The Portal

Impossible Dances: Past and Future

Melinda Ring, Impossible Dance #2 (still life) (1999).

This evening of performance entangles two different festival proposals posed to artist Melinda Ring that resurface past work of hers through a reconstruction and construction in-progress. Proposal #1 asks Melinda to gift her 1999 Impossible Dance #2 (still life) to improviser and dance artist Kai Kleinbard. Proposal #2 is for Melinda to revisit Impossible Dance #2, through the assembling of its original set design as a site for her current choreographic investigations.

Program notes:

We originally approached Melinda Ring about her 1999 work Impossible Dance, inquiring if this was a work she could imagine ‘gifting' to another artist. Gifting is a proposal we dreamed up as a possibility to redirect the typical exchange of artists appropriating other artists’ ideas and work. In our conversations, a series of mishaps and miscommunications emerged. Melinda’s reply was as follows:

“This is interesting. The dance you’re thinking about is actually called Pink Lady. It’s a much simpler proposition to give this dance to someone than Impossible Dance; which is a long and quite complex improvisation that’s set in a three-walled room made of clamped together flats. I got quite excited imagining putting this up in St Mark’s Church. And also, at the same time, a little frightened at the idea of what it would take to give this dance to someone else.”

In talking, the space of misremembering became quite rich. At one point, Melinda remarked, “What if I gift the dance that is Cori’s memory? As a kind of mutant hybrid?” Through a series of conversations, Impossible Dances: Past and Future has taken shape. In Melinda’s words, she was captivated by our strange proposal, “Where idea and actuality collide. Where the past and future join forces.”

— Beth Gill and Cori Olinghouse

Impossible Dance #2 (still life)

Original concept and improvisational structure by Melinda Ring
Gift interpretation and improvisation by Kai Kleinbard
Costume by Kai Kleinbard
Props by Kai Kleinbard and Melinda Ring

cLOUD (2016)

An ‘impossible dance’ from the future.

Choreography by Melinda Ring in collaboration with performers: Talya Epstein, Maggie Jones and Molly Lieber, along with Kayvon Pourazar.
Costumes and Set by Melinda Ring.