SeattleDances caught up with Christin Call, Co-Artistic Director of Coriolis Dance (alongside Natascha Greenwalt), as the group prepares to debut Unfixed Arias. The evening-length work plays at Open Flight Studio this weekend and next, April 9-11 and 16-19. Call opened up about her inspirations in creating this intergalactic contemporary ballet and its utilization of cosmic imagery to explore a variety of themes. Live opera and live, original music will accompany the performance installation and concert dance event filled with everything from “campy sci-fi to the eloquence of the requiem.”
SeattleDances: Who choreographed the work? Can you speak to the nature of your collaboration?
Call: This work is a collaboration in many kinds of ways. Choreographically it is co-conceived by Natascha Greenwalt and myself and is derived from a shorter piece Tascha and I co-choreographed in 2012 in collaboration with musician Jackie An. It is now one of six vignettes around the theme of outer space which we have individually choreographed. Jackie An has composed some of these sections and will perform them live. We also commissioned original music from composers Taylor Merisko and Daniel Brigman. In addition we have been collaborating with animator Stefan Gruber, costume designer Erin Weathers, lighting designer Dani Norberg, and dramaturge Vanessa deWolf. We also are also working with the talented opera singer Sarah Davis, who sings the aria “O Mio Babbino” in our funereal section of the work.
SeattleDances: How is this show different from last year’s performance?
Call: The preview event last year was a huge, sprawling event of experimentation—a kind of supernova of ideas around audience mobility and performance installation. The premiere happening now will show audiences a highly compacted version, no less dense, but finely tuned version of this work as it continues to develop in its installation-based format.
SeattleDances: What inspired you? What themes are you working with?
Call: We are inspired by the potent symbolism of black holes. We both grew up as “Trekkies” and reading tons of Sci-fi/Fantasy books, and we are also interested in the role that narrative can play in contemporary work. The image of the black hole came from some writing exercises that Jackie, Tascha, and I were doing together back in 2012. The void is described as a physical force, but also comes to represent several, layered ideas as the work progresses—including the unknowable, loss, and feminine sexual energy.
SeattleDances: How did you decide on the venue and how will it shape the work?
Call: The original short piece began while in residency at Open Flight Studio, so it seems very fitting for us to revisit this space as a conduit for the initial seed of this work. It has facilitated the compacting process from the preview to premiere in that the work will exist in a single room with a single axis point (rather than the two floors and several staging areas of the preview). I think it will allow us all to snuggle into our rocket ship together for the journey this work creates.
SeattleDances: What else does the audience need to know before seeing the show?
Call: Audiences should know that this work requires being able to use stairs. The pre-show, beginning at 7 PM, is very rich in content, and I encourage folks to come in for the full half hour to soak it in. There may be some extraterrestrial encounters, as well, so be forewarned!
Unfixed Arias runs April 9-11 and 16-19 at Open Flight Studio. Pre-show performance installations will open at 7 PM, with the show beginning at 7:30 PM. There will be no late admittance and seating will be limited, so buying tickets in advance is recommended. Tickets can be purchased at brownpapertickets.com. Online sales close the day of the performance and then will be available at the door only. More information about Coriolis Dance can be found HERE.