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Archive for the ‘Unveiling Motion and Emotion’ Category

Gracias Balletin Dance y Agustina Lluma por esta linda nota y por su apoyo desde mis comienzos en BahiaBlanca!

Los esperamos el 20 en el Centro Cultural Borges! http://issuu.com/balletin/docs/balletin_dance_249

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Article by Courtney Kenyon  (AL/DD Marketing/ Development Intern)

Anabella Lenzu, founder of DanceDrama, author of Unveiling Motion and Emotion, and teacher and choreographer for 25 years, is deep in the creative process of her newest book. Inspiration struck when Anabella came across many different texts while teaching, all of which didn’t truly explain the movement they were discussing, as it is so hard to put into a photograph, what every part of a dancers body is doing. Anabella’s philosophy is that the journey is the destination – one must bring as much focus and energy to training as to performing.

Over the past year, Anabella has written 32 articles exploring multiple topics for her latest book, Meaningful Gestures: Inner Thoughts and Outward Expressions. This second book, is meant to be an educational guidebook for young dancers, actors and performers, taking experiences from her own classroom, after deep discussions with her students and colleagues. Meaningful Gestures will stray from the format of the first book, as this will be more focused on the technical physical and mental aspects of dance itself. Some featured articles will include Movement or Gestures, Why I am Giving Away my Secrets, The Mask as a Doorway, Breathe before You Move, and Body Architecture, Discovering Improvisation.  This book comes naturally to Anabella; she tells me: ‘Dance is my primary mode of personal expression, my obsession, how I make my living and where I find joy. I have strong opinions about dance that often contradict what is popular, and I enjoy explaining my position to people who are interested and engaged in dance. I believe that Dance is union and communion with ourselves, with others and with the environment. I celebrate, meditate, respond, protest, explore, scream, cry and laugh about life through dance. My own work is intimate, audacious and historically/socially conscious.’ The hope is that this book will serve current and future dancers as they continue to train and explore the professional world of dance.

This past summer, Anabella worked with her husband and photographer Todd Carroll to best capture dancer Lauren Ohmer working with her body and dissecting each specific movement. The book will feature not only pictures of Lauren, but also photos including Anabella working with Lauren and other dancers, helping to make the text more clear. Anabella is working with a new special program on the iPad Pro, to create illustrations to go over some photographs and to serve as companions to the text. Detailed drawings of the muscles and the body in movement, will help dancers better understand strong technique and muscle movement.

As of today, Anabella is hopeful that with her busy schedule, the book will make its premiere in January of 2017! Thank you to all of those who have supported the book thus far, I am sure it will not disappoint!

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Article by Courtney Kenyon  (AL/DD Marketing/ Development Intern)

When Anabella Lenzu began this process in March of 2014 after the passing of her father, she had no idea what the end result was going to be, or what the product was going to become. Anabella began to ask herself how she was going to get to the heart of what she was feeling. So she began to write, and reminisce. With the material Anabella was able to come up with, there could be four or five more shows to include everything.

The creative process is quite different from the grieving process, however there are times where we find that they intertwine. When Anabella began working on this piece the two were tightly connected. The show was therapeutic. She began writing down stories, some important with strong moral endings, some bittersweet or light hearted. She wrote anything and everything even if it was painful, because this was what she wanted to give to her dad. As the process continued however, Anabella found that the two were no longer connected. Though she creates for herself because she needs to feel it, the work is not just about her, but it’s about anyone who has suffered loss. The show became less therapeutic and Anabella soon approached it technically. As she worked, the piece became about generosity. She became aware that there would be people watching the piece and wanted to give them a way to cope with something they might be going through personally.

Anabella and I spoke of the short time she lived in Italy between 2002 and 2005. She remembers the mourning dances. These were rituals that dated all the way back to Ancient Greece. Female dancers or actors of sorts would come and dance around the home of a family who had just lost someone, similar to an exorcism. They would try and cure the family’s grief by helping them to understand life and death. In Pursuit of Happiness has become Anabella’s own contemporary mourning dance, and she has really enjoyed exploring ‘the function of dance as a ritual’ the way it was used in ancient Italy and Greece.

Another therapeutic piece of this endeavor was the music. The tracking for the show is comprised of some of Anabella’s father’s favorite songs, environmental sounds, and a few other special sounds. One of the special sounds you will hear in the performance is a short song that Anabella’s father taught to her when she was just a young girl that you will hear a recording of her trying to teach it to Lauren, her dancer. Another special soundbite you might catch is the sound of her father’s printing press. Anabella was able to travel to Argentina and record the many sounds of her father’s shop. So what you hear is not just a door shutting, it is the door of his shop shutting, and it’s his printing press, and it’s his paper running through the machines. It gives the piece a much more authentic feel. It was a very ‘tangible way to document his printing in the show’.

Make sure you come see In Pursuit of Happiness Friday October 23-Sunday October 25 (8pm shows) at the Alchemical Theater in NYC. Limited seating! You can purchase your tickets online. https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/951784

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How to photograph an idea.

How to photograph a movement.

How to photograph a life.

Article by Courtney Kenyon  (AL/DD Marketing/ Development Intern)

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In February of 2014, Anabella Lenzu, Argentinean choreographer who moved to New York 10 years ago, lost her father. After just being granted an artisan residency at DUO Multicultural Arts Center, she decided that now was the time to step away from her political piece and try and create something that wasn’t necessarily an homage to her father, but focused on the memories and moments she kept with her now that he had passed.

While we sat down to discuss the ideas behind this new abstract way of using photography so heavily in her piece, Anabella remembered that when she and her husband moved to New York, her father had told him to photograph everything that they saw, and once they returned to Argentina, her husband’s photos could be displayed in a gallery. They never got around to taking the photos until now. Anabella set out to rehearsal in downtown Manhattan and began to photograph anything she was drawn to in a completely unconscious, non-specific pattern. She would take photos zoomed in so tightly that you might not even realize what the object was. She would take pictures of things she saw on her travels that were broken or covered in graffiti, or decaying. She took pictures of construction sites, walls, even a rusted nail on the ground. The choreography of this piece; In Pursuit of Happiness isn’t abstract however the photos are, creating a really thought provoking juxtaposition.

After approximately 5 months of this process, Anabella decided to start to really look at what she was photographing. Each photo she took had some kind of connection to her father. Anabella says that the photos were “…a safe media that allowed me to express how I feel and it was much more in a way, safe or secure because I didn’t need to articulate my ideas with my dancers because it was something emotional.” The photos became a coping mechanism for her while working through the grieving process. In these early stages, it was easier to be behind the camera reacting to what she was seeing rather than what she was feeling.

Her husband sent her off to rehearsal one day with a small cordless projector and a slideshow of everything she had done so far, telling her to just ‘go play around’. Anabella and a friend began to pair dance with the photos and saw magic. The photos created a costume on her dancer, along with an “emotional and atmospheric environment”. Once this process really got rolling, Anabella continued to take photos to enhance movement she had choreographed, including photos of her father’s old printing shop back in Argentina. This organic, fresh new style of choreography and performance, Anabella tells me, is extremely metaphoric. A father projects on his daughter, just as Anabella projects her photos on her dancers and audience. Anabella’s father projected on her, just as Anabella projects on her own children and her students. It’s about the feeling and the presence of her father in her life instead of a scrapbook full of photos. People leave us with feelings that can be universally understood, which is what Ms. Lenzu hopes the audience takes away from this piece.

Be sure not to miss In Pursuit of Happiness by Anabella Lenzu/Dance Drama. Preview performance at the Argentinean Consulate- Wednesday, September 30 @ 6pm (RSVP required). Public premiere at the Alchemical Theater  Friday October 23 @ 8pm through October 25.  Limited seating! Tickets online https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/951784

For more information check out AnabellaLenzu.com

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Happy and honored to share my life/art experience with the podcast Movers and Shapers: A Dance Podcast!
Enjoy the 1 hour interview by Erin Carlisle Norton, talking about motherhood, teaching dance, choreographing and dance criticism!
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Happy Summer Amigos!

Unveiling Motion and Emotion gets another Amazing review at The Life and Lies blog: http://haleymathiot.blogspot.com/2015/06/unveiling-motion-and-emotion.html

As the review says: “I adore this book and will continue to read it for inspiration and encouragement!”

Consider giving the book as a present! Share it with friends! To purchase click HERE

A big hug, Anabella

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