Thursday, October 12, 2017

Why I Live Here - Bridgman/Packer Win Bessie Award

Bessie?  Who"s that, you might ask?  Here's what the New York Times says about the Bessies:
"New York Dance and Performance Awards — affectionately known as the Bessies, the dance world’s equivalent of the Tonys and Oscars." (emphasis added)
Here's the award for Outstanding Production from the Bessies website:
Art Bridgman and Myrna Packer Bridgman|Packer Dance for Voyeur at the Sheen Center
For groundbreaking use of video in live performance, creating a space where virtual and actual movement merged. For inhabiting Edward Hopper’s imagery and taking the audience on an inventive journey of private spaces and ever-shifting viewpoints."
And what does this have to do with living in Anchorage?

Well, back in 2008, Bridgman Packer were in Anchorage in a very small venue doing the kind of amazing dance performance that won them the award the other night.  It's a mix of dancing with their own shadows and with video of themselves dancing live.  When I first saw them in 2008 here, I was breathless afterward.  What I saw was so amazing.  I worried that maybe I was just a hick from Anchorage who was excited over something New Yorkers take for granted.

But as time went by, I realized, that they were the real thing and my reaction was justified.  They have gotten a number of awards before, but here it is nine years after people in Anchorage first got to see them close up and personal (you could talk to them and the other artists with them after the performance), New York gives them dance's highest honor.

Here's a post I did about their 2011 performance in Anchorage.

I'm going to add some video here, but with a BIG warning.  You might be able to video other dance performances, but you can't really capture Bridgman Packer on video because live, they already dance with video of themselves dancing.  Though this clip comes close.  Remember, there are just the two of them.  It's hard to tell who is the live performer and who is just the image.  And it's NOT a gimmick, it's integral to the messages they are conveying about reality and illusion and truth.

Bridgman|Packer Dance Excerpts from Bridgman|Packer Dance on Vimeo.

I believe Out North was involved with their first performance here, along with The Alaska Dance Theater.  I know for sure Out North was involved with their second trip here.

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