October, 18-25, 2020
Company: Michele Brangwen Dance Ensemble
Location: New York, NY
"Orchid People" is a new dance and music film from the Michele Brangwen Dance Ensemble that explores the mysterious power and whirlwind energy that can be found in the most delicate and fragile things.
The 13 minute short features choreography, editing and costumes by Michele Brangwen and music composed by Anders Mogensen, Thomas Helton and Tim Hagans in collaboration with each other.
Michele Brangwen writes: "When we began this project, the goal was to keep creating together. I wanted to try to make as developed an artistic statement as possible while at the same time keeping everyone safe. We began a 17 week rehearsal period via Zoom in late April 2020 and then during August, I filmed the dancers and trumpeter Tim Hagans separately in an outdoor location. Bassist Thomas Helton filmed himself in Houston, TX and Anders Mogensen was filmed in Odense, Denmark. We had all been working with each other for years so I hoped the poetry of our connection to each other could transcend the limitations of the digital format. "Orchid People" explores the idea that power can be found in fragility. I believe there is incredible strength in delicacy and it can give us energy. My premise, in a manner of speaking, was "what if orchids were super heroes? What would that be like?"
"Orchids take a long time to bloom, so much so that when buds appear it seems that they will surely fall off the stem long before they open. One is convinced no plant could take that long to bloom. And then one day, the buds are suddenly open and stunningly spectacular. The orchid takes its own time, showing us the merit of patience and another concept of time. The second section of the film explores the slowness of orchid buds to open. For this movement, the dancers and trumpeter are filmed in front of these beautiful old water towers in Long Island City. The water tower symbolizes the hope that we may find ways to nourish and sustain ourselves and each other during the time of remaining closed. It is also meant to symbolize that there are currents of energy at work that we can't always see or understand, but we can sense."
"Orchid People" is performed by Robin Gilbert, Yuritzi Govea, Cristian Laverde König, Michele Brangwen, dancers; Anders Mogensen, drums; Thomas Helton, bass; Tim Hagans, tromba.
"Orchid People" will premiere with a live stream real time introduction by Michele Brangwen and Tim Hagans and be followed by a post-premiere live stream where the two artists respond on camera to audience comments on facebook (Oct 11) and YouTube (Oct 18). On October 25, audiences have the option to join a Zoom meeting for a more in-depth and interactive discussion of the creative process in general, and solutions for the limitations of creating during this time. Attending the Zoom meeting is free but pre-registration is required. Audiences can also watch the Zoom meeting on YouTube.
"Orchid People" was made possible in part by a Dance NYC Coronavirus Relief Grant.
Michele Brangwen Dance Ensemble
New York, NY, 11101
October 18, 2020: 5:00pm
October 25, 2020: 5:00pm