"Arte Six": Quick Hits: DANCE: "Tricodex"

April 22—24, 7:30pm
"Tricodex" is the concluding chapter in a trilogy of works by French choreographer Philippe Decouflé. Initial work "Codex" was created in 1987, with "Decodex", following in 1995.

The trine of modern dance productions were all inspired by "Codex Seraphinianus", an absurdist encyclopedia designed by Italian naturalist and artist Luigi Serafini.

"Codex Seraphinianus", Serafini's peculiar 400-page masterpiece features illustrations, charts, and descriptions depicting an imaginary world of unearthly creatures and plants, invented formulae, card games, flying contraptions, labyrinths and fantastical machines, all described in lavish but nearly indecipherable scipt.

[VISUAL: Detail, "Codex Seraphinianus"]

The "Codex Seraphinianus" evokes topics ranging from gardening, anatomy, mathematics, and geometry to hairstyles, card games, flying contraptions, and labyrinths.

The "Codex" has inspired and fascinated Decouflé throughout his career, culminating in "Tricodex", an otherworldly and mystical performance combining dance, mime, acrobatics, video, and film, featuring 30 dancers and more than 150 costumes.

The surreal and mesmerizing production pays tribute to the mystical and unpredictable workings of the human imagination.
Find it:
BAM - Brooklyn Academy of Music
Howard Gilman Opera House
30 Lafayette Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217
Get info:(718) 636-4100

Read more dance news in the April 2004 issue of "Arte Six".

Choreographer Donna Uchizono, on "Butterflies from my Hand"

The striking opening image of "Butterflies from my Hand" served as a springboard to explore questions about the power that can be gained through the act of letting go and the possibilities that loss and vulnerability have to offer.

The work explores movement that uses personal experiences surrounding resistance, loss, power and uncertainty as a motivating force to uncover a physical language that gives the piece a sense of an emotional journey that is viscerally powerful.

As a choreographer, I am dedicated to the experimentation within the movement medium. With each new work, I create a new movement vocabulary specific to that particular piece, thus setting up a dialogue with the dance itself and fostering a symbiotic relationship between form and content. "Butterflies from my" Hand utilizes the opening image as a metaphor for guiding its kinetic direction.

The title "Butterflies from my Hand" came about while I was talking with a visual artist about the new piece. I discussed the fact that I was exploring the power of letting go and was holding my hands tight in a fist and asked: "What would happen if I just let go?"

He responded, "Maybe butterflies would fly from your hand."

The dance opens with a dancer suspending herself off the ground by holding on to a red curtain that is attached to the ceiling. Slowly she pulls out a pair of scissors and starts to slowly cut the curtain that is supporting her body...

The dance is imbued with layered fragility, striking visual images, bold gestures and emotional sublime inviting the audience through a multi-emotional experience.

Each viewer comes to the theater with their own intelligence, information and experiences and through their own particular lens will come away with their own emotional journey.

I am personally discovering that there is power in letting go.

Each piece I make is very different from each other. "State of Heads" (1999) with it’s odd, but endearing characters in all-white, to "Low" (2002), which is sensual, yet cool, heightening the investigation of weight and the constant dynamic interplay of exchange between partners through the constriction of space, to "Butterflies from my Hand," a play between tension and release.

I approach each piece as a unique entity that warrants a new vocabulary to define itself. I think the audience will be delighted with the opening image, the dance and the end.

I think we are all hungry for “live” interaction, and true physical contact. Dance is a “live” art form. It is ephemeral, temporal and alive, as is life.

Bio: Donna Uchizono is the founder/artistic director of modern dance company La Donna Dance, (Donna Uchizono Company).

Read more artist profiles in the April 2004 issue of "Arte Six".