Collaboration with U.S. choreographer Stephan Koplowitz: TASK FORCE
LIQUID LANDSCAPES: UK ,
Site specific installation of 300 paper vessels for Taskforce performance at Mayflower Steps Plymouth 26 June .
A site specific performance tour of water related sites throughout the Plymouth area
June 20-28, 2009
TaskForce is a new site-art dance touring company that works on a project to project basis. Fluid in its conception TaskForce is made up of selected artists and performers drawn from the cultural landscape of its host city or region.
It is a process oriented performance laboratory where artists are asked to draw inspiration from the architecture, history, culture and ecology of multiple sites within a single geographic area all connected by a common theme. Working within an intensive time frame (usually three weeks of rehearsal + one week of performances) under the direction of veteran site-artist Stephan Koplowitz, each artist is given a different creative "task" to be explored and performed at the various sites.
The content of each performance is made up of a combination of site-specific choreography, site-adaptive material and improvisational scores inspired by each performance site. The core of TaskForce is an ensemble of eight highly trained dancers, a composer/performer (Hugh Nankivell) and a documentary filmmaker (Gorav Kaylan). Bringing together new partners and collaborating artists (Helen Snell, Ella Huhne, Dan Farberoff ) for each location, TaskForce builds creative networks that span the globe. Its current project Liquid Landscapes is a three year triptych based on the theme of water which began in Los Angeles, California (2008) then travels to Dartington and the Plymouth area in (2009) and on to Essen City, Germany in 2010.
TaskForce 2008-10 is supported by the Transatlantic Arts Consortium (TAC), a collaboration between Dartington (dartington.org), Idyllwild Arts (idyllwildarts.org) and the California Institute of the Arts (calarts.edu)
TaskForce converged on seven historically, culturally and ecologically significant water-related sites at Dartington and in the Plymouth area. Three weeks of intensive research, rehearsal and experimentation began on 1st June, TaskForce then performed seven different site specific works throughout the city from June 20-28th.
Liquid Landscapes was a unique and significant commission for the region, highlighting its commitment to international contemporary dance and paying tribute to its water ecology, whilst also providing a unique opportunity for people from different communities in and around Plymouth to engage in a significant international cultural project by linking multiple sites across the city.
Performances took place within sites where audiences had free public access, encouraging those that wouldn’t normally attend contemporary dance on stage, to engage with the work that has been created for them, as a response to their own city.
The company will be resident in Plymouth and will collaborate with selected artists working in other disciplines (writing, film, visual arts etc) from Plymouth and across the South West at each site.
The sites, and dates, are as follows. All dates are held at all sites with permissions granted and paperwork to secure sites pending.
20 Dartington, Tiltyard Gardens – secured – Presented by University College Falmouth
21 Buckland Abbey – secured – Presented by the National Trust
22 Film screenings: European Premieres– secured – Presented by Peninsula Arts
23 The Redout/Devonport – pending –
24 Armada Way – pending –
25 Smeaton’s Tower – pending –
26 Mayflower Steps (day) – pending
TaskForce Remixed – secured - [stage improv] at the Barbican Theatre co-presented by the Barbican Theatre and Pen Arts (evening)
27 Tineside Lido
28 Tineside Lido
The inspiration for creating TaskForce was to have the means to enter into a creative dialogue with a chosen area/community. TaskForce creates site-specific performances for several sites within a short period of time that actively engage a variety of artists and organizations derived from communities where the company performs. TaskForce aims to renew people’s perspective on their environment and enter into conversations about the creative process and public life.
The theme of water as a unifying thread came about through several conversations. Water has been an all important, pivotal element in the history and development of our major cities. As a precious resource, it has become increasingly important to recognize our use of water and how it shapes our lives and communities. The three sites for the Task Force residencies, Los Angeles, Plymouth/Dartington and Essen are all dependent on water ecology. I chose this unifying thread both to connect all three sites and to bring awareness to each community of the importance of water in past, present and future lives.
The work created for the sites in the UK, at Dartington and throughout the city of Plymouth, will be an amalgam of both site-specific choreography, site-adaptive movement material and structured improvisations all in response to the given site. The concept of Task Force is that it responds to several sites in relatively short amount of time, concentrates on process and finds as many connections among sites as possible.
This is the second of three phases of the TaskForce project. The first phase took place in Idyllwild and Los Angeles and will culminate at locations in Essen, Germany for the final phase of the project early summer 2010.
Stephan Koplowitz is a director/choreographer/media artist known for his work on the concert stage and for creating original site-specific multi-media works for architecturally significant sites. Since 1984, he has created 56 works and has been awarded 40 commissions. He is the recipient of a 2004 Alpert Award in the Arts (Dance), a 2003 Guggenheim Fellowship in Choreography and a 2000 "Bessie" Award for Sustained Achievement in Choreography.
Koplowitz is also the recipient of six United States National Endowment for the Arts Choreography Fellowships from (1988-97). His choreography and company, Stephan Koplowitz & Company (Kop Art, Inc.) have been produced at numerous venues of distinction both in the United States and Europe. He is known for his large scale site-work including commissions from London’s Dance Umbrella Festival, 'Genesis Canyon' at the Natural History Museum (1996, Time Out Award for Best Dance Production) and 'Babel Index' (1998, at the British Library). Other site works include productions for the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, a coal processing plant in Essen, Germany, the windows of Grand Central Terminal (Fenestrations), NYC’s Bryant Park (the web based event webbedfeats.org), the 30th Street Station, Philadelphia, among many others. In 2004, he premiered his Grand Step Project: Flight, performed by 50 dancers, on six different grand staircases in NYC and seen by 16,000 people. His recent work includes participating in Breaking Ground, A Choreographic Charette produced by Dancing in the Streets, October, 2008, a commission for the new Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) in Boston, the work (iseea), for 22 performers was named one of the ten best dance productions of 2007 by the Boston Globe. Other recent work has taken him to Hanoi, Vietnam where he collaborated with visual/performance artist Dao Anh Khanh on a series of video and concert works seen both in Hanoi and the United States. A working artist and teacher for the past twenty-five years and a 23-year New York City resident, Koplowitz recently relocated to Los Angeles to teach and direct the CalArts School of Dance.
Lara Lloyd, TAC Producer
T 01803 847078