In the Body, On the Land: Improvisation and Choreography

Taught by Sara Pearson and Patrik Widrig

August 612, 2017



A Curious Invasion – Wave Hill

Capturing the essence of place, break­ing habitual ways of seeing, be it in nat­ural or architectural environments, is at the heart of the many site-specific/site-adap­tive works the com­pany has cre­ated since its inception in 1987. Work­ing with the space as an active partner, we listen to what is asking to be framed in each parti­cular site. We create on lo­cation, our pro­cess open to whomever happens upon the rehearsal. The view­ers walking by see something they can’t label—part sport, part play, part dance, part visual poetry. Curiosity aroused, they are nat­urally drawn in, asking ques­tions, giving feed­back, even joining in. At times chal­leng­ing and confronta­tional, at times wildly enthusiastic and inspiring, rela­tionships are forged that transcend the traditional barriers of age, race, class, and culture.

We dance under water, up in trees; we dance at dawn; we dance in summer heat; dance at night under the stars. Going deep inside the body we find the rhythms, shapes, spaces, and stories that are waiting to be discovered, becoming solo, duet and group forms to silence, words and music. Going outside we explore light, site, space, terrain. In improvisation/choreography classes we work with wholehearted discipline, focus, and attention to dynamic subtlety and detail. The week’s work will culminate in an informal performance.


Sara Pearson and Patrik Widrig have toured throughout the U.S., Latin America, Europe, North Africa and Asia for over 25 years. Their work has been presented by the Kennedy Center, the Joyce Theater, DTW, Lincoln Center, and Cen­tral Park SummerStage. Their site-specific choreographic installations have taken them from rowboats in Central Park to the Great Lawn at Jacob's Pillow to the fern forests of New Zea­land. Supported by the NEA, the Rockefeller Founda­tion and Arts International among many others, they have taught at numerous institutions includ­ing the Bates Dance Festival, ADF, NYU, VCU, and the Darpana Academy in Ahmedabad, India. For more information see pearsonwidrig@gmail.com.



Excerpts from Paradise Pond

Paradise Pond was commissioned for and performed in, on, and around Lake Andrews at Bates College, Lewiston, Maine, in cele­bration of the 25th Bates Dance Festival, August 9 and 10, 2007. The PearsonWidrig DanceTheater invited 25 Bates Dance Festival stu­dents, 25 BDF guest artists and musicians, 25 BDF Youth Arts Program students, and 25 community performers to participate in this epic visual feast. Obie and Bessie awards–winning composer Robert Een created the astonishing score for the evening-length production. See www.pearsonwidrig.org/site-specific-paradise-pond for further information.


Contact pearsonwidrig@gmail.com for more information.


The 2017 Pearson-Widrig Workshop



Back row: Jessamyn Schmidt, Chasong Kim, Owen Prum, Ruth Grauert, and Huiwang Zhang, Front row: Gavin Schuerch, Angie Cole, Nitzia Vieyra, Mario Hernández, Divyamann Sahoo,
Chelsea Rose, Kyki Li, Marc Ferarro, Shawn Stone, Sara Pearson, and Patrik Widrig