I LIKE YOU BETTER NOW
PATRICIA BRACE / RITA LEDUC / BCIJPG / NANCY HUGHES, SCOTT SLOCUM, GRETTA SOWYRDA
On November 12, 2014, we joined the Buffalo Contact Improvisation Jam Performance Group (BCIJPG) in a performance that integrated itself with our 14,000 square foot multi-media exhibition, “I Like You Better Now.” Through improvisation and premeditated sensory movement, BCIJPG choreographed a piece in each of the two rooms, joined together by our own, third performance. In an inversion of the traditional theatrical process, the abstract narratives of these performances were dictated by the physical and conceptual languages of the surrounding installation and video, i.e., narrative was born from design rather than design based off of narrative. In this way, BCIJPG created a performance that physically expressed compounded, derivative responses to the intersection of exhibition, site, performers, and present.
The performance began in a windowless room with four videos projected on eight by eleven feet screens that, by leaning on four massive columns, created a rectangular room-within-a-room. In this first act, principal BCIJPG members Nancy Hughes, Scott Slocum and Gretta Sowyrda initiated a contact-improvisational dance that seamlessly merged with our on-screen narrative. As we flittered digitally on the four screens, Hughes, Slocum, and Sowyrda tumbled, writhed, floated and twirled in response. At the conclusion of the twelve minute video, Hughes and Slocum led the crowd by song into the second room where they were greeted with our intermezzo performance. In this act, Leduc read a poem with woven impressions of her spatial ideals from atop a stage-like overlook. Before long, she made room for Brace who performed a dance representation of her emotional ties to the site. As soon as she leapt off the platform, act three began with BCIJPG and guest dancers joining to flood the space. Within a forest of faux, forced perspective columns in-between two 100 foot forced perspective walls, six glowing windows at the far end appeared to be farther away than reality. Throughout the next twenty minutes, BCIJPG improvised a loosely-choreographed dance dictated by the opposing 100 foot walls, the diametrically opposed windows and the expansive (but interrupted) floor space. The performance came to an end as the dancers assumed their perches at the base of each column.