Sally Rousse: Paramount to My Footage
Drawing from a wide palette of movement and an appetite for extreme theatrical moods, Paramount to My Footage dives into historical fiction and the worlds of celebrity and privacy, grappling with what it is to be known and to know others—over time and distance, through love, fame, death, and rivalry.
In creating the piece, Sally Rousse looked to “the inner cartoon balloon commentaries” that run through her head to reinvent herstory, appropriate that of others, and turn an optimistic eye to the future. “After a 25-year career dancing other peoples’ visions, I am figuring out my own,” says the 2001 McKnight Dancer Fellow, who performed with the Royal Ballet of Flanders and Ballet Chicago before cofounding Minneapolis’ James Sewell Ballet in 1990. “This piece goes beyond the agreed-upon limits of ballet, beauty, and biography.” It features such varied artists as poet and writer Heid Erdrich, filmmaker Alek Keshishian, and a cast of distinguished local performers. Rousse hopes to give something indelible to them: perhaps “their own new way of moving or thinking or loving or observing.”
Megan Mayer: I Could Not Stand Close Enough to You
In Megan Mayer’s I Could Not Stand Close Enough to You, the bold beauty of childhood fantasy collides with the self-conscious trappings of adulthood. Awkwardly humorous in a manner reminiscent of the Smothers Brothers, this piece pits familial/group mentality against individual attempts at autonomy and personal success. “I’m curious about the risks we take when we are alone as opposed to those we are willing to take when we are part of a group,” says Mayer. “My work is also about trying to find a comfortable place, both physical and emotional, with often fruitless results.”
From her curious site-specific bathroom choreography to prestigious commissions and performances around the Twin Cities and beyond, Mayer’s recent work combines her dry wit with the nuance of gesture. For this piece she has created solos for all five performers, and backs the action with a soundtrack of nostalgic, bittersweet 1960s songs that have personal meaning.