Spotlight on the new season
Slow Dancing is a video installation by Californian artist David Michalek which celebrates the art of the dance. It’s here at the LAC and for the first time in Switzerland, after the Lincoln Center in New York and other iconic venues like the Arsenale of the Venice Biennial, the Opéra Bastille of Paris and Trafalgar Square in London. The work is composed of a series of 45 moving portraits captured with a hyper-slow motion video technique devised by the artist. The portraits are of dancers and choreographers from around the world whose movements are projected in the form of a triptych onto large public surfaces. Recording the five second segments of each artist’s movements took place in a specially designed set using a video camera able shoot 1’000 frames per second in high definition. The result is a series of videos in which the dancers’ actions have been slowed down in the extreme so that their gestures alter almost imperceptibly. The 45 portraits in succession reveal each artist’s unique technique and expressiveness: these include the extension of an arabesque, the choreographic movement of arms and the rotation of the hands in flamenco, the head spin of a break dancer. Accentuated slow motion makes it possible to perceive the complexity of apparently simple gestures and to capture details that would normally elude the eye, while the installation’s large scale lends an air of solemnity to the dancers. By observing the triptychs which are juxtaposed randomly, viewers can compare dancers of different styles and from cultures: classical dance, flamenco, break dancing, capoeria, tap dancing, Butoh all appear beside each other.
The protagonists are leading dancers and choreographers from the worlds of classical and modern dance as well as recognized interpreters of traditional dance and contemporary forms. Besides their different styles the dancers also have different ages, body types, training and origins. They include important choreographers in the history of the dance like William Forsythe, Trisha Brown and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui; the ballerinas Wendy Whelan (New York City Ballet) and Shantala Shivalingappa; Judith Jamison, the artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and Alexei Ratmansky, former ballet dancer and director of the Bolshoi Ballet, currently artistin-residence at the American Ballet Theatre.
Inauguration Tuesday 20 september – 18:30
David Michalek was born and raised in California and lives in New York: his work ranges from photography to drawing, from video and audio installations to live performances in public spaces. Over the past ten years he has become particularly interested in the concept of the person in contemporary life and has explored this theme in performances, narrations, movements and gestures. In the field of video art, his work aims to capture with great care and precision gestures that may appear to be insignificant but which, though reduced to a bare minimum, unfold with great intensity as image, sound and time interact, generating narratives that are at once intimate and open. His most recent work analyses the potentialities of slowness in its various manifestations while also examining the different ways the contemporary public pays attention.
Omayra Amaya, Karole Armitage, Alexandra Beller, Anick Bissonnette, Brooke Broussard, Trisha Brown, Roxane Butterfly, Dana Caspersen, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Marie Chouinard, Patrick Corbin, Herman Cornejo, Wayan Dibia, Gabriel “Kwikstep” Dionisio, Nacho Duato, Megumi Eda, Eiko, Holley Farmer, Clarence Ford, William Forsythe, Alicia Graf, Mestre João Grande, Isabelle Guérin, Emine Mira Hunter, Bill Irwin, Judith Jamison, Jill Johnson, Bill T. Jones, Allegra Kent, Koma, Youssouf Koumbassa, Sabine Kupferberg, Sandra Lamouche, Louise Lecavalier, Miroto Martinus, Jodi Melnick, Benny Ninja, Lemi Ponifasio, Angelin Preljocaj, Alexei Ratmansky, Desmond Richardson, Glen Rumsey (Shasta Cola), Ari Candrawati Saptanyana, Putu Krisna Saptanyana, Bill Shannon, Fang-yi Sheu, Shantala Shivalingappa, Dwana Smallwood, Elizabeth Streb, Janie Taylor, Christopher “Lil C” Toler, Jeremy Wade, Shen Wei, Christopher Wheeldon, Wendy Whelan, Wu Hsing-Kuo, Nejila Y. Yatkin
Omayra Amaya is the great-grandniece of the legendary flamenco dancer Carmen Amaya. She runs the Omayra Amaya Flamenco Dance Company and School in Miami, Florida.
Karole Armitage, a former dancer with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and the Geneva Ballet, spent many years choreographing for companies in Europe. She is currently the artistic director of her New York City–based contemporary ballet company, Armitage Gone! Dance, founded in 2005.
Alexandra Beller was a member of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company from 1995 to 2001. She is now artistic director of her own company, Alexandra Beller/Dances.
Brooke Broussard A native of Lafayette, Louisiana Brooke Broussard is a founding company member of Shen Wei Dance Arts. Brooke earned a BFA in Dance from the University of Southern Mississippi where she studied under Patricia A. McConnell. Brooke has created and performed her own choreography in New York at CBGB's, PS 122, Piano’s, for the Louisiana Dance Festival, and NOHspace in San Francisco.
Trisha Brown Trisha Brown, a leader in postmodern dance for four decades, is artistic director of the Trisha Brown Dance Company.
Roxane Butterfly French tap dancer Roxane Butterfly is founder and artistic director of Worldbeats. She has performed solo throughout the United States, as well as in West Africa, Sri-Lanka, Israel, Russia, Italy, France, Spain, and Germany.
Dana Caspersen danced with Ballett Frankfurt under the artistic direction of William Forsythe from 1988 to 2004 and is a founding member of The Forsythe Company.
Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
In 1978 Marie Chouinard presented her first work, 'Crystallization', which immediately established her as an exceptional artist driven by an infectious search for the genuine. After 12 years as a solo performer and choreographer, Marie Chouinard founded her own company in 1990, the Compagnie Marie Chouinard based in Montreal, Canada. Marie has lived in New York, Berlin, Bali and Nepal.
Patrick Corbin is a former lead dancer with the Paul Taylor Dance Company and formed his own company, CorbinDances, in 2003.
Argentinean Herman Cornejo danced with Ballet Argentino before joining American Ballet Theatre in 1999. He is now a principal dancer with the company.
Wayan Dibia Wayan Dibia is a classical Balinese dancer and faculty member of The Indonesia Institute of the Arts, Institut Seni Indonesia in Denpasar, Bali.
Hip-Hop dancer and choreographer Gabriel 'Kwikstep' Dionisio founded Full Circle Productions, a hip-hop collective, with his wife, Rokafella.
Born in Japan, Megumi Eda has danced with the Matsuyama Ballet Company, the Hamburg Ballet, the Dutch National Ballet, and the Rambert Dance Company. She joined Armitage Gone! Dance in 2005.
Japanese-born choreographer and dancer Eiko, of Eiko & Koma, moved to New York City in 1976 with Koma to develop a unique, Butohinspired style of dance theater.
A member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company since 1997, Holley Farmer also has danced with The Theatre Ballet of Canada, Oakland Ballet, and the original Canadian cast of The Phantom of the Opera.
A major force on the international dance scene, William Forsythe directed the Ballett Frankfurt for twenty years. He formed The Forsythe Company in 2004.
Alicia J Graf is currently a member of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. She has also danced with Dance Theater of Harlem and Complexions Contemporary Ballet.
Grande Mestre João Grande, founder of the Capoeira Angola Center of Mestre João Grande in New York City, has traveled Europe, Brazil, Japan, and many parts of the United States to teach and perform capoeira.
Former étoile of the Paris Opera Ballet, Isabelle Guérin joined the company in 1978 and became étoile in 1985 at the nomination of Rudolf Nureyev.
Emine Mira Hunter Visual artist and second-generation sufi mevlevi whirling dervish, Emine Mira Hunter and her father Raqib run the Open Secret School of Whirling in Vancouver.
Judith Jamison joined the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1965. During her 15 years with the company, Ailey created many woks on her, including Cry. She was chosen by Ailey to be his successor and she took over the role of artistic director in 1989.
Jill Johnson is an educator, dancer, choreographer, stager and producer. She was a principal dancer in William Forsythe's Frankfurt Ballet for ten years and soloist with The National Ballet of Canada; and has been faculty at Barnard College at Columbia University, The New School University, New York University and Princeton University. She is the Director of the Dance Program and faculty in the Department of Music at Harvard University.
Bill T. Jones, co-founder of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, has created more than 100 works for his own company, as well as for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Axis Dance Company, Boston Ballet, Lyon Opera Ballet, Berlin Opera Ballet.
A muse of George Balanchine, Allegra Kent joined New York City Ballet in 1953 and was a principal from 1957 to 1981.
Japanese-born choreographer and dancer Koma, of Eiko & Koma, moved to New York City in 1976 with Eiko to develop a unique, Butoh-inspired style of dance theater.
Born and raised in Guinea, West Africa, Youssouf Koumbassa is a former artist of Ballet Djoliba, the National Ballet of Guinea. He is also the founder of the New York City–based company Les Ballets Bagata.
Sandra Lamouche is a professional hoop dancer from the Bigstone Cree Nation in Northern Alberta, who dances both solo and with dance troupes such as Morning Star Entertainment. Sandra was recently accepted to complete a Master's Thesis in Indigenous Studies studying Native Dance at Trent University.
Founder of the Miroto Dance Company, The Miroto Dance Foundation, and Studio Tari Banjarmili, Miroto Martinus is a dancer, actor, choreographer, and dance instructor at the Indonesian Institute of Arts (ISI Jogjakarta).
Jodi Melnick graduated from SUNY Purchase with a BFA in Dance. She has been a featured dancer with Twyla Tharp, and Irene Hultman and currently she performs with many NYC based freelance choreographers. As a teacher, Jodi has taught master classes, technique, and workshops throughout the US, Europe, Australia, Russia, and Asia.
Voguing legend of Westchester, New York, Benny Ninja is the father of the House of Ninja, a post given to him by the late Willy Ninja.
Samoan Lemi Ponifasio, founder and artistic director of MAU Dance Company, has performed throughout the Pacific Islands and at major international arts events, including the Venice Biennale, Holland Festival, Adelaide Festival, and Prague Quadrennial.
Angelin Preljocaj is the director of Ballet Preljocaj, based in Aix-en-Provence France, since 1984. His productions are in the repertoire of many major ballet companies around the world. He was commissioned for original works by Paris Opera Ballet, La Scala of Milan and the New York City Ballet among others.
Former dancer with the Kiev State Ballet, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and the Royal Danish Ballet, Alexei Ratmansky is the artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet.
Desmond Richardson, former dancer with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and American Ballet Theatre, is co-artistic director of Complexions Contemporary Ballet.
Glen Rumsey (Shasta Cola) Glen Rumsey, a member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company from 1993-1999, is artistic director of the Glen Rumsey Dance Project. His award winning alter-ego, drag queen Shasta Cola, has been performing for more than 14 years.
A graduate of the Indonesian National Conservatory in Denpasar, Bali, Ari Candrawati Saptanyana is dance director of Gamelan Dharma Swara, the Balinese music and dance ensemble of New York City.
Born in Bali, 15-year-old Putu Krisna Saptanyana is one of the strongest performers of Gamelan Dharma Swara in New York City.
Brooklyn-based artist Bill Shannon, a.k.a. 'Crutchmaster,' has performed in contemporary art and dance festivals in the United States, as well as in France, the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Finland, and Jordan.
Fang-yi Sheu recently retired from the Martha Graham Dance Company to form her own company, LAFA & Artists.
Born in India and raised in Paris, Kuchipudi dancer Shantala Shivalingappa is a frequent guest artist with Pina Bausch’s Wuppertal Danz Theatre.
Dwana Smallwood, a lead dancer with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater from 1995 to May 2007, is currently a freelance dancer.
Elizabeth Streb is the artistic director of STREB Extreme Action, a company she founded in 1985.
Janie Taylor A native of Houston, Texas, Janie Taylor joined New York City Ballet in 1998 and was promoted to principal dancer in 2005.
Christopher 'Lil C' Toler Christopher 'Lil C' Toler is a krumper from South Central Los Angeles and was featured in the 2005 documentary Rize.
Jeremy Wade Swimmer-turned-dancer/choreographer Jeremy Wade studied at the School for New Dance Development in Amsterdam. He has presented his work throughout the United States and internationally in theaters, galleries, nightclubs, and lofts.
Born in Hunan, China, choreographer, dancer, and painter Shen Wei founded NYC-based Shen Wei Dance Arts which has toured throughout the US, Western Europe, Australia, Israel, and Singapore.
Born in Louisville, Kentucky, and trained at the Louisville Ballet Academy and the School of American Ballet, Wendy Whelan joined New York City Ballet in 1986 and was promoted to principal dancer in 1991.
Wu Hsing-Kuo of Taipai, Taiwan, is the artistic director of Contemporary Legend Theatre.
Turkish-born choreographer and dancer Nejla Y. Yatkin attended the Performing Arts Academy in Berlin and has performed in the United States, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, England, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Russia, Ukraine, and Yugoslavia.