Skybox distills disparate themes and source materials into a densely focused performance installation involving 16 collaborators - including a cast of 12 performers, lighting design by Thomas Dunn, and sculptures by Diana Puntar. This project is co-presented by New York Live Arts and Pioneer Works and will be presented at Pioneer Works, October 20 and 21 at 7:30pm and October 22 at 6:00pm.
Skybox opens where my previous work, ARENA, left off - a mysterious environment gleaming from reflective material and marked by stillness. Throughout Skybox, dancers undergo a transformation into anachronistic materials and forms - ancient statuary, 1st Century Roman frescoes, and figures from a mannerist painting; eventually the performers visualize the space as a vast co-ordinate plane where they are able to plot trajectories through space. By combining 26 modular choreographic phrases into multiple sequences Dancers traverse past time/space territory ultimately leading the performance into an exploration of futurity and the infinite.
Skybox is a site of collaboration between myself and 12 dancers who I have given specific instructions to execute a proscribed performance structure. At the start of Skybox my directions are carefully followed but ultimately the scene unravels - dancers gain increasing autonomy and power to generate their own individual choreographic narratives.
Thomas Dunn is creating a lighting installation tailored to the architecture of Pioneer Works vast performance space.
Diana Puntar is creating several interactive sculptural pieces including a 10' high mobile "low-rider/spacecraft" sculpture that will loom over the dance floor and roam the performance space dispensing large sheets of reflective mylar. in addition, 9 smaller sculptures will be attached to the dancers to be worn as interchangeable costumes and headpieces. Dundervill and Puntar's collaboration will continue with a new installation slated for 2018.
Choreography, Costumes, Visual and Sound design: Walter Dundervill
Performers/Collaborators: Tyler Ashley, Biba Bell, Kim Brandt, Nicole Daunic, Liliana Dirks-Goodman, Camilo Godoy, Lily Gold, Shantelle Jackson, Kevin Lovelady, Athena Malloy, Diana Puntar, Jeremy Roland, Eli Tamandong, and Sarah White-Ayón
Sculptures, Visual design: Diana Puntar
Lighting design: Thomas Dunn
Skybox is the culmination of a practice begun four years ago with my previous work ARENA. 9 dancers occupied ARENA while I built up and broke down a constantly changing environment of fabric, costumes, plexiglass, and cardboard. The dancers and I developed a practice of collective visualization within which they would gradually forge their own narratives by responding to the stimuli of the ever changing environment around them.
The costumes in ARENA began as a reference to a reference - specifically the 18th century French Empire’s obsession with the ancient Roman Republics use of thinly draped fabric but ultimately encompassed an exploration of how antiquity has been represented throughout art history, film and popular culture ranging from neo-classicism to kitsch. Skybox continues to build on my previous investigation. in 2016, a generous grant from the Foundation of Contemporary Arts allowed me to travel to Rome and Naples for the first time where I had the opportunity to draw directly from the source, frescoes and ancient roman marble sculpture. A previous trip to the Prado in Madrid, led me to Bartholomeus Sröbel's late mannerist masterpiece The Feast of Herod and the Beheading of John the Baptist with its dense layering of figures and fabrics.
This project was commissioned by New York Live Arts as part of the Live Feed creative residency program.
Skybox is co-presented by New York Live Arts and Pioneer Works and will be presented at Pioneer Works October 20 and 21 at 7:30pm and October 22 at 6:00pm.
We are excited for the opportunity to construct this performance in the gorgeous art space of Pioneer Works. We are grateful to New York Live Arts and Pioneer Works in making this production possible.
Tickets and Information
For your generous participation in helping to fund Skybox, we've designed a series of original artworks by Walter Dundervill and Diana Puntar as rewards. These range from artifacts from the costumes and sets to original costume sketches, drawings, a maquette of Puntar's large sculpture, and even an custom garment designed and constructed for you.
Risks and challenges
We are seeking additional funds to supplement the amazing backing already in place from New York Live Arts and Pioneer Works. Your contributions will go directly to cover performer and collaborator fees, production assistants, material costs for Puntar's sculptures, and the rental of a 20' x 40' dance floor that will be installed on top of Pioneer Works concrete floor. Financial support will be used to buy the necessary fabric, ribbon, and translucent vinyl that dancers will be continually dressed, draped, wrapped, covered, and undressed in throughout the course of the performance. It will be used to make headpieces based on the sculpting of hair and drapery in ancient Roman statuary. And, need I say, more silver mylar.
Ultimately your support will help bring this project to completion by teaming with New York Live Arts and Pioneer Works to insure that Skybox is an overwhelming success. In addition to meeting immediate production needs you will also help lay the groundwork for two future collaborations; Walter Dundervill and Iki Nakagawa’s 3-channel video installation of ARENA and Skybox at Harvestworks in December 2017 and Puntar and Dundervill's upcoming installation in 2018.
Thank you for taking the time to check out our page. We hope to see you at Skybox.
- (30 days)