Living Legacy | Feb 11-24, 2018
Living Legacy artist Ann Carlson returned to MANCC for the final residency in a series of three supporting the development of her solo project, Dumbo Redacted, which she will both choreograph and perform.
Carlson is an interdisciplinary artist who borrows techniques from dance, performance, theater, and visual and conceptual art, and often dismantles conventional boundaries between artist and subject. She has been a Visiting Artist at Stanford University and has received numerous awards for her work including a Creative Capital Award, USA Artist Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship, and Foundation for Contemporary Art Fellowship, and was the first Herb Alpert awardee in Choreography in 1995.
Dumbo Redacted builds upon her celebrated “Animals” series, and is informed by the movement and mythologies surrounding earth’s largest land mammal, the elephant. The piece is set inside a circus ring and is a story caught both out of sequence and out of date. The work plays with clumsy grace and wild quiet as it collides and colludes with time, gravity, fury, and redemption. Carlson’s dramaturg for the project, Melanie Joseph, continued to assist in refining the narrative and scenic elements of the work while in residence.
At MANCC, Carlson presented her work in an Open Rehearsal during the School of Dance’s weekly Forum. To further her research, Carlson met with FSU Flying High Circus Director, Chad Mathews, to discuss the history and structures of circus performance. As the Director of one of two programs of its kind in a university setting, Mathews spoke with Carlson about the history of circus in the United States, the politics of animals as entertainers and laborers, and the structure and format of traditional circus shows. Carlson observed the student circus performers in rehearsal for their upcoming Spring performance.
MANCC acknowledges the need for deeper, more sustained support to allow artists to research their ideas in and out of the studio, from concept to movement, to production and design. For this reason, with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, MANCC has made a multi-year, multi-residency commitment to supporting vanguard artists at each phase in the development of their work. Carlson is one such artist receiving this sustained support.