“Configure” Makes the Leap from Sculpture to Dance

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Configure (v). To adapt or bring to form.

Inspired by a new series of works by sculptor Michele Collier, “Configure” is PDX Contemporary Ballet’s inaugural collaboration with a materials artist. From form to body, Collier’s pieces set the stage for an in-the-round performance that explores surprising connections between two seemingly unrelated fields of artistic expression.

The entirety of Configure is set to selections from Ludovico Einaudi’s “In a Time Lapse,” which was recorded in a remote monastery in Verona, Italy. When it was released in 2013, one reviewer remarked “Einaudi’s most ambitious effort yet is a masterpiece – incorporating baroque and Italian folk music, late romantic strings textures, and a wide variety of color through percussion and electronics.”

Music: In a Time Lapse by Ludovico Einaudi
Choreography: Briley Neugebauer
Sound Design: Briley Neugebauer
Lighting Design: Mark LaPierre

1st Movement: “Amenity”
Music: “Corale”, “Waterways”, “Walk”, “Bever”.
Dancers: Kaileigh O’Neill, Katherine Evans, Micah Chermak, Sari Hoke, Tessa Salomone, Victoria Lauder, Amara Malcom, Sara Gilbert.

2nd Movement: “Change”
Music: “Experience”, “Run”, “Burning”.
Dancers: Kaileigh O’Neill, Katherine Evans, Micah Chermak, Sari Hoke, Tessa Salomone, Victoria Lauder, Amara Malcom, Sara Gilbert.

-- INTERMISSION--

3rd Movement: “Oppose”
Music: “Dark Bank of Clouds”, “Orbitz”, “Time Lapse”.
Dancers: Kaileigh O’Neill, Katherine Evans, Micah Chermak, Sari Hoke, Tessa Salomone, Victoria Lauder, Amara Malcom, Sara Gilbert.

4th Movement: “Changed”
Music: “Two Trees”, “Corale Solo”.
Dancers: Kaileigh O’Neill, Katherine Evans, Micah Chermak, Sari Hoke, Tessa Salomone, Victoria Lauder, Amara Malcom, Sara Gilbert.

PDX Contemporary Ballet is grateful to Michele Collier for her artistic contribution and collaboration. Audience members will no doubt be delighted to find the sculptures that inspired “Configure” on exhibit in the N.E.W. lobby for the run of show.

Artistic Statements

Briley Neugebauer, PDX CB Artistic Director
What I love most about Michele’s work is that you can still see her original material–the clay. Many of her figures appear as if they are emerging from the clay and trying to break free of the slab that is part of them. Others look as if they have embraced the fact that they are partially formed, waiting for what is to come. And even in those sculptures where the slab itself is obscured, the clay quality is still there. The material isn’t covered up or hidden beneath a façade. Instead you see the unfinished edges, the small cracks, and even large holes where you might expect there to be more clay.

To me, these figures represent part of our true human nature, unfinished, cracked, continually in a process of transformation. A few years ago I went through a significant change in my life that altered who I was. At first I was unwilling to acknowledge that change had happened, and I was determined to keep things “the way they were.” However, things could not be the same, and there were many times when I looked back and wished I could be the person I was before the change. But I had to accept the part of me I wish was not there. Michele’s series reminds me of this point in my life and the many stages I went through in trying to accept the change.

Michele Collier’s “Cloud Series”
When I relocated here to the Northwest, the first thing I became aware of was the cloud formations. They appear to be “born” from the vast forests that cover the mountains here. The vapor rises as if by magic and I was immediately smitten.

For me, these clouds became mythic creatures. I noticed the way they were born and how they can build up, change colors and bring rain. SO much rain! I saw how they could race before the wind or pile up and sit peacefully in the sky. They have personalities and like anyone who has watched clouds, I saw imaginative forms emerge.

I found that I couldn’t step away from the subject and it has dominated my work for this past year.