Summer Stages Dance at Concord Academy

Posted: January 16, 2014

January 24 & 25, 2014
PERFORMANCE
Rashaun Mitchell, Stephin Merritt & Ali Naschke-Messing

Summer Stages Dance at Concord Academy (SSD/CA) and the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (ICA) present the World Premiere of PERFORMANCE, a Co-Lab: Process + Performance commission by choreographer Rashaun Mitchell, singer-songwriter Stephin Merritt (The Magnetic Fields) and San Francisco-based visual artist Ali Naschke-Messing, at the ICA, 100 Northern Avenue, on January 24 and 25 at 7:30pm. A Q&A with the artists follows the performance on Friday, January 24.

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Begun during a two-week residency at the ICA & Concord Academy in the summer of 2013, PERFORMANCE is inspired by a quote from the iconic portrait photographer Richard Avedon: “We all perform. It’s what we do for each other all the time, deliberately or unintentionally. It’s a way of telling about ourselves in the hope of being recognized as what we'd like to be.”

In a sneak preview at the ICA in July (under the working title Romance Study #1) Mitchell’s virtuosic choreography, live music from singer-songwriter Merritt of the Magnetic Fields, and Naschke-Messing’s richly glowing installation combined to celebrate the mystery of performance, individualism, wit, musicality, fancy, and the absurd.

PERFORMANCE will be the latest iteration of Co-Lab: Process and Performance, a joint project between SSD and the ICA featuring some of America’s best artists coming together in dynamic collaborations between the visual arts, music, poetry and dance.


Click below to view a sneak peek of PERFORMANCE.

Click below to view an introduction to PERFORMANCE by ICA Director of Programs, David Henry.

Click here to learn more about the event and featured artists.
Click here for tickets to the event.
Click here for the official press release.

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Update as of June 24, 2013

Summer Stages Dance at Concord Academy & the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston co-present two performances this summer:

A Co-Lab: Process + Performance Series Work-in-Progress by
Choreographer Rashaun Mitchell ’96, Composer Stephin Merritt and Artist Ali Naschke-Messing
&
David Parker & The Bang Group in Tap Lab

CONCORD, MA. – Co-Directors Amy Spencer and Richard Colton have announced that for the seventh year, Summer Stages Dance at Concord Academy (SSD/CA) and the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (ICA) are collaborating to present dance at the ICA. On July 19 at 8:30 p.m., audiences will get a sneak peek at PERFORMANCE, a Co-Lab: Process + Performance commission by choreographer Rashaun Mitchell ’96, singer-songwriter Stephin Merritt (The Magnetic Fields) and San Francisco-based visual artist Ali Naschke-Messing that is set to premiere in 2014. On July 27 at 12:30 p.m., David Parker & The Bang Group will lead a rollicking Tap Lab as part of the ICA’s monthly “Play Date” Family Program.

Friday, July 19 at 8:30
PERFORMANCE

Rashaun Mitchell, Stephin Merritt & Ali Naschke-Messing

Mitchell, Merritt & Naschke-Messing take up residency at Concord Academy and the ICA this summer from July 8-19 to collaborate on a new work titled PERFORMANCE. At the July 19 sneak peek performance of this work-in-progress, the artists will all be performing on stage, sharing the movement, songs, materials, and ideas related to their new project.

The piece, which will officially premiere at the ICA/Boston in January 2014, takes as its inspiration a quote from the iconic portrait photographer Richard Avedon: "We all perform. It's what we do for each other all the time, deliberately or unintentionally. It's a way of telling about ourselves in the hope of being recognized as what we'd like to be."

PERFORMANCE will be the latest iteration of the Co-Lab: Process and Performance Series, a joint project between SSD and the ICA featuring some of America’s best artists coming together in dynamic collaborations between the visual arts, music, poetry and dance.

Rashaun Mitchell was born in Stamford, Connecticut, and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. He started dancing at Concord Academy in Massachusetts and graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 2000. Among others, he has danced with Donna Uchizono, Jonah Bokaer, Rebecca Lazier, Sara Rudner, and Richard Colton. He joined the Merce Cunningham Dance Company in 2004 and is currently on faculty at the Cunningham Studio. His own choreography has been presented in New York at the Skirball Center, Dancespace, the Baryshnikov Arts Center, the La Mama Theater and Mt. Tremper Arts; and outside of New York, by Summer Stages Dance and The Institute for Contemporary Art in Boston, OMiami Festival, College of St. Elizabeth, Wellesley College, Princeton University and the University of Minnesota.

Best known as the mastermind behind the indie rock band The Magnetic Fields, celebrated singer/songwriter Stephin Merritt has juggled multiple projects throughout his career, releasing a string of acclaimed albums with The Magnetic Fields, The 6ths, Future Bible Heroes and The Gothic Archies, while also working as a solo artist and a magazine journalist. Spin and Rolling Stone magazine, along with dozens of major national magazines and newspapers, hailed his "69 Love Songs" as one of the best albums of the year. Merritt has gained official recognition as one of the country's best recent songwriters; the "Cole Porter of his generation".

San-Francisco based artist Ali Naschke-Messing makes sculptures, site-specific installations, drawings, videos and actions. Her current projects involve site-responsive installations made with luminescent materials that “turn on” to sunlight, sculptures made with salt, sand, and plaster; daily drawings based on daily meditations; reactive time-based salt drawings; experimental videos; and action works that are participatory, not performative.

This project is part of Co Lab: Process + Performance, a series commissioned and presented by Summer Stages Dance at Concord Academy and the ICA. Tickets are $15 members + students / $25 nonmembers.

Saturday, July 27 at 12:30 pm
Tap Lab
David Parker & The Bang Group

Start the day with outdoor sketching activities, enjoy your own lunch on the grandstand, then head indoors for gallery visits followed by a live, interactive, and hilarious performance by David Parker & The Bang Group‘s Tap Lab. Tapping into the most intimate spaces of the human heart, Parker will present tap translations of Steve Reich’s Clapping Music and Mozart’s Turkish March, as well as a tap dance version of Morse Code through which spontaneous communication, and just about anything, is possible. Boston area dance artists and students will join the show.

The Bang Group is a rhythm-based, theatrical dance troupe serving choreographer David Parker's fascination with the rhythmic potential of the dancing body. Working its alchemy on American popular and contemporary forms, The Bang Group brings forth a repertory of joyful, smart, funny dances that resonate with the rich traditions of percussive dance, vaudeville, silent film comedy, movie musicals and classical ballet.

The company, directed by David Parker and Jeffrey Kazin, is best known for its comic/subversive, neo-vaudevillian Nutcracker entitled Nut/Cracked as well as ShowDown, a choreographic refraction of Annie Get Your Gun, Misters and Sisters, a romantic reverie in song and dance for cabaret stages and for a series of male duets ranging from the Velcro-clad Slapstuck to Bang and Suck, Friends of Dorothy and Old Fashioned Wedding. These dances, which chart male intimacy with love and precision, were created for David Parker and Jeffrey Kazin and remain in active repertory.

Tap Lab is co-presented by Summer Stages Dance with the ICA as part of their monthly “Play Date” Family Programs. Free tickets will be available on the day of the event only. Space is limited; first come, first served.

For more information and to order tickets, visit icaboston.org.

PILOT PROGRAM

A new pilot program, led by Spencer and Colton, and modeled on Summer Stages’ Co-Lab: Process + Performance highly acclaimed residency project with the ICA/Boston, will be introduced at Concord Academy for the 2013–14 school year. A range of interdisciplinary curricular activities, highlighted by a January 2014 panel discussion with choreographer Rashaun Mitchell, composer Stephin Merritt and visual artist Ali Naschke-Messing, will engage students throughout the year in direct conversation with the Co-Lab artists. Students will explore and respond to similar thematic material, and present their own new interdisciplinary work at the end of the school year.

Update as of May 22, 2013

In our last message, we promised we would keep you informed about a pilot program between Summer Stages Dance, Concord Academy, and the Institute of Contemporary Art. We are excited to share details (see below) of the new venture, which Amy and Richard have worked very hard to bring to fruition. I would like to thank them for their hard work and to congratulate them on “Co Lab: Process and Performance.”

-Rick Hardy, Head of School

Summer Stages Dance at Concord Academy Co-Directors and Founders Amy Spencer and Richard Colton have announced future plans for this acclaimed summer dance festival.

Summer Stages Dance will present two programs in collaboration with the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston this summer – a Co-Lab: Process + Performance Series commission by choreographer Rashaun Mitchell, composer Stephin Merritt and visual artist Ali Naschke Messing on July 19; and David Parker & The Bang Group’s Tap Lab on July 27.

The Co Lab: Process + Performance program will be the springboard for a new educational pilot program at Concord Academy that will explore creativity and interdisciplinary collaboration throughout the 2013-14 academic year.

And, the Summer Stages Workshop for Young Dancers, directed by Spencer and Colton, returns this summer, being held June 24 – July 26 at Concord Academy.

PERFORMANCES

For the seventh year, Summer Stages Dance at Concord Academy (SSD/CA) and the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (ICA) are collaborating to present dance at the ICA/Boston.

Renowned choreographer Rashaun Mitchell, singer-songwriter Stephin Merritt (The Magnetic Fields), and San Francisco–based visual artist Ali Naschke-Messing take up residency at Summer Stages Dance and the ICA this summer from July 8-19 to collaborate on a new work, titled The Romance Studies. There will be a performance of the work-in progress (Romance Study #1) at the ICA on Friday, July 19 at 8:30 p.m. During this sneak peek, the artists will share movement, songs, materials, and ideas related to their new project.

The piece, which will officially premiere at the ICA/Boston in January 2014, takes as its inspiration a quote from the iconic portrait photographer Richard Avedon: "We all perform. It's what we do for each other all the time, deliberately or unintentionally. It's a way of telling about ourselves in the hope of being recognized as what we'd like to be."

This project is part of Co Lab: Process + Performance, a series commissioned and presented by Summer Stages Dance at Concord Academy and the ICA. Tickets are $15 members + students / $25 nonmembers.

And, on July 27 at 12:30 pm, David Parker & The Bang Group present Tap Lab. Start the day with outdoor sketching activities, enjoy your own lunch on the grandstand, then head indoors for gallery visits followed by a live, interactive, and hilarious performance by David Parker & The Bang Group‘s Tap Lab. Tapping into the most intimate spaces of the human heart, Parker will present tap translations of Steve Reich’s Clapping Music and Mozart’s Turkish March, as well as a tap dance version of Morse Code through which spontaneous communication, and just about anything, is possible. Boston area dance artists and students will join the show.

Tap Lab is co-presented by Summer Stages Dance with the ICA as part of their monthly “Play Date” Family Programs. Free tickets will be available on the day of the event only. Space is limited; first come, first served.

Performances are held in the Barbara Lee Family Foundation Theater, ICA/Boston, 100 Northern Avenue, Boston. For more information and to order tickets, visit icaboston.org.

PILOT PROGRAM

A new pilot program, led by Spencer and Colton, and modeled on Summer Stages’ Co-Lab: Process + Performance highly acclaimed residency project with the ICA/Boston, will be introduced at Concord Academy for the 2013-2014 school year. A range of interdisciplinary curricular activities, highlighted by a January 2014 panel discussion with choreographer Rashaun Mitchell, composer Stephin Merritt and visual artist Ali Naschke-Messing, will engage students throughout the year in direct conversation with the Co-Lab artists. Students will explore and respond to similar thematic material, and present their own new interdisciplinary work at the end of the school year.

SUMMER STAGES WORKSHOP FOR YOUNG DANCERS

Summer Stages Workshop for Young Dancers, comprised of Summer Stages 2 and The Contemporary Dance Intensive, will continue under the direction of SSD’s founders and will offer the same high-quality dance curriculum and distinguished roster of faculty as in past years. Held in Concord Academy’s state-of-the-art dance facility from June 24 until July 26, one- and two-week sessions for students ages 12-16 will be offered. For more information and to register for programs, visit http://www.concordacademy.org/camp.

March 13, 2013

Summer Stages Dance at Concord Academy (SSD) reached its milestone fifteenth anniversary in 2012. Over the years, under the leadership of Amy Spencer and Richard Colton, and in close partnership with Concord Academy, the program has built a distinguished and nationally-recognized reputation in the arts. SSD’s highly acclaimed performances have captivated audience members with their unique combination of dazzling artistry and challenging, innovative programming.

However, after much discussion about the challenges of sustaining a program of this quality and scope, SSD’s founders and Concord Academy’s leadership determined that SSD will not continue in its current format at the school.

It is important to note that the Summer Stages Young Dancers education program will continue under the direction of SSD’s founders and will offer the same high-quality dance curriculum and distinguished roster of faculty as in past years. The workshops will be administered through Concord Academy Summer Camp and will be held in CA’s state-of-the-art dance facility. To find more information about this program, click here. Classes tend to fill up quickly and enrollment has already started for summer 2013 so if you would like to reserve a space don’t delay.

In addition, SSD’s founders and the leadership of Concord Academy are committed to exploring a creative partnership that would enhance CA students’ education year-round and build on Summer Stages’ long-standing, successful collaboration with the Boston arts community. To that end, Amy and Richard are working with Concord Academy to develop a pilot program in conjunction with the Institute of Contemporary Art. The purpose of this pilot is to provide the CA community with opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration between the arts, humanities, and science. This new program is an exciting opportunity for CA students and faculty to engage in creative endeavors in new ways. We expect to have more detailed information to share about the nature and timing of this project in the coming months.

We would like to thank the Summer Stages community for its engagement and support over the past fifteen years; the extraordinary artists whose vital dance work and commitment to teaching and mentoring, inspired all who came into contact with them, and the dancers, whose passion and talent made the program unique. We also wish to express our gratitude to all of Summer Stages’ generous supporters and loyal audiences, who have sustained the program for more than a decade. We especially want to thank Amy Spencer and Richard Colton, whose energy and commitment created this remarkable program, a model of excellence and innovation, and whose vision and talent will contribute to CA and the wider arts community for years to come.