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SPIRITUAL SECULARISM: AN INTERDISCIPLINARY PERFORMANCE INSPIRED BY JOHN LA FARGE

A site-specific dance performance exploring the history of Rhode Island and John LaFarge’s artwork at a historic sanctuary.

Overview

André Daughtry’s evening-length dance and multimedia work, Spiritual Secularism (working title), is an exploration of the birthplace of separation of church and state, using the concepts and artwork of John La Farge, and performed within the Newport Congregational Church, the only surviving comprehensive architectural interior by the renowned American artist John La Farge (1835-1910).

The work consists of an original music composition accompanying live movement, performed by four contemporary dancers, and uses projection mapping technology that will illuminate La Farge’s windows, creating the “stage lighting” for the piece. This illumination of the windows will not only light the performance but will also creatively reimagine and augment La Farge’s full ambitions of the subjective power of light that the audience can witness for themselves.

Characters from Rhode Island’s pre-colonial and colonial past are the main protagonists of the piece: starting with Chief Canonicus of the Narragansett people who sold the land to Roger Williams the original founder of the colony, followed by Anne Hutchinson, and ending with John Quamino an African slave and Newport resident who eventually freed himself from slavery and ultimately died while fighting for American Independence in the Revolutionary war. La Farge’s interior designs, influencing the movement, light design, and music composition, serve as a physical and metaphorical map in which characters/dancers navigate each protagonists’ chapter in time.

With support from New Music USA, the La Farge Restoration Fund, the Newport Congregational Church’s sanctuary and congregation in Newport, Rhode Island, Daughtry will commission Galen Bremer to compose an original score to accompany these performances. The music will serve as an important structure within the piece — to create new harmonic series informed by research into La Farge’s concepts of light, line, and aesthetic, and to create new pathways and sound design within the sanctuary’s space that coincide the the passages of time and movement.

This marks the first collaboration between André and Galen, who in addition to the premiere in Fall 2018, are planning additional lectures and works-in-progress showings in New York, Rhode Island, and California starting in Summer 2018. Bremer will also record the evening length work for release on online in 2019.

Project Media

Cathedral
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Features: André Daughtry

“Cathedral” is an investigation into the relationships of the black male body and Architecture. The film is an experimental geography that attempts to map the connections between power, bodies, history, performance, ritual, and specific sites of architecture in Los Angeles.

Music from ‘Archaea for the Evergreens’ – III
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Features: Galen Bremer

Original music composition by Galen Bremer, commissioned by Anne Zuerner to accompany ‘Archaea for the Evergreens’, a site-specific contemporary dance piece in the Evergreens Cemetery(Brooklyn/Queens, NY, USA) in June 2016.

Music from ‘be-seek-let’
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Features: Galen Bremer

‘be-seek-let’ is a performance for two dancers and two bicycles that examines bodies and bikes as objects, performers, and machines. The piece investigates the relationship between human and apparatus in a world that blurs the line between animate and inorganic, set to an original music composition by Galen Bremer.

Start and End Dates

03/01/201811/30/2018

Location

Newport, Rhode Island

Project Created By

Brooklyn, New York
Galen Bremer is a composer, producer, and filmmaker based in Brooklyn, NY. From 2016-2017, he was the Artistic Director of Dance Films Association, an NYC based arts organization dedicated to the production, presentation, and preservation of dance on camera, and the Producer of the Dance on Camera Festival, which is co-presented annually by the Film…

In Collaboration With

Brooklyn, New York

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