Behind the Steps: Song for Cello and the Missing by Andrew Tran

As summer comes to a close, ETD is working hard to get ready for our 2017 NYC Season on October 13, 14 & 15 at the Martha Graham Studio Theater. I wanted to take some time to share a little bit about some of our repertory. Here is some "Behind the Steps" information on... 

SONG FOR CELLO AND PIANO (2016) & THE MISSING (2009)
Song for Cello and Piano (2016) was an instant success and premiered September 2016 at Teatro José Peón Contreras (Mérida, MX) and in New York City during our 10th Anniversary Concert at the Martha Graham Studio Theater. The piece was created in collaboration with and danced by Nicole Baker, Chris Bell, Graham Cole, and AJ Guevara wearing originally designed and hand painted costumes by renowned artist, Scooter LaForge.

Following the success from last year's showings in Mexico and New York City, Song for Cello and Piano was chosen to perform this summer in East Hampton at Dancers For Good, a fundraiser hosted by Bebe Neuwirth. The piece will also be returning for our 2017 NYC season and will feature a unique sequel.

Back in 2009, Daniel Tobias composed a piece of music titled, The Missing. This piece developed into a dark and haunting solo that premiered during my season at Joyce SoHo. Immediately after, Daniel's creativity continued to flow and he created another piece of music titled, Song for Cello and Piano. Unfortunately, at the time, I did not have enough rehearsals to devote to choreographing another piece. Seven years later, in 2016, I brought the music down to rehearsal and asked my dancers to improv to it and the piece was born!

This year, I have decided that The Missing will follow Song for Cello and Piano and act as a continuation. The Missing elaborates on the female character from Song For Cello and Piano and her struggle to rise above a looming darkness.

Both pieces feature original scores by Daniel Tobias, original costumes by Scooter LaForge.

For ticket information visit: http://etd.nyc/tickets/

NEW Mobilize Video! by Andrew Tran

Our colleague Karisa Antonio, Director of Arts, Culture, and Fitness at Lantern Community Services, shared this video with us and we HAD to share it with all of you. ETD Outreach's mission is to participate in projects that not only give back to the community but also reinforce the importance of movement as a healing modality. We also want to give a major shout out to our company member and outreach instructor, Chris Bell for leading the group and helping Mobilize become a success. Check out what the participants from Lantern Community Services had to say about the program...

My Experience as a Summer Intern for ETD // By: Alexis Amundarain by Andrew Tran

Working with ETD this summer has been absolutely eye opening, not only in terms of a dance, but of how a company works together realistically to create work and actively seek ways of improving themselves. Throughout these past 2 months I’ve been able to work with many different aspects of the company and grow as an artist, mover, and person overall.

I think the most important thing I learned from Eryc was how to present yourself and talk to people. He is so sociable and driven when he talks about the company. His confidence and trust in himself allows for an incredible marketability for the company's success. He is constantly searching for new ways to grow and expand the ideas that will help build on this work, and does not give up or waiver when something doesn't work out or a plan gets sidetracked. His ability to adapt to situations and keep driving forward is something I will definitely take away from this as I move into making my own work for my final year of school. Advocating and believing in my own artistic decisions has always been a weak point of mine and watching Eryc at work has really inspired me to take action in my own agency.

Although I was never able to get a good quality camera for the media aspect of the job, I did learn a lot about how to work together to achieve someone’s artistic vision. Eryc has a very distinct aesthetic that is significantly different than my, more simplistic vision. Because of this fact, I had difficulty understanding and shaping the work I was producing to match the work that he liked to present for the company.  Eventually I was able to create something that we both found satisfactory, but it wasn’t easy for me. Even just in the noticing of this, I learned a lot about how I deal with problems and how to work through them.

In terms of actually creating work, the dancers taught me how to collaborate and listen to one another in order to continue creating and evolving a dance. I was always impressed by how each person would feel comfortable sharing ideas or thoughts on how to improve, connect, and create functional movement. Their willingness to “workshop” ideas led to a collective understanding of the work and a deep connection to its outcome.

Being an artist is hard, being a company is even harder. I’m constantly amazed by how much work Eryc, Nicole, and Andrew put into keeping the company growing and running successfully. The work is never really done, there is no stopping point, even breaks in time tend to make you slide backwards. It really is a hill with no areas to rest, you’re either pushing forward or sliding backwards and it truly is exhausting. Luckily they all work together to get the job done, but I'm glad I had the opportunity to take a look inside the inner workings and lend a helping hand.

 

GERALD BUSBY & ETD: SUNDAYS AT 4 by Andrew Tran

As you may or may not know, I have a close friendship and creative relationship with the renowned composer, Gerald Busby

Gerald Busby studied music at Yale University. He has worked with dancers, choreographers, filmmakers, and all artists alike to create masterpieces in sound. Busby composed the original score for one of Paul Taylor's most acclaimed works, "Runes." The piece premiered in Paris, France, 1975 and has had nearly 1,000 performances since, including being featured on the PBS series, Great Performances, Dance in America. In addition to creating over 200 concert works in multiple genres, Busby’s collaborations include the score to Robert Altman’s film 3 WOMEN and operas with librettist Craig Lucas.

In 2016, Eryc Taylor Dance received a gift from Busby, an original score made just for Eryc, titled "Dances on Wood.”  The same year, the piece had it’s world premiere at the José Peón Contreras Theater in Mérida, Mexico, during ETD's Mexico Tour.

Collaborating with such a musical genius heightened my work. It forced me out of my box and gave me the inspiration to create truly avant garde movement. Busby was involved in every part of the process and as a thank you, "Dances on Wood," is dedicated to Gerald Busby, forever.

The success of our relationship sparked a new weekly tradition, Sundays at 4, with Gerald. Our professional relationship developed into our close friendship, and now every Sunday I visit Gerald at his apartment at the Chelsea Hotel and listen as he shares not only advice but also stories from his career. His story can be found on the PBS Special, “Gerald Busby’s Lust for Life,” where he also talks about our collaborations and energy!

In efforts to move our relationship forward, I am happy to announce that Gerald Busby will be ETD’s official Musical Advisor. Next season we will be working even closer together as he joined ETD's diverse advisory board to curate music for the company. 

Gerald Busby & Eryc Taylor at the ETD 10th Anniversary Gala

Gerald Busby & Eryc Taylor at the ETD 10th Anniversary Gala

Behind the Steps: Chaise Lung by Andrew Tran

For our 2017 NYC Season, ETD is bringing back two repertory pieces. One of the pieces is nearly twenty four years old and I couldn’t be more excited to restage it. I choreographed, "Chaise Lung," in 1992 in collaboration with Laura Peterson. It had its world premiere that same year at The Kunsthaus Tacheles in former East Berlin. It was also performed on tour throughout Germany and the US, which included the prestigious Lincoln Center Out of Doors, NYC 1993. 

The original duet is a theatrically quirky and comical take on a tango composed by Astor Piazzolla. In an effort to heighten the integrity of the piece, I invited award-winning Latin ballroom performer and instructor Sidney Grant to work with the dancers. A big thank you to Sidney!

I have also commissioned musician & composer, Salomon Lerner, to create a unique, new tango. WIth Piazzolla as inspiration, he created a fresh and contemporary twist on the tango. I always love collaborating with Salomon as our visions always seems to click instead of clash. This is the fourth original score that ETD has commissioned from Lerner.

This fall, “Chaise Lung,” will be re-staged at the Martha Graham Center for Contemporary Dance. in October, performed by ETD company members Graham Cole and Taylor Ennen (u/s Alex Tenreiro Theis). Original costumes designed by NY artist Dav Burrington; Lighting by Jason Fok.

Can't wait for its SECOND WORLD PREMIERE!