Kinesis Project dance theatre Announces Bi-Coastal Live Performances of Search(light)
Kinesis Project dance theatre announced an evening of an experiment in bi-coastal live performances, Search(light), on January 30, 2021 at 7pm EST (4pm PST) and 8:30pm EST (5:30pm PST). In this step of the work’s development, dancers on each coast will perform simultaneously, live from the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York and the Kay White Hall at Vashon Center for the Arts on Vashon Island, Washington. This visionary, cross-country, real-time dance performance will feature music by Sandbox Percussion, plus a very special live performance by solo violinist Kristin Lee. The event is free, with a suggested donation of $15 to support Kinesis Project dance theatre’s mission to create site-specific performances and facilitate educational programs. The event will livestream at VashonCenterForTheArts.org and on MIDHEAVEN Network.
“Search(Light) is a work of connection; it is about invisible threads made visible and many kinds of light,” said Melissa Riker, artistic director of Kinesis Project dance theatre. “Kinesis is a large-scale dance company, and in these challenging times for performance and performers – when experiencing live dance has been on hold, and the shared space dancers thrive on has been closed for so long – we are doing exactly what we are here to do: finding new ways of bringing artists together, and pushing the boundaries of how audiences experience dance. I am so grateful to our venue partners, our collaborators and creative team that we can attempt this first step experiment in shared performance over distance.”
Search(Light) is Kinesis Project dance theatre’s newest work in development, originally inspired by an experience Riker had six years ago when she witnessed a full pier of squid jigging, a type of fishing, in Seattle. Enthralled with the lights from the dock reflected off of the water, beautifully caught in a chaotic, mesmerizing rhythm of fishing lines, Riker had the inkling of an idea.
As it is developing now, Search(Light) draws from the science of light, as well as how we connect, how we are pulled in, how light guides and informs, and how light, connection and distance intertwine. Riker and the dancers have been developing the vocabulary of the work since November 2019, workshopping the connectedness of light and dancing of the piece by being in person and then shifting to Zoom when the global pandemic hit in 2020, to keep the full company in collaboration. As a step in the process, in July 2020, Riker sent 100 candles to each of the 11 dancers to record themselves in locations and the natural light of their choosing. The completed film by Ellen Maynard with music by Sandbox Percussion is available online. To view Search(Light), RSVP to receive a link at Kinesis_RSVP@icloud.com.
With the live performance world still on hold, Riker is taking all of the safety steps to bring each group of dancers together in their respective cities to dance in huge, beautiful spaces. Search(Light), is in development on Saturday, January 30 21 at 7pm EST (4pm PST) and 8:30pm EST (5:30pm PST), streaming live on VashonCenterForTheArts.org and MIDHEAVEN Network (https://midheaven.network). The New York cast includes Claudia-Lynn Rightmire, Therese Ronco, Jeimin Yang, Sumaya Mulla-Carrillo, and Nicole Truzzi. The Seattle cast includes Lorraine Lau, Kimberly Holloway, Hendri Walujo, Robert Moore, Margaret Behm, Madeline Morser. Kinesis Project is thrilled to be working with violinist Kristin Lee (New York Philharmonic, Emerald City Music), and beginning the process of a collaboration with Sandbox Percussion. A special conversation about the process and development of Search(light) between Melissa Riker and Rebecca Irby will be shown between the 7pm and 8:30pm performances.
Kinesis Project is grateful for the support of venue partners Brooklyn Navy Yard and Vashon Center for the Arts. The help of filmmaker, Ezra J. Robinson as Director of Photography, Seattle and Projection Designer and artist/producer, George Del Barrio as Director of Photography, NYC and Network Creative/Technical Director (MIDHEAVEN Network and The Vanderbilt Republic), means Kinesis Project NYC and SEA will be dancing together again, in real time, from coast to coast.
Kristin Lee (Violinist) is a recipient of the 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, as well as a top prizewinner of the 2012 Walter W. Naumburg Competition and the Astral Artists’ 2010 National Auditions. A violinist of remarkable versatility and impeccable technique, Lee enjoys a vibrant career as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and educator. “Her technique is flawless, and she has a sense of melodic shaping that reflects an artistic maturity,” writes the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and The Strad reports, “She seems entirely comfortable with stylistic diversity, which is one criterion that separates the run-of-the-mill instrumentalists from true artists.” Lee has appeared as soloist with leading orchestras including The Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Ural Philharmonic of Russia, Korean Broadcasting Symphony, Guiyang Symphony Orchestra of China, Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional of Dominican Republic, and many others. She has performed on the world’s finest concert stages, including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, the Kennedy Center, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Ravinia Festival, the Louvre Museum in Paris, Washington, D.C.’s Phillips Collection, and Korea’s Kumho Art Gallery. An accomplished chamber musician, Kristin Lee is a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, performing at Lincoln Center in New York and on tour with CMS throughout each season, as well as a member of Camerata Pacifica in Santa Barbara, sitting as The Bernard Gondos Chair. Born in Seoul, Lee began studying violin at age five and within one year won First Prize at the Korea Times Violin Competition. In 1995, she moved to the US to continue her studies under Sonja Foster and in 1997 entered The Juilliard School’s Pre-College. In 2000, Lee was chosen to study with Itzhak Perlman after he heard her perform with the Pre-College Symphony. Lee holds a Master’s degree from The Juilliard School. She is the co-founder and artistic director of Emerald City Music in Seattle. For more information, visit violinistkristinlee.com.
Ezra J. Robinson (Projection Designer/Director of Photography) is a filmmaker and new media artist from Seattle, Washington. He has created video and tabletop games, projection installations, documentaries, 360-degree video, concert graphics, a laser harp, and many short films. Ezra co-founded Late Stage Interactive, a game studio focused on expanding accessibility in the VR space, whose first title Detour Bus will release later this year, in collaboration with Oculus.
Sandbox Percussion (Music) has been described as “exhilarating” by The New York Times, and “virtuosic and utterly mesmerizing” by The Guardian and have established themselves as a leading proponent of this generation of contemporary percussion chamber music. Brought together by their love of chamber music and the simple joy of playing together, Sandbox Percussion captivates audiences with performances that are both visually and aurally stunning. Through compelling collaborations with composers and performers, Jonathan Allen, Victor Caccese, Ian Rosenbaum, and Terry Sweeney seek to engage a wider audience for classical music. Sandbox Percussion performs throughout the United States and made their United Kingdom debut in 2019 at the Vale of Glamorgan Festival in Cardiff where they premiered a new work by Benjamin Wallace for percussion quartet and fairground organ. In the 2019-20 season Sandbox Percussion premiered Don’t Look Down, a new work by Christopher Cerrone, with pianist Conor Hanick, as part of a new live stream concert series at the Caramoor Center for Music. They also presented a performance at Dumbarton Oaks of a new work by Viet Cuong. Sandbox Percussion has presented four separate programs of music by John Luther Adams at Storm King Art Center, Tippet Rise Art Center, Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, and the String Theory concert series in Chattanooga, TN. Sandbox performed Viet Cuong’s concerto Re(new)al with the Albany Symphony and the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, as well as premiered a wind ensemble version of the work with the Brooklyn Wind Symphony. Sandbox collaborated with actor and writer Paul Lazar on a portrait concert of music by John Cage at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University, and gave three sold out performances of Music for Eighteen Musicians with Emerald City Music in Seattle, WA. In addition to maintaining a busy concert schedule, Sandbox has also led masterclasses and coachings at schools such as the Peabody Conservatory, Curtis Institute, the University of Southern California, Kansas University, Cornell University, and Furman University. While there, they coached students on some of the most pivotal works in the percussion repertoire including Steve Reich’s Drumming, György Ligeti’s Síppal, Dobbal, Nádihegedüvel, and John Cage’s Third Construction. These teaching experiences have inspired the quartet to pursue a role of pedagogy and mentorship for today’s young generation of musicians. In 2016, Sandbox Percussion founded the NYU Sandbox Percussion Seminar – this week-long seminar invites percussion students from across the globe to rehearse and perform some of today’s leading percussion chamber music repertoire at the iconic Brooklyn venue National Sawdust. In 2020, Sandbox Percussion released their debut album And That One Too on Coviello Classics. The album features works by longtime collaborators Andy Akiho, David Crowell, Amy Beth Kirsten, and Thomas Kotcheff. In the 2020-21 season, Sandbox Percussion will launch a group of new virtual initiatives: a concert series live-streamed from their studio in Brooklyn, #sandboxsunday – a live-streamed series of conversations with composers, performers and other close collaborators, and monthly live-readings of new works submitted by composers from around the world. In 2021, Sandbox will release their second album Seven Pillars, an evening-length commissioned work by Andy Akiho, with staging and lighting design by Michael McQuilken. Sandbox Percussion endorses Pearl/Adams musical instruments, Zildjian cymbals, Vic Firth sticks and mallets, Remo drumheads, and Black Swamp accessories.
The Brooklyn Navy Yard (the Yard) is a mission-driven industrial park that is a nationally acclaimed model of the viability and positive impact of modern, urban industrial development. The Yard is now home to more than 450 businesses employing more than 11,000 people and generating over $2.5 billion per year in economic impact for the city. Building on the Yard’s history as the economic heart of Brooklyn, the 300-acre waterfront asset offers a critical pathway to the middle class for many New Yorkers. The Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (BNYDC) is the not-for-profit corporation that serves as the real estate developer and property manager of the Yard on behalf of its owner, the City of New York. BNYDC strives to provide an environment in which innovative companies can take root and grow. The Yard was once the nation’s most storied naval shipbuilding facility, which for over 150 years built and launched America’s most famous fighting ships, including the USS Maine, USS Arizona, and USS Missouri. The Yard also served as an important point of the passage, home, and workplace for countless veterans as they served our country. Through its public programming, the Yard continues to honor and preserve this rich history.
Vashon Center for the Arts is a collaborative and community-based organization on Vashon Island, outside of Seattle. For more than 50 years VCA has been at the center of the island’s art and cultural scene. Since that time, it has grown in every possible way to become the largest non-profit on Vashon and home to five uniquely different program areas: Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Arts Education, Dance, and Vashon Artists in Schools residencies. At the center of the VCA campus is the beautiful Kay White Hall. Opened in 2016, “The Kay” is a 300 seat theater which has hosted local, regional and international talent including k.d. lang, Judy Collins, Leo Kottke, Matisyahu, David Grisman, Seattle Dance Collective, Whim W’him, Vyacheslav “Slava” Gryaznov and more. During the COVID crisis, VCA has adapted to accommodate multi-camera livestream performances. Visit: VashonCenterForTheArts.org
MIDHEAVEN Network is a brave, generative space of healing and for the building – not “rebuilding” – of a fully inclusive society. MIDHEAVEN exists to alchemize our individual challenges into a shared upward movement. Through live arts programming from a global phalanx of performance, visual art, social justice, human development and cinema/ film/ VR voyagers, MIDHEAVEN advances courageous, loving & possibility-driven visions to the world. https://midheaven.network.
The Vanderbilt Republic knows archetype expansion & radical humanity to be drivers of market leadership and generative social reform. Through its work with pioneering contemporary artists, producers and brands, the agency offers bespoke solutions in immersive creative production, design & direction with innovative projection methodologies and best-in-class photo/film production.
Melissa Riker is Artistic Director and Choreographer of Kinesis Project dance theatre. She is a New York City dancer and choreographer who emerged as a strong performance and creative voice as the NYC dance and circus worlds combined during the 90s. Riker’s dances and aesthetic layer her training as a classical dancer, martial artist, theatre choreographer and aerial performer. She creates dances on site – and in context. Riker invents large-scale out-door performances and spontaneous moments of dance for individuals and corporate clients. Audiences and critics have called Riker’s work “a Marx Brothers’ routine with soul,” “A movable feast.” And from The New York Times, her choreography is: “comically acrobatic, gracefully classical, visually arresting.”
Kinesis Project is a dance organization that creates dance as public art, facilitates educational programs and produces site-specific performances with diverse communities. A company at the forefront of the international discussion of placemaking, art engagement and the cultural imperative of art in public space, Kinesis Project dance theatre invents large scale, space-changing, breath-taking experiences. In 2020 Riker kept Kinesis Project working and creating consistently on both coasts thanks in part to COVID Relief Grants from Dance/NYC, the Indie Theatre Fund and generous donors. The company live-streamed multiple performances from Riverside Park South presented by Summer on the Hudson and has continued creating and developing Search(Light) on both coasts. Since 2005, Kinesis Project’s work has been experienced in San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, Boston, Philadelphia, Vermont, Florida and in New York City at such venerable venues as Danspace Project, Judson Church, Joyce Soho, The Minskoff Theatre, The Cunningham Studio, West End Theatre and Dixon Place. In 2019, the company’s work was experienced in Seattle, Brooklyn, NY, Riverside Park, supported by New York City Parks, and in Snug Harbor Cultural Center on Staten Island. The company dances outside in sculpture gardens, universities, and annually since 2006 in Battery Park’s Bosque Gardens and The Cloisters Lawn as well as hosting more than 30 surprise performances all over New York City and the tri-state area as an element of the company’s earned income and outreach programming with volunteer populated flash mobs. Residencies include: Earthdance 2006, Omi International Arts Center 2008, Kaatsbaan International Dance Center 2011, TheaterLab 2014, Adelphi University 2014. Ms. Riker is a 2016, 2017 and 2019 CUNY Dance Initiative Residency Fellow, 2015 LMCC Community Arts Fund grantee, 2019 Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Grantee. In 2020 Riker and Kinesis Project received a Dance/NYC COVID Recovery Grant and Indie Theatre Fund Recovery Grant. She has been commissioned by The Brooklyn Botanic Garden for a surprise large-scale work and performances of her work Secrets and Seawalls at Omi International Arts Center, Long House Reserve, Gateway National Park in partnership with Rockaways Artist Alliance. Ms. Riker has received commissions from Carson Fox and the Ephemeral Festival in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 for large-scale outdoor events, NYU in 1998, for an outdoor work long before “flash mob” was coined, 2006 and 2008 grants from the Puffin Foundation for her work Community Movements, a dance work with community volunteers, Fellowships from the Dodge Foundation, Space Grant Residencies from 92nd St Y, The New 42nd St Studio, Gibney Dance Center, and The Joyce Theatre Foundation, and grants from The Bowick Family Trust and John C. Robinson to support the continued work of Kinesis Project dance theatre.