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Wild Thing 1988

Choreographer(s) : Armitage, Karole (United States)

Present in collection(s): Maison de la Danse de Lyon ,

en fr

Wild Thing 1988

Choreographer(s) : Armitage, Karole (United States)

Present in collection(s): Maison de la Danse de Lyon ,

en fr

Wild Thing

Wild Thing, a 1981 duet depicting a couple’s push-pull courtship against Jimi Hendrix’s cover of Chip Taylor’s famous tune.

Armitage, Karole

Karole Armitage, known as the 'punk ballerina' is the Artistic Director of the New York-based Armitage Gone! Dance Company. She was rigorously trained in classical ballet and began her professional career as a member of the Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, Switzerland (1973-1975), a company devoted exclusively to the repertory of George Balanchine who was director of the company at that time. In 1976, she was invited to join Merce Cunningham's company, where she remained for five years, (1975-1981) performing leading roles in Cunningham's landmark works. Through her unique and acute knowledge of the aesthetic values of Balanchine and Cunningham, Armitage has created her own "voice" in the dichotomy of classical and modern dance, and is seen by some critics as the true choreographic heir to the two masters of 20th century American dance.  In 2016, Armitage was honored with a Radcliffe Fellowship at Harvard University and a Simons Fellowship at The University of Kansas to study Native American Plains Culture with a focus on Pawnee, Kanza and Osage tribes. In 2017 she is beginning a muliti year Fellowship as an MIT Media Lab Directors Fellow.    

Armitage created her first piece in 1979, followed by the iconic Drastic-Classicism in 1981. Throughout the 80s, she led her own New York-based dance company, The Armitage Ballet. Commissions from the Paris Opera Ballet and American Ballet Theatre led to choreographic commissions in Europe throughout the 80s, 90s and into the early 2000s with projects that continue to this day. She has created new works on companies and served as director of multiple Ballets and Companies.

Armitage is renowned for pushing the boundaries to create contemporary works that blend dance, music, visual ar and science to engage in philosophical questions about the search for meaning. She joins a legacy of process-focused experiemntal dance that embraces the ballet and modern dance heritages as well. She is inspired by disparate, non-narrative sources, from 20th century physics, to 16th century Florentine fashion, to pop culture and new media. In her hands, the classic vocabulary is given a needed shock to its system, with speed, fractured lines, abstractions and symmetry countermanded by asymmetry. Music is her script and she has collaborated with contemporary and experimentalist composers such as John Luther Adams, Thomas Adès, Rhys Chatham, Terry Dame, Vijay Iyer, David Lang, Lukas Ligeti, Lois V Vierk and John Zorn. The scores can be marked by extreme lyricism as well as dissonance, noise and polyrhythms. The sets and costumes for her works are often designed by leading artists in the contemporary art world, including Karen Kilimnik, Jeff Koons, Vera Lutter, Brice Marden, David Salle and Phillip Taaffe. Her scientific collaborators include Dr. Brian Greene (Columbia University) and Dr. Paul Ehrlich (Stanford University). The full-length works on theoretical physics and climate change respectively were presented at the World Science Festival and in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life at the American Museum of Natural History.

Armitage’s work is at once both esoteric and popular, having choreographed two Broadway productions, videos for Madonna and Michael Jackson, several Merchant-Ivory films and Cirque du Soleil’s 2012 tent show. As the 2016 Artistic Director of Italy’s Ravello Fesival for an evening of American Dance, Armitage invited New York City Ballet, Martha Graham Dance Company, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, William Forsythe, Richard Move and her company to participate in a survey of the techniques and philosophies of American Dance set into motion by Native Americans performing the Prairie Chicken Dance.

She has directed operas from the baroque and contemporary repertoire for prestigious houses of Europe. In 2009, she was awarded France’s most prestigious award, Commandeur dans l'orde des Arts et des Lettres. She is the 2012 recipient of the artist-in-residence grant at the Chinati Foundation, founded by Donald Judd in Marfa, Texas, and received an honorary Doctorate of the Arts from the University of Kansas in 2013.

Source : Armitage Gone ! Dance 

re information :

Armitage Gone Dance

Over the past 30 years, Karole Armitage and her dancers have shaped the evolution of contemporary dance through the creation and performance of new works. The most recent incarnation of the company, Armitage Gone! Dance, was launched in 2004 when Karole Armitage returned to the U.S. after 15 years of working abroad. Dedicated to redefining the boundaries and perception of contemporary dance, the company extends the mandate of innovation that characterizes both her earlier Armitage Ballet, founded in 1985, and her first full time company, Armitage Gone!, founded in 1979.

Dubbed the ‘punk ballerina' in the 1980s, Armitage distinguishes her company from its contemporaries through her extreme versatility and originality. Building on classical and modern idioms from the Balanchine to the Cunningham traditions, Armitage infuses experimental thinking in the geometric balance, speed, rhythm and beauty of dance steps. Jennifer Dunning, dance critic for the New York Times, wrote of Time is the echo of an axe within a wood which premiered in 2004, "one of the most beautiful dances to be seen in New York in a very long time." She derives inspiration from sources such as physics, Japanese aesthetics, fashion, pop culture, new media, and from her dancers, of diverse cultural and dance backgrounds.

Armitage Gone! Dance is well known for its collaborations with innovators in music, science, and the visual arts, including artists David Salle and Jeff Koons and string-theory physicist Brian Greene. The company regularly performs to live music and has commissioned many scores since its 2004 debut. Known for their free spirited panache, Armitage Gone! Dancers bring unique flavors and strong personality to the stage. 

The core of the company output centers on a series of dance ‘dreamscapes’ that take the viewer on a poetic journey to evoke mysterious landscapes of reverie, dream and altered consciousness. Having worked as a choreographer for Cirque du Soleil, Madonna, Michael Jackson and on Broadway, Armitage’s interests are wide ranging, mixing the popular with the marginal as well as the technique and traditions of both ballet and modern dance. 

Source: Armitage Gone! Dance

More information:

Wild Thing

Additionnal music : Jimi Hendrix

Lights : Clifton Taylor

Costumes : David Salle

Settings : Jeff Koons

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