SIG funding helps support new dance work, “The Things”
Gomez, Czelsi
/ Categories: Strategic Investments

SIG funding helps support new dance work, “The Things”

This May a Strategic Investment Grant from the Montana Arts Council helped support a new production of “The Things” by Kate Jordan and Bruno Augusto of Missoula-based Arts & Above. 

The dance and visual piece, created and performed by Jordan and Augusto, was enhanced by costumes designed by fiber artist Susan Gilmore, and lighting designed by artist Katie Thompson. The soundscape, created by Augusto, and the lighting also showcased the newly-installed technical capacities at MASC Theatre on Missoula’s westside. 

Outreach efforts to meet that neighborhood’s underserved audience and students across the city were supported by targeted marketing efforts of MASC’s director/owner Sj Beck. The diverse audience of more than 50 included students from the Susan Talbot Home for Girls, members of Missoula’s multiple performing and visual arts communities, including faculty and students, and members of the general public.

“The Things” is a provocative piece performed as a duet with colorful green milk-crate props, configured and repositioned in various combinations during the 40-minute production. Augusto’s soundscape of unusual techno features, mixed with texts as mantras, enhanced the mood of inquiry, possibility and interrogation of the intentions of the dancers. 

The performance asked the audience to contemplate the things and thoughts that we may collect, build, destroy, hoard, or choose to use in different ways. It asked, “How much is enough? Too much? Isolating? Liberating?” The performance ended with a tower and the humans looking up, leaving the audience with the questions “Is it good? Will it harm? How should I react?” 

The audience was invited to discuss their questions with the artists at the conclusion of the performance.

 

“Where the Wild Things Move”

“The Things” is the touchstone for Arts & Above’s in-school residency program, available for bookings across the state. Titled “Where the Wild Things Move,” this residency offers schools an interdisciplinary weeklong program with Jordan and Augusto. It exposes students to creative practices and physical training through the use of multi-colored milk crates.

Students engage in group movement assignments with the props, and other experiences intended to build teamwork and problem-solving skills. Each school residency culminates with an informal presentation by the students, showcasing their explorations. This process provides an opportunity for students to tell their stories, develop their individuality, and become comfortable in front of a peer audience. 

For information on “The Things” or a school residency of “Where the Wild Things Move” contact team@artsandabove.org or call 406-880-7968.

 

(Photo): Kate Jordan and Bruno Augusto in their original work, “The Things.” (Photo by Jennifer Feagles)

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