The Brooklyn Rail, Garage, The New York Times, and New Yorker as well as artist interviews with Atlas in Interview and The New York Times.

 The Kitchen Follies was hosted by New York-based drag performer Tyler Ashley, “The Dauphine of Bushwick,” who interacted with the audience, introduced each 10-minute act, and lip-synched various popular songs each night. Cameras filmed each successive performance live, and Atlas, seated to the side of the stage behind a laptop and mixing equipment, manipulated the footage in real time, projecting the films on three screens above the stage. Collaborating for the first time and presenting the new work on stage, Melnick performed a solo dance of nuanced and fluid movements that melded exquisitely with Julianna Barwick’s layered and luminous music of her own vocals and electronic loops, with Atlas joining Melnick toward the end for a special duet.

Check out the video of the performance and the audio track here.



The Kitchen announces a commission of new live music for dance, a collaboration between Los Angeles-based composer and musician Julianna Barwick and New York-based choreographer Jodi Melnick. This new work will premiere as part of Charles Atlas: The Kitchen Follies, a multidisciplinary project conceived by filmmaker and video artist Charles Atlas as a series of performances in our theater (May 3−5 & 10−12, 2018) that accompany an exhibition of video portraits of contemporary artists in the second-floor gallery (March 28 – May 12, 2018).

For The Kitchen Follies, Atlas will collaborate with numerous choreographers, musicians, and performance artists with whom he has had relationships for many decades—including Johanna Constantine, DANCENOISE, and Stanley Love—in addition to a new generation of artists with whom he will be collaborating for the first time such as Laurie Berg, Monstah Black, and Lazar Bozic. Iconic New York drag queen Lady Bunny will serve as the emcee of The Kitchen Follies.

This new music and dance collaboration commission between Barwick and Melnick—the first opportunity for them to work together—will be unique to the project. Both Barwick and Melnick will perform live, with the possibility of additional dancers and musicians to be determined. Atlas, who is a pioneer in the development of media dance (a genre in which original performance work is created directly for the camera), will use live video cameras to simultaneously record, mix, and project footage as part of their performance.

Composer and musician Barwick uses a machine to create electronic loops around her vocals, crafting layered and luminous music that Pitchfork has recognized as “the best and most artful ambient music being made today.” She has released seven albums in the last ten years and collaborated with artists including Philip Glass, Ikue Mori, Helado Negro, and Yoko Ono. Barwick has worked with Atlas previously, providing music for his live-video mixes at The Broad Museum last year. She recently made original music for BalletCollective that premiered at NYU Skirball Center in October 2017, and welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with another choreographer.

New York City-based choreographer and dancer Melnick is celebrated for her nuanced and fluid movements that explore the drama inherent in physical form. Beginning her career dancing with Twyla Tharp and working with Trisha Brown, Melnick’s own work has been honored with two New York Dance and Performance (Bessies) Awards for sustained achievement in dance, as well as a Doris Duke Impact Award, and Guggenheim Fellowship. She was last commissioned by The Kitchen in 2009 and has subsequently been presented by BAM, City Center, The Joyce Theater, and Danspace Project. Melnick has previously appeared in a film by Atlas, and is excited to work with a new composer.

The Kitchen Follies will undoubtedly be a major highlight of The Kitchen’s 2018 season.

Pictured: Music by Juliana Barwick with Choreography by Jodi Melnick with live video mix by Charles Atlas, The Kitchen Follies. May 3, 2018. Photo:©Paula Court.


Project Media

Julianna Barwick: Nebula (Official Video), 2016
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Features: The Kitchen

Nebula (Official Video), 2016
From Julianna Barwick’s third full-length recording “Will” on Deep Oceans
Music written and performed by Julianna Barwick
Produced by the Philip Johnson Glass House, Irene Shum, Kate Lichota, A Story Well Tod, and Deep Oceans
Directed by Derrick Belcham, featuring a light installation by Derrick Belcham
(5:52 minutes)

Jodi Melnick: Moment Marigold, 2014
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Moment Marigold, 2014
Performed as part of BAM’s 2014 New Wave Festival at BAM Fisher, Brooklyn, NY
Choreography: Jodi Melnick
Performers: Jodi Melnick, EmmaGrace Skove-Epes, Maggie Thom
Lighting Design: Joe Levasseur
Sound: Steven Reker
(54:51 minutes)

DEBUT: Highlights from the performance, October 7-9, 2014
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Features: The Kitchen

An Emily Terndrup and Derrick Belcham Production at the Knockdown Center in Queens, NY.

Set to a vocal arrangement written by Hannah Epperson and performed by Hannah Epperson, Julianna Barwick and Ruby Kato Attwood.

Music Written & Performed By Julianna Barwick, Mauro Remiddi, Hannah Epperson, John Ancheta, Ruby Kato Attwood, Jessie Stein, Reed Smidebush, David Moore, Leigh Stuart, Greg Chodzik, Will Mcevoy, Jeremy Viner, Matt Breiner.

Choreography by Emily Terndrup With The Dancers.

(2:06 minutes)

Start and End Dates



New York, New York

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Last update on August 2, 2018

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New York, New York
Located in the Chelsea gallery district near the High Line, The Kitchen is one of New York City’s most forward-looking nonprofit spaces, showing innovative work by emerging and established artists across disciplines of music, dance, performance, theater, and visual art. Since its inception in 1971, The Kitchen has been a powerful force in shaping the…

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