"Splurge Land dives into the excesses of pop culture" - Kate Wallich at City Arts Magazine Mar 26, 2015
*City Arts goes behind the scenes with choreographer Kate Wallich:
In the final days of 2014, Kate Wallich posted a selfie on Instagram: she and her sister clutching keg cups and wearing sunglasses and lipstick. Exuding youth, beauty and glamour, the two blondes look like they could be at a party in New York or LA. In reality they were in their hometown of Tecumseh, Mich.
In Wallich’s world, it’s what’s behind the image that counts. The 25-year-old choreographer’s latest work, Splurge Land, premieres at On the Boards next month, digging into the cultural phenomenon of social media and prying out the issues that lurk beneath the surface.
“This is a very personal piece for me,” Wallich says, sipping on an orange concoction at Capitol Hill’s Juicebox on a rainy Saturday morning. “I’m obsessed with pop culture—with Instagram, texting, social media and the way my generation communicates in these different forms. I’m interested in the dynamics that come out of it and the often sad subtext underneath.”
The hour-long piece, created and staged over a nine-month residency at On the Boards, investigates the decaying state of human relationships. A choreographic departure from last year’s Super Eagle—her first evening-length work—Splurge Land features faster-paced, more intense movement and more interaction among the four dancers in her company, the YC. Two of the company’s dancers are from out of town; Wallich and Matt Drews are based here.
Like its subject matter, Splurge Land unfolds across multiple media. A somber electronic score by Johnny Goss of Cock & Swan imparts a sonic heaviness, and a pure-white set by painter and installation artist JD Banke plays canvas for a gauzy, evocative video projection by cinematographer Jacob Rosen. The video, which plays behind a portion of the live performance, features Splurge Land’s dancers at a crowded studio party—lots of raucous movement, several bared midriffs and plenty of Rainier beer.
*photo by Megumi Shauna Arai