Saturday, March 12, 2011 – 1:00pm
Dancer as Puppeteer and Puppet as Dancer
In this workshop, participating dancers will be introduced to the basics of a three-person puppet manipulation technique based loosely on the ancient Japanese Bun-Raku tradition. The bastardized form intends to open up a new range of movement possibilities within the broad realm of direct-manipulation puppetry. Simple phrase material will be learned that will then serve as choreography for a prototype figurative puppet. Teams of dancers will be challenged to assume the roles of puppeteers, while the puppet assumes the role of the dancer.
Christopher Williams draws from his training at the École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris, his experience as a dancer in the companies of acclaimed choreographers Tere O’Connor and Douglas Dunn, as well as his ten years of experience performing for the internationally renowned puppeteer Basil Twist.
Come to both the workshop and informance for $20.
Christopher Williams has danced with Tere O’Connor Dance, Douglas Dunn & Dancers, and Rebecca Lazier’s TERRAIN. He has also performed for critically acclaimed artists such as Yoshiko Chuma & The School of Hard Knocks, Fred Ho, John Kelly, Yvonne Meier, Jon Kinzel, Renée Archibald, Edisa Weeks, Risa Jaroslow, Eliza Miller, Nanine Linning, Beppie Blankert, Charles Atlas, Wendy Rogers, Lisa Gonzales, and Anita Cheng.
As a puppeteer, Christopher has worked with the award-winning master puppeteer Basil Twist, both serving as the Ballet Captain for the puppets’ choreography as well as performing the title role in his version of the ballet Petrushka. In addition, he has toured with the award-winning work of Dan Hurlin, including Everyday Uses for Sight no. 3 and Hiroshima Maiden, and has also performed in the work of Erin K. Orr and Lake Simons. His own puppet works have been performed in the Late Night Cabaret of Jim Henson International Festival of Puppet Theater, at HERE Arts Center as part of the Puppet Parlor, at P.S. 122, through the Arts at St. Ann’s Puppet Lab, and at Dixon Place.
He has collaboratied with many distinguished artists including Colombian visual artist Rosario López, composers Gregory Spears, Robert Een, Peter Kirn, David Griffin, and Ivan Jiménez, choreographer Kindra Windish, with members of The New York Consort of Viols, and with members of the internationally renowned vocal ensembles, Anonymous 4 and Lionheart.
He received a New York Dance & Performance “Bessie” Award in 2005 for his work Ursula and the 11,000 Virgins and an impromptu Ishmael Houston-Jones “Messie” Award in 2009 for his work The Golden Legend,which was listed among the 10 best dance performances of 2009 by Joan Acocella of The New Yorker magazine. His various works have been shown both locally in many New York City venues including City Center, Danspace Project, Dance Theater Workshop, Dance New Amsterdam, Joyce SoHo, Symphony Space, Galapagos Art Space, BRIC Studio, HERE Arts Center, P.S. 122, La Mama Experimental Theater Club, One Arm Red, The John Ryan Theater, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center, Solar One, The Mulberry Street Theater, Judson Church, The Spiegeltent, nationally in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and internationally in the Casa del Teatro Nacional in Bogotá, Colombia. He has also been commissioned to set original choreography on dancers part of Island Moving Co. as well as on student dancers at Princeton University, New York University′s Tisch School of the Arts, and Sarah Lawrence College.
Christopher is the recipient of grants from The Jim Henson Foundation, The Greenwall Foundation, The O′Donnell-Green Music and Dance Foundation, The American Music Center, and the 92nd Street “Y” through the Harkness Dance Foundation, and was a commissioned artist of Dream Music Puppetry through the Here Artist Residency Program. He has received a fellowship from The Foundation for Contemporary Arts, a Bessie Schönberg Memorial Endowed Fellowship for a residency at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, and a fellowship from the Bogliasco Foundation for a residency at The Liguria Study Center for the Arts and Humanities in Bogliasco, Italy. He has also been an artist in residence at the Joyce SoHo, Dance New Amsterdam, The White Oak Plantation, Yaddo, The Yard, Bates Dance Festival, and through Movement Research. He currently serves on the Artist Advisory Board for Danspace Project and lives in Sunset Park, Brooklyn