Monday, September 27, 2010

Bodies in Urban Spaces








http://blogs.wsj.com/photojournal/2010/09/26/bodies-in-urban-spaces/

ANONYMOUS BODIES, BY KATYA MONTAIGNAC (MTL)

On May 1st 2010, more than 150 performers in Toronto and Montreal were involved in a simultaneous demonstration at 1pm. The Montreal version, created by artist Katya Montaignac, was adapted for Toronto by Prisiclla Guy and Kate Nankervis. Both performances were documented and footage would eventually be sent to government bodies along with a manifesto that will highlight ideas and suggestions to help increase the interaction between artists and society.

Footage from Montreal performance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7PP09Z7pB0

Toronto's Intersection Project was influenced by the May 1st performance with Recommandation63 and now moves on to establish its own structure and parameters by animating public spaces.

In the meantime, Katya Montaignac, with her piece Anonymous Bodies, continues her investigations of public spaces in Montreal. As time goes by, we hope projects like this will spread out and create a network of interactive platforms in urban centres across the country.

ANONYMOUS BODIES - Choreographic infiltration in public spaces
By Katya Montaignac

Anonymous bodies discretely invading a public space. More anonymous bodies in stillness amidst the incessant flow of city life. All following instructions from mp3 files. With choreographic pieces involving 20 to 40 dancers and conceived directly for the urban landscape, a series of surrealistic scenes starts to unfold in the mundane decor of our daily lives, like a mass movement against the tide.

http://quartiersdanses.com/2010/08/katya-montaignac-mtl-2/?lang=en

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Arts Jobs Are Jobs, Too by Jeffrey E. Salzberg

Arts Jobs Are Jobs, Too
by Jeffrey E. Salzberg

Recently, I had dinner with some lovely people and the conversation turned, as it so often does these days, to politics and economics. I mentioned the importance of arts funding, and one of my companions -- an artist herself -- said something like, "I care about arts funding, too, but jobs are more important."



Whoa.



It's time we stopped thinking of ourselves as charity cases. Arts jobs are no less important just because we make theatre (or music, or sculptures, or ballets, or....) than they would be if we sold cars or built computers -- in fact, they have even more impact, proportionally, on our local economies. The arts are huge consumers of materials, which must be manufactured and transported and, of course, artists and other employees of arts organizations buy the same groceries, clothing, automobiles, and other goods as do those in other occupations. People who attend arts events are likely to dine out before, and go to bars afterward. In the United States, more people attend professional arts events than attend professional sports. I've seen estimates that every government dollar that goes to arts funding has between six and seven dollars of economic impact.



I'm writing this in September of 2010. In 7 weeks, we'll be electing senators, members of Congress, legislators, and governors. This is a time when our elected officials -- and those who want to be our elected officials -- are most likely to listen to us. Ask...no, demand...that they tell you their positions on arts funding. You can post this note on your own Facebook profile by clicking "Share" below ("Share" also has the option of sending it as a private message), or you can post it as a link on your candidates' walls by copying the URL and pasting it either as a link or as part of a comment.



Let your message be loud and let it be clear: "Arts funding is jobs funding."

"dance like no one is watching" shares....

Sent to Intersection Project by Meagan O'Shea. O'Shea is a Toronto based dance artist, art activist and community dance facilitator.

She wanted to share her project 'dance like no one is watching' with Intersection Project and Intersection Project shares it with you.

thank you Meagan.
- Intersection Project.


'dance like no one is watching' began in response to a lack of funding - to be able to practice performing, as that is what we do. So in an ironic move, I called it 'dance like no one is watching' and began dancing to my iPod in public spaces in the summer of 2007. We were really successful in that passers-by asked who we were and what we were doing. We were searched on facebook and on my website. The ripple effect was pretty cool. By the next summer we were a sanctioned part of SummerWorks Festival. In 2009, the project had developed to be a series of improv scores (neseccary as we went from no more than 6 at a time in 2007, to a larger roster of 22 in different shifts in 2008 and then 30 in relay) for Scotiabank Nuit Blanche. This year we are doing a season of festivals and events throughout Toronto, including Pedestrian Sundays in Kensington Market, Hot Spot at Harbourfront Centre, Fringe Festival Tent, Junction Arts Festival and Queen West Arts Crawl. Although we've moved away from the chaos and guerilla stylings of 2007, we still do show up unexpectedly to start dancing - at the 4 way cross walk at Yonge and Dundas.

I was also a part of Maureen Shea's Grasshoppa Dance Exchange Hops. These hops were often at crosswalks and included performers of mixed abilities. Again what began as social intervention ended up as a featured project in Canada Dance Festival 2006.
check it out:

http://standupdance.com/new/blog/

Friday, September 17, 2010

CALL FOR ARTISTS: PERFORMANCE #2

CALL FOR ARTISTS
INTERSECTION PROJECT- Performance #2


dance crosses urban spaces
artists meet audiences
ideas travel between us

Dear Artists,

Performance #1 on September 11th was a great success! Thank you to everyone who participated and to the many artists/supporters who came to the reception after the performance. We had the great pleasure to collaborate with The OverDraught Pub, who provided us with delicious platters of food. We look forward to visiting them again in the next months!

Here is a 4 min video of the Performance #1, created by videographer Claudia H├ębert. The first of a series of 10 :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbV-PN2XBak&feature=player_embedded

We also encourage you to read the latest post on the Intersection Blog, written by Kate Nankervis :
http://intersectionproject10.blogspot.com/

***The BLOG: if you want to post comments, links, or articles on on the Blog, you will need to create an account first. Just follow the steps, it will take a few minutes and you will be able to share anything you want on our Blog for the up coming year! We hope to read your thoughts and ideas on this interactive plate form!

Now, read carefully the following information regarding our next performance...!

...
HISTORY AND DESCRIPTION

Driven by the success of May 1st 2010 Public Performance in Toronto, organized in conjunction with Montreal artist Normand Marcy and Tangente, Laboratoire de Mouvement Contemporain, Priscilla Guy and Kate Nankervis are launching Intersection Project, an initiative that aims to highlight the presence of artists in urban landscapes. Through pedestrian and simple movement vocabulary in city landscapes, the dance is accessible and belongs to anyone who is walking by. Bodies become organic sculptures against urban architectures.

The performances organized by Intersection Project are opportunities for artists and audiences to meet in unexpected and unofficial settings; a reminder performance art also lives outside theatres. Art is essential and it lives everywhere we decide to allow for it. Art reflects the common needs and wants members of society share. Intersection Project is an occasion to re-iterate the spontaneous and engaging nature of art as performance emerges from urban architectures and melt with the city landscapes.

Throughout the upcoming year, Intersection Project will organize 10 monthly performances in the Toronto's downtown area, gathering dancers, actors and performers from diverse backgrounds. In the nature of spontaneity, there is no promotions or marketing for the events. We believe the recurrent aspect of the project will stimulate curiosity and interest for it.

PERFORMANCE #2
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 16TH
11:45am to 2:30pm

We are looking for performers from any artistic background to participate in this performance!
This performance will occur on Saturday, October 16th. Looking for up to 25 performers. Participants must be available from 11:45am to 2:30pm at least.

**Intersection Project has applied for funding to cover artists fees. However, until the results of grants applications and confirmation with our sponsors, there will be no artist fees. As part of your registration, we will track your HOURS as PERFORMERS for each event and participating artists will be paid retroactively as we get funding results. Artists involved must be ready to participate as they believe in the project and mandate and volunteer their time in the case funding is not successful. It is important for us to pay participating artists, and we assure to you all efforts will be made to provide proper fees as the project continues. Thank you for understanding. **

Schedule of the Day:
11:45am to 12:45pm-check in/rehearsal
1:00pm to 2:00pm-performance
2:00pm to 2:30pm- break/gather for reception
2:30pm to 5:30pm-reception

Performance details including the score, the arrangement, the locations for the performance and the reception will be sent ONLY TO CONFIRMED PARTICIPANTS. All locations chosen are in the downtown area (Christie to Yonge / Bloor to Queen's Quays, always accessible by bike, car and TTC)

TO PARTICIPATE, PLEASE E-MAIL:
intersectionproject10@gmail.com
before October 10th 2010.

THE INTERSECTION BLOG :
http://intersectionproject10.blogspot.com/
Intersection Project provides the art community and the population with a platform to share dialogue and debate the role and contribution of artists in the society at large. The Intersection Blog addresses various issues and invite performers, audiences and the greater population to share their thoughts on this virtual common forum. Prior to all performances, we will post articles/questions to initiate dialogue between performers and other followers of the Blog.

We hope to see you on October 16th!

Priscilla Guy & Kate Nankervis

Performance # 1 - Public space really?

Response from Kate Nankervis
Co-Founder of Intersection Project

Public space really?

Intersection Project's Performance #1 launched on Saturday September 11, at 1pm. 25 performers (dancers, actors, clowns, visual artists) gathered on the traffic median between Union Station and Royal York Hotel to perform the 1 hour spontaneous public performance.

Front street was buzzing with all types of people with one thing in common; they were in the same place at the same time, AND they caught a glimpse of Intersection Project. (ok, two things in common)

It was the many pedestrians who were open to engage in the work in their own special way that was so awesome for me. Some highlights were a twentysomething man and his dog who joined in a group walking section where the whole group formed a line and traced a serpent pathway the length of the median. Another man and his 2 children walked through the space at least twice. The group got a "nice bum" compliment in a tight knit group formation from a passing car. Several people took photographs, approached performers with question about the project and asked about the sidewalk chalked blog address. One lady sat for almost the full hour of performance on a cement block in front of Union Station.

The best reaction for me was actually in rehearsal when a Union Station security guard approached us, asked us if we could not practice in front of the entrance ramp. His comment was something like "what you guys are doing is really beautiful but you're blocking an important entrance ramp... but you are all really beautiful I've been watching from above." It might be a highlight for me because my biggest concern for our first performance was security. Not if the 25 performers were at risk or if our dance might pose a safety issue or risk to anyone, but in fact the security personnel who are hired to keep our "public spaces" safe. In a similar event to Intersection Project which we did last May at Union Station and Habourfront Centre, both locations which are presented to the public as being "public", but in fact were not up to having dance apart of their site. Not only were we asked to stop dancing and leave, we were also treated very dis respectively. What happened on May 1st is of the past, but from this event fueled some important question Intersection Project wanted to pose during our 10 month project.
What is a public space?
Why are we not welcomed in these "public spaces" as a mass group doing gestures and movements no different than those of the people who are walking by.... we walk, we run, we sit, we look around, we smile at each other; is it because we do it in a large group together in slow motion that we propose a threat or an uncomfortable situation?
Is seeing a crafted group movement such an unfamiliar scene that public, security personnel and institutions do not know how to respond therefore respond in a protective, assertive, may I even say aggressive manor towards a peaceful collection of bodies dancing?

What do you think? What is a public space? How do you wish for people to respond to dance or performance in public spaces?

Kate.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Intersection Project PERFORMANCE #1 - TODAY

Intersection Project
PERFORMANCE #1


TODAY
September 11th 2010
1pm

UNION STATION
meet artists at the OverDraught Pub after performance


PERFORMANCE #1
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 11TH
1 to 2pm

Intersection Project is a spontaneous specific dance performance for 25 dancers. The 1 hour performance will occur once a month from September 2010- June 2011.


Intersection Project lead by Priscilla Guy & Kate Nankervis  aims to reinforce the presence of artists in the larger society by making them visible in urban spaces. Through pedestrian and simple movement vocabulary in city landscapes, the dance is accessible and belongs to anyone who is walking by.

Bodies become organic sculptures against urban architectures.

The performances organized by Intersection Project are opportunities for artists and audiences to meet in unexpected and unofficial settings; a reminder performance art also lives outside theatres.

Art is essential and  lives everywhere we decide to allow for it. Art reflects common needs and wants members of society share.

Intersection Project provides the art community and the population with a platform to share dialogue and debate the role and contribution of artists in the society at large.


Priscilla Guy & Kate Nankervis