Artist Profile: Suniti Dernovsek

Suniti Dernovsek – Leading Light

Suniti 2 - by Meghann Gilligan

The world premiere of Leading Light is coming soon!

Suniti first collaborated with Risk/Reward in the 2009 Risk/Reward Festival under the moniker Hot Little Hands with a piece called Always Merry and Bright, which was an excerpt of a larger work titled Ill-Starred. Two years later, she brought an excerpt of Palace of Crystal to the 2011 Risk/Reward Festival. She’s one of our all-time favorite local choreographers and we can’t wait to experience this new work with powerhouse collaborators like Allie Hankins and Holland Andrews!

BIO

Suniti Dernovsek is a choreographer, performer and movement educator. For several years she collaborated with visual artist David Stein to make work under the name, bobbevy. Together they created 19 shorter works and six evening-length shows: This is how we disappear (2013); Palace of Crystal (2011); ill-starred (2009); Lawn of the Limp(2008); Avian Fable (2007); and Marionette (2004). Suniti received her BFA in dance from UWM in 2003, where she had the opportunity to work with many talented choreographers including Zvi Gotheiner, Janet Lily, Heidi Latsky, Simone Ferro and Long Zhao. While in the Midwest, she was a company member of both Foothold Dance Performance and Wild Space Dance Company. She has performed with Oslund+Co, Fever Theater and Teeth. She has been presented by PICA’s TBA festival, Conduit Dance, Reed College Arts Week, Danceworks, Velocity Dance Center, Northwest New Works at On the Boards, Danspace, Ten Tiny Dances’ South Waterfront Project, Foothold Dance Performance, Starling Gallery, the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and Danspace in NYC representing UWM and she has received two residencies at Caldera Arts. Suniti received a grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2015 as well as the Dance New Work Award from UWM in 2009. Suniti teaches weekly yoga classes and retreats through The People’s Yoga in NE Portland.   

PERFORMANCE SYNOPSIS

In her latest work, Portland-based dance maker Suniti Dernovsek stages a hypnotic performance that marries intricate choreographic detail with an original sound score performed live by Holland Andrews. Initially inspired by the tragic life of the Italian-Egyptian singer Dalida, Leading Light offers a haunting meditation on the troubled boundary between public expectations and private vulnerabilities. Powerhouse performances by Allie Hankins and Dernovsek evoke the precariousness of the feminine ideal, at once dynamic and posturing, yet casting an ever-present shadow of fragility.

ABOUT DALIDA

Iolanda Cristina Gigliotti (17 January 1933 – 3 May 1987), best known as Dalida, was an Italian Egyptian singer and actress who performed and recorded in more than 10 languages, including Arabic, Italian, Greek, German, French, English, Japanese, Hebrew, Dutch and Spanish. In 1961 she acquired French citizenship upon marriage, while maintaining her original Italian one.

Dalida ranks among the six most popular singers in the world. Her sales figures today would amount to more than 170 million albums worldwide. Twice honored with “The World Oscar of success of the disc”, she is the only European singer to have won this Oscar at least once. Her 30-year career commenced in 1956 and ended with her last album in 1986, a few months before her death. She received 70 gold records and was the first singer to receive a diamond disc.

Despite enormous career success, Dalida’s private life was marred by a series of failed relationships and personal problems. Her death led to an iconic image as a tragic diva and renowned singer and she has since become a cult figure to a new generation of fans.

WATCH A VIDEO TRAILER FOR LEADING LIGHT

ARTIST WEBSITE

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READ MORE ABOUT DALIDA

 

SOURCES:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalida

Artist Profile: Allie Hankins

Allie Hankins – Like a Sun That Pours Forth Light but Never Warmth

allie-ancient-lakes-007

Allie Hankins’ full-length debut is on the way!

Allie’s first performance in Portland was at the 2011 Risk/Reward Festival. She choreographed and performed a piece titled By Guess & By God under the moniker Part & Parcel with fellow dancer Mary Margaret Moore. Since then, she has become one of the most most talked about artists in PDX. We can’t wait to behold Like a Sun That Pours Forth Light but Never Warmth after several years of development!

BIO

Allie Hankins is a choreographer, performer, and researcher currently residing in Portland and Seattle. She is an inaugural member of FLOCK — a new dance center that serves as a creative home to Portland’s experimental dance artists — and a founding member of Physical Education: a casual/critical reading & research/dance & performance body comprised of herself, keyon gaskin, Taka Yamamoto, and Lucy Lee Yim. In Portland Allie works/collaborates with choreographer Tahni Holt, composer Jordan Dykstra, Noor, and Zac Pennington (Parenthetical Girls/Crying). Her work has been presented at On the Boards’ Northwest New Works Festival and Velocity Dance Center in Seattle, Conduit Dance and Studio 2 in Portland, the Robert Rauschenberg 19th St. Project Space in New York, and various venues in Minneapolis, Albuquerque, Vienna, and Berlin.   

PERFORMANCE SYNOPSIS

A correspondence between choregrapher Allie Hankins and Ballet Russes danseur noble Vaslav Nijinsky.

Appropriating Nijinsky’s obsessive repetition, approach-avoidance, and sexual deviancy, Hankins constructs an amalgamation of herself and the notoriously troubled dancer. As imitation dissolves into disorientation and false memories, Hankins endures with a persistance  unique to bodies in spiritual crises—confronting isolation and desperation in the pursuit of corporeal transcendence.

Against a backdrop of lurid color and gold-bathed muscle, Hankins negotiates the impermanence of identity, and the volatility of solitary retrospection. Embodying movement’s capacity to engender lust, repugnance, confusion, and ultimately elation, Like a Sun inhabits the space between confinement and liberation, reality and fantasy, myth and man.

ABOUT VASLAV NIJINSKY

Nijinsky (1890-1950) remains, by reputation, the outstanding male dancer of at least one century, and a pathbreaking choreographer as well. Celebrated for his spectacular leaps and sensitive interpretations, Nijinsky became a soloist at the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg, in 1907, appearing in such classical ballets as Giselle, Swan Lake, and The Sleeping Beauty. In 1909 he joined Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, and the company’s choreographer Michel Fokine created Le Spectre de la rose, Petrushka, Schéhérazade, and other ballets expressly for him.Yet his life dramatically demonstrates the uncertain line dividing genius and madness. The “god of dance” spent 30 of his 61 years in the grip of infantile rages and catatonic withdrawal; neither Freud, institutionalization, sedation nor countless insulin shock-treatments could halt his increasing derangement.

WATCH A VIDEO TRAILER FOR LIKE A SUN THAT POURS FORTH LIGHT BUT NEVER WARMTH

ARTIST WEBSITE

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READ MORE ABOUT NIJINSKY

SOURCES:

http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-8184-0535-8 http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/415147/Vaslav-Nijinsky

A window into Allie Hankins’ artistic practice

Enjoy this unique view into the creative process of Like a Sun That Pours Forth Light but Never Warmth by Allie Hankins. These posts were taken from Allie’s blog http://casting-long-shadows.tumblr.com/ – follow her there for more in the future!

Scroll from bottom to top to view these in chronological order, or scroll top down to peel back through time.

With Laura in the Studio.
March 13, 2013
Photos by Matt Olson
Posted 5 months ago

GoPro Camera tests for Matt Olson.
Photo by Matt Olson.
“Yes, it’s recording.”
Posted 1 year ago

 

On the beach with Laura.

March 13, 2013

Photo by Matt Olson

Posted 1 year ago

 

 

You are traveling on a train. You are speaking on a mobile phone. The train enters a tunnel. The connection breaks up and is lost. What happens here? The conversation is abruptly curtailed; you are pained, frustrated – relieved? Whatever their nature, there will be affects. The telephone induces a defection and a crisis of the self: in telephonic communication parts of oneself, one’s consciousness and senses, are donated to the other, one gives one’s attention, one gives ear. And when the line goes down we are returned to the hic et nunc of our physical circumstances without the phatic niceties (“thanks for calling, see you soon”) that not only provide formal closure and break our communicative contract but prepare us for the psychic shock of being alone once more. But, as all who use this technology will know, in the event of disconnection, as the signal strength dies and the state of full, pristine connectivity bleeds into a rebarbative silence, a transitional sonic disfiguration occurs: the voice of the interlocutor suffers violent torsions, a garbled – oddly aquatic – strangulation. What happens here?

The Horror of Disconnection: The Auratic in Technological Malfunction, by Martin Dixon

I posted this on my other blog a while back, but it means something different to me now that I’m on an island with limited reception and countless “dropped calls.”

“Psychic shock of being alone once more.”

It’s been an incredible month. It’s been a lonely month. I can’t believe it’s been a month.

 

 

"Anatomy of Spasm"  (experiment)

“Anatomy of Spasm”

(experiment)

Posted 1 year ago

 

Photo by Matt Olson

Photo by Matt Olson

Posted 1 year ago

 

Photo by Matt Olson

Photo by Matt Olson

Posted 1 year ago

 

Photo by Matt Olson

Photo by Matt Olson

Posted 1 year ago

 

Performance day.

Performance day.

Posted 1 year ago

 

Version 2: With James.

 

And what is a month in Florida without at least one selfie on my bike riding toward the sunset with the wind in my hair? 

And what is a month in Florida without at least one selfie on my bike riding toward the sunset with the wind in my hair?

Posted 1 year ago

 

Every “dance” I make is also a novel, apparently. Thank you for understanding.  "muscle punch arms—> antennae—>retrograde elastic—>yourself disappearing QUICKLY BY FOLDING."  "MORE MISSHAPEN PEARL!!!"

Every “dance” I make is also a novel, apparently. Thank you for understanding.

“muscle punch arms—> antennae—>retrograde elastic—>yourself disappearing QUICKLY BY FOLDING.”

“MORE MISSHAPEN PEARL!!!”

Posted 1 year ago

 

Photo by Laurie Lambrecht.

Photo by Laurie Lambrecht.

Posted 1 year ago

 

Dancing in a white room is surprisingly disorienting.

Posted 1 year ago

 

Fellow artist-in-residence Matt Olson found these lights in the basement of the big studio today. Possibilities.

Fellow artist-in-residence Matt Olson found these lights in the basement of the big studio today. Possibilities.

Posted 1 year ago

Allie+Laura=Best Shirt Buddies on boating day. Photo by Laurie Lambrecht.

Allie+Laura=Best Shirt Buddies on boating day. Photo by Laurie Lambrecht.

Posted 1 year ago

 

 

 

It finally warmed up today. I’m attempting to put the new vocabulary in new containers.

 

Posted 1 year ago

 

March 8.

Today I will let go of the notion of steps and instead look at movement as a series of states. A state always suggests a particular consciousness or mindfulness hanging in the air while you are moving or even when you remain motionless. But is a state a picture or a sort of vibrating image? It brings up the question of what one is actually creating in dance, live art, or performance. Images or pictures? Motion or action? Are we choreographing transitions between images or creating motion? Maybe we interact with a chain of events happening without creating images.

This can be a physical research: throw myself into a physical situation and, wherever I end up, try to recognize the place I am in. I want to understand the physical structure of that state and try to separate it from the moment when I start to represent, when I give names to the material or sensation. Can I dissociate the moment of recognizing where I am from the representation of it? Am I a person standing or am I a person standing staring out to sea? Where am I and where is my weight? And can I be between these two things?

Maybe states are a different way of trying to understand feelings (I’m full of ‘em out here). That is, the feelings I have and how I embody them. The modern dance tradition aimed to evoke and represent emotions, whereas states seem more related to feelings or rather the concept of “felt sense” (maybe?). Feelings come and go. I cannot always name them. Sometimes many feelings are present at the same time (like today). Feelings dwell in the realm of uneasiness, anxiety, or desire—perhaps these terms are too big, but they tie states to a “felt sense,” to sensorial issues and physical existence, to sensation without addressing them immediately in a theatrical or psychological way.

I’m really lonely today.

 

 

My new friend and fellow Artist in Residence, Laura Brunellière.

My new friend and fellow Artist in Residence, Laura Brunellière.

Posted 1 year ago

 

A rare moment of lightness. Trying to remember lightness.

Posted 1 year ago

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Structure.

Structure.

Posted 1 year ago

 

Today.

Today.

Posted 1 year ago

 

Red Shoes screening at the Rauschenberg Residency, courtesy of Mimi Pond.  Dying Dancing

Red Shoes screening at the Rauschenberg Residency, courtesy of Mimi Pond.

Dying Dancing

Posted 1 year ago

 

Thankful for a familiar face and a shared vocabulary.

Thankful for a familiar face and a shared vocabulary.

Posted 1 year ago

 

And begin…

And begin…

 

I shared this video with the other residents last week. This video, and an essay called “Nijinsky’s Golden Slave” by Kevin Kopelson inspired me to begin making my solo “Like a Sun That Pours Forth LIght but Never Warmth” that I continue to work on here in Florida.

This is Jorge Donn dancing “Bolero” as choreographed by Maurice Bejart. The famous orchestral piece was commissioned by Ida Rubinstein (who danced opposite Nijinsky’s Golden Slave in the ballet “Scheherazade”) for a ballet choreographed by Nijinsky’s sister, Bronislava Nijinska in 1928.

Jorge Donn has also portrayed Nijinsky in another ballet by Bejart called “Nijinsky Clown de Dios”

So the glistening, sinewy body of this man, Jorge Donn, was a site of intersection/collision of all these historical interests of mine. And in this video we get to spy on him backstage as he prepares for this monumental task, and then we see him after he has been dancing like mad for 18 minutes, and the explosion of energy at the end—the moment when he faces extreme exhaustion and only barely escapes complete failure—makes me want to jump out of my skin.

 

 

March 2.

“Now it is inside my body that something is happening, the body is the source of movement. There is no longer the problem of place, but rather of the event. It is not I who attempts to escape from my body, it is the body that attempts to escape from itself by means of a spasm.” —Gilles Deleuze

Spasms call attention to the kinetic potentials of individual bodies—pushed into movement, caught in stillness, reverberating in between.

Spasm interrogates the visual through the kinetic, body through language, expression through emotion, performer through witness, pain through pleasure.

So, today’s work:

  • Consideration of movement as something interior
  • Immobility as a momentary pause of a tremulous choreography of isolation
  • Torquing language of the photographic to speak as choreographic proposal (Images of Nijinsky are all I have to work from)
  • Stillness vs. mobility, recognition vs. incommunicability
  • An exposure of flesh that reveals little intimacy or erotic force as it turns away from and into itself in a contraction of muscle and sinew (my back, my breasts)
  • To obscure an image the very moment you attend to it
  • Athleticism contained within the tension of a gesture
  • Choreography as an unstable site that disputes representation and signification
  • Sever choreography’s anticipated relationship to mobility and stasis and graceful expertise. Subvert a virtuosic notion of dance.

Choreography is given to the erotic: it tests out, seduces, and proposes without ever saying anything. Choreography is a corporeal passage in which the body is both a question and an inaccessible answer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the Weeks House with a Rauschenberg and Ann. Photo by Matt Olson.

At the Weeks House with a Rauschenberg and Ann.

Photo by Matt Olson.

 

 

Where I work.

Where I work.

 

 

My home for the next month.

My home for the next month.

 

 

Photo by Steven Miller

Photo by Steven Miller