In a Rhythm
World Premiere: November 30-December 3, 2017, Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH
March 15-18, 2018, On the Boards, Seattle, WA
April 5-7, 2018, Dance Center at Columbia College Chicago, Chicago, IL
Our process includes individual and collective choreographic contributions from the collaborating artists; their creative insights and energies are an integral part of each work.
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.
In making this suite of dances I wanted to look at the syntax of movement—how we collide with meaning through the juxtaposed dynamics of action and context, in time and space. Our tacit reading of the building blocks of situations is inherent in the culture it serves. In a Rhythm works with the premise that our willingness to decipher the unfamiliar cultivates shared understanding. It uses sound and text as underlying maps of events and situations. My focus is on the “tell”—the subtle interactions of gesture, timing, focus and dynamics that are uniquely human, yet, outside of familiar frames, are often illegible. We understand these bytes of kinetic information because we, as humans, move. —Bebe Miller
Assistant to the Choreographer: Angie Hauser
Dance Artists: Michelle Boulé; Christal Brown; Sarah Gamblin; Angie Hauser, Darrell Jones; Bronwen MacArthur; Bebe Miller; Trebien Pollard
Production/Lighting Designer: Stan Pressner
Costume Designer: Liz Prince
Dramaturgy: Talvin Wilks
Video Installation: Lily Skove
Music: Michael Vargas; Leonard Cohen; Pamela Z; The Commodores; Nelly; Donny Hathaway; Justin Mitchell
Text: Bebe Miller; Angie Hauser
Interview excerpt: Toni Morrison and Charlie Rose from Charlie Rose, 1998, video 17664
Production Manager: Elby Brosch
Stage Manager: Valerie Oliveiro
Project/Tour Manager: Lila Hurwitz/Doolittle+Bird
The Making Room
This work was created within an overarching project, The Making Room, an investigation into innovative ways of sharing the creative process. While Miller and choreographer Susan Rethorst (not represented in this premiere) each create new work, they share and discuss their respective processes; these interactions are the project’s focus. Audiences follow the artists’ ideas via open rehearsals, showings, an online portal (www.themakingroom.org) and e-book (launching June 2018) that capture the information, perspectives and physical practice that inspire the creation of dance. In a Rhythm is the suite of dance works Miller created during this project.
Video installation: Moments of Looking: Seeing Inside Dancing.
Video artist Lily Skove documented a number of convenings and rehearsals for The Making Room. She participated as a register and translator of the day’s events, training her eye on the alchemical exchange between the artists in the room. The video is a distillation of what she saw.
In a Rhythm
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 awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
General Operating support was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project with funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
Support was also provided by generous individual donors.
The Making Room
The Making Room was supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, and The Ohio State University’s Battelle Engineering, Technology and Human Affairs (BETHA) Endowment.
The Making Room FringeArts production residency was funded by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
The Making Room portal and e-book were produced by Bebe Miller Company in collaboration with Susan Rethorst.