Known Once: Listening to their stories

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Known Once premieres this week! Get your tickets HERE (early bird discount of $10 per ticket until May 15).

From artistic director Liss Fain:

Known Once is about personal stories, memory and perception. The students and seniors we worked with dove into this project with openness and energy, letting us into their hearts and giving us stories that we treasure.

The piece is in part choreographed directly to their stories and movement, and in part I worked with broader concepts of memory—what remains important to us over time and how these deep undercurrents and fragments of images shape the trajectory of our lives. The installation for Known Once, with a wall behind and a moving wall in front, represents a life expanding and contracting. The choreography reaches into the past and enfolds the range of emotions and experiences we carry forwards.

Known Once developed through a deeply collaborative process with the dancers, in which they individualized phrases and created movement from prompts that are designed to be interpreted liberally and personally. Through the movement, the dancers brought their own memories into the piece.

Hear the voice of Walter Kanat, who is 93 years old and one of our senior collaborators, get a peek of Known Once in rehearsal, and hear a little preview of Dan Wool’s score in the video below:

The Installation Environment

In the company’s performance installation works, the performers are always inside the installation and visible, whether or not they are actively dancing. The dancers use the architecture of the installation to travel between areas, without disappearing from view. Because the audience sees the dancers who are watching and waiting, the relationships between the dancers are a part of the work. The way the dancers stand and watch, how they approach one another and move away are thought-out. In the background, they add emotional depth to the work. The concentration, passion, vulnerability and resolve of the performers stay with them as they quietly watch.