Monday, March 28, 2011

April Show and Self Promotion!

Hope you're well, Hoover Dudes and Dames!

The April Residency show is coming up, and there's much to look forward to! We are presenting some excellent, extremely talented singer-songwriter acts, as well as new dance works by Erin Kohout and myself.

To give you a taste, I'm self-promoting my new piece, an excerpt of which will be presented at the April show. The following is a compilation of rehearsal footage, featuring Kat Rhodes, Hayley Jones, Francheska Lopez, Mistral Hay, and Lucy Wilson.

Artist statement:

"The new work in progress I have been developing is in its rough stages of conceptualization, but I can say a few things about the themes that have been surfacing. It's an exploration of 5 sister-like figures occupying the stage as if it were a house. They are often antagonizing each other, but their relationships to each other are inevitable. I also often look at them as five personifications of one woman. I have been playing with the juxtaposition of deliberate and precise movement set to very specific counts and messy aggressive actions. The choreographic process is playful, with use of improvisation. Wit and humor is an important aspect of my choreography, so I often play with suggestions my dancers make that begin as jokes. I think the fun banter between my dancers and myself allows me to be creative and relax, and also brings something fresh to the process."

Stayed tuned for more details about the show!

BK in BK

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The March Newsletter

Hello Artists, Fans, and Friends!!! 
The Hoover Dam Collective Presents: The March Newsletter.  
Hope you all are enjoying March Madness, or St Patty’s Day, or doing your taxes, or whatever else gets you excited about March. This is an especially exciting month for us because it marks the one year anniversary of our very first show, and thus the beginning of all the artistic madness that has taken place in our lives in the last year. I thought that, for those of you who are interested, I would provide you with a little bit of Hoover Dam Collective history. 
 Last spring, a group of artists in various conservatories at SUNY Purchase founded the Hoover Dam Collective. The HDC came about as a result of a show that we put on last March in the Dance Theater Lab at Purchase entitled "For the Sake of Art." I had the idea for an interdisciplinary show last fall, when I saw a posting for applications for the "Affiliates Grant," which offered money to anyone who wanted to put together something that would benefit Purchase College. I applied for the Affiliates Grant, and was awarded 600 dollars to put together a collaborative, interdisciplinary show.
 From there, I got in touch with all of the artists I knew at Purchase. We had our first meeting right before winter break-there were about 30 people packed into our little apartment on Purchase campus (our apartment was nicknamed the "Hoover Dam," and we would meet there every week, thus the name "Hoover Dam Collective"). We talked about possible directions for the show, and decided that, ultimately, the show was about the overlapping of our various art forms, and thus the theme should be "For the Sake of Art." Over winter break, we all went home to our various cities and conducted filmed interviews with artists who inspired us, asking them questions along the lines of "what is art?", and "how has art impacted your life?". Once we had the interviews compiled, we based the show around the many unique and interesting attempts to answer that question.
The show was a huge success-we had over 50 people involved, from dancers, to musicians, to visual artists, design-tech majors, and film majors. It was really great to see so many artists come together to achieve a common goal. After that first show, everyone involved was incredibly inspired by how many people were so dedicated to collaboration and to producing quality work-we all knew that this was something we had to continue.
About a month later, we had the opportunity to do the same show in a completely different setting-an isolated warehouse space in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, which was usually used as a venue for music concerts and for huge parties. For this show, we did excerpts from the original "For the Sake of Art" show, but also asked Purchase musicians to perform sets, and even booked an outside musician to end the night. The Station 171 show had a completely different vibe than the original-it was a lot more laid back and informal. However, the quality of the art still remained-everyone there was having a great time, but they were still totally interested in and respectful of the work that was being presented. 
After the Station 171 show, a lot of us realized that the Hoover Dam Collective was bringing something really special and unique to the art scene in Brooklyn and New York City- we were presenting high quality interdisciplinary art in fun, laid back setting, and making our work more accessible to artists of other disciplines, and to audience members. Many members of the Collective were graduating,  and were unsure of what the next year would bring. We knew that the Hoover Dam Collective was a project that we really wanted to continue, and so we made it happen.
Since last spring, the collective has really taken off- we have done shows in Rockland County, Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Crown Heights, and the Lower East Side. We aim to do one show per month, though some are bigger than others. Our shows really bring together a strong community of artists, many of whom are Purchase alum, but many of whom are completely unrelated, but have taken interest and gotten involved. Currently, there are about 8 core members of the collective-we meet regularly, plan upcoming shows, and discuss future goals. We have a very extensive network of people who have different levels of involvement with us. 
All of that being said, I am happy to say that our last show at the Launchpad on March 5th was a huge success-we presented a variety of music and dance to a packed and enthusiastic audience. Performances included a comedy improv set by Willy and the Thunderbirds-4-Life, dance pieces by Kat Rhodes and myself, and music sets by Andrew Mancilla, Joe Fusca, and the Boomerangs. Many thanks to Eric Mendenhall for providing the beats to back up a rockin late-night dance party.
There are several really exciting things coming up for us in the next few months. First of all, our upcoming residency show at the Launchpad on April 2nd promises to be incredibly special-it’s a singer songwriter marathon, featuring performances by Kate Branagh, Dan Testa, Morgan Holland, Matt Simons, and Chris Ayer. SoundHouse will also be there to bring down the house at the end of the night. Definitely not a show to miss. Of course, as usual, the show is free, BYOB plus free wine and snacks!
Additionally, we are very excited to join Santino Lo, in collaboration with all of the arts conservatories at SUNY Purchase, and take part in “MADArt, Life After Dreams,” perhaps the biggest interdisciplinary project Purchase has ever seen. The Hoover Dam Collective will participate by presenting a piece choreographed and performed by HDC dancers.
ALSO-mark your calendars!!! In celebration of our one year anniversary, we will be putting on a huge show at Station 171 on Saturday, May 28th. The show will go on from the afternoon until late in the night, and will feature a huge lineup of amazing comedians, dancers, and musicians, drinks, a dance party, and a rooftop barbeque (hard to imagine with the ice storm going on right now, but it will be sunny and beautiful in 2 months!!). It’s not for another 2 months, but we are already getting very, very excited about it.
Anyway, thanks for sticking with me through this incredibly long-winded letter. As always, we would love to hear from you, and would love for you to get involved in any way you can, so get in touch!!! Go art. 
Love, Theo and the HDC

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Residency Feature: Katrina Cunningham

Katrina Cunningham has been an incredible friend and contributor to the Hoover Dam Collective. Like a pied piper she enchants the audience, and mesmerized, we helplessly follow her on her lyrical journey through a poem.  In her sweet, sing-song voice she delivers her art, and the poem falls in soft coils to our ears. We are lucky to have her as a contributing performance artist. I've posted a video here of a poem she performed at one of our HDC Residency shows at the Launchpad in Brooklyn.
(I apologize for the dark video)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Residency Shows

Thanks for visiting the HDC Blog! Dear lovers and friends, I had to forgo breakfast this morning to upload these photos; HDC for life. Soon to follow will be a few selected videos from the second residency show.

Saturday was a fantastic night, with tons of new faces and some old familiar ones. Finally, the weather got on board and it was warm enough for us to utilize the back yard of the Launchpad without freezing our little butts off. At the end of the night there was a rocking dance party to the DJ's set. Everyone seemed to be in a good mood; it was all together a wonderful experience.

Check out this slideshow, exclusively featured on the blog! (Images will be uploaded to Facebook within a few days)

your very own bk in bk / breegank

Friday, March 4, 2011

Blogmistress Fail!

Not updating the blog: Win

Sorry HDC fans! I have been running away from the internet, but apologies aside, I'm posting a last minute entry about the Residency show tomorrow night. It's going to be a good one! We are booking less acts so that the audience members will have more time to relax and chat it up, while hopefully meeting new people and ideally, getting inspired. Doesn't that sound fantastic?
(We also bought more wine than we normally do. Always a plus)  

Here's a lowdown (with links) on the lineup for the show, which is singer / songwriter focused:

 Andrew Mancilla, singer / songwriter 

Joe Fusca, singer / songwriter, accompanied by HDC dancers. (Surprise, we always seem to make an appearance in someone's set! Collaboration is the spirit of the Dam!) 

The Boomerangs, Rockin' Band. 

DJ Elliptic will also be playing at the end of the night. 

On top of all this fabulous music, there will be a dance set and some improvisational comedic happenings by our friends: (butternut squash!) Thunderbirds-4-Life. 

Come check out these up and coming artists fueled by the love of exploring art in Brooklyn! 

We love new faces! 

Now, to add a little zest to the post, I present to you a link to some incredible photos taken by Charlie Winter (CW Visions - note: the HDC token slang term for awesome: "vision" is right in the name. Vision.) 

Incredible Residency Photos! 
Signing off, 
Bk in BK