When Alexandra Pinel, the director of Urban Matter, presented a segment of her choreography a year ago, she found the title for her new piece.
“What the heck is this? Karate?!?” shouted a lady who happened to wander into the performance, and it stuck.
Pinel, whose early background was in hip-hop, finds inspiration by putting contrasting pedestrian movements together in order to create challenging obstacles for her dancers to overcome. So,the response of the wandering passerby is exactly the type that Pinel is looking for.
She has a passion for bringing dance to audiences who, while cultured, may not have been exposed to the art form. Pinel says she is interested in non-traditional spaces as well as non-traditional composition as a way to achieve this exposure.
When Pinel felt ready to combine her passion for visual elements with movement, a 40-minute work was born. She collaborated with her dancers, asking them to bring in music that “reminded them of home.” The dancers brought in a wide array, ranging from country to Italian pop. “I’m creating weird, post-modern, pedestrian dance in a gallery-it doesn’t matter if anyone shows up,” says Pinel. “We’re just making fun of what we’re doing, although there is unfortunately no karate!”
If the contagious and carefree energy in her voice is any indication of the quality her work, then The Living Gallery is the place to be on May 8th.