The Backyard (after Nelson/Paxton’s PA RT)
“Art is a game between all people of all periods.” —Marcel Duchamp
This summer, fidget dancers Megan Bridge and Beau Hancock will travel to Vermont for a week of studio research with Steve Paxton and Lisa Nelson. The focus of our research will be PA RT (1978), a 45 minute duet, created by Paxton and Nelson and performed from 1978-2002, with music by Robert Ashley.
Work will begin in late May in Philadelphia, with Megan and Beau beginning to familiarize themselves with Steve and Lisa’s movement choices (based on video documentation from performances in 1978 and 1983). In July the work will continue in Vermont at Steve and Lisa’s studio.
The improvised score for PA RT arises within the setting/environment of the sound and the costumes. This project calls into question the very nature of “re-staging…” How does one re-stage an improvisation? By what means is the bodily knowledge transferred? Where and how is the position of “author” located within this work?
Steve and Lisa are internationally acclaimed teachers, performers, and choreographers who are elders in the field. Through his involvement with Judson Dance Theater, Steve hoped to birth post-modern dance and went on to found Contact Improvisation. Lisa created the improvisational composition practice “Tuning Scores.”
fidget’s engagement with Robert Ashley’s music is not without precedent. Through our staging of Ashley’s Dust, screenings of his 1983 television opera Perfect Lives, and now through PA RT, fidget has made a commitment to fostering Ashley’s legacy and carrying his work forward to a new generation of listeners.
Please help us get this project started! Where your contribution will go:
$20: one hour of rehearsal for one dancer
$50: a tank of gas which will get us halfway to VT
$100: one night in our Air BnB in VT
$250: a full day of rehearsal in Philadelphia for 2 dancers
$400: our travel expenses to and from Vermont
$1,000: 25% of artist fees
Photo: Gil Grossi