Next weekend (May 31–June 2), contemporary dance companies <fidget> and anonymous bodies team up to bring the world to us. Kate Watson-Wallace and Jaamil Olawale Kosoko will perform their new duet, anonymous bodies (yes the title does reflect the name of the company), Jaamil will perform his new solo, other.explicit.body., and <fidget> will perform Subject in Two Parts featuring Megan Bridge, John Luna, Lorin Lyle, Rebecca Sloan-Potash, and Annie Wilson. The show is at Christ Church Neighborhood House (20 North American Street–by 2nd and Market Streets). Check out details here. I caught up with <fidget> artistic director and choreographer Megan Bridge to get the skinny on us.
Live Arts: How did the title us. come about?
Megan Bridge: It seemed like the most simple, honest title we could think of. It’s just us. Nothing more, hence the period! It’s about our work and how it fits together. All the work deals with identity, or self-hood, or the fiction of all of that.
LA: How did the grouping of artists come about?
MB: Jaamil and Kate asked me to join forces with them, we all feel an affinity to each other’s work. We all have a dark side, we are experimental, edgy, often use social commentary, often use technology.
LA: Tell us about the show.
MB: I premiered Subject in Two Parts in 2008 in a New Edge Residency at the CEC [Community Education Center at 35th and Lancaster in Powelton Village]. I am so excited to be doing it again. I never felt finished with it, and a lot of its ideas are still current to me. I’m interested in the idea of subjectivity and how that word is conceived of in philosophical or theoretical frameworks. The idea that the self is a fiction, that there is no unified subject but that we are created by layer upon layer of our experiences, relationships, exposure to media, a product of our environment. It’s not like there’s some core nugget of Megan-ness that is underneath all of these layers. I am the layer, the layers are me. As for Kate and Jaamil’s works, I have to say I know NOTHING about either of them, I can’t wait to see them next week in tech!
LA: There are lots of events surrounding the show. Why did you want to do this?
MB: Originally we had planned to run the show for two weekends, but as the date got closer we realized we didn’t want to spread our audiences too thin and especially over Memorial Day weekend! But we got an amazing grant for the space (Dance UP’s New Stages for Dance) and wanted to take advantage of having it, so we decided to do some fun stuff, get the word out about our show and t reach some of the tourist population in Old City over the holiday weekend. We’re considering it as an audience building opportunity to some extent. Also a way to get people to engage in more parts of the creative and production process with the open rehearsals, discussions, etc.
LA: Congrats on a successful kickstarter campaign, was that your first? Were you surprised at how much the fees were?
MB: Thanks! No, we’ve each done individual Kickstarters for fidget and anonymous bodies before, so we knew what to expect. I do have to say though that in the future I might try to do one of the other funding platforms that is more geared towards non-profits . . . smaller fees or no fees at all, still get your money even if you don’t make the goal, etc.
LA: The show is at Christ Church Neighborhood House. How are you configuring the stage?
MB: It’s set up in the traditional proscenium configuration, turns out we all have a bit of formalism in us that we are letting creep to the surface in this production. It’s fun for me because my last show at thefidget space, situation: becoming, was so immersive and site-specific. It’s fun to be able to use the proscenium to control the perspective of the audience!
LA: Something we absolutely should know about us., whether it is relevant to anything or not:
MB: Kate, Jaamil and I are incredibly productive, assertive, creative people on our own but we make a terrible team when it comes to getting anything done. We have a great time together but nobody remembers who’s responsible for what! So we end up either replicating each other’s work or letting things slip through the cracks. Thank god we have an AMAZING production manager, Lauren Mandilian, but I think we are driving her crazy.
May 30, 6pm–8pm V.I.P. reception and performance, 8pm preview show. V.I.P. tickets: 2 for $50, 1 for $30
May 31–June 2 at 8pm, June 3 at 3pm.
Tickets: $16 General Admission (advance) $10 Student/Artist (advance)
$20 General Admission (at door) $12 Student/Artist (at door)
Advance tickets sold at Brown Paper Tickets