David Zambrano (Venezuela/Netherlands)
Saturday, September 19
“The dance is made by the dancer and myself as a director. For Soul Project I worked more as a coach until they became really hot spontaneous performers.” David Zambrano, choreographer.
“Gestural, impulsive, and highly theatrical.” Andrew Boynton, The New Yorker
“An enthralling evening of visceral solos set to soul music.” Gia Kourlas, The New York Times
Experience soul in all of its manifestations: spiritual and musical, abstract and personal.
Zambrano, a highly regarded experimental choreographer and improviser, is known for bringing wildly unique, high intensity movement out of his dancers’ bodies. In Soul Project, an international cast of virtuosic dancers performs a series of mesmerizing dance solos to live recordings of classic soul songs—from Aretha Franklin to James Brown.
Each night the order of the solos and their location in the space changes, as a dancer will create a “center stage” wherever he or she decides to. Throughout the performance, audiences roam freely, get up close to the cast, and witness the dance from the angle of their choosing. The experience is intimate—you can feel every tremble and sigh of the dancers’ bodies—and communal, a shared experience in the discovery of sublime expression.
Co-Producer Robert Dever
Co-Producers Arthur Kaplan and R. Duane Perry
About choreographer David Zambrano
David Zambrano has been a monumental figure in the international dance community for a quarter century as a choreographer, teacher, and performer. Born in Venezuela, he spent fifteen years in New York, and is now based in Amsterdam and Brussels. Soul Project began with Zambrano’s question of how he might dance as deeply and powerfully as soul singers do when performing their songs.
Photo: Gregory Batardon
Interview with choreographer David Zambrano
FringeArts: What are the origins of Soul Project?
David Zambrano: I finished my group piece Twelve Flies Went Out At Noon (2005), a resemblance of a social centric society where decisions are made by the community of people. Dancers were constantly moving through each other, under, over, and around, always going somewhere dancing together. After that work, I got the idea to make the opposite. A choreography where the dancers, one by one, would take any center in the performance room, root themselves to the floor, and make the audience come to watch them from close up.
FringeArts: I love the choice of using live recordings, it creates a terrific dynamic. What drew you to that?
David Zambrano: Not all the recordings are live recordings—about three pieces were recorded in studios. One strong reason, when I heard all those singers singing live, was the way they come out through their voices when they have a public. It was more sublime and orgasmic. With the dancers we practice a lot to be able to arrive in those states while performing for each other and later on, for the general public.
FringeArts: Why do you work with an international cast of dancers?
David Zambrano: Since the beginning of my career as a choreographer, I have always selected a group of international individuals. I like the idea that everything we have created in dance has come from a cultural exchange. My selected dancers and I have always learned a lot from each other while working together. Not only from our different dance backgrounds, but also from different ways of eating, cooking, living. I also love to make a possible environment in all my creations where it feels like a little representation of our world but without borders.
FringeArts: What does the closeness of the audience do for the performance—and the performer—that a more typical stage cannot?
David Zambrano: The idea of having the audience coming very close to watch each one of us performing came from the way I directed our rehearsals. I would come as close as possible and watch every little and big movement from each performer. After I took that idea to the general public. We became really good improvisers of small powerful movement that can only be appreciated if the public comes closer to watch.
Photos: Anja Hitzenberger
Sharing the Stage with David Zambrano
By Andrew Boynton, The New Yorker
Zambrano showed himself to be an open and generous performer, and he elicited the same spirit from his dancers. These solos’ choreography was so organic and so personal that it was difficult to believe it was rehearsed. One moment led into the next, as though the dances were being made up on the spot. Read the full article
Exhilarated by David Zambrano’s “Soul Project”
Wendy Perron, Dance Magazine
His performers were all so intense that at times they were hypnotic. Their solos, danced to soul music, were each unpredictable: hell-bent or convulsive, with sudden stops or loosenings. And each of the six dancers, including David (pronounced da-VEED) Zambrano, are unforgettable individuals. Read the full article
David Zambrano dancers bring improv soul to Miami Light
Jordan Levin, Miami Herald
The experience felt tribal, with these dancers possessed, their bodies speaking in tongues. By the end, all of them were dancing at once, and so was much of the “audience.” Read the full article
David Zambrano On Improvisation And The Power Of Different Cultures
By Lene Van Langenhove, Etcetera. In-depth interview with Zambrano about dance, his improvisation techniques, and career.
I love passing on knowledge, and I think it is fantastic to guide people towards inspiring motion situations. Since I was young, I have had a thing for social dancing, I want to become playfully invisible in other people’s eyes, I want to transform myself into whichever character or type happens to well up in me. I want to communicate this attitude, along with the awareness that everyone must accept himself or herself as he or she is. You can only achieve enlightenment by facing up to your ignorance. Read the full interview
WRITE BACK ATCHA!
thINKingDANCE will host three FREE post-performance “write-back” events after performances during the FringeArts festival this September. Write Back atcha is a post-show “talk-back” combined with a mini-writing workshop, where we will guide audience members through an exploration of the language they use to describe dance. Write Back atcha provides an opportunity for audiences to deepen their engagement with the work on view as well as hone their writing skills with mentored feedback. Questionnaires with simple prompts will be provided to all audience members before the show. Participating audience members’ responses will be collected after the workshop and collated into a crowd-sourced “review” of the performance, which will be published the next day on thINKingDANCE’s website.