Dance New Amsterdam (DNA) welcomes back Tami Stronach Dance to the 2012-2013 DNA PRESENTS season to present the world premiere of Me and Not Me, a duet which first debuted as a work in progress during DNA PRESENTS' OBject.obJECT series in 2009. The program also includes repertory favorite Mother Tongue, a solo danced by Stronach, and Closer, a piece currently in the making, which uses video cameras strapped to the dancers' bodies to provide the audience with alternative viewpoints. Performances are tonight, September 19-22. All shows are at 7:30 p.m.
Choreographed by Tami Stronach, the world premiere duet Me and Not Me will be performed by Lindsey Dietz Marchant and Denisa Musilova or Stronach (each performing on alternate nights). They dance in a sea of crushed yellow flowers, with a dilapidated child's bicycle serving as narrator. Slippery, bumpy and tender partnering gives way to delicate solos throughout this deeply inquisitive work, and the labored clicking of rusting bicycle gears sets the tone. Enhanced by costume design by Deb O, and sound design by Jane Shaw, the premiere also features lush original violin melodies by Jacob Lawson and a recording of a Czech folk song by Karina Denike.
DNA audiences were afforded first glance of Me and Not Me in 2009 when it was performed as a work in progress during DNA PRESENTS' OBject.obJECT series, which showcases the work of female choreographers. When Stronach began choreographing the piece, she was motivated by questions about the nature of personal boundaries. She became pregnant in 2010, and the work took on new meaning as she noted how her relationship with her child spurred questions about separation and attachment.
Growing up in Iran with a Scottish father, Israeli mother and Muslim nanny, Stronach learned to integrate seemingly disparate cultural elements into a coherent identity. Her solo work Mother Tongue (2002) is about archeological and psychological memory, the erosion and reconstruction of ancient structures and personal narratives. In this year's restaging, video artist David Tirosh layers film footage of a dig in Iran, taken by Stronach's archeologist mother. Closer, a quartet danced by Darrin Wright, Denisa Musilova, Lindsey Dietz Marchant and Stronach, uses video technology in an interactive way-footage from cameras attached to the dancers' bodies shows the audience how the act of getting closer tends to shut something else out of the frame, paradoxically creating more distance.
Stronach, known for her avant-garde sensibility with heavy doses of partnering and strong rhythmic drive in choreography, has been commissioned to create numerous works at DNA. She is also a highly active dance educator and frequently participates as an instructor in DNA's Modern Guest Artist Series.
"A multi-talented member of DNA's extended family, Tami Stronach is a seasoned veteran of our many programs, series and presenting seasons," says Artistic and Executive Director Catherine Peila. "Stronach exemplifies an artist at work. She stretches her own boundaries through her teaching and mentoring and pushes her work forward by questioning her discoveries and finding alternate paths. I am a staunch believer in DNA's mission to support all stages of the artist process-if these opportunities weren't available, how would any of us grow?"
Tami Stronach Dance (TSD) has toured throughout the United States and internationally to England, Australia and Mexico withupcoming invitations to Russia and Trinidad. Formed in 2000, TSD's works have been been commissioned and presented by more than 20 venues in New York City, including Danspace Project at St. Mark's Church, Dance Theater Workshop, Joyce SoHo, PS 122, HERE Arts Center, La MaMa, etc. and Dance New Amsterdam. In addition to her work for the company, Stronach is regularly commissioned to choreograph for plays and musical Theater Productions. She has danced with Neta Pulvermacher, Monica Bill Barnes and Kate Weare and was a long time member of the internationally-acclaimed physical theater company The Flying Machine. She recently performed at the Whitney Biennial in an improvisatory project directed by Margaret Peak. Stronach serves as an Assistant Professor of Dance at Marymount Manhattan College. She holds a BFA in Dance from SUNY Purchase College and an MFA in Dance from ADF/Hollins University.