the CURRENT SESSIONS

a performing arts organization + presenting series in NYC

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT #4: Nicole von Arx

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Know first about some of our Artists and their Companies on our ARTIST SPOTLIGHT leading up to Volume IV, Issue II.! Learn a little about who they are and what they are most passionate about!


Today’s SPOTLIGHT is:

Nicole von Arx



WEBSITE: nicolevonarx.com

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE YOUR CHOREOGRAPHY:
Detailed, Groovy, Texturized

ABOUT Nicole
Born in England and raised in Switzerland, Nicole von Arx now lives between Geneva and New York. As a performer, she worked for Carte Blanche, The Norwegian National Company of Contemporary Dance, the Metropolitan Opera and freelanced dancing for New York City based artists. In 2013, she participated in The 6th Copenhagen International Choreography Competition while dancing for the choreographer Bryan Arias winning 1st place and Audience Choice Award. Her choreography has been presented in Switzerland at the Flux Laboratory, Reykjavík 2011 Culture Night in Iceland, at the Dumbo Dance Festival in Brooklyn and in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.

ABOUT Nicole’s CREATIVE PROCESS 
My inspiration comes from the world that surrounds me, the people I meet, different sounds, textures and emotions. I don’t believe in just the form, athleticism and aesthetic of the work. I feel compelled to recreate aspects of the world we live in and, consequently, give the reality a deeper meaning.

 My work process is a continuous discovery in which I evolve by giving myself creative tasks. I use images, stories and music/sounds to generate movement and illustrate the theme I am exploring. Most of all, I collaborate with artists that inspire the work with their own voices, while striving for risks and avoiding clichés.

Do you work in other mediums other than dance? Any other special talents?
The past three years, I have been continuously collaborating and working with painters, film directors, photographers, actors and musicians. I am drawn to them because of their strong individual voices that inspire my own creativity and work process.

What artists are you influenced by? Why so?
I feel extremely lucky to have either studied or worked with artists such as Etienne Frey, Bryan Arias, Summer Lee Rhatigan, Alex Ketley and Hofesh Shechter. They have been a huge influenced in my growth as a mover, thinker and creator. All are great visual artists, some passionate dreamers, that I constantly find myself referring to. 

What is your most memorable moment as an artist, thus far?
I had a few turning points in my career. One of them was moving from Switzerland to New York. Leaving the safe, comfortable, clean streets of Geneva, and landing into a multicultural, hectic and challenging city filled with hungry talented artists. Another would be my return back to Europe for half a year last summer to work with Carte Blanche, The Norwegian National Company of Contemporary Dance. Having a similar experience to the one stepping into New York, I had to reconnect with the European lifestyle and creative world after being abroad for six years. 

As much as I like to think we, people around the world, are all connected, I believe there is a uniqueness in each culture that needs to be acknowledge. With our incredible access to information through the web, we tend to lazily blend things together as one. After traveling so much, I realized that it’s not about trying to understand each other, but to cooperate when needed and mostly respect each other in any kind of way. 

Say what you want to say! Have a quote you live by?
#chronicoles

FOLLOW Nicole
FACEBOOK: facebook.com/nvarx
INSTAGRAM: @nicolevarx

Check out Nicole at Volume IV, Issue II., on Friday, August 22nd at 7:30pm + Sunday, August 24th at 7pm!

Volume IV, Issue II. is happening August 22-24!!! 
Get your tickets 
HERE!

Photo credit: Claudia Zakrzewski 

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT #3: Sophie Sotsky | TYKE DANCE

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Know first about some of our Artists and their Companies on our ARTIST SPOTLIGHT leading up to Volume IV, Issue II.! Learn a little about who they are and what they are most passionate about!


Today’s SPOTLIGHT is:

Sophie Sotsky | TYKE DANCE 



WEBSITE: tykedance.com // oozlum.com

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE YOUR CHOREOGRAPHY:
Effort, Endurance, Endorphin 

ABOUT Sophie
Sophie Sotsky is a Brooklyn-based dancer and choreographer. Since founding TYKE DANCE in 2011, Sotsky has shown her work at Movement Research at The Judson Church, The Center for Performance Research, Triskelion Arts, Dixon Place Theater, The Panoply Performance Laboratory, Soundance Studio Theater, AUNTS at Arts @ Renaissance and The Chocolate Factory Theater presents Sarah Maxfield’s THROW, curated in 2012-2013 by Lindsey Dietz Marchant.

When not dancing Sophie works as a production electrician, lighting dance at New York Live Arts, The Kitchen, The Chocolate Factory and a handful of other venues.

Sophie writes about contemporary performance for Posture Magazine. 

ABOUT Sophie’s CREATIVE PROCESS 
My dances investigate the themes of exertion, exhaustion, effort and error.
I work closely with Physical Ordeal:

  • As a method of inquiry into dance as time-based art.
  • To un-abstract the performing body without the use of imported narrative. (To humanize.) 
  • To poke fun at dance — the difficulty of it, the hopelessness of it all, and the archaic nature of requiring such an enormous amount of energy for a thing perceived to have such a comically low payoff.
  • To romanticize dance — the difficulty of it, the hopelessness of it all, and the quixotic nature of such an undertaking.

What artists are you influenced by? Why so?
My first choreographic influence is Ms. Elizabeth Streb. From very early on in my dance making I was obsessed with Streb’s aesthetic of brutality, toughness, strength and power. But my use of these themes does not constitute a direct replication of Streb’s aesthetic; it’s in conversation with hers— Streb uses the accomplishment of extraordinary feats to portray her dancers as superhero-like (un-human); I use the attempting of extraordinary feats, and often the failure to expertly perform them, to portray my dancers as extremely human (un-superheros).

More recently, I’ve been thinking about the work of Minneapolis-based choreographer, Morgan Thorson. As a student at Wesleyan University, I saw her masterful “Heaven” (2009), and was deeply moved by it. Ms. Thorson told us afterwards in a talk-back with the audience that she had sought to portray her dancers as comprising a spectrum of gender. She told us that, in her mind, Heaven was a place free from gender. Indeed, the piece featured effeminate men wearing skirts and dresses, short-haired masculine women and a host of other people — some who seemed androgynous or generqueer in their appearance, and others who appeared to be traditionally identified, or cisgendered. Yet when they stood together, all dressed in white (various shades and textures, though), they seemed, beautifully, like one entity.

I feel strongly about working with a cast of people who are as different from one another as they are from me. Not only different in terms of identity signifiers such as gender identity, but also different in terms of physicality, dance training, and points of engagement with dance or physical practices. Some of my dancers are masterfully classically trained and some have no dance training at all. Yet I still work a great deal with group unison. I am trying to show a spectrum whose poles are equally beautiful despite their distance from one another. —Many spectrums, actually. I want to portray each performer as unique, as beautiful, and as a human being. Thorson’s notion of a heavenly spectrum, I feel, speaks strongly to my own aesthetic value system: exertion, exhaustion, effort and error — and therein, humanness. 

Say what you want to say! Have a quote you live by?
"Maybe it’s some pointless act like… pouring water into an old pan that has a hole in the bottom, but at least the effort you put into it remains. Whether it’s good for anything or not, cool or totally uncool, in the final analysis what’s most important is what you can’t see but can feel in your heart. To be able to grasp something of value, sometimes you have to perform seemingly inefficient acts."

-Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running 

FOLLOW TYKE DANCE
FACEBOOK: facebook.com/TYKEDANCE
TWITTER: @TYKEDANCE
INSTAGRAM: @TYKEDANCE

Check out TYKE DANCE at Volume IV, Issue II., on Friday, August 22nd at 7:30pm + Sunday, August 24th at 3pm!

Volume IV, Issue II. is happening August 22-24!!! 
Get your tickets 
HERE!

Photo credit: Lindsay Keys

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT #2: Wynn Holmes // Street Parade

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Know first about some of our Artists and their Companies on our ARTIST SPOTLIGHT leading up to Volume IV, Issue II.! Learn a little about who they are and what they are most passionate about!


Today’s SPOTLIGHT is:

Wynn Holmes // Street Parade 


WEBSITE: www.vimeo.com/streetparade

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE YOUR CHOREOGRAPHY:
Dexterous, Rhythmic, Explosive

ABOUT Wynn
Wynn Holmes is a multidisciplinary artist that draws from her passions of minimalist art and design, dance, music, and fashion. The works she creates, whether dance choreographies or music, embody a stylistic sense of modernism ; shapes, colors and ephemeral textures play vital roles within a milieu of controlled chaos.

ABOUT Wynn’s CREATIVE PROCESS
My work’s philosophy can be crystallized in an exploration of the intersection where art and culture not only express a societal truth, but the act of the art’s creation reveals to us the truest aspects of ourselves. Dance inspires us to reach a shared understanding as each time a new piece of work is woven into our culture, it becomes a part of us and most fundamentally changes who we are. It’s this push and pull, this play that inspires most of my work.

Do you work in other mediums other than dance?
I work equally in music and dance. I sing and play keys in my band, Heartcopy.

We are all physical beings! What’s your favorite part of the body and why?
Hands! Think about all the things that they can do and create. Gestures from clenched fists to elegant extensions can be more expressive than words.

What is your most memorable moment as an artist, thus far?
There was a moment very recently - I finally learned to embrace the fact that I was a choreographer AND musician and that both of these passions and professions could co-exist. It may seem obvious that music and dance are complimentary to each other but I fought for so long to keep them separate entities and thought that I could only do one or the other. Realizing that being a choreographer would not take away my credibility as a musician and vice versa was a really defining moment for me. 


FOLLOW Wynn Holmes
FACEBOOK: facebook.com/wynn.holmes
TWITTER: @wynn_holmes
INSTAGRAM: @wynnholmes

Check out Wynn Holmes at Volume IV, Issue II., on Saturday, August 23rd at 7:30pm + Sunday, August 24th at 7pm!

Volume IV, Issue II. is happening August 22-24!!!
Get your tickets
HERE!

Photo credit: Saad Al-Hakkak

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT #1: Colby Damon

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Know first about some of our Artists and their Companies on our ARTIST SPOTLIGHT leading up to Volume IV, Issue II.! Learn a little about who they are and what they are most passionate about!


Today’s SPOTLIGHT is:

Colby Damon



THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE YOUR CHOREOGRAPHY:
Fluid, Fantastical, Felt

ABOUT Colby
Colby Damon has danced professionally for the Sacramento Ballet, Northwest Dance Project, Mark Morris Dance Group, Thang Dao Dance Company, The Met Opera Ballet, and BalletX. He has choreographed on the Sacramento Ballet, Charlottesville Ballet, and Opera Philadelphia, and his works have been selected for performance at the Current Sessions NYC, YES! Dance Festival, and Pennsylvania Ballet’s “Shut Up and Dance”. He is certified yoga instructor, and is active in the fight against “fracking” and other fossil fuel extraction operations in the state of Pennsylvania and throughout the USA. He sends wishes of peace to all sentient beings.

ABOUT Colby’s CREATIVE PROCESS
Dance is a primordial art form which existed in nature and in wo/mankind before other forms of comminication were forged. Connecting to the primordial, mystic essence within the body, exploring ways to communicate that connection, and centering on themes of relevance for this day and age are the chief aims of my personal art making practice, in the hope that I may aid in the evolution of consciousness for myself and society. I play the guitar, and write/compose songs. I also practice

What artists are you influenced by? Why so?
In dance I am influenced by classical virtuosity with innovation, so Baryshnikov is a huge influence. I also enjoy reading mystic poetry and philosophy like Rumi, Zhuang Zi, Patanjali and such, in order to get beyond the constructs of the mind, and move towards a more subconscious, innate gnosis. Losing self consciousness while improvising on stage.

We are all physical beings! What’s your favorite part of the body and why?
I love all of the little cells that selflessly work together to make the larger whole function. Its incredible to think.. over 30,000,000,000 of them, all allowing the functions we take for granted, with us on top having little daily cognition of their profound brilliance.

Say what you want to say! Have a quote you live by?
We are living in crazy times. The level of consciousness is rising to new levels, but we are facing greater threats to our inner and outer environments than ever before. I hope artists can respond to this time by providing the deep, insightful meaning that desperately needs to be injected into contemporary culture.


FOLLOW Colby Damon
FACEBOOK: facebook.com/robert.c.damon

Check out Colby Damon at Volume IV, Issue II., on Friday, August 22nd at 7:30pm + Sunday, August 24th at 3pm!

Volume IV, Issue II. is happening August 22-24!!!
Get your tickets HERE!

Photo credit: Alexander Iziliaev

Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, En Attendant & Cesena, at BAM
Photo: Elyssa Goodman


"You are my heat and glare"
Kimberly Bartosik
Photo: Elyssa Goodman
gallimdance:

#TBT // While Associate Choreographer with Noord Nederlandse Dans (2009-11), Andrea Millertraveled to Groningen, Holland, to create a new work on the company. ‘Mouth Music’ premiered in February 2010. Read an interview with Andrea Miller talking about the creation of ‘Music Mouth’ > http://bit.ly/GzO5TV
blastedheath:

Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987), Lamentation, from Martha Graham, 1986. Screenprint in colors, sheet: 36 x 36 in.