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Press Releases Walker Art Center Presents the World Premiere of BodyCartography Project’s Ecological Melodrama Super Natural with Live Score by Zeena Parkins

“The BodyCartography Project is a group with a rare and wonderfully powerful gift to offer us.” —Twin Cities Daily Planet


Minneapolis, October 4, 2012—From the restless imaginations of the BodyCartography Project’s Olive Bieringa and Otto Ramstad comes a radical ecological melodrama replete with animal appetites. The Walker– commissioned world premiere of Super Nature will be performed Thursday–Saturday, October 25–27, at 8 pm in the William and Nadine McGuire Theater. The dance/performance/installation duo engages the wild and civilized aspects of human nature with idiosyncratic movements drawn from bodily impulses and social interactions. Bessie Award–winning composer Zeena Parkins performs a live score within an elaborate scenic installation by visual artist Emmett Ramstad; dancers include Justin Jones, Timmy Wagner, Emily Johnson, Anna Shogren, and Otto Ramstad, with Eneka Bordato Riano and Francesca Mattavelli (both formerly with the Lyon Opera Ballet). Copresented with the National Performance Network (NPN). Warning: Some bodies appear in their natural state.


As co-directors of the BodyCartography Project Olive Bieringa and Otto Ramstad investigate the physicality of space in urban, domestic, wild and social landscapes through dance, performance, video and installation work. Their works range from intimate solos for the street or stage, to large community dance works in train stations, short experimental films in national parks, to complex works for site or stage amidst installations of video and sound.


They have created over one hundred and twenty five performance works, ten short films and five installations and have been presented across the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Europe, Russia and South America by venues such as the Walker Art Center; Southern Theater; Art of This Gallery; Bryant Lake Bowl; Intermedia Arts, Minneapolis; Minneapolis International Film Festival; Minnesota Public Television; Performance Space 122; Dance Theater Workshop; Movement Research; Dance on Camera Festival, NYC; American Dance Festival, NC; Dance Camera West, LA; Philadelphia Dance Project; Anti Festival, Finland; Stromereien, Zurich; Lyon Opera Ballet, Les Subsistances, Lyon; British Dance Edition, Cheshire Dance UK; NZ International Film Festival; Cinedans, Amsterdam; and Polish Public Television to name a few.


Their work has been supported by residencies at Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography, Headlands Center for the Arts, K3, Hamburg, Les Subsistances, and California State University of San Marcos amongst others. Recent commissions include Mammal for the Lyon Opera Ballet, Manmade for Cal State San Marcos, Station/Stationary for Cheshire Dance, Holiday House for Momentum/Walker Art Center, Dry Wash for Lower Left Performance Collective, Lagoon for Lambton Harbour Management, Wellington (NZ), amongst others. Recent funders include MAP Fund, Jerome Foundation, McKnight Foundation, Bush Foundation and others. They were recent participants of the National Dance Project’s Minnesota Regional Dance Development Initiative.


Olive Bieringa’s work focuses on the body both as an objective physical process and as a subjective lived experience through dance, film, installation, pedagogy and curatorial practice. Her site and context specific work investigates the physical resonance of space in urban, domestic, wild, technological and social landscapes.


As co-director of the BodyCartography Project, Bieringa has toured across the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Europe, Russia, and South America.


Bieringa grew up in the art galleries and on the beaches of New Zealand. She trained with first and second generation Judson Church choreographers at the European Dance Development Center in the Netherlands and NYC, studied critical theory at Dartington College, and received an MFA in Performance and New Media from Long Island University. She is a certified teacher of Body-Mind Centering®, a shiatsu practitioner, and a DanceAbility® teacher. She has collaborated with numerous artists and has appeared in the work of choreographers Deborah Hay, Yoshiko Chuma, Sara Shelton Mann, Karen Nelson, Jennifer Monson, Eva Karczag, and Stephanie Skura.


She is the co-curator of Public Art Saint Paul’s Collaboratory, an artist/scientist initiative. She was the co-founder of SEEDS Festival, Somatic Experiments in Earth, Dance and Science, an interdisciplinary arts and ecology festival, which began in 2008 at Earthdance in Massachusetts. She was also the curator and producer of the Kinesthetic Kino: International Dance Cinema event that screened in Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Wellington New Zealand 2003-2007.


Since 1995 Bieringa has been teaching dance, video and Body-Mind Centering® internationally in university contexts, and public contexts such as Impulstanz, Vienna; Movement Research, NYC; TanzLaboratorium, Kiev; and dance companies, such as Axis Dance Company, California; and Young Dance, Minneapolis.


Otto Ramstad (director, performer, video artist) has an insatiable interest in the process of creating kinesthetic visual images with movement. He has been investigating improvisational movement formally since the age of six starting with master dance teacher and BMC practitioner Suzanne River and since then via skateboarding and snowboarding, Capoeira Angola, Butoh, Tai Chi, contact improvisation, and Tuning Scores. He is a certified teacher of Body-Mind Centering® and holds a BA in dance, improvisation, and the moving image. He has been featured in the work of D.D. Dorvillier, Miguel Gutierrez, Morgan Thorson, Shelton Mann, Karen Nelson, Lisa Schmitt, and Kitt Johnson from Denmark. Ramstad has performed solo works in Denmark, Finland, England, New Zealand, Italy, New York City, and around the USA. His current solo Hello Nervous System was seen in Fresh Tracks at DTW, NYC; The Ritz Theater, Minneapolis; and PanCreas Festival in Denmark. Ramstad received a DanceWeb scholarship at Impulstanz in Vienna 2005 and 2008. He was an Archibald Bush Fellowship Artist 2006-2008. He was a Rolex Protegé Nominee in 2008.


Tickets to The BodyCartography Project Super Nature are: Thursday, $18 ($15 Walker members); Friday–Saturday, $22 ($18) and are available at walkerart.org/tickets or by calling 612.375.7600


Related Events


Postshow Q&A
Friday, October 27
Stay after the show for a Q&A with the artists and performing arts curators.


SpeakEasy
Saturday, October 28
After the performance, head to the Balcony Bar to join a discussion or just listen in as others hash it out.


Balcony Bar
Meet the artists, talk about the show, and enjoy a drink at happy hour prices, including specialty cocktails with Prairie Organic Vodka. Located in the McGuire Theater, the Balcony Bar is open one hour before and after all evening performances.


Acknowledgements


Super Nature is commissioned by the Walker Art Center with support provided by the William and Nadine McGuire Commissioning Fund, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support provided by the Contemporary Art Centers (CAC) network, administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA). Super Nature is an NPN Creation Fund project created in partnership with the Walker Art Center, Performance Space 122, PadlWest, and NPN.


Performing Arts Supporters
The Walker Art Center’s performing arts programs are made possible by generous support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation through the Doris Duke Performing Arts Fund, the William and Nadine McGuire Commissioning Fund, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.


Producers’ Council
Performing Arts programs and commissions at the Walker are generously supported by members of the Producers’ Council: Russell Cowles; Sage Cowles; Nor Hall and Roger Hale; King’s Fountain/Barbara Watson Pillsbury and Henry Pillsbury; Emily Maltz; Dr. William W. and Nadine M. McGuire; Leni and David Moore, Jr.; Josine Peters; Mike and Elizabeth Sweeney; and Frances and Frank Wilkinson.

Photo by: Gene Pittman, Courtesy Walker Art Center