Some Assembly Reprocessed (Performances)

February 20, 2020 - 5:30pm to February 21, 2020 - 7:00pm

Some Assembly Reprocessed

An international artistic exchange in conjunction with
The University of Pittsburgh’s Year of Creativity

The Pittsburgh-based dance company Attack Theatre teams up with French choreographer and researcher Sarah Fdili Alaoui for an interactive artistic exchange sponsored by University of Pittsburgh’s Year of Creativity. This five-day project will focus on the process of dancemaking, inspired by and reprocessed through documentation, conversation, and visual art. The choreographic research by Sarah Fdili Alaoui and Attack Theatre’s Peter Kope will include an open and public process with Attack Theatre company dancers in the University Art Gallery February 19-21, 2020. Central to the artistic investigation, Sarah Fdili Alaoui will explore a mobile application that she developed to document and archive dance. She will work with Attack Theatre on a method called VINTAGE that “recycles” the archives made through the application as creative choreographic material. Attack Theatre lends local expertise to the project by creating new work through their process/performance Some Assembly Required.

Through examination of both digital and analog structures for documenting the choreographic process, the creative team seeks to translate and transcribe the ephemeral and create a living archive of dancemaking. Beginning with two days of non-public rehearsal, Attack Theatre will generate movement material with Fdili Alaoui, derived and reprocessed through her mobile application.

Following initial rehearsals, Attack Theatre and the University of Pittsburgh Art Gallery will co-host an open rehearsal process from 10am-4pm on February 19th, 20th, and 21st. Attack Theatre will share the newly generated movement material to initiate conversations with gallery visitors. These conversations will serve as an additional lens for reprocessing the choreography, beginning in the opening night of Some Assembly Reprocessed on Thursday, February 20 at 5:30pm, and culminating in the closing night on Friday, February 20 at 5:30pm.  Both events will be preceded by a reception at 5:00pm.

Attack Theatre will also curate an exhibit for the gallery which will include historical scores documenting more than 20 years of the Some Assembly Required process as well as scores coming from Sarah Fdili Alaoui’s repertoire of choreographic material. Through the presentation of both historical documentation and contemporary practice the creative team seeks to explore archival potential not only for preservation, but also for creation and renewal.

Sarah Fdili Alaoui is an associate professor at LRI-University Paris Saclay in interaction design, human computer Interaction and dance. She is a choreographer, a dancer and a Laban Movement Analyst. Before her current position, Fdili Alaoui was a researcher at the School of Interactive Arts+Technology at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, within the MovingStories project. She holds a PhD in Art and Science from University Paris-Sud 11 and the IRCAM-Centre Pompidou and LIMSI-CNRS research institutes. She also has an MSc from University Joseph Fourier and an Engineering Degree from ENSIMAG in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science and over 20 years of training in ballet and contemporary dance. She is interested in intersecting research in interaction design with dance making and choreography. Fdili Alaoui has initiated many art and science projects, collaborating with dancers, visual artists, computer scientists and designers to create interactive dance performances, interactive installations, as well as systems for supporting choreography and dance learning and documentation.

About Vintage (App) - The idea is to donate dances through an application on mobile phones that allows to make documentaries of dances by uploading videos and augmenting them with a custom capacity for annotating videos, adding metadata and storing additional information about the dance. Such a digital tool is the platform through which the creators and the practitioners recycle dances, creating new ways of moving from a collage of existing ones. Therefore the project is based on reusing and lending our previous dance material and borrow existing ones to create what we call a “vintage” dance.

University of Pittsburgh’s Year of Creativity is an initiative devoted to encouraging the creative spark throughout the university. With signature events and funding opportunities for students, faculty, and staff, the Year of Creativity seeks to bridge departmental and school divisions to unite the Pitt community in the pursuit of creative endeavors.

Attack Theatre, now celebrating their 25th Anniversary Season, fuses modern dance, original live music and interdisciplinary arts to create passionate portrayals of everyday life. Under the artistic direction of Peter Kope and Michele de la Reza, the company has performed and toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe and Asia including for the Avignon Festival (France), the 7th Next Wave Dance Festival (Japan), Indonesia Arts Festival, Monaco Danses Forum, the Spoleto Festival and the Broadway production of Squonk. Attack Theatre has created more than 200 original works in theatrical and non-traditional settings. A sought after collaborator, the company has brought dance to theater companies, museums, symphonies, and more than two dozen operas. With a core belief that movement is an essential part of living and learning, Attack Theatre conducts arts education and creative learning programs in school and community settings throughout the region, reaching more than 12,000 individuals annually.

Some Assembly Required, originally commissioned by Carnegie Museum of Art in 1996, remains one of Attack Theatre’s most performed and engaging process performances. Blurring the lines between visual art, music and dance; and between audience and performer, Some Assembly Required engages the audience with creation, improvisation, and performance inspired by specific works of visual art. Inspired by the work of Philip Yenawine, former director of education at the Museum of Modern Art, this process gives the audience the ability to influence and interact with the creative process, and simultaneously allows for a facilitated discussion. This interactive performance is inspired by works of art in museums, galleries or public art spaces, and has been presented at venues including The Phillips Collection (Washington, DC), The Avignon Festival (France), The Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh), Museé Océanographique de Monaco (Monte Carlo, Monaco), Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburgh), the Frick Art and Historical Center (Pittsburgh), Ross Art Museum (Ohio), Blaffer Gallery (Houston), Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art (New York), and with the City of Pittsburgh’s Office of Public Art in six Pittsburgh neighborhoods.

The University of Pittsburgh Art Gallery (UAG) is located in the Frick Fine Arts Building in the heart of Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood. Administered by the Department of History of Art and Architecture, the UAG is the major repository of art at the University of Pittsburgh, with a collection of more than 3,000 objects from around the world and from a diverse range of periods. Gallery holdings include some valuable American paintings, a rich collection of European, British and American works on paper, Inuit carvings, and Japanese and Chinese scrolls and sculpture. The UAG showcases the work of faculty and students in the history of art and architecture and in studio arts. As a teaching gallery, the UAG is deeply involved in the development of aspiring museum professionals and oversees training in areas of curating and collection management.

Location and Address

University of Pittsburgh Art Gallery, Frick Fine Arts Building