Saturday will see the premiere of “Scenarios,” a new dance piece by Lawrence Arts Center dance education resident Eleanor Goudie-Averill, at Lawrence’s Cider Gallery, 810 Pennsylvania St.
Inspired by the UK-based art duo Gilbert & George, the choreography evokes “a strange kind of time warp between Baroque classicism and comedia dell’arte and mime,” with what Goudie-Averill refers to as “Space Age-y movements.”
The Topeka native — and niece of longtime Arts Center artistic director of performing arts Ric Averill — has spent the past six months working with young dancers at the Arts Center as part of her residency.
Aside from a 2014-2015 teaching stint at the University of Iowa, where she received her master’s degree in dance performance, Goudie-Averill has spent the bulk of her career in Philadelphia, performing in several dance companies and co-directing the Stone Depot Dance Lab.
“Most of the work I’m doing at the Arts Center is basically for children and with children, which is wonderful, but I wanted to make a piece that was a bit more adult and followed the work I started with my dance company in Philadelphia,” Goudie-Averill says.
She also wanted a chance to collaborate with Juliet Remmers, whom she first met as an instructor at the Lawrence Arts Center several years ago, before the dancer and Kansas University guest lecturer’s upcoming move to Taiwan.
“Scenarios,” she explains, is actually a duet comprising two simultaneous solos, with the dancers moving between the venue’s two gallery spaces as characters reminiscent of Harlequin, the comic servant from Italy’s commedia dell’arte theatre.
Adding to the juxtaposition of time periods: live renditions of jazz standards (think Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock) by Lawrence musician Adrian Rees.
A series of four dance films, produced by Tori Lawrence + Co., will also be screened during the performance. The films, which in total run about 20 minutes, all feature a rural, Midwestern setting — one, “Man and Woman With Plants,” is a sort of “contemporary Grant Wood,” while “Husk” takes inspiration from real-life portraits of women at the Iowa Women’s Archive.
In recent years, Goudie-Averill says, “dance has been moving more toward the digital.”
“Your framing is chosen for you in a film — the way you see the body and from what angle is chosen for you,” she says, whereas at the Cider Gallery performance, “You can choose your own framing. You can be view it walking around or see it sitting or standing.”
Her goal with “Scenarios” is to create the appearance of the dancers being installed in the space. The Cider Gallery, she says, makes a perfect location to debut the piece.
“Another goal,” Goudie-Averill says, “was to make a duet that could be split into solos so if we wanted to, we could perform it alone,” whether that be here in the Midwest, in Taiwan, or in New York City — Goudie-Averill says she’s not certain where her post-residency life will take her.
Goudie-Averill and Remmers will also dance together later this month in the Arts Center’s production of “Peter and the Wolf” before Remmers heads off to Taiwan, Goudie-Averill says.
“It’s amazing, because I saw her grow up through the end of high school,” she says of her student-turned-peer. “When I was at grad school at Iowa, she came to audition there as an undergrad, and watching her, I just realized, ‘Oh, here’s an adult person, and not only an adult person but a really mature dancer.’ And we’ve become good friends.”
Live performances are scheduled for 7 and 8 p.m., with film screenings throughout the evening beginning at 6:30. Entry is a suggested donation of $5 at the door.
October Final Friday preview: Day of the Dead celebrations, solar-powered flutes and ‘A Series of Fortunate Events’
On the docket for this month's Final Friday: Day of the Dead celebrations, solar-powered flutes and "eye candy a go-go," among other happenings.
And a little Halloween fun, too. All events, unless otherwise noted, run from 5 to 9 p.m.
“A Series of Fortunate Events”
Former Borders building, 700 New Hampshire St.
This star-studded show titled “A Series of Fortunate Events” (a nod to the Lemony Snicket series, perhaps?) features the work of several prominent local artists.
Stan Herd, the “crop artist” and painter whose work has often been called “living sculpture,” is the headliner (Herd's been featured on "CBS Sunday Morning," "Dateline NBC," "Good Morning America" or CNN News, among other programs) but he’s got some good company in this show — John Sebelius, Jo Renfro, Bill Kutilek and Lori Norwood, to name a few.
It's also likely Herd's last exhibit before heading to Brazil, where the artist plans on creating a 3-acre piece of Earthwork in Sao Paulo in anticipation of the 2016 Olympic Summer Games.
Using the plants, rocks, mulch and soil that have become his signature mediums over the last four decades, Herd aims to produce a permanent work in partnership with environment regeneration project Green My Favela and James Lloyd of the Sao Paulo-based Sweet Films that will also double as a sustainable community garden for residents of the surrounding urban slum, or favela.
If realized, the design, entitled "Young Woman of Brazil" would be seen by more than a million people per year in its location near the runway of Sao Paulo's Guarulhos Airport.
To make it happen, Herd is seeking funding partners through an Indiegogo campaign, which as of Friday has less than two weeks left.
Halloween Party at Lawrence Community Photo Studio
Lawrence Community Photo Studio, 720 E. Ninth St., Suite 6
Costumes are recommended (but not required) at the Lawrence Community Photo Studio’s first-ever Halloween Party.
Dress up and have your picture taken (that’s where the costume comes in) and/or check out the studio’s new exhibit of local photographers. Festivities run from 6 to 10 p.m., and yes, there will be refreshments.
Watkins Museum of History, 1047 Massachusetts St.
Celebrate the Day of the Dead (the Mexican holiday begins Saturday and ends Monday) with a “Shared Spirits: Exploring Dias de los Muertos” event from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Watkins Museum of History.
Presented in conjunction with the Spencer Museum of Art’s At Large programming, this joint exhibition traces the origins of the two museums’ Day of the Dead artifacts, their cultural significance and how the pieces have been shared with the Lawrence community.
Friday’s event will include a talk by Spencer staffers, chips and queso from the Salty Iguana and a chance for visitors to decorate their own sugar skulls.
Mana Tea Bar, 1111 Massachusetts St.
In “NATURE/FORM,” Kansas native Rebecca Dreyfus pairs photography negatives of “textures found in nature” with images of skyscrapers, creating double exposures in the darkroom to illustrate the struggle between wildlife and industrialization.
Friday’s event, slated for 6 to 9 p.m., will also feature live music from Kansas City trio SOLLUS. Apparently, this quirky outfit employs solar-powered flutes (sollusflutes) “as a means to emphasize the universal language of waveforms through long-tone compositions based on the orbital patterns of our solar system.” Heavy stuff, man.
Art of Traci Bunkers and Uncle Andy
Downtown Upstairs Studio, 824 1/2 Massachusetts St.
“Trip the light fantastic upstairs into a magical space that is just as interesting as what the artists are showing,” reads the description of this whimsical art happening.
The exhibition and sale promises plenty of “eye candy a go-go” from local artists Traci Bunkers (of Bonkers Handmade Originals) and Uncle Andy.
Among the offerings: Bunkers’ mixed-media paintings, photographs, hand-dyed scarves, cards, quirky pin-back buttons and pocket mirrors, plus Uncle Andy’s “squished acrylics on found objects” — it’s his specialty.
'Reinventing the Wheel' Cider Gallery, 810 Pennsylvania St.
“Reinventing the Wheel: New Works By Matt Ridgway” features the Lawrence artist’s recent ventures in ink on paper and carved wood.
The pieces juxtapose explorations of numerology and sacred geometry with personal history and social criticism. Using the circle as a template and symmetry as a guide (but not a rule), Ridgway presents these divergent themes as a single body of work representing harmony in balance.