Free and open to the public!
Thursday through Sunday, December 2-5, 2021
Open for viewing 6:00pm-9:00pm
The Ark, Lower Floor
14 Epworth Dorm Lane
Duke University East Campus
Highlights from The City: A Portal include:
-idiosyncratic uses of video projections that layer presence with transience and transparency, destabilizing our understanding of inhabiting a space or even belonging in it, questioning notions of the real, the imagined, the hyperreal
-soundscapes using Excerpts from Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities as a poetic backdrop to which alternative voices respond
-interactive map-making designed to explore issues of freedom of movement, contested migrations, anthropogenic destruction, and failed utopian projects
-Calvino-inspired curios that invite inquiry into memory, desire, death, and decay
As an overture to our art installation, The City: A Portal, we will re-air The City: A Prelude
Streaming again November 26-28, 8:00pm-11:00pm
When we began working with Italo Calvino's "Invisible Cities" over two years ago, Covid had not yet transformed our world. The pandemic has forced us to reexamine and re-envision the ways in which we conduct our lives on all levels, not the least of which includes the ways we create and deliver artistic performances. Thus began our voyage from live to virtual.
Our virtual installation, The City: A Prelude works to uncover convergences and divergences between our “real” cities and those imagined by Calvino. The work rewards multiple or extended viewings during its weeklong online presence: peruse for five minutes or less–you are a passerby; linger for ten minutes–you are a visitor; lounge for twenty minutes or more–you are an inhabitant; multiple extended visits and you become The World’s Most Learned.
Calvino envisions our particular journey: “for those who pass it without entering, the city is one thing; it is another for those who are trapped by it and never leave. There is the city where you arrive for the first time; and there is another city which you leave never to return.”
Longtime collaborators Tyler Walters, Killian Manning, and Julie Janus Walters bring a rich variety of viewpoints and expertise to the process of making work. Our approach highlights immediacy, connection, sensory awareness, and a fierce dedication to rigorous intellectual and embodied research. We began work on March 3rd, 2019 reading/discussing/arguing with Calvino’s Six Memos for the Next Millennium, then gravitated to his more poetic Invisible Cities. We have spent the past two years developing a set of creative procedures that focus on integrating movement, text, projected images, and constructed environments. We created a kind of salon, meeting two to three times per week, fostering a trusting, collaborative climate, honing our abilities to negotiate difference: artistic, intellectual, and personal. The strenuous necessity of paying attention to words, movement, each other, and the environment established an exchange of energy that continues to fuel our research.
creates multimedia works that merge improvisational movement strategies with live and prepared digitally-processed media, often projected onto screens composed of translucent, moving materials. This creative practice centers his curiosity about the tensions, collisions and interactions between materiality and virtuality. Tyler worked in the field of professional ballet for almost four decades, as a leading dancer with the Joffrey Ballet, then with numerous institutions as educator and award-winning choreographer. Heavily steeped in these balletic traditions that have sought to establish permanence: of form, of repertoire, of institutions, Tyler now celebrates impermanence. Toward this impulse, he returned to school in 2016 to earn an MFA in Dance from Hollins University, creating a thesis project that explored change and ephemerality, from which his most recent creative efforts stem. He remains Associate Professor of the Practice Emeritus of Dance at Duke University.
has been making work for over 30 years. A curious and acquisitive soul, she has a B.A. in German, an M.T.S in Theology, a PhD in Performance Studies, and pointe shoes from Freed’s. She began her dancing and dance-making career in Boston, studying with Mark Morris and Lucinda Childs. After serving on the faculties of Radcliffe and the Boston Conservatory and founding her company, No Forwarding Address she relocated to North Carolina via the American Dance Festival, and taught at UNC-Chapel Hill until heading west for her Ph.D., where she created her dissertation: “Performing Utopian Visions: Art(iculation) in the Age of AIDS.” Since returning to the Triangle in 2004 she has created over 20 theater, site-specific, and video works.The primary focus of her research is intertextual performance, with a special interest in the distinct vocabulary created by the interaction between text and movement.
is an interdisciplinary artist who works at the intersection of dance and somatic practice. Her experience as a former principal dancer with more than 30 years of professional performing expertise has greatly informed her development as a choreographer, teacher, researcher and somatic practitioner. Julie’s creative and choreographic work moves effortlessly between different performance styles and somatic methods. A leading dancer with the Joffrey Ballet for many years, she was featured in performances around the world and has appeared on national and international television. She was also a Principal Dancer with Atlanta Ballet and a Guest Artist with Carolina Ballet and the National Ballet of Iceland. Julie is Assistant Professor Emerita of the Practice of Dance at Duke University. She is a certified GYROKINESIS® and GYROTONIC® Instructor, helping to guide individuals to cultivate their own innate intelligence in motion.
Mary Chandler Gwin
Julie Janus Walters
Sound Score: John Hanks
Text: excerpted from Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, 1978
We acknowledge that we are creating on land belonging to the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation.