This One Then
Arrive, Accumulate, Repeat
Initial choreographic research for This One Then focused on the intimacy of the duet form with the internationally acclaimed dancers Ariel Freedman and Meredith Webster and emerged from a commission by The Cambrians founder Benjamin Wardell. Early material was included in The Cambrians multi-choreographer project Empress Archer.
We now ask—what could emerge by retaining the poignancy of the duet format while multiplying the number of dancers? What does an ensemble duet look and feel like? Through the collaged displacement of people, how might we examine the tensions of social hierarchies, the harshness of exclusion, the warmth of belonging, and the interdependence of humanity? Our research is rooted in the democratic discourses of post-modern and experimental concert dance practices, which emphasize the collective voice.
In response to COVID, we are transforming an excerpt of choreography intended for live performance into a digital experience. As a short experimental screendance, This One Then features romantic partners, roommates, family members, and duets "at home" during pandemic isolation. Couples choose one location and record an adagio duet four times.
With each repetition, an accumulation of “at home” objects from chairs to umbrellas encroaches upon the scene to the point of excessive obstruction. Narrator Gus Solomons jr frames, disrupts, and propels the montage transforming repetition into a parable of the human experience as dancers across identities coexist within a common screen space. Across disparate scenes, the duet cycle’s continuous lyricism illuminates the collective experience of “alone, together.”
Produced and directed by Charlotte Griffin with co-producers Johanna Witherby and MiRi Park and with an original score by Milica Paranosic for mezzo-soprano Hai-Ting Chinn, this work is in development as an experimental screendance and future multimedia live performance. The screendace was awarded an "Honorable Mention" for its promise by the Dance Films Association Production Grant.