The Movement Series @ Wood Street Galleries

Published On November 4, 2015 | By Mackenzie Sugrue | The Arts

slowdanger by Todd Chalfant

19th century French novelist Emilie Zola once wrote: “If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.”

Art comes in many different mediums, and for one month, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is shining a light one specific form. Just about midway through, the new Wood Street Gallery Movement Series takes place from October 23 through November 22. The series is comprised of five dance and choreography performances, providing a new and broad audience to unique, local, up-and-coming artists. At the same time, these performances will give audiences a new outlook on visual art and insight into this new generation of dance and choreography.

The first performance took place on October 23 and 24 was titled, “memory 4: STATIC,” by slowdanger. The group of independent performance artists use dance to express the connection between body and spirit, and their showcase featured a series of snapshots that express how memories can come and go within a lifetime. Slowdanger also signified that when memories come back into our minds, they aren’t clear; but rather, they fluctuate into focus with static.

On October 30 and 31, Jessica Marino and Jasmine Hearn performed “us.” The two friends and Point Park University alumni performed a long-running dance duet and two solos. The group incorporated many different styles of dance, including a type they had been learning called “contact improvisation.” Set up in a TV-like manner, the duet acted as the program, with both Marino’s and Hearn’s solos as the commercial breaks.

Below is a sneak preview of upcoming showcases in Wood Street’s Movement Series that you still have a chance to catch:

What Doesn’t Kill You


                               What Doesn’t Kill You Set

“What Doesn’t Kill You,” is set for November 6 and 7. Katie Ford, a local visual artist, is teaming up with experimental theater choreographer, Sarah Stites, to make an interactive dance installation. From 2011 until last year, Ford has held five artist residencies at five different studios in Idaho, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Missouri. Her art exhibits have been shown at various galleries on the East Coast, in the midwest, and even in Paris. Sarah Stites has worked as a producer, writer, director and choreographer for many years. With her different works, she draws lines between philosophy and human emotion, attempting “to make what is big, small; and what is small, big.” Taking place in very close quarters, this installation will use space to compel audiences with their performance. “What Doesn’t Kill You” will shed light on illness in a different way. In addition to focusing on the physical illness, alone, Ford and Stites will confront the social, emotional and spatial significance of being physically unwell. Seating for this event is extremely limited, so be sure to grab tickets ($15) online or at the door. Shows will start at 8PM on both days.



Becky Slemmons “Gatherings”

On November 13, at 8PM; and November 14, at 3PM and 8PM, Becky Slemmons, Joan Wagman and Mita Ghosal will present “Pages”: a series of responses to a sound piece. The sound piece is made of recordings from Jewish synagogues currently stationed in Berlin. Slemmons’ art has been featured in galleries around the world including: Oregon, New York, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Seoul Korea. She has partaken in seven residencies, two of which were in Germany, and one in Estonia. She’s also taught at various universities, including Pitt and Robert Morris. Joan Wagman is a distinguished dance professor as well as choreographer. She taught dance at several universities and has choreographed performances like “Romeo and Juliet,” “The Mikado” and “Parade.” Her latest work, “Pinkification,” was a newMoves project covering topics like cancer, sexuality and inhumanities. Mita Ghosal is a dancer whose choreography focuses on the mechanics of theater. Her work typically encompasses modern and post-modern dance, yoga, laban and theater, and has been seen in places like The New York Film Institute, the New York International Fringe Festival, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall, among others. She also teaches students in several mediums of dance, locally and nationally. Ghosal’s work in “Pages” will confront the question: “How do we grieve for what has passed, while still honoring how deeply we have loved?” Her piece will explain how to move on from loss and to accept and celebrate life. After their solo pieces, Ghosal, Wagman and Slemmons will collaborate on topics of perseverance when faced with inhumanity. Tickets ($10) can be purchased online or at the door.

Falling for a Moment


RMG/lightentry by Ryan Michael White

Following “Pages,” Wood Street Galleries will present “Falling For A Moment” on November 20 and 21 at 8PM by RMG/lightentry (the collaborative movement project of Pittsburgh-based creator/performer Roberta M. Guido). Her improvisational dance performance handles the issue of connect-and-disconnect in our society, meeting with the need for human contact, while putting a post-modern twist on human emotion. “Falling For A Moment” embraces the difficult task that people in their 20s are faced with in how to become a “person.” Through movement, it will explore narratives with finding and creating ones’ self in the struggle of post-college. Tickets will be $10 at the door.

All events will be held on the third floor of the Wood Street Galleries, located at 601 Wood Street in Downtown Pittsburgh. For more information, be sure to check out Wood Street’s webpage.

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