DOORKNOB COMPANY: manifesto/credo

  • We are instinctual.
  • We are trained.
  • We research extensively.
  • We use archetypal images as the building blocks of our work.
  • We risk exploring the narrative and this requires great restraint.
  • We do not pretend; we live out the emotional reality of the work.
  • We create a relationship with our audience.

As part of DOORKNOB COMPANY’s integrative approach to dance theater, the company utilizes a rigorous developmental process to explore various conflicts. Environment dictates everything. DOORKNOB, therefore, explores character driven experience and creates movement as a reaction to the constraints of each scene. Movement, text, scenic elements and music work in tandem creating a heightened reality. Performers live truthfully under imaginary circumstances.

Since its establishment in 2004, DOORKNOB COMPANY, founded by Juilliard graduates Shannon Gillen and Elisabeth Motley, has performed works at Festival Oltre Passo in Lecce, Italy, Dance Theater Workshop, the Stella Adler Studio Acting, HERE Arts Center, Dance New Amsterdam’s Raw and Object Series, the Ontological-Hysteric Theater, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Sitelines Series and Judson Church with Movement Research, and was a finalist at Joyce SoHo’s A.W.A.R.D. Show.

The company’s founders have held residencies with DTW’s Fresh Tracks, DNA’s Air, and the Juilliard School’s Summer Workshop. DOORKNOB’s performances include the Wave Rising Festival and a full-length work at Joyce Soho in May 2010. The company guest taught in the summer and fall of 2010 at Dance New Amsterdam.

Inspired by the text and sound of Fellini’s film La Strada, DOORKNOB’s new work, The Waiting Room will explore character duality and human behavior and will seek to transfer the craft of film (reversed images, images in fast forward, images in slow motion) to live performance. The work begins with two women in a waiting room where a television in the corner, visible to the audience, is playing Fellini’s La Strada. A synchronicity is immediately evident as the movie and the women’s thoughts begin to intertwine. Although the women yearn to move in harmony with the film, discord prevails. Much like Fellini’s film, the work is deliberately ambiguous and resists classification. The work is sustained through emotive force.

Image credit: Courtesy of the artist