Performance Works is happy to introduce our Alembic Resident & Visiting Artists for 2014! Thank you panelists Dawn Stoppiello, Emily Stone, Jim McGinn and Taka Yamamoto
In Gutgsell’s current work, impressions of content emerge, tangle and disintegrate. Bodies transform and slip from slacks to sleeves, bow tie to bustier. Dance vernaculars are coupled with obscure songs while pop hits highlight the peculiarity of hetero-normativity.
Tempted by moments of movie magic, Gutgsell’s dances unabashedly surrender themselves to hyper romantic teenage yearnings. Power dynamics are thwarted and expectations shaken when disparate personas bash in bazaar and tender ways. The body and ego are pushed to the extreme while dancers publicly confess their private vulnerabilities to each other.
The emotional body moves the flesh while attempting to withstand hyper surges of animalistic proclamations. Sizzling contents threaten to overtake their containers while the dance sorcerer seeks impossible control. Invisible winds whirl and haunt the hallowed stage. Eyes up, jaw agape, the contender enacts a holy battle with a cruel muse. After the weather calms, is the vessel well spent or broken?
Straddling formalism and emotionality, the dancer loses himself in the complexity of anatomy and the violence of repetition. Sometimes with black socked feet, he traces silky circles on the white floor. Sometimes he pushes through a defiant air. Most often he is cradled in a groove that always keeps him coming back for more.
Luke Gutgsell was born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky where he began his early movement training in gymnastics. In 2004, he graduated from The Ohio State University with a BFA in Dance. Luke also attended the Naropa Institute. Gutgsell trained on scholarship at the Merce Cunningham studio and performed with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and Shen Wei Dance Arts. Since then he has had the great fortune to work with artists such as Meredith Monk, David Dorfman and Tiffany Mills among others. In the course of his career, he performed at venues such as the Sydney Opera House, The Guggenheim Museum, The Joyce Theater and Dance Theater Workshop. Gutgsell has taught dance in many Universities, community centers and studios in the states and abroad. His own work has been presented nationally and internationally at Danspace Project, LaMamma Theater, Dixon Place, West End Theater, Teatro Merida and Performance Works Northwest.
WORK: I come to dance and performance as a multidisciplinary artist and educator with a teaching practice in museums and schools in New York and Portland for the last ten years. My pursuit of dance is fueled by improvising new forms through ensemble work and the medium of rule-based play.
I am translating experiences, concepts and questions with others while I am observing, playing, leading and misleading, pointing to and provoking the familiar to construct different ways of being together.
I am interested in the performance, transmission and transposition of cultural knowledge, both traditional and contemporary.
Through this residency I plan to research and work with choreographers, dancers and non-dancers in the form of workshops to extend a hybrid studio for movement and visual art. With post-studio art practices looking towards performance, I find the time is ripe for opportunities to develop more relationships between dancers and visual artists to learn, copy, and create new forms with each other.
I hold a MS Ed. in Museum Education at Bank Street College of Education in NY and a BA in Sociology and Education at UCLA. My areas of research and work include interpretation and visual culture, identity, performance, the study of games, alternative education and dance. Often working collaboratively with various publics, my work in the form of teaching, performance, exhibition and experience making has been included at Portland Art Museum, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (OR), Open Engagement Conference (OR), Southern Exposure (SF), Center for Architecture Foundation (NY), SALT art space (NY), Museum of Modern Art Education Center (NY).
Visiting Artist Blake Beckham
BLAKE BECKHAM is a choreographer, performing artist, educator and producer in Atlanta, GA. She co-directs The Lucky Penny, a non-profit arts organization that serves as a production outlet for Blake’s choreography, a platform for presenting other
contemporary artists, and an organizational umbrella for the portable performance venue, Dance Truck. The company’s achievements have been celebrated with a grant from Idea Capital Atlanta, NEA Spotlight recognition, and a prestigious SEED Fund Grant from The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.Beckham has produced her own choreographic works since 2001, and has also been presented by Emory University, The Ohio State University, Dance Truck, Eyedrum Art & Music Gallery, WonderRoot, Danspace, The Asheville Fringe Festival, Decatur Arts Festival, Joe Alter Dance Group, Fly By Theater, The Nerve Series, First Glance Atlanta, and DeKalb School for the Arts. Blake’s recent choreographic works have been celebrated for their deft craft, ambitious scope and emotional impact. Both PLOT (2011) and Threshold (2012) received critical acclaim including several of Creative Loafing’s “Best Of” Awards. These recent works are emblematic of Beckham’s ongoing interests in blending abstract and surrealistic imagery with visceral emotion and unadorned physical effort. The result is sometimes whimsical and sometimes gruesome, but it is always richly layered, and infused with tenderhearted sincerity.
Blake earned a BA in English and Dance from Emory University, where she received The Sudler Prize for highest achievement in the arts. She attended Ohio State as a University Fellow, to complete her MFA in Choreography. Beckham’s prolific career has included tenure as Development Director for the award- winning youth program, Moving in the Spirit, and teaching appointments at Agnes Scott College, Emory University, and The Woodruff Arts Center. In 2012, Beckham received a Community Impact Award from Emory University’s Center for Creativity & Arts. In 2013, she was honored to receive the Tanne Foundation award in recognition of her outstanding artistry.