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Music, Performance Arts

Ritual, Intricacy, and Structure

By Spring 2015 Sponsored Artist Andrea Cerniglia of dropshift dance

andrea sidefaceOne of the things that I cherish most about the work that I engage in as a dancemaker is the communal element, and the many rituals that accompany convening with fellow artists to create work on the body. Dancers/movers, whatever we call ourselves, are constantly sharing ideas, movement inspiration, and most of all, space. From early on in our careers, we gather to take class, rehearse, and refine our skills; usually in spaces that have housed other artists with a range of aesthetics and goals of their own.

In the fall of 2014, musician Luke Gullickson approached me in the hope that I would be able to create a movement piece that would “bring to life” his recent composition, “Open,” for viola and piano. In our early communications Luke shared some of his thoughts and ideas for the CD release of “Open,” and his vision for staging it with movement that would reflect the simple, slow-developing interplay between the two musical personalities. I was impressed with Luke’s work and interested in the challenge that our particular collaboration would present.

This collaboration would not be like my previous musical collaborations in which
music and movement were created alongside one another simultaneously.

Luke splits his time between Chicago and New Mexico and would not be present for most of our collaborative residency. Our artistic process would remain separate until the week of our showing at hcl. In addition, the musical composition existed first, so naturally I would take subtle cues from the score to guide my creative process.

Andrea Hand Pose 2This all brings me to how I have approached our sponsorship by High Concept Labs thus far. I asked Luke to share some of his inspiration for the piece and he directed me to several sources that informed the early stages of my collaboration with dancer Julie Brannen. Since Luke’s inspiration bled into my early thoughts about process, I decided to create in a similar vein as he did. Normally, when I create movement work I indulge in the process and create a plethora of material; exhausting many possibilities and ultimately editing a great deal. When Luke composed his work he wrote a page of notes a day and never went back to edit. This inspired me to follow a similar path when creating in the studio.

So far, our process has been about the ritual and the sense of creating within a communal space that houses a variety of artistic processes. We are only two rehearsals in, but have found that simplicity in structure and clear definition of creative parameters is extremely fruitful.

The premiere performance of Open will be announced soon.

Watch the clip below of Andrea’s process so far for “Open”.




  1. Pingback: Momentum, Disorientation, and Moving Forward | thisistheHCLblog - June 5, 2015

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This blog is a source for our associated artists and audiences to share the experience of the creative process. Here you will find news, pictures, and video's of the new work created at HCL.

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