Awarded a 2017 Bessie Award for Outstanding Production (Voyeur), Bridgman|Packer Dance's enigmatic wizardry and seamless blend of live performance and video technology can bring to life the long-forgotten stories buried in the walls of an abandoned American factory, navigate through an illogical and fantastical night of dreams, evoke the hauntingly vivid world of painter Edward Hopper, or transform an ordinary box truck into a stunning micro-world. The duet form explodes into a kaleidoscopic wonder– all in one breathtaking evening of dance.
Running time: 50 minutes
Choreography and Performance: Art Bridgman and Myrna Packer
Video: Peter Bobrow
Costumes: Anna-Alisa Belous
Sound Design and Music Score: Ansel Bobrow
Ghost Factory is the latest in Bridgman|Packer Dance’s body of acclaimed and genre-breaking work that features their “Video Partnering”— the integration of live performance and video technology. Inspired by the residents and vast deserted factories of Johnson City, an upstate New York town, Ghost Factory is a compelling work that reveals remnants of a past era through a contemporary lens. Live performance merges with haunting video imagery of abandoned factory buildings, evoking the humanity these spaces once held.
In conjunction with the stage performance, there is an accompanying audio/visual installation, Places With Hidden Stories, that further brings alive the stories of residents in Johnson City as well as those from each host community. The installation and the stage work reveal how architecture can hold a town’s human stories hidden within its walls.
The creation of Ghost Factory was made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a National Dance Project Finalist Grant Award, and commissioning support from the American Dance Asylum. Bridgman|Packer Dance is a 2020 NDP Finalist Grant Award recipient. Support was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts with funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to address sustainability needs during COVID-19 and in support of Ghost Factory.
Ghost Factory premiered, Summer 2021 at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts in Scottsdale, AZ.
TRUCK (2014, 2017)
Running time: 20 minutes, performed at repeated intervals throughout an evening
Audience size: max 100 (30 seats, the rest standing)
Choreography, Performance and Video: Art Bridgman and Myrna Packer
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. TRUCK can 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.
Under the Skin (2005)
Running time: 26 minutes
Choreography and Performance: Art Bridgman and Myrna Packer 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.
Table Bed Mirror (2019)
Running time: 30 minutes
Choreography, Performance and Video: Art Bridgman and Myrna Packer
Technology Design: John Erickson, Cristopher Blair
Sound Design: Art Bridgman and Myrna Packer
Table Bed Mirror builds on Bridgman|Packer Dance’s body of work of “Video Partnering”, their award-winning and genre-breaking integration of live performance and video technology. The worknavigates through an illogical and fantastical night of dreams. 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 perception of reality and flip assumptions upside down.
Parts of Table Bed Mirrorwere developed during a Catalpa Artist Residency 2018, Desert Hot Springs, CA.
Technology: Zoom or other live streaming platform provided by presenter.
Company requires Presenter to provide virtual stage manager to run virtual activities. A tech rehearsal before every event with the virtual stage manager is required.
The company can adapt activities to meet the needs of each presenter/theater and their respective communities.
BEHIND-THE-SCENES: Making of Ghost Factory
A look behind the creative process of Bridgman Packer’s newest creation Ghost Factory (currently under development), which was inspired by the residents and vast deserted factories of Johnson City, a small upstate NY town. In this multimedia presentation, Co-Artistic directors Art Bridgman and Myrna Packer, pioneers in the integration of dance with video technology, offer audiences a look into their creative process, which includes multiple site visits, storytelling sessions, and filming the once majestic buildings of this post-industrial town. This event may be hosted ahead of Ghost Factory coming to a community in order to bring local audiences into the themes of the work, draw interest, and deepen community engagement opportunities in preparation for the live performance. Option to include moderator. Alternatively a moderator may be provided by Presenter.
Max number of participants: Dependent on presenter’s platform maximum capacity
This in-depth multimedia presentation provides insight into Bridgman|Packer’s choreographic process and its integration with video technology, with images and video excerpts, they describe the history and development of their unique concepts of Video Partnering and their use of green screen technology, video editing and live camera stage set up. There will also be focus on their work creating stand-alone dance films including screenings of two short dance films: Look Out, and Embrace in the Time of COVID-19.
Max number of participants: Dependent on presenter’s platform maximum capacity
CREATING SHORT DANCE FILMS/PARTNERING WITH THE CAMERA
Art Bridgman and Myrna Packer offer a 2-hour workshop where participants can experiment with creating short dance films with their cell phone cameras. Bridgman and Packer will focus on camera angles, lighting, framing, movement invention, and relationship with music and sound. This workshop will emphasize process rather than product and will include several hands-on experiments that explore partnering with the camera. Workshop will be held on Zoom. It is best if participants have both a computer and a cell phone, but adjustments can be made if that is not possible. Max number of participants: 20
CREATIVE FILM WORKSHOP SERIES
Incorporating video (with cell phone or camera) with movement and text (prose poetry, spoken word), students will create short video projects. This workshop requires multiple sessions, ideally a minimum of 4 sessions in order to realize a film project from each participant. This series can also include a Multimedia Artist Talk presented in a virtual lecture demonstration format prior to starting the workshop that will introduce the students to Bridgman|Packer’s artistic process.
Max number of participants: 15 Students (collaborating in 5 groups of about 3 students each)
Running Time: Sessions #1 and #2 – 60 minutes, Sessions #3 – 20 minutes per group, Sessions #4 – 20 minutes per group.
Tech Requirements: Cell phone camera (iPhone or smartphone camera) or camera that allows for still photos, video and audio recording capability (such as camcorder, digital camera) that can be saved as video files (mp4, mov); Video editing software on computer or phone that can be used to help students realize the final video (iMovie or other cellphone editing software, final cut pro, etc); Zoom. A Zoom facilitator is requested.
Week 1 Session #1 Virtual Zoom Lecture Demonstration with BPD
Week 1 Session #2 Creative Film Workshop
Week 2: Students work independently to create short films
Week 3 Session #3 first 20 minute Session w/ each group
Week 4 Session #4 second 20 minute Sessions w/ each group
Week 5 Session #5 Virtual Screening of Films with Students and BPD
COMMUNITY STORYTELLING WORKSHOPS
In anticipation of Ghost Factory live performance, Bridgman and Packer offer an online, virtual community storytelling workshop. Participants may be families, intergenerational or from schools, community clubs or organizations that will gather and be guided through the workshop by focusing on dialogue while sharing stories of individual, family and community histories as well as visual images from their communities. Through playful and insightful intergenerational exchange, young and elders experience how their stories may differ or overlap.
Max number of participants: 10-15 Participants
Running Time: 2 hours
Personnel Requirements: A local community liaison to provide advance details to participants
Tech Requirements: A Zoom facilitator is requested
GHOST FACTORY, LOCAL STORYTELLING PROJECT
Working with local community liaisons, Bridgman and Packer will engage in storytelling workshops and/or interviews with local community members by phone or zoom, collecting stories about connections, memories, and experiences of their town and neighborhoods. Focusing on how local buildings might hold people’s stories, their input will be part of the audio/visual installation in the lobby of each venue where Ghost Factory is performed.
Look Out (2018)
Look Out, a driving and precarious choreographic voyage through rooftops, a parking lot, and a construction site filmed entirely by drone camera, captures unexpected angles, distances, and perspectives. Shot on location during LUMBERYARD Under Construction Summer Festival 2018 (Catskill, NY), it features Bridgman|Packer choreography and performance, cinematography by Gavin Preuss, and industrial-percussion by Jeff Cook. Look Out has been selected for Screendance Miami and received Best Cinematography at the Experimental Dance & Music Film Festival and Best Drone Film at the Beyond Earth Festival.
Presenters may commission a version of Look Out to be filmed on the presenter’s campus or designated area. Filming is all shot on site with a drone camera.
Embrace in the Time of COVID-19 (2020)
This film was inspired by those who lived alone during the pandemic and for those for whom touch and embrace were absent. In light of this, it explores the concept of virtual embrace and its relationship with the physical. “Embracing”, moving, and merging with each other’s film images, Bridgman and Packer delve into the relationship of intimacy and distance while exploring the uncertain, ephemeral, impermanent nature of existence. With choreography, performance, and filmmaking by Bridgman and Packer and music by composer/violist Martha Mooke, it has received Best Choreography Award at the Best Global Shorts Film Festival, Judge’s Special Mention at Redwood Shorts and Scripts, and Best Dance Film at the Experimental Dance & Music Film Festival.
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. Running time: Varies
Artist Talk with Audience Interaction
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. Audience participation in a short demonstration of live camera work is also included. Running time: 50 minutes with 10 minute Q&A Session.
Dance and Video Workshop/Masterclass
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. Running time: 90 minutes – 2 hours.
Partnering Workshop/Master Class
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 exhilarating partnering techniques in duet, trio, and group forms. Running time: 90 minutes – 2 hours.
Movement and Storytelling Presentation with Bridgman|Packer Dance
Art Bridgman and Myrna Packer, Artistic Directors of Bridgman|Packer Dance, in conjunction with performances of Ghost Factory, will lead a presentation on performance and storytelling. They will show video clips from their stage work Ghost Factory and speak about their creative choreographic process of making Ghost Factory, which is inspired by the vast deserted factories and the residents of Johnson City, NY, the former home of the Endicott Johnson Shoe Company. Integral to Ghost Factory, are the stories from people in Johnson City and the concept that architecture holds human stories hidden within its walls. Illustrating their practice as choreographers, Art and Myrna will lead some simple movement and storytelling exercises, illuminating the idea that everyone has a story to tell connected with their name, a building or location, or family history. The presentation culminates in the creation of a spontaneous performance with movement inspired by the oral histories shared by attendees.
No previous dance or story-telling experience necessary. Come, observe and participate as much as you like.
Running time: 60 or 90 minutes
This presentation is appropriate for the general public, seniors, or inter-generational groups.
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. Running time: 45 – 60 minutes.
Live Performance and Video Technology Workshop
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. Running time: 4 hours per day/ 3-5 days or longer.
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. No pre-show discussions/talks.
“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.”
The New Yorker
Virtual: Multimedia Artist Talk
Virtual: Virtual Workshops
Virtual: Inside with Dancers Studio Artist Talk
Virtual: Behind the Scenes with Bridgman|Packer Dance