Movement Research presents shared programs of 3-4 choreographers each Monday evening on a free series at the historic Judson Church. Because this program supports experiments in performance rather than finished products, reviews are not allowed. In addition, production values are low – there are few lighting cues and tech is minor. However, because the program is free, there is generally a large and warm audience in attendance.
Elina Lutce was an Artist-in-Residence at Movement Research as part of the MRX program and was, therefore, invited to show her work at Judson. Unfortunately, the first time she performed, there was a snowstorm so the audience was quite small. The MR staff, always supportive, gave her a second opportunity in mid-February. The night was cold but it wasn’t snowing so there was a full, if not packed, house.
Elina was the first of four choreographers whose work was presented that night. The others included two collectives — I AM A BOYS CHOIR and The Lovelies – and another solo artist, Cesar Reyes Lopez.
Elina’s work, which she called “An idea from the solo performance ‘corpuss’”, was surprising and bright. Without being a critic, I can say that she put on a lot of clothes that had been carried on in a shopping bag, and then managed to take them off just by moving – wiggling, jerking, squirming, jumping. This sounds awkward but her movement quality is quite beautiful which provides a fascinating juxtaposition to the obsession built into the piece.
The other works on the program involved a very funny duet for a man and woman on ice skates; a dark performance piece with a flag as the central visual element; and a group of 5 young improvisers with a live saxophonist.
Movement Research at the Judson Church is a highly regarded series that choreographers must apply for well in advance. A panel of five artists, which changes with each season (fall and spring) selects from the pool of applicants. The series is very open to presenting international work though, as there is no fee, a choreographer from abroad has to fund her/his own trip from local sources. It offers one of the best audiences, however, that can be found in New York without the need to do any marketing for oneself. The audience is well versed in dance and open to new innovations and expressions. The series can serve a young artist as an introduction to a large public and can also allow a more mature artist to experiment with a work in progress and/or a completely new direction. The next deadline is March 31, 2015. You can find the application guidelines at: http://www.movementresearch.org/performancesevents/judsonchurch/guidelines.php.
Photo: Jānis Skutelis*Laurie Uprichard is currently an independent producer and formerly director of the Dublin Dance Festival in Ireland (2007-2011) and Danspace Project, New York City (1992-2007). Laurie Uprichard joined Stephen Petronio Company as Executive Director in February 2014. She also continues to serve as Associate Producer at Quaternaire, an international production and tour management agency based in Paris, France, and as a freelance consultant and producer, currently as guest curator for Abrons Arts Center and Production Consultant for Tere O’Connor Dance. Past clients have included the Bessies, Centre Culturel Irlandais, Douglas Dunn, Focus Dance, La MaMa, and Wesleyan’s ICPP. Laurie served as Director of the Dublin Dance Festival from 2007-2011, overseeing its transition to an annual festival and expanding its international visibility, audience outreach, and support of the local dance community. From 1992-2007, she was Executive Director of Danspace Project in New York City, a period of significant programmatic and budget growth for this dance venue based in the historic landmark St. Mark’s Church. She served as Managing Director of Urban Bush Women from 1991-92 and as the company’s Producing Director until January 1996. From 1984-1991, she was associated with Dance Theater Workshop, serving the last three years as Managing Director and Co-Producer. She was a staff member in various programs at the New York State Council on the Arts between 1973 and 1981. In addition, she toured briefly as Company Manager with Meredith Monk/The House. A former dancer, Laurie performed with Kei Takei’s Moving Earth for five years, as well as with Irene Feigenheimer, Barbara Roan, and Wendy Woodson. Laurie Uprichard is a member of the Board of Directors of Danspace Project; has twice served on the Board of Dance/USA, chairing its Presenters Council from 2002-2004; and has served as a board member of Movement Research. She is a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters in the French Ministry of Culture and received a 2008 New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Award for her service to the field. With Yorgos Loukos, Laurie served as Artistic Advisor to the France Moves Dance Festival in 2001 and on the Honorary Committee of the French-U.S. Exchange in Dance (FUSED). She holds an M.B.A. with a concentration in Marketing from The American University and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Miami.