Dance, visual art, sound, and photography come together in Armations: Activating Adaptation, a collaborative work by professors Nicole Sao Pedro-Welch, Cynthia Roberts, and Miles Warner, with the Endicott Repertory Dance Ensemble. The futuristic creation depicts a time and place in which the environment is unfamiliar to its inhabitants, raising questions about sustaining the world and adaptation. The show premieres at Rose Performance Hall, Walter J. Manninen Center for the Arts, Endicott College, 376 Hale Street, Beverly on, at , and , at . Tickets are $10 general admission, and free for Endicott ID holders.
In Armations: Activating Adaptation, the dancers respond to the space of a kind of super world, where technology and the natural world collide. Wing-like forms are worn and utilized, operating as both armaments for the future, and vestigial limbs indicating a memory of the natural world. In this way, dancers are asked to define the space, and create or suggest a metaphor for the audience, as their experience is played out through a series of vignettes.
Populating this super world, are structures suggestive of urban forms, with which the dancers interact and investigate through motion. By combining organic and formal visual elements, dancers and audience are confronted with the detritus of our natural world as well as of our technological world, and challenged to explore this interaction.
Influences as divergent as H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, Robert ParkeHarrison, and Theo Jansen’s Strandbeest, interact with imagery from NASA’s International Space Station, yielding a dynamic, interactive experience —a contemporary happening in a formal dance setting.
“This show is becoming more than I could have imagined,” said Choreographer and Director Nikki Sao Pedro-Welch, who serves as the Coordinator of Dance at Endicott College for five years. “The dancers’ movement qualities with background images are breathtaking, and I am extremely grateful to be a part of it. We are using dance as an avenue to express concerns about our world as we know it—the ‘what ifs’ - and how we relate to each other when the identity we once knew is no longer.”
Visual Artist and Endicott Professor Cynthia Roberts offered this point of view on the work, “Armations builds on ideas Nikki and I investigated in two previous collaborations, as well as individual explorations such as a work I created with the French dance company LaBaZooka, performed at the André Malraux Museum of Modern Art. Together, we have explored notions of flight, formation of emotion, and ideas around what is individual and social memory. I’m so excited about our new work Armations, where we investigate the idea of adaptation in a world where old forms are colliding with the super fast transfer of information; where nature becomes both an object of beauty and necessity; and where the individuals explore what is divergent, and what is collective. It’s like a new kind of tribe is being formed live on stage in real time—and their challenge is to survive.”
This show features a guest performance by Monkeyhouse Dance Company, as well as musical pieces and live harp and cello instrumentation by Lily Press and Simon Gerstein. Re-mixing and soundscapes are further developed by Robert Guay. The producers offer special thanks to NASA, Commander Kelly, Larry Volk, and Steve Liss.
The program is yet another example of how Endicott College students explore their interests in dance, music and theatre. The School of Visual and Performing Arts sponsors the Jazz Band, Dance Ensemble, Endicott Singers, the student a cappella group ECHO, Rock Band, and the Chamber Ensemble. Furthermore the School maintains special relationships with the Boston Ballet, Boston Children’s Theatre and Symphony by the Sea.
Tickets are $10 general admission, and free for Endicott ID holders. The price of admission includes delicious desserts and soft drinks for enjoyment after the show. Tickets can be reserved at www.endicott.edu/
Promotional Video for Armations: Activating Adaptation can be watched here: https://vimeo.com/145319842