|Berit Ahlgren and Nathan Keepers|
(photo by Shelly Mosman)
Give Ear is part of the Cowles Center's "Merge" series that pairs artists from different disciplines, in this case Berit Ahlgren from the dance world (a founding member of TU Dance) and Nathan Keepers from the theater world (Producing Artistic Director of The Moving Company). The original concept of the show was listening. A simple concept but one that is actually very hard to do in practice. We're a society that's over-stimulated. We have so many inputs coming in from so many sources, it's hard to filter out the nonsense and listen to what's really important. This piece speaks to that in a number of short dances, and that idea still comes across in the performances by the company (also including JuCoby Johnson, Isaiah Langowski, Jordan Lovestrand, Mirabai Miller, Leslie O’Neill, Randy Reyes, Joe Tennis, and Christian Warner). But in addition to the theme of listening, the piece also speaks to ideas of connection, creation, change, and the meaning of art in these times.
Throughout this extended intermission, artists have continued to find new ways to make art. Rather than simply stream the filmed dress rehearsal, which would have still had value, but would have been two-dimensional and static, these artists revisited their work after all that's happened in the last year and let that inform, change, and grow the piece. Give Ear is both a new piece of art made in and for these strange times, and a glimpse into the process of creating it. If you missed last night's livestream, you can still watch it on demand through Sunday. See the Cowles Center website for details.