I went to see 47 Square Dances, a performance at the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, CT over the weekend. The performance was by artist Ryan Frank and choreographer Laurie Berg, and created in conjunction with Ryan's show Balance Beam, which is currently on view at the Mattatuck (which I wrote about in the next post). I really appreciated the collaborative aspect of this work. Ryan, a visual artist, and Laurie Berg, a choreographer, created the elegant performance by merging their unique sensibilities into an engaging viewer experience. At different points in the sequence dancers engaged quite physically with the wood objects built by Ryan, in a way similar to the aesthetic of his light and photography sculptures in the Balance Beam exhibition. 47 Square Dances was staged in a Free Mason meeting room, which lent an incredibly rich background and a noticeable reverence to the performance.
Here is the text from the program:
"The Mattatuck Museum is proud to present 47 Square Dances, a multimedia performance by visual artist and choreographer Laurie Berg.
47 Square Dances is a unique performance conceived in conjunction with Ryan Frank's exhibition Balance Beam, currently on view in the museum's Munger Room through October 12, 2014.
Frank has collaborated with acclaimed choreographer Laurie Berg to create a site-specific performance in the museum's beautiful and ornate theater space, which was originally part os the building's Masonic Temple.
The piece is an exploration of this historic site, using Masonic principles such as the Pythagorean Theorem incorporated into the set and choreographed movement. Part dance and part installation, this performance will introduce the audience to a world that is vast, immediate, and magical."