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Saturated Images, Wild Spaces at the Pritzlaff Building

Aug. 31, 2011
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Wild Space Dance Company opens its 25th season Sept. 15-17 with In the Space Between, a site-specific experience created by founding director Debra Loewen in collaboration with artist/photographer Tom Bamberger at the 19th-century Pritzlaff Building.

In keeping with her distinguished history as a dance-theater experimenter, Loewen's new work is based on images, not stories. Since at least the 1960s, live performance has often rejected narrative in favor of juxtaposition and collage because, while we might think in terms of stories, what we actually experience in our profoundly mediated capitalist era is a saturation of disparate, mostly visual images that strike simultaneously or in rapid succession and compete to influence our actions by stirring up feelings, memories and desires. This increases the more we live online.

For this performance, Bamberger has selected and manipulated photos of people, nature, art and words and grouped them to excite memories and inspire connections. They'll be projected onto three big screens in a warehouse space entered at 325 N. Plankinton Ave. Fourteen dancers—beautifully corporeal by contrast and partnered by the old Cream City brick surroundings—will represent our sense-making processes.

“This is absolutely the opposite of our last collaboration,” Loewen says, speaking of January 2010's slow-motion By Accident and Necessity. “Tom's images change quickly this time. You can't take your eyes off them. As you watch, you are confronted with your own mind making meaning. People could choose to spend all night watching them. My role is not to interfere with that.”

The dancers will move to new areas, inviting audiences to follow if they choose. At a bar in the cobblestone courtyard with the best view of the building, an abstract color video by Bamberger will compete with the night sky and passing trains to complement the dancers. New areas in an adjoining building will be revealed, and there's a circuitous route back to the start.

“Nothing has an absolute beginning or end, so you can happen upon it and spend as much time as you want there,” Loewen says. “You can be close to the dancers or watch from a distance. There are many choices and constantly shifting meanings.”

For tickets and information, call 414-271-0712 or visit www.wildspacedance.org.


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