JAMESTOWN, R.I. — Dancer/choreographer Ali Kenner Brodsky, musician MorganEve Swain and artist Cyrus Highsmith are combining their talents for an original performance piece at the Jamestown Arts Center on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 21 and Oct. 22.
Kenner Brodsky, artistic director of Ali Kenner Brodsky & Co., said the piece, called “PARt,” has been in development for about a year. She said it’s about memory, and the emotions and conversations that occur between people, with the five female dancers performing in various combinations.
She said the music and dance are intended to complement each other, while the dancers will be surrounded by Highsmith’s paintings.
Kenner Brodsky, who grew up in Rhode Island, attended Skidmore College and worked in New York City for 11 years before returning to New England in 2009. She said she began working with Swain while Swain was still a member of the duo Brown Bird, with her partner and husband David Lamb. Kenner Brodsky and Brown Bird collaborated on pieces in 2013 and 2014.
Following Lamb’s death in 2014, Swain began performing as The Huntress and Holder of Hands.
Kenner Brodsky said she first heard Brown Bird about 2012, and really loved the music. “I thought ‘If you don’t ask for something you’ll never get it,’ so I asked MorganEve and David [Lamb] if they’d be interested in writing some music for me, and they said yes.” Swain said she will be playing viola, with Jerusha Robinson playing cello and Liz Isenberg handling electronics and sound samples.
Besides Kenner Brodsky, the dancers will be Meghan Carmichael, Ellen Oliver, Jessica Howard, and Sarah Osterhus.
“I would say ‘This is what I’m doing, this is the emotion I come up with’ and MorganEve magically comes up with something,” Kenner Brodsky said. During the process, the two have exchanged material — videos of the dancers, recordings of Swain’s music — to make sure everything was on track.
“It’s going to be really spectacular, I’ve got to say,” Kenner Brodsky said. “I can’t believe it’s really happening. It’s been in my brain and my imagination for so long.”
“PARt” will be at the Jamestown Arts Center, 18 Valley St., Jamestown, on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 21 and Oct. 22., starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for the general public, $15 for Art Center members, $12 for students and seniors. For information and to purchase tickets go to jamestownartcenter.org.
Andy Smith, Journal Arts Writer, Providence Journal
Wednesday, October 19, 2016