For many choreographers, regularly creating new work, while supporting staff and company, is unsustainable artistically and economically. Launched in 2012, LEVYdance’s new program, AMP, seeks to build an innovative alternative to the single choreographer dance company model that holds on to the individual identity of the artists involved, but shares resources to include a more comprehensive approach to creation. AMP invites a choreographer and his or her dancers to San Francisco to join LEVYdance in a six week residency at LEVYstudio.
For AMP 2014, Artistic Director Benjamin Levy and Associate Director Scott Marlowe were drawn to the authenticity of Landon’s work. Her process of encouraging dancers to contribute their own emotional currency in creation, and her commitment to delivering dynamic physicality and raw emotion to audiences is in direct alignment with the mission and values of LEVYdance. The time, space and resources available through the AMP program have allowed Landon and both companies an extended period of investigation and research, revealing themes of “immediate intimacy.” During the residency, Landon, her dancers and the Company Artists of LEVYdance engaged in an accelerated process of finding personal connections with one another. This experience created a single, vibrant and raw work, “Meet Me Normal”, that exposes the messiness and magic of diving into intimate relationships.
For the first iteration of AMP, LEVYdance invited Sidra Bell Dance New York to create new work that brings together the sensibilities of both dance companies and offers audiences a “two for one” East Coast / West Coast experience. For AMP 2012, Levy was compelled by Bell’s prodigious gift for movement invention and the sense that, while aesthetically quite different from his own, it is derived from a similar practice of privacy, creative intimacy, and personal excavation with the dancer in rehearsal. The time, space, and resources available through the AMP program will allow Bell an extended period of investigation and research. During the residency, Bell, in creative partnership with LEVYdance, will choreograph a new work for the company. Simultaneously, Bell will create a new work for her own company. The two pieces are “twinworks”, created side by side and existing in the same stage environment developed through a technical residency generously provided by ODC Theater. Though “twins”, each piece has its own distinct personality generated by the aesthetics and cultures of the companies creating and performing them.
LEVYdance, Sidra Bell review
by Allan Ulrich, San Francisco Chronicle
Who’s in Charge of the Smoke and Mirrors, and Where’s the Occasional Music?
by Toba Singer, California Literary Review
by Heather Desaulniers
A LEVYdance and Sidra Bell Dance New York collaboration
by Sarah Halzack, The Washington Post
LEVYdance and Sidra Bell Dance New York – Chutzpah! 2013
by Tessa Perkins, Press + 1