Every Word, Every Day: Dispatches from Creative Residency in Eugene, OR

Janusphere Artistic Director Darion Smith shares dispatches from his creative residency in Eugene, Oregon, where he is working with an interdisciplinary team of artists on the ongoing collaborative project Every Word Was Once an Animal.

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New Discoveries

Every day has provided opportunities to reflect on the intersection of dance and other mediums, and the ways in which they coalesce. The residency has been fulfilling with new discoveries daily.

Our process includes visiting sites that include lava fields, forests, creek beds and dams. Here, we are experimenting with sound, video, dance, and Carla Bengtson's art work and overarching concept of the collaborative work we are doing.

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Diverse Landscapes

It's been rewarding to work with dance in the various landscapes and through the lens of this project. We'll be taking what we have been discovering in the field and distilling it into the preview showing format at CFAR in Eugene, OR. For me, the next big step for me in this process is working with the dancers in the space at CFAR.

Updates

Our team of collaborators from across artistic disciplines will be developing this work into a 7 week exhibit spanning March - April 2020 at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.

The preview at CFAR will help to gain perspective and generate more questions about the project going forward. We look forward to sharing its developments as the project continues to evolve.

Every Word Was Once An Animal (team)

Visual Artist and Concept: Carla Bengtson

Composer: Juliet Palmer


Visual Artist: Jessie Vala

Dance Artist: Darion Smith





Lizard Finds a Home: Collaborative Project Update

Carla Bengtson and Darion Smith will present their collaboration, an interactive installation featuring dance and inspired by Carla's work with lizards, in Spring 2018. 

Bengtson and Smith's project has received the green light from the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art in Eugene, Oregon, to begin a residence there soon.

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A collaborative project between art, dance, science, and the humanities, Lizard is a multi-media installation and interactive dance performance that will be welcomed by museum goers of all ages and interests.

The project, which is the product of the ongoing creative explorations of Smith and Bengtson, promises to deliver an immersive experience on how lizards and humans communicate, the process of learning a physical language, and how we learn to see and understand movement in a new environment.

Stay tuned for more details!

Project Update: Collaboration with Carla Bengtson and Neal Moigard

Back in October, we introduced a new interdisciplinary project that Janusphere Dance Company Artistic Director Darion Smith is working on in collaboration with Carla Bengtson and Neal Moignard.

As Smith explains it, "Carla approached both Neal and I to join her project in which we will be trying to communicate with selected lizard species." The initial question is whether or not it is possible to communicate with the lizards, and what that communication could looks like.  For Smith, another significant question that the project presents is how this communication, and the documentation of it, becomes art.

Source: by   Biodiversity Heritage Library   is licensed under  CC BY 2.0

Source: by Biodiversity Heritage Library is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Smith will focus on "learning the lizard dialects, which are a series of specific head bobs and push-ups, tail movements, etc." that he will use to create the choreography for the project.

Still in its nascent stages, the project builds on Bengtson's ideas about communication with the natural world.  It will include gallery work, an interactive installation, and a dance performance that uses elements from the discoveries made and the ideas developed as the project progresses. 

For Smith, this particular project has him "thinking about dance in a brand new way in terms of communication."  That includes "looking at problems or ideas through the lens of very different artists" and the impact that has both on the audiences and on the artists themselves.