Visting Artist | October 29 - November 11, 2018
To The Things Themselves!
Neil Greenberg, a former dancer in the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, has been making his own dances since 1979.
Long obsessed with the particular kinds of meaning that dance can create (sensual, perceptual, phenomenological), Greenberg focuses on how we construct meaning in dance and in life.
On the title of his best known work, Not-About-AIDS-Dance (1994), Greenberg brings focus to the word “about,” raising questions of representation, narrative, and cultural-situatedness inherent to art-making.
Acknowledging the impossibility of divorcing any human product from the context in which it was made, Greenberg came to MANCC to develop To The Things Themselves!, which proposes to provoke an experience of the performance moment in and of itself, in addition to, and inclusive of the multiple interpretations or associations summoned for, and by, the viewer.
This project continues Greenberg’s interest in spurring a phenomenological engagement with the performance moment by presenting different assemblages of dance “objects,” while also complicating the approach by exposing the cultural-situatedness of performance actions.To The Things Themselves! proposes that an experience of “the thing itself” necessarily includes the conditions of a phenomenon’s production and reception, both. This evening-length work for multiple dancers is built upon a movement generation practice that Greenberg has long employed, and is developing now in collaboration with composer James Lo, who joined Greenberg in residence. Lo eventually provided an original score for the work.Working with props, both as performative objects and as static things, Greenberg envisions audiences seated in the round, emphasizing not only the multiple interpretations, but also vantage points, as viewers watch both the dance and themselves, watching the dance together.
While in residence, Greenberg shared his work with Dr. Hannah Schwadron’s Dance Theory students and Dr. Jen Atkins’ Dance History students. The artist also hosted a public showing for the FSU and Tallahassee community to receive feedback and provide the performers an audience to interact with as part of the rehearsal and exploration process. Embedded writer Biba Bell joined the residency.
To The Things Themselves! premiered at The Chocolate Factory December 5-15, 2018.
This residency was supported, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts with funding for the Embedded Writer from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.