“Replacement,” a new work for dance

This spring, I had the pleasure to work with choreographer Rebekah Brown on her MFA thesis piece at Mills. The result is 17-minute work for soloist + 5 dancers, and 5 musicians + conductor, called Replacement.

In the group choreography, Rebekah explores ideas of synchrony and asynchrony, of proximity and distance. Individual dancers often share material but reorder it such that they are in a perpetual process of aligning and misaligning with each other. Subsets of the group often coalesce briefly before dissolving, while major formal moments are frequently marked by a group unison gesture. The piece is very roughly in two major sections–the first more lyrical and continuous, the second significantly more abstract, disjunct and experimental.

The music stands in the same relation to the dance as the dancers do to one another. That is, sometimes aligning relatively clearly, sometimes drifting into its own space and time. All musical material was derived and translated–subjectively, of course, and with great liberty–from the gestural material in the dance, but it is constantly being layered, reordered, randomized and used as source material for improvisation. The result, I hope, is one of a large, complex multi-media art object viewed from two independent perspectives simultaneously, its shape revealed non-linearly over the course of the work.

Rebekah Brown, choreographer, soloist
Peter Sloan, composer, conductor

Dancers:
Adrianne Cherry
Maya Haines
Sarah Shouse
Shannon Stubblefield
Ashley Yee

Musicians:
Tim Kim, violin
Kimberly Sutton, cello
Joshua Marshall, saxophones
Brett Carson, piano
Scott Siler, vibraphone, snare drum

Filmed Saturday, April 20, 2pm, in Lisser Theater at Mills College.

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5 thoughts on ““Replacement,” a new work for dance

  1. “…a perpetual process of aligning and misaligning with each other. Subsets of the group often coalesce briefly before dissolving…”

    Sounds like junior high school band? 😛

    • Thanks, Colin. The piano solo at the beginning is actually entirely improvised, so any success there is attributed to Brett. The ending is guided improvisation, so I was cueing certain materials/orchestration, but the details were up to the players. Thank you for listening and for the feedback.

    • Wait, the timings are confused in my mind since we added the long piano improv intro pretty late in the process. The stuff around 6:30 was pretty much completely specified. The last 7 minutes or so is the improv section.

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