The River To River Festival offers a moving spectacle

Posted In: LMCC in the News

The Newark Star-Ledger chatted with LMCC president, Sam Miller, about the virtuosic choreographers who a part of this year’s R2R and the impact that artists often have in communities where they live and work.

“What we try to do through this site-based work,” says Miller, “is give audiences that come to the festival the chance to see work by important New York artists that they may not have discovered in a traditional, theatrical environment.”

The dances of Trisha Brown will be a major focus this year, celebrating a great American choreographer whose early works made dramatic use of the urban environment. An exhibition currently on display in the LMCC Arts Center on Governors Island, for instance, includes a recreation of the set for Brown’s “The Stream.” When this piece received its premiere in 1970, pedestrians were funneled through a U-shaped structure filled with pans of water.

Another dancer with a long history of public engagement is Eiko Otake, of the renowned dance duo Eiko & Koma. This time, however, Otake will be collaborating with Tomoe Aihara in a piece called “Two Women,” Friday and Sunday, on Governors Island.

Some of the festival choreographers this summer are creating new, site-specific pieces, such as Tere O’Connor’s “Untitled” duet for Michael Ingle and Silas Reiner. O’Connor’s piece, performed Monday through Wednesday, will explore the relationship between the human form and the buildings looming over the pocket park known as the Elevated Acre.

Other artists, such as Okwui Okpokwasili, are adapting pieces originally created for the stage. Okpokwasili’s “Bronx Gothic” is a coming-of-age story that reveals itself gradually as two schoolgirls exchange surreptitious notes.

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