Pamela Tatge, Director of the Center for the Arts, talks to choreographer Brian Brooks about the works that will be performed by his dance company at Wesleyan (July 12 & 13).
Center for the Arts staff members and I sat down recently with Brian Brooks, choreographer for Brian Brooks Moving Company, to hear him talk about his upcoming performances in the CFA Theater on Thursday, July 12 and Friday, July 13.
The Brian Brooks Moving Company will perform four pieces at Wesleyan as part of a ten-city tour that will take them straight from Middletown to the American Dance Festival in Durham, North Carolina. We are thrilled to invite Brian back to Wesleyan; he has been a dear friend of the CFA for many years. We gave the Brian Brooks Moving Company their first engagement outside of New York City as a part of the Breaking Ground Dance Series back in November 2002, and since then, Brian has made special trips to Wesleyan in March to teach Master Classes during DanceMasters Weekend.
As Brian explained to us, the four works he will present at Wesleyan are his most recent works – all created in the last three or four years. The collection will give audiences a strong sense of where Brian Brooks as an artist is in 2012. A common theme among the pieces is endurance – of the mind, of the body, of the artist.
The evening will start with I’m Going to Explode (2007), Mr. Brooks’ signature solo piece. Mr. Brooks has performed this piece — which he describes as “an entry point to who [Brian Brooks] might be” — more often than any other piece he has created.
Mr. Brooks describes the next piece, a group piece titled Descent (2011), as “otherworldly,” “off balance,” “water-like” and “dense.” As the name suggests, the piece deals with a state of perpetual fall. Although the dancers constantly fall, they also support one another. This particular piece is designed, too, to showcase the partnering of the dancers in the piece. The dancers move in pairs and navigate the watery, dreamlike world together.
Next, we’ll be treated to the duet from Motor (2010), which was inspired by Mr. Brooks’ experience as a runner and racer. This work premiered in August 2010 at the Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival in New York City, and is a testament to the endurance and athleticism of dancers.
And finally, after intermission, we’ll see the New England premiere of the company’s newest piece, Big City (2012), a 44 minute work for seven dancers. Mr. Brooks describes this last piece as “overwhelming” and “lavish – but not frivolous.” The scale is large and the audience will watch as hundreds of pieces of metal literally unfold throughout the piece, altering the landscape of the theater and the way the dancers interact with it and within it. But the piece is also cyclical and as we watch the construction of a “big city,” we marvel at our resilience and at our capacity to rebuild against all odds. We hope you’ll join us!