Amanda Selwyn Dance Theatre’s Eighteenth Annual Performance Season
Refuge World Premiere
Mark Morris Dance Center | Brooklyn, New York
Thursday-Saturday, November 2-4, 2017 at 7PM
Choreography: Amanda Selwyn and dancers
Featured Dancers: Alex Cottone, Adam Robert Dickerson, Manon Hallay, Torrey McAnena, Sarah Starkweather
Ensemble Dancers: Anna Zekan, Annie Corrao, Ashley McQueen, J’nae Simmons, Larissa Asebedo, Laurie Deziel, Madison McGain, Maggie Westerfield, Melissa Monconduit, Misaki Hayama
Costume and Scenic Design: Anna-Alisa Belous
Sound Design: Joel Wilhelmi
Lighting Design: Dan Ozminkowski
Stage Management: Jaimie Van Dyke
In this time of environmental upheaval, as the recent hurricanes have, in an instant, uprooted so many people from their homes, Amanda Selwyn Dance Theatre’s new choreographic work, Refuge, is a timely exploration of our relationship with space and the temporary nature of all things. Inspired by Francesco Clemente’s art installation Encampment, Refuge is a moving collage and explores our relationship to our surroundings. Throughout the evening-length work which is divided into three sections—Shelter, A Delicate Balance and Resilience— five principal dancers and an ensemble of 10 dancers step through a changing landscape tossing, chucking and moving around folding screens, cushions, and lanterns. The landscape does not only constantly shift, but, as a result, disrupts our sense of identity, purpose, direction, and safety. As the piece progresses, dancers are isolated, each in their own way searching for shelter, for firm ground, reminders of where we have come from and signs telling us where to head next.
“We are knocked around by life and we need to get up again and again, find balance, find a seat, find composure,” says Selwyn. “Sometimes what throws us provides new comfort, sometimes it thrusts us into pain, loss, wanting. It rushes past us like a storm, testing our will, our faith, our adaptability.” Refuge unfolds with a vocabulary of immediate, athletic, sensuous, and raw movement that has come to define Selwyn’s work. It includes a progressive series of solos and duets punctuated by group sections that magnify the personal experience into a shared one. Within a delicate landscape of costume and scenic design by Anna-Alisa Belous, sound design by Joel Wilhelmi, and lighting design by Dan Ozminkowski, principal dancers Alex Cottone, Adam Robert Dickerson, Manon Hallay, Torrey McAnena, and Sarah Starkweather, and ensemble dancers Anna Zekana, Annie Maria, Ashley McQueen, J’nae Simmons, Larissa Asebedo, Laurie Deziel, Madison McGain, Maggie Westerfield, Melissa Monconduit, Misaki Hayama, dramatize solitude and connection, tracing an internal journey of transformation and enlightenment.