The Portal

Abby Zbikowski & Gwen Welliver

Abby Zbikowski, double nickels on the dime (2015). Performance by Jennifer Meckley. Photograph by Ian Douglas.

Gwen Welliver, What a Horse! (2015). Performance by Stuart Singer and Claire Westby. Photograph by Ian Douglas.

Lines in the body, between people and things—as pathway, intersection, collision, mark and cut—help me to understand what is happening in movement. These lines aren't abstract or geometric; rather, they are common forms of human communication.
— Gwen Welliver

This work interrogates effort in the body and its potential to manifest in multiple aesthetic worlds. This explosive effort in the body sustained across multiple movement worlds deliberately renders my political perspective on dance. I would call it a hybrid approach to moving rather than a hybrid movement vocabulary. — Abby Zbikowski

Program notes:

We've invited Gwen Welliver to share What a Horse! inspired by Paul Klee’s image of the same name (Was Fur ein Pferd! 1929). In her piece, Welliver embraces “formalism and fantasy” as she uses the lines of the body to conjure and summon imaginative representations that hint at character, fantasy, and metaphor. Figurative and nonfigurative details emerge in a ricocheting, stream-of-conscious motion. Rooted in her drawing practice, Welliver translates a variety of line weights and densities into the body. Her use of line is transformative, imaginative, and suggestive. The raucous, relentless, and poetic suggestions emerging from the physical body offer imaginative resonances that move beyond abstraction.

Joining Welliver, Abby Zbikowski will present double nickels on the dime. Finding unclaimed gestures that speak to influences from her lived experience, delicate meaning evolves from a labored, effortful body. Zbikowski’s choreography is radical through the extreme use of labor in the body. Visual rhythms emerge in a brutish, demanding fashion. Situated in post-modern formalism, Zbikowski subverts the aesthetics of ease.

The varied approaches of these two artists in wrestling with shared concerns of the body, vocabulary, style and representation opens up a space to consider how the material of the body is mined to subversively complicate, distort, confuse and reveal meanings.

Beth Gill and Cori Olinghouse

What a Horse!

Directed by Gwen Welliver
Choreography by Gwen Welliver, Stuart Singer, Claire Westby
Performance by Reid Bartelme, Stuart Singer, Claire Westby
Sound Composition by Jake Meginsky
Costumes and Set Designed by Reid Bartelme and Harriet Jung
Lighting Designed by Tricia Toliver

double nickels on the dime

Choreography by Abby Zbikowski
Costumes by Abby Zbikowski
Performance by Fiona Lundie and Jennifer Meckley