By Staff for Arts-Louisville.com
February 1, 2019
Color me delighted when not one, but two of Louisville’s long-standing performance institutions band together with an artistic institution, to create experiences that audiences aren’t familiar with. Earlier in the week, the Louisville Orchestra worked with the Kentucky College of Art + Design (KyCAD) to create an evening of sight, sound, and taste. Taste? Read my colleague Keith Waits’ review. Thursday evening I was privileged to see the Louisville Ballet work their magic, in partnership with KyCAD, in a different way of performance, presentation, and expression.
The Choreographers Showcase has historically been a highlight of every Louisville Ballet season as it allows for audiences to chart the progress of emerging choreographers and allows for the performers to gain new insight into their creative abilities. I think it would be safe to say that when artists work with other artists and that first spark of creativity unfolds, new and wonderful things can happen. Such is the collaboration with KyCAD. Allow me to paint you a picture of the event.
One big difference about the evening is that the performances were held at KyCAD’s studio and school. Within the building, makeshift rooms were designed to accommodate five different experiences: “35…”, “Proxy”, “Suppression of the Heart”, “Work in Progress” and “Amid Exes and Whys”. The performances are scattered throughout the evening, allowing plenty of time for patrons to see all of them, maybe even a couple of times. If you hadn’t figured it out, the audience moves to each performance location within the building. So, that’s a little different. How about being told that you can take out your cellphones, take pictures and/or videos and post it across social media with the hashtag #ChorShow? That’s a bit unconventional.
Choreographed by Xavier Pellin and designed by Bobby Barbour, “Proxy” delves into the conflict between our “real” selves and our digital selves, and has this technology caused us to become more isolated. Set within a small room, the dancers are beautifully dressed and dancing to lovely music composed by Bryce Dessner with movements commonly found within ballet. But, above them are monitors that portray something a bit different. The art is within the contrast.