A look inside what seems to be an ordinary box truck reveals a stunning micro-world– such is the enigmatic wizardry of Bridgman|Packer Dance. Currently touring throughout the Mid-Atlantic region as part of MAAF’s Mid Atlantic Tours, the innovative duo masterfully create cinematic magic in real time in their proscenium stage productions and in their popular site-specific Truck. Awarded a 2017 Bessie Award for Outstanding Production (Voyeur), the company’s skill in partnering video with live performance can evoke the hauntingly vivid world of American painter Edward Hopper, capture the arid beauty of the Mojave Desert or transform a simple duet into a kaleidoscopic wonder– all in one breathtaking evening of dance.
Table Bed Mirror is the latest in Bridgman|Packer Dance’s body of work of “Video Partnering”, their award-winning and genre-breaking integration of live performance and video technology. This new work navigates through an illogical and fantastical night of dreams, following two people who are having the same dream. While galloping through constantly shifting realities, the work references the neuroscience of the dream process and contrasts dreams’ most ridiculously commonplace details with the expansive and outrageous. Live performance, video, text, and sound score create an absurdist collage that intends to confound the sense of reality and flip assumptions upside down.
TRUCK (2014, 2018)
Running time: 20 minutes, performed at repeated intervals throughout an evening
Audience size: max 100 (30 seats, the rest standing) Music: A Hawk and A Hacksaw, Beats Antique
Performed inside a 17-foot box truck, TRUCK brings performance to nontraditional and unexpected locations. Through Bridgman|Packer’s signature integration of live performance and video technology, an ordinary truck evolves from the utilitarian into a reimagined space, a micro-world of visions and transformation. Exploring how context changes perception, the work ranges from evocative to humorous, to sensuous, to wacky. With the audience looking into the bed of the truck from the outside, the work can be performed in parking lots, parks, loading docks, plazas, street corners, or large indoor spaces. TRUCKcan be presented in conjunction with stage presentations or as a separate event.
Sections of TRUCK were developed during Fellowships with Experimental Film Virginia 2014, 2017.
Running time: 33 minutes
Video: Peter Bobrow Sound Design: Scott Lehrer and Leon Rothenberg
Bessie Award-winning Voyeur takes the paintings of Edward Hopper as its point of departure. Through their integration of live performance and video technology, Bridgman and Packer immerse themselves in Hopper’s world of color, light, perspective, and voyeurism, with its implications of isolation, obstruction, and under-the-surface eroticism. Fragmented moments of private lives are witnessed through windows and doorways; the presence of a seen or unseen viewer lies at the heart of Voyeur.
Voyeur is co-commissioned by Portland Ovations (Portland, ME) and the Edward Hopper House Art Center (Nyack, NY). The creation of Voyeur is made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Site-Specific Dance/Drone Film: Look Out
Proposed Running time: 6-8 minutes
Choreography, Performance and Film Editing: Art Bridgman, Myrna Packer
Cinematography: Gavin Preuss
Art Bridgman and Myrna Packer, in collaboration with cinematographer Gavin Preuss, will create an original short dance film, shot at the venue’s location entirely with a drone camera. With choreography, performance, and editing by Art Bridgman and Myrna Packer and drone video photography by Gavin Preuss, the work can be screened separately or in conjunction with a Bridgman|Packer Dance performance engagement.
The first in this series of short films was shot on location at LUMBERYARD Contemporary Performing Arts, Catskill, NY during their Under Construction Summer Festival 2018.
Remembering What Never Happened (2015)
Running time: 32 minutes
Technology Design: Phillip Gulley Sound Design: John Guth
Expanding on their signature integration of live performance and video technology, memory becomes a constantly shifting territory as they delve into the changeable nature of time, form, and perception. Bridgman and Packer interact with their video images that morph and explode into digital re- interpretations of the human body, while scenes shot on location in the Mojave Desert transform into surreal landscapes.
In a departure from their past work, this piece incorporates simultaneous computer video processing with time-delay and image altering capabilities. Multiple video images appear and evaporate in response to the performers’ movements and evolve from photo realism into strokes of abstraction. The work rides the line between the constant and the shifting, the tangible and the subconscious, while exploring the plasticity of memory and experience.
Remembering What Never Happened is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation Fund/Forth Fund Project co commissioned by The Yard (Chilmark, MA) in partnership with Opera House Arts (Stonington, ME), and Silvermine Arts Center (New Canaan, CT) 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. Parts of Remembering What Never Happened were developed during The Yard’s 2015 Offshore Creation Residency and a Catalpa Artist Residency 2015, Desert Hot Springs, CA. The creation of this work is also made possible in part by a 2015 National Endowment for the Arts Grant. Remembering What Never Happened premiered in 2015 at The Yard.
Under the Skin (2005)
Running time: 26 minutes
Music: Ken Field Video: Peter Bobrow and Jim Monroe
In Under The Skin, the duet form explodes into a magically populated stage as Bridgman and Packer interchange with their ever-multiplying virtual selves. Performers’ bodies and costumes become projection screens, morphing and redefining their identities while revealing psychological depths.
Under the Skin is a co-commissioning project of Contemporary Dance Theater (Cincinnati, OH) in partnership with The Dance Place (Washington, D.C.) and the National Performance Network Creation Fund. The NPN Creation Fund is sponsored by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, Altria, and the National Endowment for the Arts. The creation of Under the Skin was also supported by funds from the 92nd Street Y New Works in Dance Fund, NYC. Technological support was provided by SUNY Rockland: Communications/Media Arts.
Video Playground (Interactive Video Installation) This engaging interactive installation invites participants of all ages to experience the magic of Bridgman|Packer Dance up close and personal. Video Playground allows participants to play with scale, juxtaposition of shadow and video imagery and explore the duality and morphing of self and image. This live interactive installation can be projected in public spaces – bringing to life the architecture in a community and new meaning to familiar places.
Artist Talk Bridgman|Packer explain their choreographic process and its integration with video technology. With slides and video excerpts, they describe the history and development of their unique concepts of Video Partnering and demonstrate their use of green screen technology, video editing, and live camera stage set-up. A performance of an excerpt of their repertory and/or audience participation in a short demonstration of live camera work can also be included.
Dance and Video Workshop Emphasizing the relationship between live performance and the incorporation of video projection, this demonstration and workshop gives participants a hands-on experience with their Bridgman|Packer’s signature choreographic process. The students learn how to operate Bridgman|Packer’s various video technologies and are then invited to experiment by shooting their movement from several camera angles and then simultaneously projecting the imagery during their live on stage performance creating surprising juxtopositions and new compositional elements to explore. This fun and innovative workshop is appropriate for all ages and levels of experience.
Partnering Workshop The Partnering Workshop gives participants skills in Bridgman|Packer’s approach to contemporary dance partnering and is appropriate for beginners as well as advanced performers. The class is non-gender specific, and emphasizes the release and ease as well as the strength of partnering. The workshop builds participants skills to explore more exhilarating and risk taking partnering techniques in duet, trio, and group forms.
Creative Movement for Children This class offers a fun, energetic approach to movement exploration. The session emphasizes rhythm, musicality, awareness of space, and imagery that leads to individual expression and movement invention.
Live Performance and Video Technology Workshop(3-5 days or longer) Designed for high school, college or professional levels, this workshop examines the relationship of video and live performance from a choreographic point of view. Participants explore how video technology can become an integral part of the performance and the creative process; how it can offer a vital layering element in composition; and how it can add depth to the realization of the artistic intent. Participants will work on short performance projects. Basic knowledge of video editing software is helpful but not required. Participants with or without technological experience are welcome.
Other Master Class and Workshop Offerings: Composition/Improvisation; Body Awareness (based on Alexander Technique, Laban-Bartenieff Movement Fundamentals, and other somatic techniques); Movement for Actors, Movement for Athletes
Post-performance discussions available upon request.
“the most thrilling dance work this reviewer has seen in recent memory…flat-out exhilarating.”
The Boston Globe
“The boudary between reality and imagination is brilliantly blurred…Welcome to the future of dance.”
Star Tribune, Minneapolis
“In an age overrun with virtual dancing, the team of Art Bridgman and Myrna Packer stands out…by turns, witty, sexy and surreal.”