photo: Mark Simpson
Made possible in part by the Heinz Small Arts Initiative, Shana Simmons Dance (SSD) was pleased to co-present their fall show with The Kelly-Strayhorn Theater. Inspired by an article written by Judith Mackrell of The Guardian, Do choreographers need editors?, Objective I is a split bill performance exploring editing in dance created in collaboration with New York City based company, The Moving Architects (TMA) and choreographer Erin Carlisle Norton. Simmons and Carlisle Norton each developed a new work exploring the ideas of “placement” and “displacement.” Despite coming from the same root, manifested into two completely separate conceptual works. After the development of the works, each choreographer edited the others’ piece. All four pieces were presented in a New York City showing (November 21, 2015), discussing the process of editing, receiving feedback from a panel, and ultimately choosing which versions were presented at the Alloy Studios in Pittsburgh (December 4 - 5, 2015). Objective I was the first of KST’s newest residency series, Alloy Creation Lab. Along with the Objective I portion of the program, repertory works from both companies were presented (run time, approx. 60 mins. plus post show discussion.)
EDITING IN DANCE
Editing in dance is a new idea springing from an article written by Judith Mackrell of The Guardian. She states, “In dance however there’s no real equivalent, no institutional version of an outside eye to spot a weak narrative, a slack structure or an idea that’s not quite working.” Referring to books and theater plays, there seems to be a successful pattern to having an objective eye edit text and delivery methods, a process to which some of literature’s greatest authors can attribute their successes. Mackrell goes on to comment, “Personally I think the art form [dance] is suffering needlessly from this lack of systematic editorial input.”
Shana Simmons and Erin Carlisle-Norton have had a personal connection since the start of their careers. Both are originally from Pittsburgh and have a strong passion for boosting their hometown artistic community. Each choreographer is familiar with the other’s artistic works and style of choreography and feel a collaborative effort would culminate in an interesting and thought provoking split bill performance. A trust has been developed to edit each other’s works stemming from their shared history, training, similar professional lives, and both would aim to keep the integrity of the works.
Objective I marks an important creative milestone for both Shana Simmons and Erin Carlisle- Norton by supporting the creative process and public engagement activities of an editing-based partnership between choreographers. With a strong reputation for high-quality, engaging dance performances, SSD and TMA are excited to present side by side.
**This project is available to tour, explaining the editing process, and presenting the edited work. It is also available for workshops, lecture demonstrations, master classes, and setting the work on students.**