Heading West in August

This August, Janusphere Dance Company Artistic Director Darion Smith begins a creative residency in Eugene, OR, working on the ongoing collaboration Lizard Project/Every Word Was Once an Animal.

An intimate showing of the project will take place August 16th, and the work will be developed further over the next year, including more showings and interactive exhibits.

As we prepare for the creative residency in Eugene, we're sharing with you a roundup of some of our stories highlighting the project and its progress since its inception back in 2017.

It all started with a simple question...

Can I Make Art that is Felt as Much as it is Seen?

In dance making and in art, I am noticing that conventional approaches are good in small doses but too much keeps you stuck in one place. To be honest, I am sort of scared of changing perspectives... that's actually what makes it fun. It is meaningful (despite how scary it can feel) to use these skills and knowledge to go where I haven't been by following my intuition and then to use those same devices again to make intentional choices.

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

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

This creative approach keeps me (and my collaborators, and my artistic inspirations) from being crushed by externally driven expectations that are somehow less and less appealing to me...

Changes and growth throughout the project…

Lizard Finds a Home

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.

lizard+darion+smith+carla+bergston.png

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.

The next phase brings us to Eugene in August. We invite you to continue on this journey with us.

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.

lizard darion smith carla bergston.png

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.