Experimental Dance Film
White Space is the space between- it's a pause, a moment to be observed and savored. In the White Space Project 2012, director Christy O Harris, brings together a dynamic group of NYC dancers along with minimalist composer Ezekiel Honig to create a contemplative modern dance composition designed for digital media.
Dance Cinema is a rather new art form described by the Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema as "film and video work that integrate dance and cinematography". White Space explores with meditative awareness the immediacy of the moment and intimacy of the dancer with high regard to space and light.
O Harris has formed a pick up company comprised of dance professionals based in the NYC downtown dance community. The working method of the dance evolves over time - weaving new technology, communication and digital media into the creation of modern dance. White Space is a virtual dance company where ideas are co-created on the computer, explored individually and then merged in an intensive incubation period in the studio.
The company, comprised of Brandin Steffinsen, Ching-I Chang, Coco Karol, Jennifer Rose, Marcos Duran and Amy Moore, under the choreographic direction of Bill Young and Christy O Harris, converged at Rogue Gallery in NYC in July 2012. The dancers, trained in the most progressive modalities of postmodern dance, are given directions and tasks based on space, timing and shared kinesthetic sensibilities, in relation to each other and the camera. With camera work by Kevin Martin and Oscar Max Johannson and a live sound scape created by Ezekiel Honig using material from his new CD "Folding In On Itself", the artists explored the White Space. What transpired is a delicate and intimate tale of human connection, strength and vulnerability.
A New York City native, Ezekiel Honig creates an idiosyncratic brand of emotively warm electronic-acoustic music. The emphasis is on using electronics to rework, reassemble and redevelop sound - whether it be instrumental or otherwise - from outside the computer, with the hope of finding the best balance of two worlds, and creating something new and unique that has roots in our physical realm, but is abstracted in the digital world. Using the sounds of plastic, metal, wood and air in collaboration with Rhodes, guitar, horns, piano and other instrumental origins, his music is one of contrast and contradiction, combining minimal, abstract tendencies with a core of timeless harmonics - pairing inviting, fuzzy chords with clunky and dirty "mishaps."
The choreography unfolds with a multitude of movement possibilities from complex sequences to the subtleties of breathing. The footage explores the intimacy between the camera and the dancer and captures the detail of time, space and light. The movement aesthetic is a released free flowing style with martial arts / contact improvisation based solo and group form.
The length of the piece will be approximately 30 minutes and is designed for screenings at Dance Cinema Film Festivals worldwide. The funds generated from these efforts will be used to pay the artists, editing, postproduction graphics, sound mastering and marketing for future performances and screenings.
About the Director
CHRISTY O HARRIS (Artistic Director/Producer) is the founder of OLab, a production company dedicated to pushing the limits of choreography and film. O Harris is a movement artist and choreographer known for creating innovative works of dance with lighting and video installations. She is a seasoned video editor with a director's eye for timing and spacing. Her work can be characterized by experimentation, refined simplicity and spontaneous methods of design and direction.
O Harris studied at the University of Colorado at Boulder, receiving a Master of Fine Arts with an emphasis in Choreography and the Alexander Technique. She established a private practice in 1998 teaching Alexander Technique and Dance at Naropa University and CU-Boulder. Her choreographic works are known for experimentation with lighting, video and highly structured improvisational forms. She is committed to achieving excellence in the pursuit of presenting dance through the eye of the camera.
Biographies of the Artists
EZEKIEL HONIG (Composer) has been releasing his productions to widespread critical acclaim since 2003 in publications as diverse as The London Times, Time Out New York, The Wire, XLR8R, De:Bug and every manner of new-media source, being variously described as “stately,” “evocative and impressionistic,” “ornate,” and “an anthill symphony.” The particulars of his approach along with the uncompromising personality of his work have cemented his reputation as a skilled artist, a resonant philosopher of audio and a respected music label curator/manager. His own output has developed hand-in-hand with that of his Anticipate and Microcosm labels, which have steadily been carving out a space for themselves in the crossing paths of club music, slumber music and the many layers in between. Recently, Honig has been concentrating more on teaching, writing, sound design for film, and other art projects. All of these endeavors circle back to his love of simplicity, listening attentively, editing, and structuring the sound around us.
BILL YOUNG (Choreographer) has created over 70 works; his commissions include new works for the Estonian National Opera Ballet, the Zenon Dance Company, Bratislava Dance Theater, the Madach Theater (Budapest), DanceArt Hong Kong, the Core Performance Group (Atlanta), the Wildspace Dance Company (Milwaukee), Compagnie de Danse L'Astragale (Montréal), Teória de Gravedad (Mexico), and Pennsylvania Dance Theater. He has taught in Universities and Festivals in the US, Europe, Latin America and Asia, and has served as a panelist for Artslink, DTW, ACDFA and NYFA.
KEVIN MARTIN (Director of Photography), a devout filmmaker hailing from North Jersey, has been shooting movies almost religiously since he was fourteen. He has worked as a freelance employee for Paul F Harron Studios and an intern for Palm Pictures in New York, as well as on dozens of student films, documentaries, music videos and professional shoots in a variety of departments and positions. His 16mm debut, MARCO POLO, an experimental horror/comedy about the dark and bizarre mysteries of lifeguarding, received awards in several student film festivals across the East Coast and in June 2008 he was granted a cinematography package from Kodak, NFL Films, and Modern Video for outstanding achievement. He is currently developing AMERICAN DANGDUT, a short subject documentary about Indonesian pop artists in America, as well as THE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN BAXLEY, a 20-minute fantasy/drama. Described as passionate, motivated and personable, Kevin wishes to continue dedicating his life to the art of making films.
CHING-I CHANG (Dance Artist) originally hails from Taiwan, where she started her dance training at a young age. She has performed internationally in major cities, in Taiwan, Canada, Ireland and the United States. Ching-I came to America in pursuit of further artistic freedom in 2005 at Shenandoah University and eventually received her BFA in Modern Dance from the University of Utah in 2009. Since then, she has worked with Gesel Mason Performing Project (Mason/Rhynes Productions based in Washington DC), Bill Young (White Space with Christy Harris), Maurice Fraga, Loco 7, HT Chen & Dancers, Kyle Abraham, Michel Kouakou, Yung-Li Chen, Kiori Kawai (Purring Tiger), and the film endeavors of Marta Renzi. Currently she is on the roster at Punchdrunk’s Off-Broadway hit production Sleep No More, and most recently joined Susan Marshall & Company for their 2012/13 season. Ching-I is also the co-artistic director/choreographer of Tipsy Point Projects with fellow artist Kuan-Yu Chen. And she loves bananas.
COCO KAROL (Dance Artist) is endlessly fascinated by the different modes, means and mediums of communication and transformation. She has made collaboration with artists and musicians who speak in entirely different and vast artistic vocabularies, the focus of her choreography and performance work. Likewise, the language of existing or created environments, of installation or site specific stage settings, have excited her imagination. After graduating with a BFA in Dance from Tisch school of the arts she has had the pleasure of getting to work closely with many interesting artists such as the singer Bjork and film collective Encyclopedia Pictura, designer Jennifer Gonzales, director Steven Cook, and magazine Beautiful Decay. Karol is an eager, existing member of Chris Elam's Misnomer Dance Theater, where she also wrestles with themes of communication in its varying degrees of choreographic language. In Addition to performing works at an experimental performance space in Brooklyn, Karol built, called the Petri space—a small petri dish concept, dedicated to experimentation, education, community, and roof top gardening—her collaborations have been shown at D.U.M.B.O Under the Bridge Festival, New York Studio Gallery, Galapagos, Brooklyn Ballet, Death By Audio, and Aunts collective, as well as at some unique community events for neighborhood youth and gardening.
BRANDIN STEFFENSEN (Dance Artist) is a choreographer, producer, and independent dance artist based in Brooklyn. Since moving to New York City in 2005, he has had the pleasure of working with Brian Brooks, Tiffany Mills, Cherylyn Lavignino, Christopher Williams, Lawrence Goldhuber, and Yoshiko Chuma among others. He earned a BFA from the University of Utah after performing the works of Alwin Nikolais and others with the repertory Ririe Woodbury Dance Company of Salt Lake City, Utah. He has toured his solo adaptation of Deborah Hay’s News extensively and currently dances with the Liz Gerring Dance Company and with the lovely Keely Garfield. His Pentamodal Adaptations have been performed at the Harkness 92nd Street Y, the New Museum, Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX) and at AIR on Metropolitan. He facilitates a monthly Underscore, a form developed by Nancy Stark Smith, through Underscore NYC.
AMY MOORE (Dance Artist) is a performance artist, creator, educator, and improviser currently based in Brooklyn, NY. She is a native of central Florida and earned a BFA in Performance and Choreography from the University of South Florida, Tampa. While there she had the pleasure of working with the area’s resident dance company Moving Current Dance Collective and regarding the conclusion of her dance experience in Florida, she reflects fondly on the development and performance of works by Christine Cali, Michael Foley, Mariah Maloney, Donald McKayle, Kristin O’Neal, Andy Noble, Jeanne Travers, Lynne Wimmer, and also several of her unbelievable colleagues. After finding her way to New York City, Amy is honored to have completed her most recent project directed by Christy O Harris and Bill Young, THE WHITE SPACE PROJECT, and also to currently be working with Shannon Gillen + Guests, Cakeface, and Marcos Duran and Dancers. Committed to exploring the edges of life, dance, movement, and creativity, she eagerly anticipates connecting with artists both locally and internationally.
MARCOS DURAN (Dance Artist) began improvising with movement as a teenager in San Jose, California. He acquired a BFA in Dance from UC Santa Barbara in 2006, where he received a Corwin Award in Choreography, co-produced an evening length Honor's Project, and toured as a soloist in Jose Limon's Psalm. He launched into his professional career as an internationally touring company member with Jerry Pearson’s Santa Barbara Dance Theater (twice returning as a guest artist), and as a guest artist with Jean Issac's San Diego Dance Theater, Malashock Dance, and as the videographer for Dance Monks in San Francisco. While still in CA he also performed in the companies of Keith Johnson & Dancers, Stephanie Nugent Dance, Misa Kelly's Sonneblauma Danscz Theater, Gary Master's San Jose Dance Co, and presented work in Santa Barbara, San Diego and San Francisco, via invitations from the Santa Barbara Dance Alliance, Jean Issacs and Benjamin Levy respectively. Now a Brooklyn based dance artist and choreographer, he works with Meredith Glisson and Jenni Hong in addition to making dance performance pieces. Other past NYC performances have been with Risa Jaroslow & Dancers, Christy Harris' White Space Project with Bill Young, Eun Hee Lee, Daniel Charon Dance, Erica Essner Performance Co- Op, Mc Arthur Dance Project, Alex/ Xan: the Median Movement, and in NTUSA's epic Chitaqua! finale by Faye Driscoll. He has presented work at Judson Church through Movement Research, the Brooklyn Rooftop series, the 14th Street Y, The Works Studio, WAX Works, Eun Hee Lee’s NYC Famoso Festival, and the Santa Barbara International Dance Festival.
JENNIFER ROSE (Dance Artist) received her BFA in dance from Temple University in 2006. She also received her training from the Ailey school and Philadanco's second company. Jennifer has toured with Kun-Yang Lin/ Dancers internationally since 2006 and is now a rehearsal director for the company. Jennifer has also danced with Keith Thompson's Dancetactics and has worked in projects with Stephanie Batten Bland, Bill Young, Erick Montes, Malcom Low/Formal Structure, Olive Prince Dance and apprenticed for Stephen Petronio Company. She is curently working with Brandon Colwes and Winded Roof Dance Project and collaborates alongside visual artist Kerry Cox in creating movement installations. Jennifer works as a pilates, yoga and Thai massage therapist in NYC.
OSCAR MAX JOHANSON (Collaborator/Moving Image Specialist) attended Colorado Film and Video Institute in the late nineties. He left the Denver/Boulder area for Alaska and North Carolina only to return in 2006 plying his trade as initially as an editor, and eventually a freelance commercial and narrative video producer. Around this period of time, Max began to make and perform live event visuals around the Mile High City under the moniker "pants". From 2009-2011 he was operating partner of Theory + Practice gallery in Denver’s Santa Fe Art District. He now lives in Asheville, North Carolina with his 16 year old son.
MEG MOODY (Makeup/Stylist) is deeply inspired by the spontaneous arising of creativity and finds that true magic occurs in collaboration. She was raised in a community of visual and performance artists, always immersed in a culture of art as a way of life. Her mother is a makeup artist who encouraged her to take part in every part of a production. She is a model and actress as well as crew and filmmaker. Since childhood she has been part of creating live theatre, dance, musical and visual performances- this has become a defining part of her being. Humbled by the opportunity to offer her visions to the world, she has discovered that her creativity blossoms behind the camera. Producing picturesque environments that are not only visually stunning, but also provocative are her forte. She attended Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado and is a devoted student of the Buddhist teacher Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. Driven to further engage in the arts, she is relocating to live and work in New York City in order to embrace all forms of artistic culture.
LAWRENCE O'TOOLE (Set Design and Art Direction) is known for creating innovative works of architecture, interiors and furniture. He is the founder and principal of the Kauai based firm LOT Architecture and Design (LOT A+D) which is dedicated to the design and production of advanced and responsible built structures, environments and products. Aspiring to Enlightened Design tied to place with inspired spaces and detailing, he works with an essentialist design approach based on context, reduction and sensation. Subtle and rich, his architecture is testament to the discipline of pushing simplicity and clarity to their limits. He elegantly weaves the modern with the past, the exquisite with the ordinary and is well versed in a multitude of aesthetic languages. His Architecture plays with the simplification of form, the equilibrium between enhancing the physical tactile properties of materials, and the calibrated rendering of proportions. This essentialist approach to design is visible on a multitude of scales including his furnishing elements, which become a natural complement to the architecture.
LOT studied at the internationally recognized Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), receiving a Master of Architecture with emphasis in Furniture Design; and is a licensed Architect and Engineer. He established his own practice in 1992 and from the outset the work has focused on ways of approaching fundamental elements of space, proportion, light and materials in a progressive and reductivist manner.
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