Spark(edIt) Arts newly introduced “Soft Openings” is an evening of performance reflective of its founder, Nadia Tykulsker’s desire to engage in performance as research. Tykulsker is the artistic director of Spark(edit) Arts, a forum to bring artists and dancers together to make collaborative works of dance-theater.
Having received much support from Triskelion Arts as an emerging choreographer, she offered to share an evening of performance, originally exclusively for her company, with others to support for works-in-progress and advocate for performance research with production aid.
As a previous employee of Dance New Amsterdam’s production department, Tykulsker understood the importance of production research alongside the creative process and invited two other choreographers, Tyler Ashley and Saul Ulerio, who work with similar questions yet different aesthetics, to share the evening with her. According to Tykulsker, all three works relate to the hybrid nature of living (our private and public personas for example) and carry multi-referential imagery.
Tykulsker was compelled when she saw Ashley and Ulerio’s work in two studio settings, without tech, and wanted to give them production support no matter the stage of their process. Saw You Yesterday by Tykulsker, preparatory exercise no. 10:nodancer by Ulerio and KIDNAP ME by Ashley are all new pieces or new versions of recent works.
Tykulsker and I had the chance to speak about her process. Her interest in the individual’s multiple qualities ofself led her to take her dancers through exercises of performed research, such as sucking on lemons or complimenting one another, to understand how states are altered states and bodies are modified by such activities. Her work also involves an impressive prop that will add many levels of chance to the piece.
A 90-minute experiment in duration and improvised choreography, KIDNAP ME by Tyler Ashley “investigates providing for an unborn family, answering to hunger of all kinds, and the slutty hustle of a wannabe-star (…).” He “examines the family unit versus personal evolution in control, vulnerability, and desperation. Live drawing in the performance celebrates queer motifs embedded in our bodies and the art, and composes a historical record of the creation process and resulting show.”
Ulerio will present preparatory exercise no. 10: nodancer, a piece that deals with the exuberant and dramatic complexions of the artist’s interest in expressing folklore, opera, and Ingmar Bergman.
As a “promoter of community,” Tykulsker’s hopes are to make this evening an ongoing series and enable more choreographers to develop performance pieces with the support of production from an earlier stage.
According to Ashley, “It’s imperative to have the opportunity of working with lights, sound, and changing audiences alongside the development, expansion, and growth of the work. These elements play a crucial role in how the message is shared and delivered. On top of this, to have TWO nights with this kind of support, as well as a changing audience, is incredibly helpful – and a great experiment and exercise in the capability and stamina of the piece”.
Catch Soft Openings December 18th and 19th at 8:00pm at Triskelion Arts, 118 North 11th street, 3rd floor, Brooklyn, NY 11249.
Tickets are $16 and available at www.triskelionarts.org
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the city council.