Friday, June 5, 2015

Childhood Memories from the Cast of 'milkdreams'


Alexandra Beller is coming to LaMaMa next week for the world premiere of milkdreams as a part of La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival!

milkdreams strips the performers of their veneers of ego, agenda, and shame, laying bare their need, their contentment, and the authenticity of their present moment. Both the process of creating the work, and the work itself, attempt to sift from the body the habits, inhibitions, and presentations of the trained dancer, and to recover a physicality motivated entirely by sensation, desire, joy, curiosity, and, ultimately, love.

The performance was inspired by a rehearsal with Alexandra's 14 month old baby, Ivo, who turned out to be a great improviser! The video of the rehearsal went viral on social media with over 1 billion views. The buzz garnered international interviews for Alexandra, her dancers, and her baby and inspired two international documentary films. 

Watch the video:


"I think many of us spend a good part of our lives searching for meaning. Some of us turn to religion, or science, some to parenthood, or yoga. I turned to Art. I searched for meaning in art for a long time, and I found it, but I also felt frustrated by the process of trying to connect to something larger than myself through something so self-involved. Then I had kids, and in watching them, I felt like I understood something about what exists beyond what we know, or think we know, something about what binds us, and something about desire. I started to learn the dances of my children, in the hope that it would bring me closer to what it feels like to be a human with no stories, no critiques, no formulas, no delusions, no denials, no successes or failures, no ego.
The result is a new evening-length work for four remarkable dancers called milkdreams."
- Alexandra Beller


The cast of milkdreams became nostalgic during the evolution of the performance and have offered up their own baby photos and childhood memories to share with audiences:


Alexandra Beller




"I was very fierce about my stuffed animals. They were absolutely REAL to me. I used to put their mouths to my ear and I really believed I knew what they were saying. As an only child, I had a good deal of time to myself, and I enjoyed long conversations with each of them. They had distinct personalities (based on appearance, I am sure), and I had specific relationships with them. One I would go to with problems. One I would go to when I wanted to sing a song. One was for gossip. 




One day, a "friend" (pretty mean girl, though) came over and told me that my animals were saying bad things about me. I grabbed them and talked to them and explained to her that she'd misunderstood them. "No," she said, "I can hear them right now, yelling about how much they don't like you. I kicked her out of my house on the spot. That was the end of our friendship. Nobody tells me my imagination is hearing things wrong."



Simon Thomas - Train



"I grew up in the mountains.  Rivers and streams everywhere. In the summer we used to play a game called "river walking" at some of our favorite swimming holes.  To river walk one grabs hold of a large stone, almost too heavy to lift, and then walks from the shore into the river.  The weight of the stone holds you to the bottom so you can walk along and not float up.  Sometimes we made it a competition to see who could go farthest or hold their breath longest.  But the best times were when I would go by myself and it wasn't a race and you could just be calm and still at the bottom of the river with your toes in the sand, looking up through the water at the world above, so easily turned on its head."


SIMON began dancing at Middlebury College, transitioning from an extensive background in competitive cross country skiing to graduate with a BA in Dance and Architectural Studies in 2009. Since then he has had the pleasure of working with Tiffany Rhynard/Big Action Performance Ensemble, Satya Roosens, Attack Theatre, Alexandra Beller/Dances, Megan Bascom and Dancers, Tiffany Mills and Company, Rosie Herrera Dance Theater, Red Dirt Dance, band|Portier, David Dorfman Dance, Pavel Zustiak|palissimo and most recently with the 2013 Bessie-winning "Then She Fell" by Third Rail Projects. He is the co-founder of The Space We Make.



Lea Fulton


"I picked up the Korean national anthem and could sing it pretty well while I was there. Seoul locals thought it was pretty funny to see a blond kiddo in traditional Korean dress."



LEA is a performance artist from San Diego, CA, now based in Brooklyn. She is a collaborator in The Space We Make, a performance collective of musicians and dancers who perform immersive work in non-traditional spaces. She is also a member of MotleyDance. She has worked with Faye Driscoll, Christine Suarez, Deborah Karp, and Laura Peterson. She creates her own work under the name The Motor Room and can be found studying Body-Mind Centering and Movement Therapy with an emphasis in Trauma Studies with Martha Eddy of the Center for Kinesthetic Education. She is excited to be working on her third experiment with Alexandra Beller/Dances.


Edward Rice


"One of my earliest memories is from when I was 4 years old.  My family and I were on a vacation in Hawaii.  We have many amazing pictures from that trip, but the only memory I have is of taking the flower leis we got as we left the plane into the the refrigerator at our hotel room.  I just think it is hilarious that four year old me was so struck by that moment."

EDWARD, originally from Chicago holds a B.S. and an M.F.A in Dance Performance from Illinois State University and the University of Iowa, respectively. In 2012 he started working with Third Rail Projects on the critically acclaimed and 2013 Bessie Award winning Then She Fell. He has performed with Jennifer Kayle + Company, The Brian Brooks Moving Company, Stone Depot Dance Lab, Jody Oberfelder Dance Projects, Amber Sloan, Elizabeth Dishman, Laura Peterson Choreography, Benn Rasmussen's Ardent August, Christopher Williams (Wolf-in-Skins), Heidi Henderson's Elephant Jane, Alexandra Beller/Dances, and Punchdrunk's Sleep No More, NYC. Currently he is a Producer of ROVE and is the Business Manager for Third Rail Projects.


Carly Berrett Plagianakos




"My mother shared her love of dance, nature, and magic with me from a very early age. One night when I was very young, I had been outside and was enchanted by a full moon. I ran into my house to find my mother. I said, "Mom come outside. Come watch me dance to the light of the moon!" My mother patiently obeyed my request and watched my little body try to capture the magic of the moon!"

CARLY is a performer, writer, and multi media dance-maker. She hails from Salt Lake City, Utah and holds an MFA from the University of Utah and a BA from Brigham Young University. The insatiable urge to perform carried Carly to New York City, where she has experienced magic, heartache, and transformation through the art forms of dance and theater. Carly currently performs two leading roles in the Bessie Award-Winning interactive dance theater work “Then She Fell,” by Third Rail Projects. She also performs as a company member in Alexandra Beller/Dances. Carly has created dance film works independently and for various New York City Dance and Theater Companies. She has had the pleasure of working with Gesel Mason, Doug Varone, Ching-I Chang, Alex|Xan: The Median Movement, Nico-Li, Stephen Koester, Paul Matteson, Jen Nugent, and Bill EvansCarly has been a master teaching artist at Dance New Amsterdam, Gibney Dance 280, 92Y, University of Albany, University of Colorado, University of Maryland, and St. Olaf CollegeShe was an assistant professor at the University of Utah Department of Modern Dance from 2007-2009. Carly also freelances as a grant writer for various art, education and dance non-profits in New York City and Brooklyn.




La MaMa Presents
milkdreams

Alexandra Beller/Dances

A World Premiere/Part of La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival
June 11 - June 21, 2015
Thursday-Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 4pm

Ellen Stewart Theatre
66 East 4th Street
New York, NY 10003

Tickets: $25 Adults; $20 Students/Seniors; ten tickets prices at $10 each available for every performance, pre-sale only - first come first served.
Tickets are available HERE!