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Reflections on 2013

beetlejuicearms

Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice! (at SPARKcon, photo by roguemark)

Well FAD fans, another year is ending so it’s time to take a look back at all the lovely moments of 2013. Here are a few of the highlights:

January 13 & 25: The year began with our last two performances of Julep as part of the NC Dance Festival tour. First, a Sunday matinee at UNC-Wilmington then a Friday evening show at UNC-Charlotte.

February 5: New sections of Finding Place are performed at Artspace in downtown Raleigh as part of their First Friday open gallery festivities. (We are in the home stretch for the full show premiere by this point; I’m surprised we could even break from rehearsal for these three mini-shows!)

Finding Place premiere

Finding Place premiere in PSI Theatre, photo by DC Dance Photography

February 22 & 23: This is the big one – the full premiere of Finding Place at the Durham Arts Council‘s PSI Theatre! Wonderful stories, great music, exciting choreography, and touching film segments combined to create our third evening-length work in just five seasons. (And this one was completed in only nine months… needless to say the company was ready for a break following this show!)

March 13-16: Again this year, I traveled to the American College Dance Festival’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference to represent the company and teach classes. With class scheduled at 8am this time, the turn-out was smaller than the last year, but still about two dozen collegiate dancers got to learn parts of Finding Place choreography (in addition to getting in the company’s traditional technique class).

April 28: We perform Journey at NC Dances in Cary, NC. Journey was originally created for NC State University’s Panoramic Dance Project, so this marked the first time Code f.a.d. dancers got to perform the work. We also brought in a guest dancer for this show – Sarah Putterman! We hope we get to work with Sarah more in the future.

May-July: Code f.a.d. Company was quiet this summer, but there were certainly creative juices still flowing, preparing for the busy fall season ahead.

August: The company finds two new rehearsal “homes” for 2013: Barre-Up and Cirque de Vol Studios. Holding our Saturday classes at Cirque de Vol has given us the opportunity to make this the first season we open company technique class to area dancers, and we have had a great time inviting more folks to join us a few Saturdays each month! Following auditions after one of these open company classes, we are also pleased to welcome three new dancers to our group: MacKenzie Buice, Krystal Lynch, and Anna Maynard. You can expect to learn more about all of these lovely ladies in the coming months on the blog. Rehearsals are also in full swing for Dear Nature, our new work inspired by the Artspace exhibition of the same name, including artwork by Natalie Abrams, Mi-Sook Hur, and Cynthia Camlin.

Dear Nature at Artspace, photo by Anna M. Maynard

Dear Nature, photo by Anna M. Maynard

September 6: First Friday at Artspace brings the partial premiere of Dear Nature in Gallery 2. Just like in February, we performed three 10-minute shows throughout the evening, to packed crowds!

September 12: Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice! Stuck right in between our Dear Nature performances came 2013 SPARKcon, and being we have participated in the festival for the past five years, we couldn’t let this one slip by without a Code f.a.d. appearance. The company invited some guest dancers from AWW Performance Company to join us in an interactive performance following the Beetlejuice theme (chosen by this year’s filmSPARK organizers). The show was complete with the super talented Todd Buker (composer to much of our work) performing as the sandworm!

September 18: Back to Artspace for the full Dear Nature premiere, and it was such a great experience to perform in the gallery among the artwork that inspired the piece. This show also marks the debut of two new artists in our ranks: composer Julia Price and poet Jessica Mansell Temple! We are excited to work with both Julia and Jessica on more new work in 2014.

October 12-13: I attended the NC Dance Alliance’s Annual Event as our company representative to teach classes (more Finding Place repertory is taught to high school attendees and professionals) and to speak about our dance films in a lecture/showing with other dance filmmakers based in NC.

Gerren roams through the audience during the performance at Masquerade

Gerren performs during Masquerade

October 25: Masquerade! Thank you to all who attended our fall fundraiser cocktail event, Masquerade. If you were unable to attend and would still like to support our work, we accept tax-deductible donations securely online through our fiscal agent, Fractured Atlas: http://www.fracturedatlas.org/site/fiscal/profile?id=4584

November 13-17: Destination by Michael Kors (one of our fashion-inspired dance films) makes it into its first big film festival! I traveled to Wilmington to attend Cucalorus for the screening (and got to see many other films and speak with filmmakers of all kinds at the events – inspiration was gathered for many new works to come).

from the film, Destination by Michael Kors

Destination by Michael Kors

December 6-12: The last performance of 2013 was on December 6 in Winston-Salem, as part of Movies by Movers IV. We performed a few excerpts of Dear Nature, adding video projections to those sections we took and titling these portions A Few Southern Legends. I’m excited to turn some of these sections into stand-alone dance films in the coming year. Also, across this entire week I was honored to have the opportunity to teach dance students at Jordan High School in Durham, NC. The advanced “company” dance class worked on a dance film project while junior and senior-level technique classes learned Horton modern dance technique.

And there it is… well, was. What a great year 2013 turned out to be for Code f.a.d. Company – lots of new faces and new dances! So, what does 2014 have in store for us? I’m tempted to just say wait and see, though I’ll give you a hint to be on the lookout for new dance films (hopefully) hitting the festival circuit in 2014. (And don’t worry, we’ll post some clips and photos from the shoots online, too.) Thank you for continuing to support the work that we do, for supporting dance, and we wish all our fans a very Happy New Year!

See you in 2014…

-Autumn
(Code f.a.d. Artistic Director)

A Few Southern Legends

A Few Southern Legends

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Creative Work, Dance, El Anatsui, Film, Finding Place, Guest Dancers, Travel

On Vacation in NYC

After a very successful premiere of Finding Place at the NC Museum of Art, it is time for a break! So the dancers and myself take from mid-July to mid-August off from regular rehearsals. A few of us actually take real vacations, while the rest find the time to catch up in their “regular” lives of 9-5 jobs, laundry, taking care of kids, going to school, etc.

I take advantage of the small bits of free time to attend the National Dance Association’s annual pedagogy conference in Norfolk, Virginia, and then go to visit a good friend (and fellow dancer) Monica in New York. (I’ll write more about the NDA conference on my personal website soon: autumnmistbelk.com)

Most modern dancers I know love to take pilgrimages to NYC as often as we can. We take classes, see shows, and generally just enjoy feeling like New Yorkers without having the sky-high rent and being able to know when we go back home we’ll have washers and dryers in our homes. My trip was no different; I took several modern dance classes (at The Ailey School and Dance New Amsterdam), some anti-gravity yoga classes, and went to see Zarkana at Radio City (thank you Living Social deal) and (a definite highlight) Sleep No More! This was also a bit of a “work trip” in that I worked with Monica on a new film section of Finding Place, which we shot in Central Park.

Monica in Finding Place

Before I got to the city Monica sent me her story to be included in Finding Place, a bit of it is below:

The city where I grew up as a little girl was very hot and humid. We only have two seasons there: hot and rainy and hot and not so rainy. … One night when it was bedtime, we lost power. It had been a very hot and humid day and thankfully it started to rain after we lost power. My dad had a brilliant idea; he opened our apartment door so we could get some of the refreshing rainy air into the apartment, and he grabbed a mattress for my mom, my younger sister, him, and myself to lay on while the power came back. When it did, I didn’t want to go back to bed in my room, it had been very fun to lay all together, hearing the rain fall.

Obviously, it would have worked out quite well if it had been raining the day we needed to shoot our footage, but no such luck. No worries, we definitely captured the “hot and humid” feeling, and some rain noise will be added in to the video later. A tiny bit of our Central Park footage is captured below; look for the completed film to debut with the evening-length Finding Place in February 2013. (I left in the New York city noise for now. Monica’s story and some rain will overlap the movement in the final version.)

-Autumn
(Code f.a.d. Artistic Director)

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