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Friday, March 28, 2014

Summation Dance—Please Standby

Updating Route, Please Standby. Photo: Christopher Duggan

Summation Dance is presenting two premieres choreographed by Sumi Clements at the BAM Fisher from April 2 to 5. Clements' style is bold, visceral, fearless, and often involves nuanced relationships and partnering experiments between the dancers.

The company's nine dancers will perform Updating Route, Please Standby, to a mixed score by DJ/electronic musician Lorn. The work "considers how society, the media, literature, and visual culture have molded our understanding of who, and what, we are and reasons that we contemplate dismissing these preconceptions in favor of simple re-evaluation and advancement." A version of this piece was recently presented as part of the Dancing Literate Festival, growing from an initiative advanced by Summation to make modern dance relatable by all.

Also on the April program is Hunt, for eight dancers, which looks at the persecution of witches from a feminist perspective. The soundscape is by Kyle Olson, who has previously collaborated with Summation. Costumes for both premieres are designed by Brigitte Vosse.

The company was founded in 2010 by Clements with fellow NYU alum Taryn Vander Hoop (executive director and associate artistic director). It may be young, but its foundation and mission are impressively clear-eyed and well-reasoned in this hypercompetitive dance ecology. The troupe has a modestly ambitious five-year business plan which it has stuck to; it employs women as the vast majority of able dancers are female; and dancers are paid for each performance. Summation self-produces at venues that in addition to BAM, include Baryshnikov Arts Center and the Dancing Literate Project at Judson Church, which allows them to control factors including house size and location; thus far, they have sold out all of their performances.

Click here for more information on April's performances.

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