Music, Dance Faculty to Perform Solo -- Together
Release Date: 02-24-2009
UVM professors Paul Besaw and Patricia Julien will join with Lorelei Bayne, Jason Lambert, and Anneliese Weibel in a collaborative concert of solo works featuring each of their art forms.
The title "Isolation Interference" reflects an intriguing confluence of ideas — artists working in different forms performing a seamless sequence of original solos created over a year of collaborative effort. The resulting collection will be presented in two performances on Saturday, Feb. 28 in Burlington's FlynnSpace at 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.
The project was conceived by assistant professor of dance Paul Besaw. Along with Patricia Julien, associate professor of music, he secured a dean's faculty research award, which allowed them to bring in three additional professionals from across the country. Together they represent dance and choreography; music and composition; theater and storytelling, which intertwine throughout the pieces. The performers joined to workshop their pieces three times.
"Creating art," says Julien, "is so very solitary, it was fascinating for me to think about creating solo work while sharing the experience. And I was intrigued to join people from different disciplines. That was very enlightening, to take advantage of people's artistic excellence. "
Case in point, as a flutist Julien says she doesn't think about the way that she moves, yet the dancers in the group brought a heightened awareness to her movements and helped her incorporate physical gesture into her piece.
Julien's work, entitled "Power," examines the notion in three movements. In the first she uses her flute to convey the pain and damage of a 2006 Syrian honor killing. In the second, she looks at taking up space as a form of power; here she chooses to use it joyfully, expansively moving up the register of her instrument. Julien's final movement stays more true to her lyrical style. "It's the idea that you can have something to say without being really loud or dominant. It can be genteel."
Besaw, dancer and choreographer, was ready to create a solo after 20 years of collaborative work. But his art has also been immersed in music and theater (UVM's dance program is part of the music department), and he liked the idea of making something of his own while having others who might influence and affect his work, and vice versa.
"We wouldn't have to come to agreement necessarily," Besaw says.
His piece, "366 Forest Road," combines dance, music, and an oral interview conducted by Besaw to tell the story of a New England woman who lost her home in a flood. His choreography uses three strikingly different versions of Irving Berlin's "Blue Skies" to experience the woman's story.
Getting feedback from others, particular those with expertise in other art forms wasn't always pleasant, Besaw allows — there could be strong responses — but it was a powerful experience and one that led to closeness and trust.
"I'm still craving more," says Julien. "I hope this is just the beginning in terms of exploring these connections, this cross-pollination that I found so enriching."
The performances are $18 for adults and $12 for students. More information and ticket sales are available through the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts.