Dance/Light Lateral Studio with Richard Colton

Studio Activities

Movement in this workshop is about being permeated with the consequences of the dimensionality and light that surround you: Movement not as form, but as a way to see form!  Dance as an extension of drawing! You will be engaged in a collaborative process with dance maker Richard Colton, visual artist Abigail Donovan, physicist/electronic engineer/musician Tom Hughes, and writer Jared Green. Our work, The Orrery Project, will center on the poetic interplay of light, the body and sculptural space. No prior experience required.

The Orrery Project
a collaboration between Richard Colton, Abigail Donovan, Tom Hughes, and Jared Green

Somewhere once (or was it twice?) we think we read that Alexander von Humboldt referred to the star-filled firmaments as night gardens. A blossoming blooming of planetary light amongst black mass-tumbled clouds of galactic darkness.

We imagine the movements of the celestial guardian who needs to cultivate these night gardens and we made a mechanism that requires care, tending, interaction. The dancers carry, crouch, spin, focus, sweep, catch, reflect, open, shift, cradle, swim, gather, suspend, percuss, connect, curve, close. Human articulations + maintenance of mechanisms = instruments of cosmic observation. Here we can see that things have mass. They influence one another. And there is light in the darkness while the whole thing swings around again.

Richard Colton is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of Co Lab: Process + Performance at The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston.  Co Lab supports the development of collaborative work between visual artists, dance makers, writers and contemporary composers. Richard was a leading performer from 1972-89 with Twyla Tharp Dance, American Ballet Theater, Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project, and the City Center Joffrey Ballet. His early performing at Judson Dance Theater with the James Waring Dance Company was a formative experience, and his love for experimentation in the arts was born there. Richard, in collaboration with Amy Spencer, is a four-time winner of the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Outstanding Choreography Award.

Abby Donovan and Tom Hughes are an artist team living and working in Eugene, OR and Newark, DE. Donovan is faculty in the Art Department of the University of Delaware, and Hughes is a physicist, electronic engineer, and musician. They have had exhibitions and performances at a variety of venues, including Novella Gallery, New York, NY; Slingshot Festival 2014 for Experimental Music, Art, and Electronics, Athens, GA; High Desert Test Sites 2013, Joshua Tree, CA; Bowery Art & Science, New York, NY; Galleria Artra, Milan, Italy; SPACE Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA; the National Centre for Contemporary Art, St. Petersburg, Russia; the Stockholm Fringe Festival, Stockholm, Sweden; the ICA Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA; and the European Ceramic Work Center, s’Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands. Donovan received her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and her BA from Swarthmore College, Hughes holds a PhD form the University of Oregon and a BA from the University of Maine.

Jared Green is an author, dramaturge, experimental literary performer, and Associate Professor of English literature at Stonehill College. He has published fiction and literary criticism and is the editor of books on hip hop, electronica, and rave culture. His current projects include Minotauromachia, an episodic live writing installation, performed in various public locations, and Ozone Days, a novel. His work has been recognized by the Rhode Island Foundation, which awarded him the MacColl Johnson Fellowship in fiction writing in 2006. 

Images by Ann Colony, Clint Clemens, Jaye R. Phillips, and courtesy Richard Colton, Abby Donovan, and Tom Hughes.