VCUarts Dance + Choreography is delighted to present VCUarts Dance NOW 2021 Part II, new work in the virtual space by students, faculty, and featuring a collaborative re-staging of Artist Journal by guest artists Urban Bush Women. Rotating programs will be screened online for four weeks: Fridays, February 19, 26, and March 5 and 12 at 7:00 pm EST. All performances are FREE. Zoom link for February 26: https://vcu.zoom.us/j/97373761707
Part II, February 26: Urban Bush Women’s Artist Journal, collaboratively re-staged on VCU Dance majors, and new works by students Becca Gargiulo, Cameron Wilkins, and Noah Zaner.
Over two weeks in January, Urban Bush Women company members worked with VCUarts Dance students and faculty advisors to re-stage the company’s Artist Journal project. As described by UBW, “the Artist Journal is a sharing of our active research. We cite our bodies and our environment as reservoirs rich with experience and memory. By sharing family stories, recipes, and remedies – sitting among trees, waterways, and the Moon, we listen and excavate. There are practices for navigating discomfort, healing, and visioning onward that have charted the survival and progression of people of color. Many of these we know and exercise, others we seek to uncover. This is our navigation for Re-Membering and Restoring. In an open rehearsal setting, this Virtual (Zoom) event combines moments of informal performance, audience interaction and conversation, and a dance party. Our Artist Journal is an invitation into our creative and research-driven process of creating multidisciplinary work and offers an opportunity to reflect and connect with others around some of the ideas we are exploring.”
In in search of something more, Becca Gargiulo explores the experience of living in a technologically-driven society, which has increased exponentially due to the Covid-19 pandemic. She delves into how such extreme experiences can cause deep, meaningful connections to gradually fade away. Performing solo, Gargiulo transitions from mime-like gestures to expansive movement, bringing to life a character who questions this loss of humanity.
In Existential, Cameron Wilkins expands on the ideas from a previous piece, which was a “love letter” to the women of his family. Existential is a love letter to himself, acknowledging the places he’s been and the places he’s going. He choreographed and performs the work mainly in the contemporary style with heavy ballet influences.
Tuesday, Dearest by Noah Zaner uses Butoh and Gaga exercises to create two similar but independent story lines. Both dancers were directed to embody a character that they created and to be influenced and affected by the worlds in which their characters existed.
VCUarts Dance NOW 2021 is the fifth event of the 2020-2021 performance season, a series of virtual events created under COVID protocols and in the spirit of innovation and connection. This season is made possible in part by generous support from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.