Archive for March, 2014

More poster designs!

A new poster design has just been released! Check out design #4: Jackie and Aki, aka Goruza the Half-Orc Monk!

We’ve also been adding some sneak peeks of the illustrations done by our amazing artist Alex Mitchell, which you can find on our Current Projects page.

Monday, March 31st, 2014

New Poster Designs Released!

In contrast to previous shows, Up to Chance features a set of six unique poster designs. These designs feature each of our player/dancer duos, plus our Dungeon Master, Joshua Stafford. You can check out the designs that have already been released in this and future blog posts, and each new design will be added to the Current Projects page as it is released. Enjoy!

Design #2: “Critical Failure”

Design #3: LaMar and Mattia, aka Perci the Half-Elf Bard

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Announcing our new show!

We are SUPER EXCITED to finally announce our new project! Presenting…

Up To Chance explores the world of Tabletop Role Playing Games (or RPGs) such as Dungeons & Dragons through the lens of modern dance. As a group of seasoned Players explore a new adventure under the care of Dungeon Master Joshua Stafford, the dancers of Geeksdanz translate the Players’ actions and choices into a dance that changes with every roll of the dice. Events that unfold at the game table are reflected on the stage, and no two performances are ever the same as the dice rolls direct the action and the choreography is left up to chance.

We’ll be presenting Up to Chance as part of the Pittsburgh Fringe Festival, so ticket purchases will all be through the festival. Attendees will need to purchase a Fringe Button in addition to their ticket (I believe it’s only $3), which gets them in to all Fringe programming. Visit the Festival’s website for details and to purchase tickets!

Friday, March 21st, 2014

The Intimate, Indispensable Improv: The Art Assignment #3

Hi all, Ellen here!

I’ve recently started following a new youtube web video series called “The Art Assignment.” In it, museum curator Sarah Urist Green takes you to visit a different contemporary artist each week. After a brief interview about their art and what inspires them, the artist then gives the viewer an assignment. This opens up the conversation to the online community, as viewers all over respond by completing the assignment and posting their work to the Assignment’s youtube or facebook pages. This week’s assignment is to create a GIF of something that you consider “Intimate and Indispensable” to you as a person.

I took the assignment to the dancers this afternoon, since for me my Intimate Indispensable is dance, and as I suspected, so was everyone else’s. We did a long improvisation based on the question of what specifically about dance makes it indispensable to each of us, and followed it up with a long discussion of the thoughts we’d worked with. Since a single GIF doesn’t give much time to explore these thoughts, I created a series of GIFs and thought I’d pair them with a blog post detailing our conversation. I’ll also include the video of the full improvisation at the end of this post, for those interested in seeing the whole thing – warning: it’s nearly 40 minutes long!

The first thing that came up in our discussion after the improv was how connected we all felt throughout the 40 minutes. Working with such an intimate concept kept us close and made us hyper-aware of what everyone in the space was working with at any given moment. We went around the group and talked about the thoughts we’d had running through our heads, and looked for common themes. Jackie (black sweater) mentioned playing with stillness, and giving herself the permission and the space to just be still within the dance and really embody it fully. Angelina (hot pink) listed off a series of questions, including “Where do the impulses to dance come from?” and “What is ugly, what is beautiful?” I (green) listed off qualities of dance that I felt particularly close to, including momentum, emotion, and the real person behind the dance.

We all played at various times with pushing our boundaries, Jackie testing the limits of her stretches and reaches and Angelina exploring how far she could go into pedestrian movement and still be dance. We discussed the idea of real-time choreography; our hyper-awareness making it easier to react to each other and toss motifs around the room to create a cohesive whole. We touched briefly on the distinction, or lack thereof, between performing and rehearsing, and the difference between being inside the dance and observing it.

Finally I brought up the idea, originally presented to me by a favorite teacher, that dance is unique among the arts because it is ephemeral. Every performance is different, and watching a video is never quite the same as being present in the room while the dance occurs. Being inside an improvisation means that we will never know quite what the experience of watching it was like, even if we watch the video. That thing can never happen again.

When asked to distill their answer to the original question down as succinctly as possible, Jackie answered that she felt improvisation was her Intimate Indispensable. If asked to eliminate improvisation from her life, she would not be able to. Angelina felt that it was impossible to narrow down her Intimate Indispensable further than Dance, in its entirety. Everything from improv to tap to bad dance movies is part of the dance that shapes who she is. And for me? I think working with others is my Indispensable. I’ve spent time creating alone, making solo after solo with no-one to bounce ideas off of, and it’s not something I’d like to return to. I need that feedback that only other dancers can provide, both in improv and in choreography.

You can check out our whole improv below. I’ve added a separate page for Art Assignments, where you can check out last week’s assignment as well as this one. The link to that is now in the sidebar, under “Other Projects”.

Friday, March 14th, 2014