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January 17, 2003
Choreographer Jeanine Durning in Concert
--Jennifer Dunning, The New York Times
Durning and her company will present her newest work, half URGE, for five dancers to an original sound score by New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie) winner Douglas Henderson. The dance was inspired by a dream in which Durning was abandoned in an unnamed, desolate city that was crumbling and collapsing. She began by writing a series of narrative passages based on typical anxiety dreams -- for example: flying that turns into falling, swimming that turns into drowning, climbing stairs that suddenly collapse, being abandoned or losing one's way. The writings all referred to structures or constructs that are created to provide a sense of comfort and freedom, a sense of safety and stability that are then shifted against the initial desire. Allowing both the unconscious and conscious realms, the inner and outer worlds to seep into the process of choreographing, Durning created her work for five dancers from these writings.
In half URGE, Durning explores the human dynamic of desire and the attempts to fulfill those desires through relationships and interactions. Durning's interest in the effect that eventual instabilities in our structures of safety (whether psycho-emotional or tangible structures) have on our behavioral choices, on our relationships and the fulfillment of our desires dictated that the work be created using a less controlled choreographic structure. Improvisation was used to develop movement based around simple word ideas such as collapse or incomplete. Then, Durning allowed time for the dancers to investigate the words through movement, physical interaction and behavior. Through this process, she created a dance that amplifies our desire to control that which is inevitably beyond control.
half URGE will be performed by Jean Vitrano, Steffany George, Andrea Johnston, Molly Poerstel and Durning. Costumes are designed by Naoko Nagata.
About Jeanine Durning
Jeanine Durning has been choreographing and performing solo and group work since the early 1990s, and was dubbed by Jennifer Dunning of The New York Times as "a choreographer to watch for." Durning's choreography has been presented in New York at Dance Theater Workshop, at St. Mark's Church, Movement Research at Judson Church, Central Park SummerStage, among other venues, and as part of the Jacob's Pillow Inside/Out series. Her choreography has been recognized with commissions from the Jerome Foundation through Dance Theater Workshop's Bessie Schönberg/First Light Commissioning program and Danspace Project's Commissioning Initiative. She was one of four choreographers invited this past summer to The Yard to begin a new project entitled Houdini is Free.
Durning is dedicated to her ongoing research of movement, which has included over the years, but is not limited to, ballet, Release Technique, Alexander Technique, Pilates, Yoga and Contact Improvisation. She is interested in drawing from and bringing together those movement methodologies, as well as invited modalities in her work as a dancer/performer and in her work as a choreographer. Through her work, it is Durning's artistic mission to offer a multi-layered experience to the viewer in which boundaries of literal and linear interpretation are extended. As a performer, Durning was featured in the short film The Black Boots, written and directed by independent filmmaker Bridgit Murnane. Durning has had the pleasure of working with a number of choreographers whose work and processes have influenced her own, including Lance Gries, Roseanne Spradlin, Zvi Gotheiner, Wendy Perron, Dan Wagoner and David Dorfman (with whom she has participated in the collaborative process since 1993).
Durning has taught dance nationally to dancers and non-dancers alike, of many age ranges, and is often a guest teacher at Movement Research and Dance Space in New York. She is currently Artist-in-Residence at UMBC. Originally from Cornwall, New York, Durning began her dance studies, as a teenager, in tap and jazz at the local dance studio. She attended the Boston Conservatory for two years before continuing her studies at New York University's Tisch School for the Arts, where she received her BFA.
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Students and seniors: $7.00.
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From Baltimore and points north, proceed south on I-95 to exit 47B. Take Route 166 toward Catonsville and then follow signs to the Fine Arts Building. From I-695, take Exit 12C (Wilkens Avenue) and continue one-half mile to the entrance of UMBC at the roundabout intersection of Wilkens Avenue and Hilltop Road. Turn left and follow signs to the Theatre.
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Posted by dwinds1 at January 17, 2003 12:00 AM