Photo © 2009. Nannette Bertschy & Ann Moradian.

looking at the world and challenging our assumptions, definitions and creation of it through the lense of the body, movement, the arts and science.

Monday, September 15, 2014

THE LIFE OF LIGHT AND SHADOWS

A Reflection on:
The Art of Dale Chihuly in the Denver Botanic Gardens
June 14 - November 30, 2014

THE LIFE OF LIGHT AND SHADOWS
© Text and photos by Ann Moradian. All rights reserved.



Strolling through the Denver Botanic Gardens in August at noon might not always be the best idea. The sun can be brutal and unforgiving. It often feels like the desert begins in your own back yard. But this year Colorado had rain, and I think we hit the gardens in the midst of the most glorious week possible. Everything was a-bloom and a-blossom.

Not even to mention the Chihuly Exhibit! A riot of blown glass of all colors poking out, weaving through, nesting, preening, sprouting, flaring, pulsing…








… shimmering. By the time we turned the first corner on the path, everyone we met was beaming with delight. You couldn't help but smile at the beauty and the whimsy.







We passed alongside proper corridors of cut grass, with large classical vases gushing little white flowers. Strange red and yellow lily pads floated on a dark pool of water, partly hiding the reflection of a towering nest of opaque pink glass.

There were crowds of people, but they seemed to disappear in the silent cacophony of flowers and leaves and sunlight. Just a gentle breeze now and then wafting through, with an occasional burst of laughter or chatter -- more like the sound of birds than people.






I found myself marveling at the fine artistry at work almost everywhere -- the color combinations, the embrace of each garden as we weaved through the shifting life and landscapes -- even our pathways.

The Japanese Garden is the only place that felt a bit staid (unlike Portland's Japanese Garden, which is the best I have seen so far in the US). But Chihuly went to work here as well, with dozens of floating pods reflecting quietly on the water's surface. Variations in blue that deepen and lighten according to the shifting sky.




I was fascinated, again and again, by the reflections. This was multiplied tenfold by Chihuly's installations: the interplay of the art with the garden, the flowers, the terrain, the color of the sky and the light bouncing off of or seeping into the glass, the shadows caressing or looming over the layers below...






...and above all (or below all) the images cast on and through the water. It was a feast for the soul, as the eyes tried to take in everything all at once: the most obvious and tangible first, then surface reflections and shadows… then the layer beneath the water… The wind would ripple across the water, and everything came alive in its own strange dance.

We came upon "Monet's Garden", a masterpiece of sky and water, glass and plant life. I can imagine sitting here days on end, simply watching the surface of the water change with the shifting sky.




The Greek myth says that Narcissus fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water, but for the first time I wonder if it might have been the sky floating by behind that entranced him so. As a new picture forms moment by moment, the flowers reach up to kiss the sky.




I have never seen this "Monet's Garden" before, but I can't imagine it without Chihuly's sumptuous green creations. Amidst his long blue tongues of glass (that move upward like storks) and purple rods (shooting skyward like pussy willows), it looks as if the roots of the infinite variety of lily pads are just within your reach.






As the sky darkened up, ready for the next release of the thunderheads, we ambled out. Still bubbling with color and light and life.




And to think -- we didn't even see it at night with the lights on!


--
Ann Moradian


For more information on the exhibit and the artist:
http://chihuly.denver.org/about-chihuly/

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Voices and Visions of Dance: 300 Presenters, 37 Countries

A Week in the Life of Ann Moradian, for the Dance Enthusiast:

"The World Dance Alliance 2014 Global Summit in Angers, France, succeeded in its aim to create a supportive space for sharing research and creative work. It was a stimulating, inspiring and outright exhausting week, with over 300 presenters from 37 different countries sharing their voices and visions of dance with one another..." 
(read the full article)

World Dance Alliance Global Summit

at the Centre nationale de la danse

Angers, France
July 6-11, 2014


Monday, June 2, 2014

WORKSHOP: Physical Theatre

PHYSICAL THEATRE EXPLORATION
Monday, June 9, 2014 from 12h00-18h00 (20€ one-time offer!)

Colum Morgan and Ann Moradian are joining forces to bring their experience of body, being, theatre and voice together to deepen and explore embodied theatre. This first workshop is for actors and movers with performance experience. We welcome your joining us in this exploration!

Contact Ann Moradian at perspectivesinmotion(at)gmail.com


Brune Bazin, Maja Beeler, Lionel Rondeau and Jennifer Ferrari
in Ann Moradian's MEDUSA: The Birth of a Monster.
Photo (c) Alex Vanagas.


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Reflection: Bill Viola Retrospective at the Grand Palais

Grand Palais, Galeries nationales
through July 21, 2014
Paris

"Time
Cutting through the edges of water
Pulsing in slow motion
Reality dreams
the un-pondered possible"

(© Ann Moradian, April 2014)






Photo sequence by Geraldine Mignani (Thank you Geraldine!)

This exhibit is the largest retrospective ever dedicated to Bill Viola's Video Art. It can be seen here in Paris at the Grand Palais through July 21, 2014. This is also the first time in the history of the Grand Palais that video has been given exclusive place on the museum's walls. After seeing Viola's work, you will understand why. It is not 'Dance' in any traditional sense of the word, and yet his use of movement, relationships, the body and emotions is strong and clear, flowing as easily into the genre of Movement Video as it does into the genre of Moving Art. (I suppose I view everything that moves through the lens of dance.) A leading figure in New Media Arts, his interest is, Viola says, "beneath they body, and beyond."

Go if you can! It is an experience.


http://www.grandpalais.fr/en/event/bill-viola



Tuesday, April 29, 2014

International Dance Day 2014

Celebrations going on world wide include an evening of dance at UNESCO in Paris. This year, Mourad Merzouki has been asked to share his "Message" about dance:

"Every artist takes pride in his art.

Every artist will always defend the art form whose encounter has changed his life.

For that which he has sought and lost and for that which he has the burning desire to share: be it the echo of a voice, the discovered word, the interpretation of a text for humanity, the music without which the universe will stop speaking to us, or the movement which opens the doors to grace.

I have, for dance, not only the pride of a dancer and choreographer, but profound gratitude. Dance gave me my lucky break. It has become my ethics by virtue of its discipline and provided the means through which I discover the world daily.

Closer to me than anything else, it gives me strength each day through the energy and generosity as only dance can. Its poetry comforts me.

Could I say that I wouldn’t exist without dance? Without the capacity for expression it has given me? Without the confidence I have found in it to overcome my fears, to avoid dead ends?

Thanks to dance, immersed in the beauty and complexity of the world, I have become a citizen. A peculiar citizen who reinvents the social codes in the course of his encounters, remaining true to the values of the hip-hop culture which transforms negative energy into a positive force.

I live and breathe dance daily as an honour. But I am living with this honour deeply concerned. I witness around me the loss of bearings and the inability of some of the youth from the working class, growing up in tension and frustration, to imagine their future. I am one of them; so are we all. I am driven, perhaps more than others, by setting an example, to help them fuel their lust for life.

For isn’t society richer with the richness of each of us?

Culture, more than any discourse, unites. So have courage and take risks despite the obstacles and the hatred with which you will no doubt be confronted; the beauty of the world will always be by your side. Like dance has been for me. With its singular force to eliminate social and ethnic distinctions, leaving but the movement of bodies in their essence, of human beings returning to their pure expression, unique and shared.

I would like to end by quoting René Char whose words remind me daily to not let anyone confine us to scripted roles.

“Push your luck, hold on tight to your good fortune, and take your risk. Watching you, they will get used to it.”

So try, fail, start all over again but above all, dance, never stop dancing!



Translation: Petya Hristova and Charlene Lim

For more information: http://www.international-dance-day.org/en/message.html

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Impression: James Thiérrée's Tabac Rouge


photo copyright Tabac Rouge

Reviewer's Notes:
Last year when James Thiérrée premiered his newest work, Tabac Rouge, he did not perform in it. In the past, the works he has made for his company, Compagnie du Hanneton, have not only centered around him as the principal performer, but have also been powered by his extraordinary skill and charisma as a performer. Hats off to Thiérrée for plunging into a new phase in his creative process with honesty, courage and moments of brilliance.

I have been a bit late in getting to this program, and in writing it up. But definitely better late than never in this case!

To read my "Impression" of Tabac Rouge for The Dance Enthusiast, click here

--
Ann Moradian