BLEED by Tere O'Connor Nov 21, 2014

by Dani Tirrell

A large black box stage, simple but effective light design, no props, no video and no set design allowed my senses to become open to Tere O’Connor’s Bleed. It was a joy to witness dancers move with an empty stage as their playground. The dancers became the set, the video, the props and at times the sound score. Bleed is a dance about memory of previous choreographed works by Mr. O’Connor (You still have a chance to see his works poem, Secret Mary and Sister, Friday through Sunday at On the Boards and Velocity Dance Center).

The ensemble of eleven dancers invaded the stage with grace, love, balance and unbalance. Through the ensemble work, the solos, duets, trios and quartets each dancer commanded the stage with vigor and reckless abandon. One of my highlights were seeing the dancers rub their hands together vigorously then rub the heat of that action over their face and arms.  This simple gesture allowed me to sense what was and what is to come.

Bleed was filled...

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Stuff in a Row Nov 21, 2014

by Dylan Ward

I guess I should start this blog post by saying that I had to look up the word egalitarian to make sure I was using it correctly when talking about this weekend's show.

I was, I think; according to Google the meaning is:

"of, relating to, or believing in the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities."

(yes, I am starting a blog post with a word definition like an asshole)

But the thing is: I have this immediate sort of teenage response to "egalitarian art", as though a teenager is whining "I knowwwww, I know we are all equal I know I get it I knowwww."...

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No Late Seating Nov 19, 2014

by Monique

Please note that there is no late seating for the Tere O'Connor performances Nov 20 - 22 at OtB. Additionally, please be aware of the events in the area such as the Key Arena, as well as the on-going traffic along the Mercer Street Corridor.

We hope to see you at the show - 

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"Why is it assumed that I'm looking for meaning?" - Tere O'Connor on choreography Nov 19, 2014

by Erin

Melody Datz Hansen at The Stranger breaks down the beautiful ambiguity of Tere O'Connor's work:

Choreographer Tere O'Connor doesn't want to tell you a goddamn story. Unlike in traditional ballets or more contemporary dance polemics, he doesn't afford his audiences the safety net of preordained plots or moods. His choreography is not trying to communicate some line of argument or point of view, nor are there messages to glean from his dancers' movements. Instead, O'Connor gives the viewers the opportunity—the challenge—to simply watch bodies in motion. His work is experimental, but it's not an abstraction of something else. It is concrete without being literal.

"Dance is sometimes seen as something ambiguous and mysterious that some people...

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"Dance provides a perfect system to look at a full range of meanings" - O'Connor at City Arts Magazine Nov 14, 2014

by Erin

Thomas May talks with choreographer Tere O'Connor at City Arts Magazine:

“It bothers me when I hear people say, ‘I didn't get it,’ because I think dance launches its own critique of this need people have to ‘get’ anything,” O’Connor remarks. “I think people are absolutely intelligent and don’t need to have things simplified. For me dance is experiential. What I do in a work is to set up a network of information for the viewer to project their stories. This is realistically closer to the way consciousness works. The way that your thoughts move in and out of your head is not rational, even if our society tells us our consciousness has to be directed toward a product or a certainty.”

Think of an afternoon sitting on a...

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Moving and Meaning - Tere O'Connor on the function of dance Nov 12, 2014

by Erin

Tere O'Connor's work is a continuous process, not an answer to a question. Below, he talks to the Ringling International Arts Festival (via the Fringe Arts blog) about two of the works which informed the large-scale BLEED. 

Ringling: Where do you find the inspiration and catalysts for your choreography?

Tere O’Connor: Choreographic thinking is always awake in me and I start my works through movement to see what areas of interest arise in me. I use moving as a method to ruminate and allow thoughts to interweave with each other as I dance.  In a given work the...

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Poetics, Dance, Surrealism, and More: Tere O'Connor in Conversation with Claudia La Rocco Nov 10, 2014

by Erin

NY Times critic and scholar Claudia La Rocco in conversation with Tere O'Connor:

CLAUDIA LAROCCO: As a choreographer, are you in conversation with poetry? Do you feel that you share things in terms of your structural approach and the inner logic of your dances?

TERE O’CONNOR: Yes. Absolutely. The poetics of dance are something I use to kind of pull myself out of the weighty history of dance. The last four pieces have been attempts to bring poetics to the fore as a root metaphor for choreographic thinking. I really try to trust poetics over logic. I think logic and comprehensibility have been foisted on the form as aspects of a value system that congratulates the finite. Even in the mind of contemporary dancemakers there is often a conflict of this nature.

It sounds so hippy, but I’m really trying to embrace the mysterious elements of the form. I realize...

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Tere O'Connor - A Major Force in Contemporary Dance Nov 6, 2014

by Erin

"At the beginning of every project, the choreographer Tere O’Connor asks himself a basic question. As he said recently over coffee near his West Village apartment: 'What am I doing? What is dance trying to do?'

'Dance doesn’t do a lot of the things that people think they’d like it to do,' he said. “I don’t think it tells stories very well, but people would really like it to.”

You won’t find a story, the linear kind, in the choreographic suite that Mr. O’Connor is bringing to the American Dance Festival in Durham, N.C., this week. The four parts of his “Bleed” project amount to a more porous kind of whole. Mr. O’Connor, a major force in contemporary dance, began the project in 2012, with what sounds like a simple, if ambitious, idea:...

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