overflowing / theme

Pouring over the edges, uncontained, unconstrained: the overflowing drips color, sound, and mood over the expected boundaries. It may or may not be overwhelming to the one who experiences it, but the overflowing always overwhelms its container. It is excessive (although the excessive is not always overflowing; for instance, something may be excessively dense).


Themes represent basic categories of thought, emotion, or value. While our assignment of themes may at times seem arbitrary or whimsical, they serve to link together artists and movements along non- hierarchial pathways. Follow the themes to look for new disciplines that share qualities with those you already like, or to open up new worlds of Art and Culture.

Events

Past Events

Zero Film Fest Brooklyn and Los Angeles, California, United States
2 Dec - 13 Dec
Zero Film Festival / details
Very Postmortem: Mummies and Medicine A Ghoulish Gala San Francisco, California, United States
30 Oct - 31 Oct
Legion of Honor - San Francisco / details
The Great Pop-Up Art Sale Brooklyn, New York, United States
26 Feb - 28 Feb
D.U.M.B.O. Arts Center / details
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Works

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His Dances Are Drawn From Spiritual Voyages

His dances are drawn from spiritual voyages By Valerie Gladstone, Globe Correspondent | December 1, 2006 When Ronald K. Brown established his company, Evidence, in Brooklyn in 1985 , he was only 19, a virtuosic and charismatic dancer. He'd performed with the Jennifer Muller Company, but he wanted to create his own works, not dance those of others. Now one of America's top choreographers, Brown, 40, creates dances in a distinctive high-energy style, blending influences from African, Caribbean, and modern dance as well as ballet and hip-hop. He uses music as diverse as Duke Ellington, Fela Kuti, Nina Simone, and Bob Marley. And he's committed to telling stories related to the African diaspora, often infusing them with social commentary and a powerful spirituality. Brown has created dances for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater , Philadanco , and other troupes . Evidence presents his "Order My Steps" and "Walking Out the Dark," both Boston premieres, and "Grace" at the Cutler Majestic Theater tonight and tomorrow. Brown recently spoke by phone about his choreography . Q Is all your work religious? A When someone once asked me if all my dances were going to be about God, I answered, "I think so." But I don't want to make works that seem preachy or self-righteous. The challenge is to trust the process and maintain integrity. I think there's a place for this conversation in concert dance. Q Are your new pieces, "Order My Steps" and "Walking Out the Dark," connected to other dances in your repertory? A I think of all of my work as part of one big piece. Each one tells a different story about getting to the temple of God, which is in your heart. The stories are about those journeys. They are about how people walk the path. Q What kind of journeys do these dances depict? A "Order My Steps" deals with our journey in a sociopolitical way. It's about how spirituality can exist within the context of a community. It grew out of a conversation I had with Chad Boseman , a playwright, actor, and director. We were trying to understand our purpose as artists, and how sometimes we wonder if we are staying on track or are stumbling. It's kind of a plea to God, saying how much we want our words and actions to be filled with love. Q I understand that "Walking Out the Dark" was inspired by a rite-of-passage ceremony you witnessed in Burkina Faso , in which young men are buried underground overnight. How does that figure in your piece? A It's about struggling to break free from your fears and inhibitions to become your highest self. "Grace," on the other hand, is more of a wide-stroke dance. It's simple, like the definition of grace: getting another chance when you really don't deserve it. Q How would you like audiences to respond to these dances? A I want them to leave feeling a sense of joy and possibility. Q What would you do if you didn't dance and choreograph? A I might have a health food store or perhaps sell oranges -- sliced in a bag -- on the street. I could also do massage therapy. Q What has dance given you? A It's given me freedom. It's a way to connect with people and act as a bridge. And it's a chance to speak out on issues or feelings that I feel need physical expression. Q Would you give an example? A Last week in Miami, I taught a text and movement workshop, an exercise where we exchange stories and then dance them without words. I told a story of being called by my father last March to come home to Raeford, N.C. I was in Boston at the time, about to start choreographing at the Boston Arts Academy . I took the train down, and my Nana, who had been sick, was in bed. She made her transition the next day. I spent the rest of the time there with my Poppi. I tell that story far better in dance than in words. Q Any new projects coming up? A I recently began thinking about choreographing a musical with Stevie Wonder's music. Disney also gave me a call about possibly doing a musical like the ones by Twyla Tharp . I'm not sure what will come of it. But I want to do something with Stevie Wonder's music. Just think about his name and the spirituality of his songs. © Copyright 2006 Globe Newspaper Company.

For him, dancing is a sacred art

For him, dancing is a sacred art Vincent Mantsoe melds ancestral, modern By Valerie Gladstone, Globe Correspondent | September 23, 2005 Bare-chested and wearing ragged pants, the tall, lithe South African dancer and choreographer Vincent Mantsoe strolled slowly into the spotlight to begin a performance of ''Motswa Hole (Person From Far Away)" at the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival two years ago. To the infectious sounds of voices, drums, rattles, and bells, he started swaying his hips and stretched his long limbs in an uninhibited, ritualistic dance punctuated with sudden jumps. Wending his way to a large basin of water near the front of the stage, he first dipped in one foot and then the other, celebrating the pleasure of water like a man long deprived of its refreshing qualities. ''Whenever I perform, I try to share my childhood experiences with nature," Mantsoe says over the phone from France, where he lives half the year. ''They had a tremendous effect on my life, and it has become very important to me to reconnect with my roots and introduce that aspect of my past experiences into my dances." Mantsoe, 34, makes his Boston debut with ''Motswa Hole" and the vigorous, trancelike ''NDAA (Awakening of Self)" at Zero Arrow Theatre tonight through Sunday. Mantsoe's ingenious Afro-fusion choreographic style, a blend of traditional African dances with modern, ballet, and Asian dance forms such as Tai Chi and Balinese dance, has won him fans and critical acclaim all over the world. ''Vincent is a charismatic performer -- unafraid, intense, and very human," says Ella Baff, director of Jacob's Pillow. ''The audience feels his humanity and connects with him." Growing up in Soweto during apartheid, Mantsoe chose to study dance in part to avoid trouble with the government, which often harassed and jailed young men. ''If you were attemping to be a performer, they were less apt to be suspicious of you," he says. His choice was also influenced by his mother, aunts, and grandmother, ''sangomas" -- wise women -- who taught him the significance of ritual singing and dancing. ''I wanted to know about all aspects of my culture," Mantsoe says. ''I would be up at 4 in the morning with them to wake up the ancestors and introduce the new day." The practice had a powerful influence on him. ''Every time I perform, I have a close conversation with the ancestors," he says. ''They allow me to borrow these sacred dances." Mantsoe's respect for tradition did not prevent him from embracing contemporary trends, though. During his teens he performed with youth groups, trying out street dances and imitating the moves he saw in music videos. When he was 19, he responded to a newspaper ad for students placed by the pioneering antiapartheid Johannesburg company Moving Into Dance. Director Sylvia Glasser was so taken with his talent that she offered him a scholarship. Two years later, she enlisted him as her associate director and resident choreographer. Under her guidance, he began to merge traditional dances with contemporary styles. ''Finding Sylvia changed my life," Mantsoe says. ''She was open to what I had been doing as a child and also wanted to see how I could make those dances accessible to broader audiences. She never wanted me to water them down, only to learn more about other styles to see if they would enhance my work. I felt so liberated, especially because at the time she was the only director courageous enough to have both black and white dancers in her company. The spirit of my family and ancestors, along with Sylvia, inform everything I do." By 21, Mantsoe was touring internationally, performing at theaters and festivals all over the world. He has won prizes in Europe and Africa for his choreography and has choreographed for many companies, most recently the Inbal Dance Company of Israel and Dance Theatre of Harlem. ''Vincent had never choreographed for a ballet company before," said Dance Theatre's director, Arthur Mitchell, who first saw him perform in Africa. ''But he created a beautiful dance for us. We both developed as a result of the experience." Mantsoe's piece ''NDAA" expresses his belief in the underlying similarities among different cultures with a score that combines songs from Ethiopia, Gabon, and Kenya as well as taped conversations of Pygmies from Gabon. At times during the dance, Mantsoe appears to be in trance. But though his works often look spontaneous, they are all carefully choreographed. ''When I am floating out there and a little bit out of control," he says, ''my body always knows what to do next." © Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company