This summer, David Gordon will create The Philadelphia Matter/2020 through simultaneous rehearsals with dancers/performers in Philadelphia and New York City. Throughout the process, dancers/performers will work from their homes, backyards, and other personal spaces via video conferencing – this remote technology will act as both a conceptual framework and a means of continuing to work despite the pandemic. During a July and August rehearsal period, Gordon will assemble, disassemble and layer selected movement for performers using visual scores (collages) and archival video. Via remote video platforms,* Gordon will observe dancers interacting with the materials and he will use their responses to inform subsequent choices for direction of the work. The Philadelphia Matter/2020 will be streamed online by Christ Church and Philadelphia Fringe Festival in September.
* Video/projection artist Jorge Cousineau is a lead collaborator on the project.
DAVID GORDON, DIRECTOR/CHOREOGRAPHER
David Gordon, Director/Choreographer:
Founding artist of Judson Church performances and the improvisational dance group Grand Union, Gordon purposefully examines/expands/torpedoes conventional lines between theater and dance as a pioneer of the use of text and textual narrative in movement work. He presaged his later writing and directing for the stage and predated the live theater form that became known as "performance art." Gordon's dual status as theater and movement artist was acknowledged when he was awarded a Pew Charitable Trust National Dance Residency grant and a National Theater Residency grant in successive years.
In the last decade he has received 3 NEA American Masterpiece Grant Awards and a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award. His numerous commissions include Actors Studio, American Ballet Theatre, American Conservatory Theater, American Repertory Theater, BBC, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Dance Theatre of Harlem, New York Theatre Workshop, PBS Great Performances, and Serious Fun @ Lincoln Center. Gordon has been the Founding Director of Pick Up Performance Co(s) since 1978.
David Gordon, founding member of Judson Dance Theater, created The Matter in 1971 as part of his teaching responsibility as a member of Yvonne Rainer Company for an Oberlin College dance residency. For The Matter 1972 performances in NYC at Merce Cunningham Studio, Gordon "snail mailed" a score composed of Muybridge motion study photographs for a new solo to his wife, dancer Valda Setterfield, then on tour with The Merce Cunningham Dance Company. THE PHILADELPHIA MATTER/ 2020 references the original work and is a method of rehearsing with current virtual remote technology.
AUDITION (SUBMIT BY JUNE 1ST)
Seeking intergenerational performers (dancers, movers, actors who move, etc), we welcome a cast that is representative of Philadelphia’s performance diversity. Performers need to be willing to move, interpret, help teach each other and to be able to repeat learned physical material and timing. We’re aware that bodies of different ages/abilities will work - do work - differently. A previous performance of related material at MoMA NYC had a cast of professional performers ages 20 to 70. Just BRING IT and show what you can do.
- Auditions will be based on video submissions & invited online callbacks from Gordon’s team.
- Interested dancers/performers should please send the following to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than June 1st:
- 1) Letter of interest along with any relevant dance or movement or other performance experience and/or resume (if you have one)
- 2) Headshot (if you have one) or any performance photo
- 3) Video sample demonstrating your movement/performance style/ability (this can be a video link with cue points), no longer than 3-5 minutes.
- 4) Anticipated availability including any conflicts in July/August and September
Schedule and compensation:
Rehearsals will take place remotely during July and August. This project is supported by Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. Performer pay is $30/hour.