Sunday, February 7, 2010

Architecture + Dancing = Heidi Duckler

Susan Josephs reporting for
Culture Monster, The LA Times Arts Blog, posted the following on Saturday:

For most of Heidi Duckler’s career, dance and architecture have remained intertwined. Since founding Collage Dance Theater in 1985, Duckler has created more than 60 site-specific performances where architecture is “not just a backdrop but completely integrated into the whole experience of the performance,” she says.

Fittingly, Duckler will kick off a year of events celebrating her company’s 25th anniversary with a performance installation created by architects this Saturday at the SPF: a Gallery in Culver City.

Titled “Barely There” and inspired by the artist Fred Sandback’s yarn and string-derived minimalist sculptures, the work features dancers Marissa Labog and Roberto Lambaren interacting with the gallery environment designed by Judit Fekete and Zoltan Pali.

“We’ll be breathing life into the installation,” says Duckler, noting that the dancers will be moving nonstop for the two-hour performance.

Over the years, Duckler has undertaken kinetic and artistic investigations of churches, synagogues, schools, swimming pools, schools, libraries, jails and laundromats in addition to excavating the spirits of historic locations such as the former Ambassador Hotel and the Herald Examiner Building. She’s preparing for a large-scale production at Los Angeles City Hall that will premiere in November and take place in the third-floor rotunda, City Council Chambers room and on the Spring Street steps.

“I always start each project with a concept, but otherwise nothing is pre-conceived,” she says. “My dancers and I always start by mapping out the space and playing with the architecture. With every location, there are so many textures and layers, and it’s all about exploring the possibilities.”

To read more about her journey, click here for my Arts & Books story.

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