Internationally acclaimed choreographer and “punk ballerina” Karole Armitage presents A Pandemic Notebook, a collection of world premieres with her company, Armitage Gone! Dance, from March 16-19, at New York Live Arts. An intimate look at Armitage’s creative explorations over the past 18 months, A Pandemic Notebook combines dance, visual art, fashion and cinematic techniques to reveal the body from new perspectives. Armitage herself takes the stage with New York City Ballet (NYCB) legend Jock Soto as part of the company’s final season presenting new work by Armitage before it transitions to a new mission.
The program opens with a diptych, Beautiful Monster and Louis. Inspired by Luchino Visconti’s film La Strega Bruciata Viva (The Witch Burned Alive) and Roberto Rossellini’s La prise de pouvoir par Louis XIV (The Taking of Power by Louis XIV), as well as Trump’s presidency, the two works look at how celebrity and fashion can distract from the manipulation of power. Music for the dances is by Michael Gordon, Jean-Baptiste Lully, Thomas Adès and David T. Little.
The second section of the program illuminates connections between film and live dance for the stage. Two world premieres, Head to Heel and Andy, adapted from works originally created for the screen are juxtaposed with two selections (Killer and Andy) from Armitage’s screen series Under the Dancer, which captures the body from extraordinary angles and perspectives, often with surreal distortions.
In Time/Times, an homage to slow cinema, Armitage performs for the first time since 1989, dancing with former NYCB Principal Jock Soto in his first New York City appearance since 2005. They will present live excerpts from the film, framed by on-location stills from Crested Butte, CO – shot in six feet of snow – and in New Mexico at White Sand Dunes National Park, Plaza Blanca, and the Valley of Fire lava fields.
A real-time experiment, 6 Ft. Apart rigs the dancers with visible wires and devices — iPhones and accelerometers, a type of on-body sensor — that trigger sound in relation to motion. Armitage developed the project while a Director’s Fellow at the MIT Media Lab, in collaboration with engineer and designer Agnes Fury Cameron, who created the software, hardware and sound design.
The program closes with Marc Jacobs featuring the dancers in select pieces from the eponymous designer’s fall 2021 collection. Set to Native American saxophonist and composer Jim Pepper’s Goin’ Down to Muskogee, it is a celebration of Armitage’s long-standing connections to the fashion world.
A Pandemic Notebook is performed by Karole Armitage, Sierra French, Alonso Guzman, Isaac Kerr, Cristian Laverde-Koenig, Kali Marie Oliver and guest artist Jock Soto. Lighting design is by Tsubasa Kamei and Clifton Taylor.
Performances will take place March 16-19, at 7:30pm, at New York Live Arts in Manhattan. Tickets are $35 (general), $15 (students and seniors) and can be purchased by phone at 212-924-0077 or online at www.newyorklivearts.org. Information about New York Live Arts’ health and safety protocols can be found here. For more information about Armitage Gone! Dance, visit: www.armitagegonedance.org.