Hauser and Jones are tremendous performers. “A History” allowed the audience to bask in their talents, both of them fully committed to every movement. In a beautiful passage, Hauser danced while video of her played on the screen. What Skove had made captured color and movement and angles, but right in front of us was this radiant woman, bringing everything she has ever known about dance to the stage in that moment, then collapsing, spent, on the floor. Standing behind her, his hands on his hips, Jones gathered himself, then took off around the space, running freely, his arms out at his sides. When he stopped, Hauser rested her head on his shoulder, tenderly, then Jones was off again, dancing for us hungrily, as his image from an earlier time played on the screen.
Watching them dance together, a history became clear; their partnering was marked by a sixth sense, which comes not just from rehearsal and repetition but from deep knowledge, when bodies and brains are in synch, and an organic rightness takes hold. When Jones and Hauser lifted one another, it was as though one was suddenly supported by the other, without our seeing, or their understanding, how that came to be. The bond between dancers who have worked together for many years is very strong. The history builds, and, with it, so does the ease of conversing without words, and only with bodies.
— Andrew Boynton
A History (2012)
Angie Hauser and Darrell Jones
Michael Wall, Darren Morze, additional music by Hahn Rowe, Bradford Chapin, Albert Mathias
Wexner Center for the Arts, September 2012
A HISTORY is a new dance work directed by Bebe Miller in collaboration with long-time BMC collaborators Angie Hauser, Darrell Jones and Talvin Wilks, premiering in Fall 2012 at the Wexner Center for the Arts. An evening-length duet for Hauser and Jones, with video by Lily Skove and accompanying installation by Maya Ciarrocchi, the work is designed to invite audiences into what dance making feels like, sounds like, thinks like. Set to tour in 2012-13, these projects offer the uniqueness of a joint performance, installation, and interactive website, ultimately shifting the paradigm of an artist’s archive from artifact to artwork.
A HISTORY can be viewed as both the evidence and performance of a creative process. All four BMC collaborators – appearing live and virtually – create a dynamic exposure of how we do what we do and in turn catalyze the next questions. Performances are coupled with media installations offering dance “tracks” and thematic journeys that audiences try on for size, experiencing our process and arriving at new conclusions of their own. This guerrilla mode—nimble, strategic, with multiple points of entry—is designed to give both artists and audience the interactive spontaneity of truly accessible theater; make use of the flexibility of digital media; and minimize production and touring costs. Both the theatrical work and installation will contain media suitable for a range of spaces and be available virtually, strategically entangling audience with process and performance; events will be developed in close dialog with presenters.
A HISTORY reveals the interpersonal subtext that drives our particular mode of inquiry. As such, it connects an audience to their own experiences of creative partnerships. It is filtered through the collaboration between Hauser and Jones that began with the Bessie award-winning Verge (2001). A HISTORY probes findings from a 10-year perspective to expose the collision of their internal processes as dancers. It shares that vulnerability in an interactive format, creating something new.
A History: The Use of Text
Throughout the performance, text is used as hyper-reality, sometimes inserted, projected and interjected into scenes. The sources are from various interviews, recorded rehearsal conversations, journal reflections, original writings and past texts generated from previous dances. Texts range from discussions used as source material fed through the dancers’ headsets, to an essay written by Angie Hauser describing her experience of performing with Darrell Jones in Landing/Place (2005). Also included is text from Verge (2001), generated through the “capture” of bits of speech from the rehearsal process. The intention is to create self-reflecting loops of meaning and history that are strung throughout, purposely absurd, at times nonsensical, but hopefully, revealing layers of thought, concept and process.
Talvin Wilks, Dramaturg
PHOTO: Darrell Jones and Angie Hauser | ‘A History’ | Photo: Michael Mazzola