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'Voyeur' peeks into Hopper's artistic world

Updated 5:15 pm, Monday, January 14, 2013
  • "Voyeur," a performance of dance and video created by choreographer/dancers Art Bridgman and Myrna Packer that takes the paintings of Edward Hopper as its point of departure, takes place on Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Silvermine Arts Center, New Canaan. Photo: Contributed
    "Voyeur," a performance of dance and video created by choreographer/dancers Art Bridgman and Myrna Packer that takes the paintings of Edward Hopper as its point of departure, takes place on Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Silvermine Arts Center, New Canaan. Photo: Contributed

 

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Dancers and choreographers Myrna Packer and Art Bridgman will present their latest work, "Voyeur," at the Silvermine Arts Center, 1037 Silvermine Road, New Canaan, on Saturday, Jan. 19, and Sunday, Jan. 20.

Performances take place at 7 p.m. on Saturday and 2:30 and 5 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $15 for members and $20 for non-members. In the 15 minutes before the performance begins, there will be an installation on stage where the audience can walk through and explore the set and video projections. The performance will be followed by a discussion with the artists.

"Voyeur" invites audiences into the evocative world of dance and video. Collaborators for more than 30 years, Bridgman and Packer have developed a unique approach to integrating video into their work.

"Voyeur" takes the paintings of Edward Hopper as its point of departure, in particular his works where scenes are viewed through windows and doorways. At the heart of this production is the seen or unseen viewer witnessing fragmented moments of private lives. The role of both the audience and performers are as voyeurs.

For Bridgman and Packer, voyeurism is about point of view and perspective, where someone observes a private moment while being architecturally removed from the space they are viewing. The production pushes the artist's exploration of the live and virtual into new territory choreographically, thematically and technologically. In a departure from past repertory, "Voyeur" is designed for performance in museums and galleries, as well as for traditional theaters. It incorporates a multi-surfaced set made of hinged panels at various angles. Through the use of video projections, the set transforms, evoking imagery of both spatial and psychological enclosures as the performers are seen through the windows and doorways.

The use of live cameras on stage creates multiple perspectives as the performers merge and collide with the video imagery. Stream-of-consciousness sequences evoke the light, time and place of Hopper's work.

Bridgman | Packer Dance is based in New York City, where the work has been presented by major venues and festivals including Baryshnikov Arts Center, Lincoln Center and City Center. Bridgman and Packer are recipients of a Guggenheim Fellowship as well as numerous grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, USArtists International, Performing Americas Project, National Performance Network, La Red, New York Foundation for the Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, and a DTW Digital Fellowship. They have toured throughout the United States and internationally, including Spoleto Festival USA, Jacob's Pillow, Bates Dance Festival, Munich International Festival, Institute for Contemporary Art/Boston, Festival Internacional de Artes Escenicas (Panama), Kintetsu Theater (Osaka, Japan), Tancforum (Budapest).

"Voyeur" is co-commissioned by Portland Ovations of Portland, Maine, and the Edward Hopper House Art Center of Nyack, N.Y. The production has been funded in part by the Expeditions Program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional support from the six New England state arts agencies.

For tickets and information, visit www.silvermineart.org or call 203-966-9700, Ext. 22.