Guest artists Maree ReMalia, David Bernabo, Lillian Cho and Gigi Gatewood will present their work-in-progress, A Letter Compiled From All Letters, a new evening-length dance work merging live performance and video projection with movement, music, text and a modular set, which began with letter-writing. Collaborators Maree ReMalia (choreographer/director), Gigi Gatewood (multimedia artist) and Lillian Cho (performer) wanted to investigate connection and communication in an era of digital media. So they asked friends and acquaintances to write them letters sharing moments of significance or how communication has changed with digitization. The answers were profound, mundane, absurd.
They are working with Pittsburgh-based artists David Bernabo, Natalia Gomez, Susan Kuo, Moriah Ella Mason and Jil Stifel to explore how this correspondence cultivates a sense of intimacy with others and the ways this type of interaction influences the choreographed work. Aspects of the letters influenced the development of improvisational scores designed to generate movement and experiments with video, music, sound, text and set design for the work. The portrayals in the live performance are abstracted and nonlinear. As the project grows, the performance migrates between almost-pedestrian and semi-virtuosic. It toys with the distance between carefully curated virtual selves and true realities.
The project premieres at New Hazlett Theater in Pittsburgh, Pa., on June 14–15, 2019, as part of a pilot program aimed to support artists who are shifting beyond emerging status. New Hazlett Theater will support the project with venue rental, production assistance, staffing and marketing, while ReMalia raises funds for artistic expenses.
"Special thank you to Amherst College theater and dance department. This project is supported in part by New Hazlett Theater, Opportunity Fund, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (a state agency), The Heinz Endowments Small Arts Initiative, The Pittsburgh Foundation Investing in Professional Artists Program, Amherst College Theater and Dance Department Guest Artist Series, Kelly Strayhorn Theater Fresh Works Residency and PearlArts Studios PearlDiving Movement Residency." --Maree ReMalia
This event is part of the Fall Guest Artist Series and is sponsored by the Amherst College Department of Theater and Dance and the Eastman Fund.
Photo by Kitoko Chargois