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
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.