2013 Capital Fringe Show Preview: Bowen McCauley Dance ‘From the Ground Up’ by Audrey Bowler

Bowen McCauley Dance (BMD) presents From the Ground Up.

From ancient Egypt to modern day Austria, BMD explores the environments’ influence on movement and movement choice in two dance compositions: Afoot in Vienna and Fire and Air.

Afoot in Vienna

…surfaces not only affect a dancer physically, affecting balance and traction, but also emotionally.” – Lucy Bowen McCauley on Afoot in Vienna.

'Afoot in Vienna.' Photo courtesy of Dance .
‘Afoot in Vienna.’ Photo courtesy of Bowen McCauley Dance.

During the summer of 2011, Austrian composer and visual artist Wolfgang Seierl invited Lucy Bowen McCauley to his native Vienna to develop a new work created “from the ground up.” Seierl placed McCauley on different surfaces throughout the city — a grassy field, a creaky wooden floor, steps — and asked her to spontaneously dance, solely using the sensations in her feet as inspiration, despite the urge to let her body move freely. The results of that experiment became fodder for a piece titled Afoot in Vienna. Seierl then composed an original score for McCauley to combine with choreographed pieces, performed in front of a backdrop of video segments taken during McCauley’s time in Vienna.

Afoot in Vienna has its own distinct feel and sense of place. Beyond the various environments referenced in the piece’s sections, McCauley hopes a broader impression of the Austrian capital comes through. “It’s not the skyline of Vienna, it’s the sense of Vienna,” McCauley says. “I hope the audience feels an essence of that.” Afoot in Vienna is a multimedia experience that explores the concept of sensory feedback and the effects of surface on movement using an organic, modern approach.

Fire and Air 

“When directors and choreographers act from their impulses, the work tends to come from a deeper place—sometimes from our subconscious—and that process is an electric one.” – Alan Paul on partnering with Lucy Bowen McCauley to create Fire and Air.    

'Fire and Air;' Photo courtesy of Bowen McCauley Dance.
‘Fire and Air;’ Photo courtesy of Bowen McCauley Dance.

In keeping with her commitment to live music and artistic collaboration, Lucy Bowen McCauley has united Alan Paul of Shakespeare Theatre Company and New York composer Patrick Soluri to create Fire and Air, a dramatic reimagining of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. The piece features a rare performance by Lucy Bowen McCauley, who is captivating in the role of Cleopatra.

Alan Paul, associate director of the D.C. Shakespeare Theatre Company, directs the innovative work. Paul’s inspiration for the piece comes directly from Shakespeare’s original text and was significantly influenced by Cleopatra’s death scene, of which Paul says: “She famously says, ‘I am fire and air; my other elements I give to baser life.’ Now if that line doesn’t deserve a dance, I don’t know what does.” Fire and Air combines the elements of music, dance, and theatre to create a distinct new work.

From the Ground Up
Saturday, July 27 at 7:45 p.m.
          Sunday, July 28 at 2:00 p.m.

GALA Hispanic Theatre at Tivoli Square
3333 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20010
one block north of the Columbia Heights Metro Station on the Green Line.

Purchase tickets online, or by calling the Fringe Box Office 866-811-4111. All single tickets to Fringe performances are $17.00.

Official Hashtag: https://twitter.com/BMDCdance #bmdcapfringe13

BMD is part of the 8th Annual Capital Fringe Festival, July 11– 28, 2013.



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