the A.O. Movement Collective’s barrish unzips the personal politics of desire, power, and threat – situating a somatic research of gender and intimacy amidst a lush landscape of pillows, mattresses, and pop-culture crime scenes. The piece follows four women hard with desire – Lillie DeArmon, Leah Ives, Anna Adams Stark, and Emily Skillings – as they become characters, actors, selves, and possessed anatomies. Walking the line between tenderness and brutality, barrish reveals intimacy as both promise and threat as it collides with everyday spaces.
The world premiere at HERE represented the first time all 27 sections of barrish cohered to form an evening-length whole—the AOMC’s envisioning of one possible “final product” before it disassembled again for touring and future curations.
choreographed by Sarah A.O. Rosner + dancers
performed by Lillie De, Anna Adams Stark, Leah Ives, & Emily Skillings
with additional performances by Josh Aleksanyan, Ariane Bernier, Ilona Bito, Zachary Denison, Heather Freedman, Derek Grabner, Sara Hertzberg, Woody Leslie, Rebecca Lubart, Sarah McSherry, Lucia Rich, Alex Megan Schell, Kristen Schnittker, Sophie Sotsky, Victoria Trioche, and Keeley Walsh
additional research and development by Ilona Bito, Kristan Clifford, Tara Willis, and The Idiot.
score by Jonah Rosneberg
performed by M, and Jonah Rosenberg
additional music by Beck (“Lonesome Tears”) and Thomas Tallis (“Spem in Alium”)
lighting design by Edward Rice
The Menu project
Fall 2010- Summer 2012
(Curated by Charles Gary, Mary Walters, John Stark, and Lori Adams)
November 19, 2011
[full video here]
BELLADONA* Gala Performance
December 13, 2011
Object As Performer
(curated by Sarah Dahnke)
February 3-4, 2012
Dance New Amsterdam
February 4, 2012
[full video here]
March 10, 2012
Hudson on Avon, NY
Exit Art Gallery
(curated by Culturebot)
April 20, 2012
Work in Process Showing
at THROW at the Chocolate Factory
May 8, 2012
May 25, 2012
Laurie Duker + Jeremy Rosner
May 26, 2012
Sarah Lawrence College
November 27, 2012
The Performance Garage
barrish was developed from 2010 to 2012 through a two-year sustainability experiment known as the MENU project – an innovative model that re-envisioned the dancemaking economy by democratizing the curatorial process and creating truly transmutable art. Using barrish as the pilot piece, the MENU project invited everyday people to "declare themselves curators" and become radically intimate with the AOMC’s creative process as the work was developed. Over the work's two-year development process, ten individuals, five presenters, and two colleges partnered with the AOMC to create nine unique “curations” of barrish as it was in process, built for various spaces, budgets, audiences, and occasions.
Through The Menu Project (which existed digitally, at www.theAOMC.org/MENU - but is no longer live) potential curators could browse the work by section, searching by narrative theme, number of dancers, size of space, and suitability for different occasions and audience groups. Curators were able to choose a la carte from the AOMC's MENU containing 27 possible sections. The main objective of The MENU Project was to create a truly transmutable piece from the ground up - rather than create a work and then address its touring potential, to make a work that could transform to fit every space, budget, cast, timeline, and function, and still hold true to its essence.
Moreover, The MENU Project functioned as an expirimental approach to making economically sustainable work. With each curation, the AOMC cultivated new (potentially major supports), developed new audiences, workshopped and evolved the content of the work itself, generated new photos and video content for marketing and engagement purposes, and generated earned income through the curation costs and ticket revenue.
Throughout the project's duration, 11 curators signed on to participate in The MENU Project (nine before its premiere at HERE Arts Center, and two in the year following the work's premiere) comprised of ten individuals, five arts presenters, and two colleges.
These curators: Amy Schiller & Helen Frank; Charles Gary, Mary Walters, Lori Adams, John Stark; Belladonna*; Sarah Dahnke; Dance New Amsterdam; Leah Cox for New York Live Arts at Bard College; Culturebot for Exit Art; Irfana Jehta; and Laurie Duker & Jeremy Rosner, Sarah Lawrence College, and The Performance Garage, each served as major underwriters of the work.
Curation #1: Amy Schiller + Helen Frank found barrish winding its way through a Brooklyn apartment building, starting out in the parking lot and ending up on the roof. Curation #2: Philly SkyDive combined the available space of an ongoing in-process showing in Philadelphia, PA with the support of curators Charles Gary, Mary Walters, John Stark, and Lori Adams. Curation #3: BELLADONA* connected the AOMC with the feminist literary collective BELLADONA* as the AOMC performed as part of their winter Gala. Curation #4: Sarah Dahnke's Object as Performer was featured as part of a shared evening at the Center for Performance Research, and featured barrish as both performance and art installation. Curation #5: Dance New Amsterdam was part of a shared bill at Dance New Amsterdam. Curation #6: Bard College took the AOMC up to Bard College for 2 performances and a 4-hour workshop with Bard dance students. For Curation #7: Culturebot for Exit Art Gallery, the AOMC presented a day of workshops, showings, and open rehearsals during the gallery's last exhibit in NYC before it closed. Curation #8: Irfana Jetha and Curation #9: Laurie Duker and Jeremy Rosner were both performances located in residences in Washington, DC during the AOMC's tour there. After the work's final premiere at HERE Arts Center, Curation #10: Sarah Lawrence College presented the work as a showing and workshop for the school's dance students, and Curation #11: The Performance Garage concluded The MENU Project with a final tour to Philadelphia, PA.
Each of these performances evolved barrish into a work that was well researched, financially sound, and thoroughly developed.
The AOMC's first in-process video share from barrish and early work on the "Gyroscopic Pillow Score"