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Posts Tagged ‘Dance In NYC’

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

Anabella Lenzu’s grandfather decided to move to Argentina after World War II. He packed up and became a construction worker. His son, Ms. Lenzu’s father, knew construction wasn’t the life he wanted, so at age 18 he developed his own printing shop. This kind of hard work is what Anabella has used as inspiration for her newest piece. Her father and her Grandfather knew hard work, just like dance is hard work.  Anabella grew up around construction sites and her father’s print shop. She learned how to lay brick, build walls, and how to work with the printing press from watching her father and grandfather, all while dancing since the age of four. Young Anabella lived in a world of texture.

At the start of their process, Anabella and her dancer, Lauren Ohmer, began to research how to build a wall, how to lay bricks and how to mix cement. As they explored, the choreography became instructional, like the videos. As Lauren is very precise and technical with her movements, she was able to improvise like ink flowing through a printing machine. Lauren was able to become the ink, or become the texture of the sand and lime.

While improvising in the studio, between March of 2014 and March of 2015, Anabella and Lauren began to create phrases, and experiment with changing directions and trying movements backwards or upside down. This is not a piece full of miming, but it’s about the abstraction about this idea and the feeling of building a wall and the feeling of printing with real ink. This is not a piece where you will see Lauren acting out the process of any of these jobs.

Anabella tells me she “never worked this instructionally in [her] life”, however, she realized how parallel this style of choreography is to her teaching job. “Building choreography and building technical dancers is like building a wall” with all its layers. It is all a metaphor. Through this process Anabella discovered she is a very technical choreographer. She worked with every angle of this piece and would improvise different feelings and emotions for hours with Lauren, and only a minute of this work would make it to the final product. Movement is the center of this piece. When all the layers come together and everything is changing around Lauren while she’s dancing, the movement stays intact.

During their many months at Duo Multicultural Arts Center (DMAC), Lauren and Anabella had been experimenting with paper and masks but it simply wasn’t working. Once Daniel Pettrow, the director, stepped in, he had Lauren kick and rip and tear the papers to shreds to the music, and Anabella found her inspiration. She broke into tears as Daniel was able to put into movement, what she wasn’t brave enough to feel herself. Anabella is never one to get angry, so this raw emotion was quite new to her, but helped her to shape her entire piece. The next day after one hour of work she was able to set the entire piece with Lauren. Those four minutes with Daniel’s guidance sparked something in her that was exactly what she needed.

This piece is not about imitation or how Ms. Lenzu felt when she lost her father, though she can remember his movements quite clearly. This is a piece filled with personal secrets, feelings and movements that can be understood universally.

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

Choreography:  Anabella Lenzu

Direction: Daniel Pettrow

Dancers: Lauren Ohmer & Anabella Lenzu

Music Landscape: Todd Carroll

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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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IN PURSUIT

BY TODD CARROLL

Naturally, because I’m a photographer, I compare creating the soundscape for Anabella Lenzu’s work to creating a background for a portrait. Think of any portrait in your favorite gallery, and it’s the person who stands out, as it should be. The background gives context, provides atmosphere and augments the feeling being transferred.

Everyone can immediately recall Mona Lisa’s smile, but for those who dig deeper, the background contains information that adds to the overall impression. My sound work on In Pursuit of Happiness is slightly less sophisticated than Da Vinci’s (hold for laugh), but does provide a kind of scenery and environment in which the viewers can immerse themselves and have a rich experience.

I started collaborating with Anabella in 2008, when I did the multimedia projections for the shows The Garden (2008), The Corral ( 2009) and The Grass is Always Greener… (2010), then again in 2013 when I created the soundscape for the show Pachamama: Mother World. Every project is different, of course, however In Pursuit presents new challenges The idea is to weave a lifetime of memories together using sound. Old pop songs, interviews, and field recordings all find their way into the soundtrack, linked together by love, fear and hope.

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Todd Carroll, a professional photographer and educator with over 20 years experience, presently maintains a photo-studio in Brooklyn, New York, where he works freelance for various international magazines and publications, as well as his personally driven projects. He obtained a Masters of Professional Studies in Digital Photography Degree from SVA in NYC in 2009 and currently teaches classes there. For more information or if you are interested in purchasing work, please contact: info@ToddCarrollPhotography.com or visit his website.

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Celebrating its 9th Anniversary, New York based Anabella Lenzu/DanceDrama presents :

In Pursuit of Happiness  by Anabella Lenzu/DanceDrama

PREVIEW PERFORMANCE:

Wednesday, September 30 at 6PM at Argentinean Consulate (12 W 56th St, New York)

20 minute performance followed by Q&A and refreshments.

Limited seating (RSVP required) info@AnabellaLenzu.com

PUBLIC PREMIERE:

Friday, October 23 at 8pm, Saturday, October 24 at 8p & Sunday, October 25 at 8pm 

at The Alchemical Theater Lab, NYC (104 W 14th Street, New York, NY 10011).

Limited seating. Tickets online https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/951784

Choreography:  Anabella Lenzu

Direction: Daniel Pettrow

Dancers: Lauren Ohmer & Anabella Lenzu

Music Landscape: Todd Carroll

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It’s so great to keep receiving responses and reactions for my book Unveiling Motion and Emotion!
 

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Without books I couldn’t have imagined my life now, in New York.
I never would have left my cocoon in Bahia Blanca, Argentina. I never would have spread my wings. I never would have given myself the chance.
That is why I write – to give others the courage to believe in themselves, the courage to grow.

Thanks to Dance Mogul for your support and for your interview!

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It is an honor for me to be able to sustain and support dancers in the delicate task of cultivating the awareness of themselves as individual artists. Join me at Peridance Capezio Center for a Free Seminar!

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Barre a Terre with Anabella
I want people to work with joy, to explore and learn how to use their bodies and energies efficiently and healthily as
instruments of expression.

CLASS SCHEDULE STARTING July 7, 2015

BARRE A TERRE (Open Level)

* TUESDAYS 7:30- 8:30pm 
* THURSDAYS 7:30- 8:30pm 
* FRIDAYS 10am- 11:30am 

All Classes are held at Peridance Capezio Center
(126 East 13th Street, between 3rd and 4th Ave)

CLASS DESCRIPTION:
Find your inner-strength; develop & improve alignment and technique; explore and learn how to efficiently use your body and your energy in a healthy way as instruments of your expression. Through this class, you can increase flexibility and strength, overcome physical difficulties and incorrect posture, and acquire physical awareness to help prevent injuries. Open to all levels of experience.

http://www.anabellalenzu.com/weekly-classes/

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