Silvana Cardell’s ‘Supper’ Pushes Artists, Engages Audiences

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Room at the Table: Artists Reflect on ‘Supper’

For those working with Silvana Cardell on her creation, Supper, People on the Move, the experience has been unlike any other project they’ve been involved in—enriching, but also challenging in unexpected ways. What has made Supper such a special experience, these artists say, has been the scope of the project—and the challenges of helping Ms. Cardell—also director of the Georgian Court University dance program—make her vision a reality. And they fully appreciate the project’s focus on delving into the experiences and stories of immigrants.

“It’s been a lot of work; I had no idea how much work would be involved. But I’ve learned so much. I feel like I have personally gotten so much out of being a part of this project,” says Jennifer Baker, a Philadelphia-based visual artist whose role has expanded to conducting interviews with immigrants whose words are incorporated into the performance and an accompanying exhibit. (Ms. Baker also shot the photos accompanying this story and at Supperdance.com)

Some of the stories have really made me think about the whole process that immigrants have to go through to live here. I’ve found myself really thinking about the journey of these people. It’s been very disturbing to see how the laws we have and the different policies that are tied up in the courts are affecting these people. There is a human toll. — Jennifer Baker

 

“I look at the news and stories I hear about immigrants in this country in an entirely different way now,”says Ms. Baker.

» Meet the artists behind ‘Supper’
» Read immigrants’ stories in Portraits of People on the Move
» Previous story: Supper for All

Interviews with immigrants will be included in a book for viewing in the lobby and an online blog.

For Vermont-based musician Nick Zammuto, working on Supper presented some unique challenges from a technical perspective, but also pushed him creatively.

“It’s very different from what I’m used to doing, but it’s been very inspiring,” he says.


Tickets, which range from $15-$20, are available at supper.ticketleap.com for the June 25-28 performances.  A free screening will be shown outdoors on the Independence Mall in Philadelphia, Friday, June 26 from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on the Mall between Chestnut and Market Streets and 5th and 6th Streets.


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Challenging the artists

Mr. Zammuto said Ms. Cardell initially reached out to him for help in creating accompaniment that wouldn’t be marred by the intense echo effect in Philadelphia’s Icebox Project Space, where Supper will be presented. But in working with her, he also fashioned a score that mirrors the movements of the dancers.

“There’s a lot of different kinds of moments in the piece—from moments that are full of tension to moments that are almost joyous or triumphant and then we hit points that are everywhere in between—quieter moments where just hearing the dancers move is enough,” he says. “As the dance has evolved, I’ve been trying different things based on videos Silvana sends me.

“I’ve really been working to create music that’s complicated enough to not suggest that there’s a solution. It’s more about building tension and creating atmosphere. The music has to be textured in a way that complicates rather than simplifies.”

For the dancers, Supper brought a different set of challenges.

“This project is much bigger and deeper than other things we’ve explored with her,” says dancer Bethany Formica, who has worked with Ms. Cardell since 2004. “Movement-wise, this piece is super physical. We’re doing crazy partnering things— at one point I’m literally being bench-pressed. It’s very physical, very raw athletic movement.

“We’ve also been doing a lot of research, reading stories, and looking at images of people migrating whether because of war or politics. I think my interest in the topic has grown tremendously because of this project. Some of the research is just absolutely heartbreaking.”

 

 

 

 

 


» DISCOVER THE GCU B.A. IN DANCE
» REGISTER FOR THE GCU 2015 SUMMER DANCE INTENSIVE

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Photos by Jennifer Baker/Supperdance.com. Ms. Baker, a painter and sculptor, is the curator of Portraits of People on the Move, and manages set and costume design for the performance.

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Story by Karyn D. Collins, for Georgian Court University. Ms. Collins, a veteran journalist, is the editor of The Black Dance and Broadway Blog, and serves as an adjunct professor at several New Jersey colleges and universities.

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Room at the Table: Artists Reflect on ‘Supper’

For those working with Silvana Cardell on her creation, Supper, People on the Move, the experience has been unlike any other project they’ve been involved in—enriching, but also challenging in unexpected ways. What has made Supper such a special experience, these artists say, has been the scope of the project—and the challenges of helping Ms. Cardell—also director of the Georgian Court University dance program—make her vision a reality. And they fully appreciate the project’s focus on delving into the experiences and stories of immigrants.

“It’s been a lot of work; I had no idea how much work would be involved. But I’ve learned so much. I feel like I have personally gotten so much out of being a part of this project,” says Jennifer Baker, a Philadelphia-based visual artist whose role has expanded to conducting interviews with immigrants whose words are incorporated into the performance and an accompanying exhibit. (Ms. Baker also shot the photos accompanying this story and at Supperdance.com)

Some of the stories have really made me think about the whole process that immigrants have to go through to live here. I’ve found myself really thinking about the journey of these people. It’s been very disturbing to see how the laws we have and the different policies that are tied up in the courts are affecting these people. There is a human toll. — Jennifer Baker

 

“I look at the news and stories I hear about immigrants in this country in an entirely different way now,”says Ms. Baker.

» Meet the artists behind ‘Supper’
» Read immigrants’ stories in Portraits of People on the Move
» Previous story: Supper for All

Interviews with immigrants will be included in a book for viewing in the lobby and an online blog.

For Vermont-based musician Nick Zammuto, working on Supper presented some unique challenges from a technical perspective, but also pushed him creatively.

“It’s very different from what I’m used to doing, but it’s been very inspiring,” he says.


Tickets, which range from $15-$20, are available at supper.ticketleap.com for the June 25-28 performances.  A free screening will be shown outdoors on the Independence Mall in Philadelphia, Friday, June 26 from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on the Mall between Chestnut and Market Streets and 5th and 6th Streets.


IMG_5305.JPG

 

Challenging the artists

Mr. Zammuto said Ms. Cardell initially reached out to him for help in creating accompaniment that wouldn’t be marred by the intense echo effect in Philadelphia’s Icebox Project Space, where Supper will be presented. But in working with her, he also fashioned a score that mirrors the movements of the dancers.

“There’s a lot of different kinds of moments in the piece—from moments that are full of tension to moments that are almost joyous or triumphant and then we hit points that are everywhere in between—quieter moments where just hearing the dancers move is enough,” he says. “As the dance has evolved, I’ve been trying different things based on videos Silvana sends me.

“I’ve really been working to create music that’s complicated enough to not suggest that there’s a solution. It’s more about building tension and creating atmosphere. The music has to be textured in a way that complicates rather than simplifies.”

For the dancers, Supper brought a different set of challenges.

“This project is much bigger and deeper than other things we’ve explored with her,” says dancer Bethany Formica, who has worked with Ms. Cardell since 2004. “Movement-wise, this piece is super physical. We’re doing crazy partnering things— at one point I’m literally being bench-pressed. It’s very physical, very raw athletic movement.

“We’ve also been doing a lot of research, reading stories, and looking at images of people migrating whether because of war or politics. I think my interest in the topic has grown tremendously because of this project. Some of the research is just absolutely heartbreaking.”

 

 

 

 

 


» DISCOVER THE GCU B.A. IN DANCE
» REGISTER FOR THE GCU 2015 SUMMER DANCE INTENSIVE

[google_font font=”Source Sans Pro” font_size=”14″ font_weight=”400″]

Photos by Jennifer Baker/Supperdance.com. Ms. Baker, a painter and sculptor, is the curator of Portraits of People on the Move, and manages set and costume design for the performance.

[/google_font]

[google_font font=”Source Sans Pro” font_size=”14″ font_weight=”400″]

Story by Karyn D. Collins, for Georgian Court University. Ms. Collins, a veteran journalist, is the editor of The Black Dance and Broadway Blog, and serves as an adjunct professor at several New Jersey colleges and universities.

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