Bridgman/Packer in VOYEUR. Photo by Tyler Silver

Year: 2018-2019
DanceForce Member: Margaret Kaiser
Artists: Bridgman/Packer
Community Partner: Torn Space Theatre
Audience: 465
County: Erie

Oftentimes the image of a truck is used to conjure up feelings of power and tenacity. The TRUCK inhabited by artists Myrna Packer and Art Bridgeman, however, expands those feelings to include a fluid, gentle force and a quietly enduring presence. The dancers’ movements contained within the interior confines of a UHaul truck, their performance space, are enhanced with video projections that create landscapes filled with light and shadow that either prompt their movement or react to their movement. Wherever the TRUCK is parked, that is where the 20-minute performance happens. There is no exchange of money, just an exchange of curiosity and attentiveness.

The audience can choose to sit in the 60 chairs available within the width of the UHaul stage, or stand behind the chairs. Sites for the TRUCK have been strategically chosen to reach the most diverse audiences. The Saturday evening performance on August 18th will take place at the grounds of the silos on Buffalo’s Waterfront as part of Torn Space Theater’s Response Festival. This is an audience that expects to be provoked, as it is the mission of this festival. The other two sites: Martin Luther King Park on the east side of the city, and Canalside on the southern tip of the city, were selected because they are where large groups congregate to enjoy a safe, outdoor environment. The TRUCK performances at these sites on August 19 will invite anyone and everyone who is willling to stop, look, listen, and experience something totally out of the norm for these environments. Included at the MLK Park and Canalside sites will be a video playground after each performance, which allows the audiences to experiment with moving in front of a video projection of random images in front of a cloth background. In the video playground the players become the movement event.

The DanceForce/Torn Space Theater partnership is a continuation of a partnership which began in 2014 with one of the first experimental Silo City performances. The MLK Park performance targets the large African-American community with whom Torn Space Theater has a long term relationship. The Canalside performance, which has featured DanceForce performances in the past, reaches a very diverse audience who specifically seeks out the waterfront for family-friendly events. Our conservative estimation of total numbers reached is 465. The significance of this project is that approximately 315 of those audience members will be newly exposed to this art form. In the spring of 2019 Packer/Bridgman can build from this audience as they present a proscenium performance at the UB Center for the Arts.