Dysfunction Functions

Choreographer Amy Lewis is a smart cookie. Her 2006 piece Conversion, in which five dancers performed a visual version of the complex musical fugue form in total silence, was a feat of mathematical timing. So when Lewis, founder of Push Up Something Hidden, teamed up with composer and sound engineer Bill Wolter to create her latest piece, Cartography of the Synchronous Telemtrist, the result should have been a veritable meeting of the minds. It was anything but. The year-long process was a debacle of disagreement, miscommunication, and disparate ideas. Lewis brought Wolter movement maps detailing the relationship between musical notes and body parts. Wolter preferred to improvise together. Lewis insisted on lengthy conversations to determine a shared direction. Wolter considered them futile, convinced the meaning would arise from the art-making. It’s amazing they didn’t kill each other. But in a triumph of intellect over obstacle as well as sheer good luck, the two instead arrived at a mutual realization: The piece they were making was about their collaborative dysfunction. Moments of synchronicity -- a driving concept in Wolter’s work -- began to emerge, and a bona fide collaboration was born. The end product is a tumultuous marriage of highly original movement and sound, with the added bonus of offering a definition of “telemtrist” -- it’s not in the dictionary, but we’re giving them the benefit of the doubt.
Sept. 25-26, 8 p.m., 2009

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