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Six choreographers’ take on Antonia Z. Brown’s dance

Posted June 4th, 2015

“Changing motivations and goals quickly will be a big challenge for me in performing one section and then the next. I also think those shifts will be some of the most interesting parts.”

Choreographer and dancer, Antonia Z. Brown presents her dance One Dancer, Six Choreographers in SoLow Fest on June 20 and 21 at 7:30pm at Mascher Space Cooperative. Brown’s solo dance is rooted in a creative game of telephone. She began  by choreographing a five minute solo for herself. After, she passed her dance off to a new choreographer and then the choreographer passed what they had done onto another choreographer to remake the solo and on and on. Altogether, Brown transferred the dance to five choreographers, Nora Gibson, David Brick, Christina Gesualdi, Gina Hoch-Stall, and Jumatatu Poe, and each had two hours to alter the most recent version of the solo. In SoLow Fest, Brown will be performing the six iterations in order. We caught up with Antonia Z. Brown for a few questions.

SoLowFringeArtsWhat is it like to work with the different choreographers?

Antonia Z. Brown: In this project, I get to work with a lot of interesting local choreographers whom I admire. I know them from different contexts, some have been my teachers and mentors, some I connected with after falling in love with their work, and one of the choreographers is a fellow coordinator at my artist-run studio Mascher Space Cooperative. Going through the process of working with each, one after another, I get to inhabit very different performative qualities, aesthetics, and interests. Changing motivations and goals quickly will be a big challenge for me in performing one section and then the next. I also think those shifts will be some of the most interesting parts, the transitions from the world of one piece to the world of the next.

FringeArts: How has your original choreography changed? Can you expand on the concept of “remixing?”

Antonia Z. Brown: I think this structure of remixing is an interesting way to play with authorship. Each choreographer takes on complete authorship in their own section—even their ways of running a rehearsal are notably different—but at the same time the material they are working with is recycled. There is something unprecious about it, no one can say the work is completely their own, and at the same time each new author takes on full responsibility for their bit and makes their mark with inextricable clarity. The concept of the remix is my own, but once I set the wheels in motion I give up my say over where the piece goes next.

FringeArts: What made you want to show this work in SoLow Fest?

Antonia Z. Brown: SoLow Fest was one of the main sparks of inspiration for this piece. Remix Festival, put on jointly through Mascher Space and fidget in 2014 by Annie Wilson, was another. I wouldn’t think of performing a solo show on my own. This is actually quite an unusual piece for me. There is something satisfyingly clever about SoLow Fest though, as a super low budget festival and place for experimentation. If I house my art in my own body then I can simply perform it myself, it can be completely self-reliant. Getting these five other choreographers involved, I can perform on my own, but at the same time not be alone in it.

Thank you, Antonia! Can’t wait!

One Dancer, Six Choreographers
Saturday June 20th, 2015 at 7:30pm
Sunday June 21st, 2015 at 7:30pm
Mascher Space Cooperative
155 Cecil B Moore (Kensington)
Pay what you wish, suggested $5-10

SoLow Fest www.solowfest.com

—Courtney Lau

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