Edge Residency 2017

Arletta Anderson & Adam Smith and Scarlett Cushion
APR 20-22, 27-29, 2017, THU-SAT 8PM
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Join CounterPulse for a double bill evening featuring works by our 2017 Edge Residency artists.

Arletta Anderson and Adam Smith standing on stage

Arletta Anderson and Adam Smith. Photo by Yvonne Portra.

weather // body is a multidisciplinary visual poem created and performed by Arletta Anderson & Adam Smith that looks at physical and environmental change over time. This piece asks how we consider our bodies in relationship to the spaces around them and how that changes as we age. We call on memory and its failings, create imagined futures, and remember who we are in the present moment now.

Throughout weather // body, a sonic, visual, and visceral landscape is built, rearranged, swept up, and discarded. Structural inspiration pulls from climate change, weather patterns, and star fields. The movement is rooted in virtuosic dance and pedestrian tasks, examining the body as both a means of labor and a poetic vessel. Text elements are sourced from multi-generational interviews that have been abstracted and honed to their core elements. An electric guitar serves to score the piece — at times it is a thunderous hurricane of sound, and others, a firefly in the distance.

At its core, weather // body is both a violent protest against and a quiet contemplation on change. 

four dancers holding a crochet sculptural blanket and facing in opposing directions

Photo by John Shamberg, Crochet sculpture by Ramekon O’Arwisters

The Scarlett Cushion centers on the exploration of human resilience, seeking to craft, through the arc of performance, a felt experience of resilience among participants/audiences in their new work, T​he Bell in the Blood.

Resilience is a quality of living-being-ness and intelligence intrinsic to living organisms that, just as in the form of an immune system, continuously realigns and moves us toward homeostasis. We witness resilience in young children as they move through different states of mind and continuously return to a clarity of being, present in the moment. Yet, as adults, we become slow in understanding how to access t​his quality. Our work is one of ​performative inquiry, bringing the investigation of resilience into the center of cultural discourse surrounding identity and social change.

We can see innumerable examples of resilience in human life across the globe, be it people rising up in creative resistance against historic forms of oppression, or individuals whose indomitable spirit defies illness, or other life challenges. These are all ​expressions of resilience. But, ​what is the​ origin of resilience itself, and how do we better access it? This is our inquiry.

We focus on two primary dimensions: 1.) Our biological/cultural/socioeconomic inheritance, as individuals/groups and as a species, 2.) The transformative power of spontaneous presence. We look at the past, reflected in our present world, and then, how our presence (when we are deeply present) transforms and reconfigures the past by providing us with a new understanding, along with the energy to actualize different possible futures.

Artistically, we draw on aesthetics/socializing common to the context of contemporary pop music, and intersect these elements with more challenging aspects of our investigation through contemporary dance, movement-theater, and performance art, thereby creating alternating currents of enjoyment/familiarity and challenge/provocation/the-unknown. Complementing these disciplines, we utilize video-projection and visual art production that integrates scores and process.



April 20
April 29
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