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Irondale presents world premiere of Joanna Kotze’s ‘’lectric Eye’

Molly Heller in ''lectric Eye'. Photo by Chris Cameron.
Molly Heller in ''lectric Eye'. Photo by Chris Cameron.

Irondale will present choreographer and dancer Joanna Kotze’s world premiere of ‘lectric Eye, February 9-12, in its first live full-length evening of dance following the extensive COVID-19 closures since 2020. This performance was created through a multi-disciplinary process between 2018–2022, and highlights collective and personal loss and isolation as well as the human body’s potential for persistence, resistance and power. ‘lectric Eye features dancers Joanna Kotze, Wendell Gray II, Molly Heller and Symara Johnson, longtime collaborator, composer and musician Ryan Seaton, and an ensemble of supporting artists.

Highly physical and reflective of our current political, social and environmental landscape, ‘lectric Eye exists in a space where performers and viewers experience the paradox of joy and struggle as they push and are pushed to physical and sonic limits. While the main themes of the work began to emerge in 2018, prior to the pandemic and 2020’s explosion of police violence against Black people that resulted in widespread protests, they feel even more relevant today.

In December 2020, as part of the development of ‘lectric Eye, Kotze created the short film, Nothing’s changed except for everything, which will be screened at The Space at Irondale following the February 10th performance only. Featuring one performer in various locations in Tallahassee, Florida, the film tells a digital story of personal and collective loss and the human body’s potential for persistence, resistance and power. Additionally, elements, motifs and concepts of ‘lectric Eye were part of Kotze’s outdoor performance of BIG BEATS on the pier at Riverside Park this past fall in which featured 20 performers moving in synchronicity inviting audiences to witness people working together, dancing together and being together.

“Over the last few years, it has become clear to me how important it is to recognize and reflect on our connections to each other,” states Kotze. “It’s also really clear to me how much strength and value we can offer, as individuals, to a group and to a greater good. With ‘lectric EyeBIG BEATS and Nothing’s changed except for everything, I ask, ‘How do we look at and experience effort, labor, humor, violence, unpredictability and beauty?,’ and more broadly, ‘How do we continue?’”

“Irondale is committed to creating and presenting art that challenges and speaks to what is happening in the world now so we are proud to bring dance and theatre projects into The Space at Irondale,” adds Terry Greiss, executive director and co-founder of Irondale. “Every piece we present invites our audiences to celebrate live performance and to invest in the changes we want to see in our community and our world at large.”

Joanna Kotze’s ‘lectric Eye will premiere February 9-12, at 7:30pm. The performance on February 12 will be live streamed. Tickets are on sale now at irondale.org/show-lectric-eye.

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