Throw People

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The work “Throw People” examines how people treat their own and one another’s body, and how violence can reverberate in the human form. Some aspects of the piece take inspiration from cock fighting which I have seen numerous times during my dance training in Indonesia; the animals are most aware when they are shaken up and thrown into the arena.

The work is an exchange between three dancers. It begins in a duet between a small female dancer who molds with me (Chris) in the beginning, as an androgynous male mysteriously goes about his own activity walking in patterns and executing actions in the space while wearing a blue union suit. In many ways the small female dancer, is depicted as the strongest, as she is the only one who maintains her regular breathing, with the two men lumbering and gasping at chosen points during the piece.

The original music was composed by Andy Teirstein. There is an organic embodiment of the music when it is present, and a conscious loss when it is absent.

The work aims to conjur thoughts and images associated with gender, violence, tenderness, humor, and hard work – all through a incessant series of Herculean efforts and tasks. There is witnessing that occurs, with each of the three performers either self-differentiating or being shunned at various stages of the evolution of the piece.

The modes of interaction accumulate, sometimes engaging in pedestrian drills, at other moments partaking in fine and delicate dancing – always being sensitive to acting and tone shifts over time and space. The piece ends in a dark and suggestive place.

Choreography: Chris Elam

Dancers: Chris Elam, Coco Karol, Luke Gutgsell

Costumes: Kaibrina Sky Buck

Commissioned Music: Andy Tierstein

Performance Space: Long Island University, Kumble Theater

Composer: Andy Teirstein