Wind and Tree (Dance Installation)

The New York Times on Wind and Tree: "…a renaissance painting…with its elegant, shadowy shots of fragmented body parts and twisted limbs paired with eerie seismographic recordings of the earth's vibrations."

Wind and Tree by Abe Abraham, is a multi-screen dance-video installation set to JT Bullit's seismographic recordings of the Earth's vibrations. Featuring Bessie Award winning dancer Megumi Eda.

My name is Abe Abraham. I am the Artistic Director of Abanar (www.abanar.org), a dance company that creates choreography for the camera to expand perceptions of dance.

Inspired by Paul Muldoon's poem, Wind and Tree was first presented as a single screen dance-film in 2011 at the Tribeca Screening Room and Symphony Space. In her review, Eva Yaa Asantewaa described the film this way : "...the camera pans and swings around a collage of interlocked bare flesh, picking up gleaming textures and small, poignant details like the star-like glint in a single, revealed eye. The body parts - we often see heads protected by arms tightly folded over them--resemble gnarled stumps of fallen trees." And critic Christine Jowers wrote : "..Wind and Tree does not live on a far removed screen giving us a story: rather, the piece acts as a vessel, drawing the audience viscerally into its enthralling mystery. We are connected to the poetry of the body, and to the wonder of the thousands of stories that exist even in the smallest gesture."

Over the past year, I have expanded the work for three screens to draw out a deeper story and to find innovative ways to combine images and sounds from one screen to the next. To do this, I would place side by side, various sections of the original footage in an endless series of combinations and watch what unfolded. Most of the time, chaos ensued, but some of the time, collisions of sound and movement would produce a startling "accident": an unpredictable combination which would be more innovative than anything I could pre-conceive. After collecting these "accidents", I began to uncover the hidden stories that existed between each screen, eventually revealing a larger structure. Then the real work began: choreographing the relationship between each screen frame by frame. Moving from a single screen to three screens meant that a single image was always defined or altered by what was or was not on the remaining screens.

JT BULLIT - EARTH SOUNDS

For this installation, I was fortunate to have the cooperation of JT Bullit who has provided his extraordinary "Earth Sounds". JT Bullit transposes seismographic recordings of the Earth’s vibrations into the range of human ears, to lift the deepest sounds of Earth into the field of human perception. As JT Bullit describes:

"The rumblings of earthquakes half a world away, the waves from ocean storms far out to sea, the twice-daily pull of Moon and Sun: these natural forces all combine to weave a shifting tapestry of slow vibration within the solid Earth. Too low for us to hear, too slow for us to feel, these subsonic movements reverberate throughout the planet at this very moment, just as they have done for millennia past and will continue for countless more.

" The Earth is an ideal metaphor for the unconscious: we live our lives in contact with its surface, seldom aware of the powerful tectonic forces deep below that drive entire continents and give shape to the planet's familiar surface features."

FEATURED DANCER: Megumi Eda

Born in Nagano, Japan, Ms. Eda had her professional debut with the Matsuyama Ballet Company in Tokyo where she appeared in many of the ballet classics in repertoire. In 1992 she was invited to join the Hamburg Ballet School, and soon after she joined the company, where she worked with Mats Ek and choreographer/director John Neumeier. In 1997, Ms. Eda joined the Dutch National Ballet where she worked with Twyla Tharp, Hans van Manen, Rudi Van Dantzig, William Forsythe and Redha. In 2001, Ms. Eda moved to London to dance with the Rambert Dance Company. There she worked with Christopher Bruce, Jiri Kylian, Lindsey Kemp and also started exploring her own choreography, creating two pieces for the Rambert company. In 2002, Ms. Eda was awarded "Best New Artist" by the Japanese national newspaper, Shinano Mainichi Shimbun. She now lives in NYC where she won a Bessie Award in 2004 for her performance in Armitage's piece "Time is the echo of an axe within the wood".

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