Lucinda Childs, one of the most celebrated choreographers of the modern era, revives her seminal 1983 collaboration with composer John Adams and architect Frank Gehry. During an extended artistic residency at the confluence of visual and performing arts, MASS MoCA, Childs remounts Available Light, which features an updated version of Childs’s choreography and Gehry’s striking set.
Available Light was commissioned by and had its world premiere at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art in 1983. The piece was originally conceived as a site-specific work, in which the museum’s large, warehouse-style performance venue, called the Temporary Contemporary, played an integral role. Lucinda Childs’s signature style of choreography, much of which she established in this work, merged with Frank Gehry’s stunning two-story Constructivist set and John Adams’s original, textured score, Light Over Water.
First project supported by a $500,000 Mellon Foundation grant
In November 2014 we reported Mass MoCA’s receipt of a half-million dollar award from the Mellon Foundation for the establishment of residenceies and the creation of new works. This project is the first to receive support from that grant. Read More Here. The intention of these funds is to help make it possible for MASS MoCA’s visual and performing arts residencies to enhance each other through unique partnerships and new works.
The three icons of their respective fields, Childs, Gehry, and Adams’s initial collaboration on Available Light was lauded by critics, including Anna Kisselgoff of The New York Times, who wrote of Available Light‘s 1983 NYC premiere at the Brooklyn Academy of Music: “it is […] a work of blazing formal beauty. Miss Childs has made a breakthrough in her career here.”
Now Available Light‘s choreography, set, and staging is being reimagined at MASS MoCA with the museum’s cavernous converted factory campus spaces in mind. A company of 12 dancers, who worked with Childs for two years on her revival of Einstein on the Beach, will perform Childs’s renewed choreography in Gehry’s reimagined set to Adams’s original score. Their three-week MASS MoCA residency will serve as Childs, Gehry, and Adams’s first reunion since Available Light was born.
Following the confluence of ideas following the trio’s reunion, three intimate, work-in-progress performances of Available Light will take place in the Hunter Center of Mass MoCA on Friday, March 6, and Saturday, March 7, at 8 pm, and Sunday, March 8, at 3 pm. Dinner and snacks are available from Lickety Split before and during the show. A full bar serves Berkshire Brewing Company beers and Berkshire Mountain Distillery spirits. Tickets are $18 in advance and for students, $24 day of, and $30 preferred. Tickets for all events are available through the MASS MoCA box office located on Marshall Street in North Adams, open 11am – 5pm Wednesdays through Mondays; closed Tuesdays through spring 2015. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during box office hours or purchased on-line at massmoca.org. All events are held rain or shine.
About the $500,000 Mellon Grant to Mass MoCA
This is the first full-scale Confluence Artist Residency will occur between February 20, 2015, and March 8, 2015, when dancer/choreographer Lucinda Childs, architect/artist Frank Gehry, and composer John Adams are in residence at MASS MoCA to re-conceive Available Light. In 1983, Available Light was the first in a series of projects commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (LA MOCA) that gathered teams of artists to develop collaborative performance pieces. Available Light represents the first and only time that Childs, Gehry, and Adams worked together. The trio began collaborating in 1981; after two years, they added to their team theatrical lighting designer Beverly Emmons and noted fashion designer Ronaldus Shamask. Together, the group created an hour-long, multi-layered work comprised of 11 dancers, original music for synthesizers, a set with industrial platforms and chain link fencing material, pod-like costumes, and light. Available Light combines dance, music, and visual art (architecture, design, and lighting); in re-envisioning the work, the artists will update and refresh the original show, configuring it for travel to other venues, including the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2015. —Read More—