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MORE ABOUT Off the Shelf

This work surfaced surrounded by books: an environment that undeniably influenced the movement and how it was shaped and perceived in unexpected ways. But instead of merely presenting previously-made dances in an uncommon space or treating the entire store as a site-specific landscape, we brought the pieces into being as self-contained episodes that veered between having a lot or little to do with the literary richness amidst which they appeared, while foregoing many of the dynamics of a more conventional theatrical setting.

The performance consisted of four different approximately 15-minute-long sets, with breaks in between each. By deploying diverse combinations of composed and improvised dancing, and weaving in original and encountered text, three longtime artists fashioned movement solos and duets, solos with self-generated spoken words, and improvised collaborations between the

two dancers and the actor serving as “reader,” who brought alive excerpts from books chosen at random. In-between each set, those in attendance were encouraged to browse.

And yes, there is video! A link to one of the pieces created as part of the performance that emerged from this project (May 2015) can be viewed by going to the VIDEO section on this site. Should you wish to get a sense of the variety of what we did, just send an email via the CONTACT page, and some additional links (for other, shorter pieces) will be forwarded to you.

Off the Shelf encouraged looking anew at relationships between books, language, reading, thinking, imagining, and making. It could be revived in the future, so... Do you have a bookstore or know of a library with a bit of empty space? Are you interested in an event that will attract others beyond your usual patrons? If so, contact us—and we’ll discuss what might be possible!