Interval/Habitat is an installation for 17 theatrical lighting fixtures and three-channel sound created by Brooklyn based sound and light artist Byron Westbrook. Interactions with the installation were marked by surprising syncronicities and breathless restraint.
Disjecta Gallery, Portland, OR 2015, 20 minutes, Sound and Light Artist: Byron Westbrook, Dancers: Luke Gutgsell and Ayako Kataoka
Pentamode is a score that was created by my good friend Brandin Steffensen in the late OO’s. This score is an elegant compositional machine that empowers dancers to shift at will between 5 modes of (inter)action. Sharing the score with the curious, witty and bold students at Reed College was a rare treat.
Reed College, Portland, OR 2015, 9 minutes, Dancers: Bell Akroyd, Annie Baker, Chistina Barrett, Katrina Bastian, Wolfgang Black, Jesyca Hernstadt, Dana Koscielny, Eliana Lasarow, Jeanie Lee, Claire Lewis, Hannah MacKenzie-Margulies, Gabriel Zinn
This untitled work which was performed through Stacy Tran’s “Pure Surface” addressed many notions of disruption through an improvisational score which was triggered by unwitting audience members’ movements. Collaborators Micha Schmelzer and Jamalieh Haley contributed greatly to the experience with their excellent poetry and live feed video.
Premiere: Valentine’s, Portland, OR 2015, 25 minutes, Video: Micah Schmelzer, Poetry: Jamalieh Haley, Dance: Luke Gutgsell
“Love and Logic” (officially named “First Take”) featured Johnson’s original soulful and acoustic song, “Feel it” as well as smooth reams of improvised vocalization. The understated pathos and abstraction of this work was delightfully undercut with an acapella rendition of Whitney Houston’s, “I have nothing”.
Premiere: Velocity Dance Center, Seattle, WA 2014, 15 minutes, Dancers: Luke Gutgsell and Justin Leon Johnson, AKA Fatha Green, Music: Justin Leon Johnson, AKA Fatha green
First Take brought to light struggle to be oneself within a popular culture where hyper masculinity is still most often, the norm. An attempt to bridge the gap between Eurocentric modern dance and mainstream hip hop culture revealed unique insights and glaring blind spots. The piece was defined by the desire for connection and subsequent feeling of loss.
Premiere: Performance Works Northwest, Portland, OR 2014, 18 minutes, Dancers: Luke Gutgsell and Justin Leon Johnson, AKA Fatha Green, Music: Justin Leon Johnson
In The Self Possessed two gay men attempt to integrate their shared identity and in the process invoke quasi-mystical states of transcendence. They exorcise demons of mainstream media, slip in and out of gendered states to the beat of 80’s house music and crumble each others’ defenses with humor and kindness.
Premiere: Studio 2, Portland, OR 2014, Dancers: Nicholas Daulton and Luke Gutgsell, Music: The Velvet Underground, John Zorn, Technotronic, Britney Spears, Enya
“4X4” is an exploration of touch and its role in the male duet. As two performers negotiate weight and space on a tiny stage a third passes behind and traces the dance’s pulse on the side of a building.
Premiere: Ten Tiny Dances, Beaverton, OR 2014, 6 minutes, Dancers: Nicholas Daulton, Luke Gutgsell, Eric Nordstrom, Music: Nicholas Daulton
Hollow was a work in which the performers’ need to please was thwarted with an improvisational score which prioritized ease and patience. This dance exhibited the potential for a work to span a wide spectrum of dynamic tones.
Performed through Lucy Yim’s “Bill of Goods” at Holocene, Portland, OR 2014, 19 minutes, Dancers: Luke Gutgsell, Elise Knudson, Original Electronic Saxaphone Composition: Ben Kates
“Duel” was a site specific improvisation which incorporated the kitchen, landing and threshold of The Nest’s vast industrial space. This dance was accompanied by Ben Kates’ hot saxophonic cacophony .
Peformance at The Nest with Creative Music Guild, Portland, OR 2014, 15 minutes, Dancer: Luke Gutgsell, Original Saxaphone Score: Ben Kates.
“Kingfisher” highlighted the clarity and communion of an interdependent dancer and audience. Kingfisher charged audience members with the task to make absolutely any kind of sound the desired. Coughs, cell phone jingles, melodies and laughter commingled with movement.
Performed at Studio 2, Portland, OR 2014, 9 minutes, Dancer: Luke Gutgsell, Music: composed in real time by the audience
“Je M’appelle Amanda”, was a dance filled with quirky and delightful movement generated by Nicholas Daulton. Also featured was a ski mask, giant house plant on wheels and Amanda Lear’s very strange music.
Premiere: Performance Works Northwest, Portland, OR, 2013, 10 minutes, Dancer: Nicholas Daulton, Music: Nico, Amanda Lear
“Two Habits” was a deconstruction of the performers’ highly gendered movement patterns in everyday life and dance. Expressions of strength, power and seduction were performed and dismissed in equal measure.
Premiere: LaMama Theater, NYC, 2010,15 minutes, Dancers: Luke Gutgsell and Elise Knudson, Music: Ani Difranco, Fleet Foxes, Dirty Projectors
“getting UP” is a dance of sibling rivalry, longing and loss.
Premier: Dixon Place, NYC 2009, 17 minutes, Dancers: Luke Gutgsell and Elise Knudson, Music: Jeff Buckley