Go Deeper

The Dance Apocalypse: Gabrielle and Nicole do whatever it takes

Posted April 2nd, 2014

gandNandcatsOn Monday, April 7 at 7pm, Gabrielle Revlock and Nicole Bindler will unleash The Dance Apocalypse at FringeArts. Part of the FringeArts Scratch Night series, it’s a free show! (But you need to RSVP.) They describe it as “a genre-defying creative collaboration about two female artists in a spectacle-driven world” and a “heart wrenching end-of-the-world love story that takes place within the context of a director’s commentary, a sensationalist talk show, and a million-dollar kickstarter campaign for a feature length film.” That film, Chicken Fight, indeed has a real kickstarter goal of a million dollars. The performance has also been preceded by an eight-week series of free CardioCreativity dance classes that the two have been running at Mt. Vernon Dance Space. We caught up with Gabrielle and Nicole, who decided to respond in unison.

FringeArts: How did you come up with the title, The Dance Apocalypse?

Gabrielle Revlock and Nicole Bindler: The title came from Craig Peterson, former director of the FringeArts LAB. We invited him to appear in our panel discussion that was embedded in the middle of our last piece, I made this for you. In the panel he said that the state of dance is dismal and that we appeared desperate to do anything to capture the audience’s attention. He said, “This is the dance apocalypse.” When we heard those words we knew that would be the title of our next piece.

The Dance Apocalypse explores the issues that arose in I made this for you: spectacle, competition, and arts funding. Framed as a director’s commentary, The Dance Apocalypse digs deeper into the conundrums of creative collaboration and the blurred line between real life and performance. The piece spills out into our personal lives and social media. We have gotten married, had public arguments, co-taught classes, and fielded many audience responses—both criticism and delight—in the controversial, feminist provocations that we have unleashed prior to the April 7th performance.

CardioCreativity_JulieanneHarris 2FringeArts: How do the CardioCreativity classes play into the The Dance Apocalypse

Gabrielle and Nicole: The classes have been an integral part of our process. We designed them as a strategy to give participatory dance enthusiasts a window into dance as a performing art. They are essentially a performance disguised as a movement class. We do somatic work and cardio, but also improvisation, composition, and performance practice. In this way we are training them to see each other in the space, in time, in relation to an audience. They are developing more tools to watch and appreciate dance. In addition, many of them will play a crucial role in the performance on April 7th.

The Dance Apocalypse exists beyond the borders of the stage. We consider the CardioCreativity classes to be as much a part of the performance as what you will see on April 7th. The classes have been an opportunity for us to play with our ideas of the performance/real life gray scale. It has also been filled with laughter and joy. We leave each class feeling inspired and energized. We see people building strong bonds, developing trust in each other, and taking embodied risks.

FringeArts: Can you take us through what the show is going to be?

Gabrielle and Nicole: Shenanigans
Speed dating
Youtube videos
Heartfelt confessions
Jumps and tricks
Grand entrances
Autograph signing
The opportunity to meet the love of your life


FringeArts: What is your million dollar kickstarter movie campaign about?

Gabrielle and Nicole: We’ve launched a Kickstarter to make a feature length film called Chicken Fight. We are following our artistic vision as it takes us into unfamiliar terrain and disciplines. We think we have something to contribute to the field of filmmaking by creating a movie that is not a dance for the camera, but a narrative film with a choreographic sensibility. We realize there is the risk of failure, which is what makes the project so exciting.

If you think that art has value and you’re tired of seeing artists ask for $2,000–$3,000 for their very ambitious projects, make a statement and pledge to our campaign, in which we ask for what we actually need to make it happen. We’ll be happy if we get 10,000 people to give $1 each. We’ll also be thrilled if we raise five percent of our goal because it will be evidence that our artistic work matters, even if it doesn’t come into fruition due to the all or nothing rules of kickstarter. Join us!

LBrowningPhotography065FringeArts: How do you work with each other?

Gabrielle and Nicole: We exchange thirty emails a day. We text each other in the middle of the night. Our boyfriends are going insane. We spend more energy on our relationship with each other than with anyone else. We are now in couple’s therapy with Morgan Andrews. We call in lots of people to our rehearsals to support us and offer feedback. We fight with a ferocity that indicates nothing less than total commitment.

FringeArts: Anything else we should know before coming to the show?

Gabrielle and Nicole: Adult content. Leave the kids at home.
Our world is a fun space to be in.
Be prepared to be slightly disoriented.
We believe in the buddy system, but if you don’t have a friend with you, you’ll meet some cool people.
This is a one-night event, so if you miss it, you’ll really regret it.
If you want to be in the show come at 5:35pm.
There’s free beer so if you are going to have more than one, bring a designated driver.
Bring your reading glasses.
Keep an open mind.
Bring cash.
You can trust us.

Thank you Nicole and Gabrielle, looking forward to the show! Here is their movie trailer:

The Dance Apocalypse
Gabrielle Revlock and Nicole Bindler


140 North Columbus Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA

Photos: Lindsay Browning and Gabrielle Revlock (top); Julianne Harris (class photo); Lindsay Browning (bottom).

–Josh McIlvain