In anticipation of Thursday’s interactive tour of the Per Kirkeby exhibition by Pittsburgh’s Attack Theatre, Artistic Director Michele de la Reza breaks down her performance group’s innovative method of combining dance, music, and the visual arts, which they call “Some Assembly Required.” See Attack Theatre in action Thursday night, or if you’re an art educator, participate in tomorrow evening’s Teaching Per Kirkeby Teacher Program (registration still available).
Some Assembly Required is a process/performance that engages the audience with dialogue, performance, and improvisation inspired by works of visual art. With a devotion to the transparency of the artistic process, Some Assembly Required offers audiences a new way to engage with visual art and a new lens through which to experience dance and live music.
So, just how does this process work? Well, like many great works of art, we start with a blank canvas. For Some Assembly Required, we call this canvas the “score.” The score is essentially a road map for our dancers onto which we will add improvisations throughout the performance. It works similarly to the musical notation that guides a musician.
We will transform your comments during a facilitated discussion of artworks in Per Kirkeby: Paintings and Sculpture into music and movement, inserting and overlaying these improvisations into our blank canvas. We will create a unique performance using your ideas to add new layers of emotion, intent, and color, passion and complexity, and ultimately to create a new work of art together.
Use this image of the score to see if you can pick out the different and distinct phrases of the performance in the video below. This video is from our recent performance of Some Assembly Required: Public, when the artworks in the process were public artworks throughout our home city of Pittsburgh.
Check out just one example of an improvisation in the video below from one of our rehearsals where Peter Kope, my co-Artistic Director, asks the dancers and musicians to create an improvisation based on the idea of “armless.”
Michele de la Reza, artistic director, Attack Theatre