VPL'S Open Lab

on .

Outdoor Picnic, Open Rehearsals, Workshop, Films and Talks
Saturday, May 30, 2015

Marlboro & Guilford, Vermont – In response to the growing community of dance lovers, dance curious, and dance explorers in the Southern Vermont region, Vermont Performance Lab (VPL) will launch its very first Open Lab on Saturday, May 30th located on the campus of Marlboro College in Marlboro, VT. VPL’s fun and informal Open Lab is a one-day event that starts with a festive afternoon picnic followed by open rehearsals, workshop, films and talks. Each year, VPL’s Lab provides artists with residencies and support to research and develop new work in dance, theater, film and music. This year, VPL’s Open Lab swings open the doors of its laboratory and invites audiences of all ages to visit the studios of three award-winning dance artists who are developing new work in VPL’s Lab: Wally Cardona, Beth Gill and Jennifer Monson.

The event kicks off at noon with a festive “farm to table” picnic featuring fresh local ingredients. Audiences can enjoy a picnic on the grounds and stroll throughout the Marlboro College campus in between activities. Bring your own picnic or order one through VPL (order by May 22!). Arrive early – the first 100 patrons will receive a complimentary picnic blanket. From 1-3pm, audiences are invited to get to know the artists and glimpse into the early stages of making a dance by observing rehearsals and talking with choreographers Wally Cardona and Beth Gill.

Vermont audiences will remember Wally Cardona from his March 2015 residency at VPL that supported his international dance exchange with Myanmar-based classical Burmese dancer, Myint Mo, in the research and development of THE SET UP: Saya Lei. In May, Cardona will return with collaborating choreographer Jennifer Lacey and three dancers to continue the development of THE SET UP: Saya Lei. During her VPL residency Beth Gill will embark on a new evening-length work, I’m not supposed to be here, a new performance made in collaboration with five dancers using their improvisations to activate a diverse personalized movement palette – a departure from Gill’s recent restrained, cerebral choreography.

From 3-5pm, choreographer Jennifer Monson will offer an iLanding workshop – a process that explores the power of dance in collaboration with other fields to illuminate a kinetic understanding of the world. Monson will lead participants through an exploration of the iLAND (Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Art Nature and Dance) research processes and workshop that will enable them to create new contexts and strategies for experiencing place. These studies provide the means to unearth and inquire into choreographic and embodied ways of knowing and re-imagining our relationship to the environment. This workshop is open to all – no prior dance experience needed (limited to 20 people and pre-registration required).

VPL’s Open Lab is presented in association with Marlboro College and is sponsored by Ryall Porter Sheridan Architects, and is made possible with generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Vermont Arts Council, and VPL’s Creation Fund donors. VPL’s Open Lab celebrates Vermont Arts 2015, in celebration of public funding for the arts.



WALLY CARDONA is a choreographer, dancer and teacher living in Brooklyn and the artistic director of WCV, Inc. He is the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, an Asian Cultural Council fellowship and a New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award for the creation of Everywhere. In 2012, he became one of 21 American performing artists to receive the inaugural 2012 Doris Duke Artist Award. Cardona is recognized nationally and internationally for creating work that investigates the role of dance in culture and uses the performance setting itself as an integral partner in the creation of movement. www.wcvismorphing.org

BETH GILL is an emerging choreographer who makes contemporary dance and performance in New York City. She has accumulated a body of work that critically examines issues relating to the fields of contemporary dance and performance studies, through a focused exploration of aesthetics and perception. Ranging from short-term improvised structures to long-term choreographed performances, her work has been commissioned by The Chocolate Factory Theater, The Kitchen, Dance Theater Workshop and New York Live Arts as well as performed internationally. Beth received a 2015 Guggenheim Award and is a 2012 Foundation for Contemporary Art Fellowship recipient, a New York City Center Choreography Fellow for 2012-2013, and a member of the inaugural cohort The Hatchery Project (2013-2015). In 2012 Dance Magazine named Beth Gill as one of the top 25 artists to watch on the heels of garnering two New York State Dance and Performance Bessie Awards for Outstanding Emerging Choreographer and the Juried Award for the choreographer exhibiting some of the most interesting and exciting ideas happening in dance in New York City today.

JENNIFER MONSON is a choreographer, performer, and teacher. Since 1983, she has explored strategies in choreography, improvisation, and collaboration in experimental dance. In 2000, her work took a new turn to investigate the relationship between movement and environment. This ongoing research has led her into inquiries of cultural and scientific understandings of large-scale phenomenon such as animal navigation and migration, geological formations such as aquifers, and re-functioned sites such as the abandoned Ridgewood Reservoir. These studies provide the means to unearth and inquire into choreographic and embodied ways of knowing and re-imagining our relationship to the environments and spaces humans/all beings inhabit. Her projects BIRD BRAIN (2000-2005), iMAP/Ridgewood Reservoir (2007), and the Mahomet Aquifer Project (2008-2010), SIP (sustained immersive process)/watershed are investigations that have radically reframed the role dance plays in our cultural understandings of nature and wilderness. She has received fellowships from the NEA, the Guggenheim Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, The Lambent Foundation, and the Foundation for Contemporary Art among others. She has received two Bessie awards- one for sustained achievement in the field and one for BIRD BRAIN. In addition to serving as Artistic Director of iLAND, Monson is currently a Professor at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign as part of a new initiative of the Environmental Council. Monson is also a Professor at Large at the University of Vermont, a six-year term in collaboration with the dance, environmental studies, and library departments. www.ilandart.org

Vermont Performance Lab (VPL) is a laboratory for creative research and community engagement. Since 2006, VPL has brought artists of regional, national and international stature to the grange halls, studios and classrooms of rural Vermont through its innovative artist residency program. Last year VPL’s community and education programs served more than 1,700 students, young professionals, families and seniors in Windham County through workshops, informal performances and art-making experiences. VPL often partners with local organizations to host such residencies and create meaningful connections between artists and communities. www.vermontperformancelab.org
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With locations in the foothills of Vermont’s Green Mountains and downtown Brattleboro, Marlboro College provides independent thinkers with exceptional opportunities to broaden their intellectual horizons, benefit from a small and close-knit learning community, create a strong framework for personal and career fulfillment, and make a positive difference in the world. At our undergraduate campus in the town of Marlboro and our Center for Graduate and Professional Studies in Brattleboro, students engage in deep exploration of their interests—and discover new avenues for using their skills to benefit themselves and others—in an atmosphere that emphasizes critical and creative thinking, independence, social justice, sustainability, and community. www.marlboro.edu

VPL OPEN LAB: Wally Cardona, Beth Gill, Jennifer Monson
Presented by VPL in association with Marlboro College
Sponsored by Ryall Porter Sheridan Architects
WHEN: Saturday, May 30th 12-1pm VPL Picnic, 1-3pm Open rehearsals, 3-5pm Jennifer Monson Workshop
WHERE: on the campus of Marlboro College, Marlboro, VT
WHAT: VPL welcomes you into the Lab for this one-day event featuring a festive outdoor picnic, open rehearsals, workshop, and conversations with three 2015 VPL Lab Artists: Beth Gill, Jennifer Monson and Wally Cardona.
$15/picnic basket – Reserve your basket by May 22nd!
FREE/open rehearsals – No Reservations
$15/workshop – Register for the workshop in advance!
(picnic baskets + workshop only)
Visit www.vermontperformancelab.org/events
Call 802-257-3361