Bebe Miller Company
In a Rhythm
Mar 15 - 18, 2018
$23 | $30 WEEK OF • BUY TICKETS Merrill Wright Mainstage
DANCE | OHIO
Thu, Mar 15–Sat, Mar 17 at 8 pm
Sun, Mar 18 at 5 pm
Inspired by the writings of Toni Morrison, David Foster Wallace, and Gertrude Stein, In a Rhythm by Bebe Miller Company is a suite of new dance works that explores the syntax of movement. Using sound and text as underlying maps of events and situations, choreographer and artistic director Bebe Miller focuses on the subtle interactions of gesture, timing, focus, and dynamics that are uniquely human yet often illegible outside of recognizable contexts. In a Rhythm works to decipher the “unfamiliar” and pushes to cultivate a new sense of shared understanding for looking at the world around us.
"In a Rhythm was inspired by a coincidence of reading. I came across a text by Astrid Lorange, How Reading is Written: A Brief Index to Gertrude Stein. From her introduction: ‘My reading of Stein seeks to de-emphasize the question of meaning in order to consider other perceptual affects: the vague, often paradoxical, sometimes troubling, and endlessly variegated constructions that constitute experience.’ My first thought was, how choreographic! Around the same time, I read a harrowing short story by David Foster Wallace, Incarnations of Burned Children. Please find it and read it. He moves you through a devastating experience moment by moment, in time parallel to the most mundane. I continued with both writers, along with a re-entry into Toni Morrison’s continually inspiring telling-of-the-tales. Her writing has been a beacon for many of us, but it is her truth-telling in various interviews that is newly inspiring. To me, all three writers capture diverse cultural relevancies through how they structure language: their syntax, and their precise tone, brings meaning." — Bebe Miller
About The Making Room
In a Rhythm was created within The Making Room, an overarching project that investigates innovative ways to open up and share the creative process of making dance. Miller focused the ideas for In a Rhythm around the relationship between her practice and the practice of Susan Rethorst, a choreographer, writer, and teacher. Rethorst has been making works since the seventies and is the author of the influential book, A Choreographic Mind. Audiences were able to follow the two artists’ ideas via open rehearsals, showings, an online portal (themakingroom.org), and an e-book (launching June 2018) that capture the perspectives and physical practice that inspire the creation of a new dance work.
Also on view: Moments of Looking: Seeing Inside Dancing
Video artist Lily Skove documented a number of convenings and rehearsals for The Making Room. Skove registered and translated the day’s events, capturing the alchemical exchange between the artists in the room. Moments of Looking: Seeing Inside Dancing will be on view in the main lobby before and after performances of In a Rhythm.
Fri, Mar 16
Post-show conversation with Bebe Miller and OtB artistic director Rachel Cook in the Studio Theater
Sat, Mar 17
WTFJH? Saturdays: After the show the lobby and FUBAR will be open so audience members can connect and talk about the performance. Bebe Miller will also be in attendance.
Sun, Mar 18
Onsite workshop/childcare with Sweet Pea Cottage Preschool of the Arts (Studio Theater). Sweet Pea is dedicated to the philosophy that the arts are an integral component to a child’s total development. To celebrate the arts and the creative process, on Sun, Mar 18 Sweet Pea is offering the workshop ‘ART STUDIO’ where kids ages 2-10 can explore different methods of making art. From painting to drawing to papier-mâché, workshop participants will stretch their imagination in new ways. (Must reserve in advance; if this is a first-time reservation, you can see the show for free! Learn more)
About Bebe Miller
Collaboration being fundamental to her working process, Bebe Miller (Artistic Director/Choreographer) has worked with composers, artists, writers, filmmakers, designers, and dramaturgs alongside the dancers who share her studio practice. Her vision of dance and performance resides in her faith in the moving body as a record of thought, experience, and beauty. Her aesthetic relies on the interplay of a work’s idea, its physicality, and the contributions of company members to fashion its singular voice. She has received four New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Awards and support from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, Guggenheim Foundation and many others. She received one of the first Doris Duke Artists Awards in 2012. Miller is a United States Artists Ford Fellow, has received a New York Live Arts’ David White Award, and was a 2015 Movement Research Honoree. A Distinguished Professor in Dance at The Ohio State University’s College of Arts and Humanities from 2000–2016, Miller received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Ursinus College in 2009.
Seeking to expand the language of dance, Bebe Miller Company's (BMC) works encompasses choreography, writing, film, video and digital media. Committed to keeping dance available to a wide spectrum of people and to further the conversation about the role of arts and creativity in our culture, BMC is dedicated to providing access to the creative process and expression to diverse communities. Bebe Miller Company was formed in 1985; since then, Miller has created more than 50 dance works for the company that have been performed in nearly 400 engagements worldwide. BMC has been commissioned and presented by leading venues including 651 ARTS, BAM Next Wave, DTW, Jacob’s Pillow, Joyce Theater, PICA, REDCAT, Walker Art Center, and Wexner Center for the Arts. The company’s newest project, Vault, is a series of artist-driven national convenings, meant to share innovative methodologies for documenting, archiving and sharing the dance-making process. Activities with artists, presenters, curators, archivists, scholars and technologists range from peer-to-peer and intergenerational mentoring, informal “campfire” talks, formal presentations on recent practices, and resource-sharing. Gatherings have been held in New York City and Seattle, and plans are afoot for convenings at Jacob’s Pillow and in the Columbus area in 2018.
In a Rhythm is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation Fund Project co-commissioned by New York Live Arts in partnership with Wexner Center for the Arts, On the Boards, and NPN. The Creation Fund is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency). The Forth Fund is supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
In a Rhythm was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
In a Rhythm was made possible in part by funding from the Greater Columbus Arts Council and by state tax dollars allocated by the Ohio Legislature to the Ohio Arts Council (OAC), a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically.
In a Rhythm received production development support from LUMBERYARD.
Bebe Miller Company and In a Rhythm are supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
This performance is partially funded by the New England Foundation for the Arts National Dance Project Presentation Grant and the National Endowment for the Arts. It was developed at On the Boards through the Performance Production Program, made possible by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Performance Network’s Creation Fund.
Photos: Julieta Cervantes