Bridgman/Packer Dance Residency

Myrna Packer in VOYEUR.

Year: 2018-2019
DanceForce Member: Robin Collen
Artists: Bridgman/Packer
Community Partner: SUNY Potsdam
Audience: 450
County: St. Lawrence

Sunday, February 3, 2019: NY State DanceForce member Robin Collen is bringing Bridgman/Packer Dance to SUNY Potsdam for a performing/teaching residency. The company consists of artistic directors Art Bridgman and Myrna Packer. A lighting designer and stage manager will accompany them.

Monday, February 4 and Tuesday, February 5: The company will engage in 2 residency activities. Unique to Bridgman/Packer Dance is (a) their duet/partnering work, (b) their complete integration of video into their choreography, and (c) their incorporation of the artwork of painter Edward Hopper into “Voyeur”—their Bessie Award winning dance which they will be performing. Therefore, the company’s residency activities will be designed around these aspects of their work. The estimated size of the audience for these activities is 100.

Wednesday, February 6: The company will perform a repertory program, open to the public, of “Voyeur” and a new piece they are currently developing. The estimated size of the audience for this performance is 350.

The SUNY Potsdam Department of Theatre and Dance will, for the third time, partner with Ms. Collen in a DanceForce project. In April 2018 Ms. Collen will apply for additional funding from the SUNY Potsdam Lougheed-Kofoed Festival of the Arts. This funding would cover greater publicity costs and additional residency activities.

Students and faculty at SUNY Potsdam who are involved in the Art Department—art history, painting, and videography—will hopefully find this work of great interest. Dance and Theatre students and faculty will experience a multidisciplinary approach to the theatre arts. The general public, who may not be familiar with contemporary dance, may well be attracted to the performance because of its use of video.

It is significant that a work which has been recognized for its artistry by a Bessie Award is being brought to a rural area where residents rarely see dance productions of this caliber. Also, the integration of video work may give newcomers to contemporary dance an inroad to understanding and appreciating it. As a DanceForce member, Ms. Collen is proud to support Bridgman/Packer Dance, not only because of the enduring nature of their art-making, but because they are artists who engage generously with the public, sharing their processes.