An Exhibition of Video Portraiture by Benton C Bainbridge
The world premiere, AND THERE WAS MORNING, is inspired by childhood friends who are friends to this day. I selected young new dancers for this work to not fall into movement patterns or rehearsal habits I might have developed with dancers familiar to me and wanted to see what kind of support systems would emerge among them. Rather than to illustrate my childhood friendships, the work quickly became about the dancers inhabiting it.
And There was Morning is a work that celebrates the human spirit through movement. While I reflect on the past and am hopeful and excited for the future, the movement is about living and loving the very moment. Working and moving with the dancers, I am grateful for the ground I walk on and the experiences I get to share with dancers and friends. And there was evening, and there was morning -- a new day.
Composer Beata Moon is the familiar element in this collaboration. She and I first worked together in 1992. Over the years, we have created many works that are important hallmarks in my life. The wonderful thing about our collaboration is that we remain open to surprises. The instrumentation for And There was Morning was my request, but the glorious music is all her doing.
It is fantastic to work with Benton C Bainbridge, because he extends my work to a new medium that is unfamiliar to me. Here too, I am open to surprises and I am delighted with the outcome.
I think of dance as 'music for the eyes'. Music is also the inspiration for my own process - I make my media art in real time, playing video devices like musical instruments. These Moving Portraits are my remixes of Henning Rübsam's visual music and Henning and Beata Moon's likenesses. Through slow motion videography and image-processing, my pixels move with Henning's choreography. Using hacked analog and digital video tools, I've painted portrayals of Henning and Beata. Perhaps the transformative power of imaging technology may reveal more than our unaided eyes?
I am a composer and classically trained pianist. My compositional style stems mainly from the Western classical tradition. I am more interested in creating a unique musical voice using the existing tonal language than I am in experimenting with a completely new musical language.
Music, to me, is an invigorating way to process life’s varied challenges. My aim is to write music that will help people; comfort and soothe them, excite and arouse passion within them.
Writing for Henning is a joy! We have known each other since we performed on the same program as part of the Gluck Fellowship community outreach at Juilliard. Because we value and respect each other as artists and friends, our collaborations flow naturally. “And There Was Morning” is a show of love towards Henning as a friend and artist. Henning's warmth, humor, and love for life continues to be an inspiration to me. I wrote "And There Was Morning" while imagining Henning frolicking in the hillsides and fields of Germany with his three close childhood friends whom he has known since kindergarten (two of whom I met).
It was much fun to work with Benton and Henning on our portraits. Benton made me feel at ease and somehow even knew to put on one of my favorite pieces of music in the background!