Multi-media Dance Inspired by Imperial French Court Comes to the Redfern
Court/Garden, a stunning new dance and multi-media performance created by New York choreographer Yanira Castro and her company a canary torsi, closes the spring 2016 season on Wednesday, March 30, at 7 p.m. at the Redfern Arts Center at Keene State College. Tickets to Court/Garden are $20 and $5 for KSC students. For tickets, contact the Redfern Box Office (open Monday to Friday, noon to 6 p.m.), call 603-358-2168, or order online.
A spectacle in three acts, Court/Garden takes as its inspiration the imperial ballets of Louis XIV’s French Court where extravagant performances for the aristocracy took place at the lavish Palace of Versailles. Court/Garden focuses on the role of performance and baroque dance in Louis XIV Court (circa 1643-1715) where the thing that mattered most was how close you were in relation to the King and Queen. Being seen by members of the court was as or more important than watching a performance. This unique piece looks at the politics of performance by leading the audience through various seating arrangements, inviting people to change their seats and enjoy the dance from a different perspective during each act.
“The audience’s relationship to the dance is the way Court/Garden investigates the structures behind the act of watching and being seen,” explains director and choreographer Yanira Castro. “The performance considers ‘the ways we come together’ as a social and political body, and how this is reflected back to us through the politics of performance.”
Encore Magazine called Court/Garden a “palpable sensation of art up-close and personal.”
Yanira Castro is the 2015–16 choreographer-in-residence for the KSC Theatre and Dance Department and is creating material based on Court/Garden with an ensemble of KSC dance students, to be performed at the annual An Evening of Dance concerts April 20–23. Castro is a Puerto-Rican born and Brooklyn-based director and choreographer. In 2009, she formed the collaborative group, a canary torsi, which invites audiences to participate in work that is anchored in live performance and extends into other media and online platforms. She has created nine evening-length works and has received a 2009 BESSIE award. The production is designed by Kathy Couch, with music by Stephen Moore and video design by Peter Richards.
There are two free, open-to-the-public activities surrounding the Court/Garden performance:
- A Conversation with the Artists of a canary torsi about experiencing the performance of Court/Garden through the lens of the Proscenium frame on Tuesday, March 29, 2 p.m. in the Main Theatre of the Redfern Arts Center.
- A Post-Show Talkback andreception with a canary torsi following the March 30 performance in the Redern’s Main Lobby.
The Court/Garden performance is made possible by the Kingsbury Fund and the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts.