Julius Eastman and Dance: Molissa Fenley, Andy de Groat
Known primarily as a composer and musician, Julius Eastman wrote in a press release for a 1981 performance at The Kitchen: "Now music is only one of my attributes. I could be a Dancer, Choreographer, Painter, or any other kind of artist if I so wished." Indeed, Eastman's practice varied widely and includes significant and abiding work with dance throughout his career. This little known history of Eastman's work in the dance field will be presented in this evening through discussion, screening, and performance.
Molissa Fenley returns to The Kitchen to perform her work Geologic Moments, which she developed with a new score commissioned from Eastman as part of Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival in 1986. Accompanied by a remastered recording of the performance by Eastman and Joyce Solomon, this dance for six (including Fenley) begins in a slow tempo and dynamically accelerates, concluding in a solo for Eastman's baritone titled “One God.” Together, they explored the rhythmic interplay that epitomized Eastman's collaborative work in dance. Anna Kisselgoff described the work in the New York Times writing “this viewer was reminded of Kandinsky, of the idea that apparent abstraction contains a metaphysical point of view.” Dancers in this work include: Christian Axelsen, Jared Brown, Molissa Fenley, Ananada González, India González, and Peter Kyle.
A screening of archival footage of Andy de Groat's 1981 piece “(GRAVY) a medicine of spaces” in rehearsal at The Kitchen with music by Eastman will be shown publicly for the first time. It will be contextualized by other archival material detailing Eastman's own work as a choreographer, with an emphasis on early works from his time in Buffalo, New York including his large-scale dance work Moon's Silent Modulation.