Idyllwild Town Crier


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From the Idyllwild Town Crier weekly newspaper, 05.29.08 edition.

‘Mapping Idyllwild,’
a site-specific performance tour

Director/Choreographer/Site Artist Stephan Koplowitz brings his newly formed dance company TaskForce to Idyllwild Arts and the community of Idyllwild for a series of site-specific performances from Thursday, June 5, to Sunday, June 8.
The company consists of eight highly skilled professional dance artists from Los Angeles and New York City, selected for their technical, improvisational and creative abilities, along with Los Angeles-based composer/performer Paul Chavez and a host of invited area artists to these unusual, inspiring or challenging spaces. Joining these performances will be local performers and artists. 
Featured are Idyllwild Arts Academy faculty artists Denise Felton and Stephanie Gilliland, with a select group of Idyllwild Arts students; local poet and jazz legend Herb Jeffries; musical group Local Color; McCallum Theatre dancers under the direction of April Rhodes; visual artists Judith Schonebaum and Hannah Ruskin; and videographer Annika Kay.

TaskForce is a new and unique touring performance company that brings art out of the black box and into the town square, out of the gallery walls and into the public. TaskForce is made up of dancers who will move across a range of locations to create performances in response to unusual, inspiring or challenging spaces.
In residence for two weeks, the group will work in Idyllwild, creating and performing pieces that trace the history of the village and respond to the more natural environment of that area before moving on to a four-week stay in the greater urban Los Angeles region (June 10-July 6).
Koplowitz has engaged Paul Chavez, an LA-based composer, instrumentalist and sound designer, to create original sound scores inspired by each of the sites and the site-specific choreography of “Mapping Idyllwild.” 
The weekend-long event will begin with the screening of “Kid Galahad,” starring Elvis Presley, at the Rustic Theater at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 5. The film screening will pair a Koplowitz short film featuring TaskForce performing in featured locations from the film. This short film will be produced the week prior to the event.
The performances continue throughout the weekend beginning on the Idyllwild Arts campus in The Troys at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 6. The Troys are the 11 A-frame music rehearsal spaces. At noon Saturday, June 7, TaskForce will perform with poet Herb Jeffries on the grounds of the Idyllwild Area Historical Society, in Humber Park with musical group Local Color at 2 p.m.,  at The Fort with dancers from the McCallum Theatre at 4 p.m. and back to The Troys on campus at 8 p.m.
On Sunday, June 8, TaskForce moves to Inspiration Point with visual artists Judith Schonebaum and Hannah Ruskin at noon and ends the day at 3 p.m. with a culmination performance at Town Hall. The Town Hall performance incorporates both the indoor and outdoor stages simultaneously with a video installation by Annika Kay.
The sites chosen have historical implications and significance, and help to tell the story of how Idyllwild came to be. As TaskForce journeys through and around Idyllwild, the dancers will highlight elements of the town’s history that have given the place character and have made it what it is today. From Native American legend to tourism to wilderness adventures, the company will move, weave and explore.
Sponsored by Transatlantic Arts Consortium (TAC), this is the first in three phases of the TaskForce project. The second phase will continue in Europe during July 2009 at sites in Plymouth and Dartington, UK, before culminating at locations in Essen, Germany, for the final phase of the project in early summer 2010.
Award-winning director, choreographer and media artist Stephan Koplowitz is internationally known for his work on the concert stage and for creating original site-specific, multimedia works for architecturally significant sites. In addition to his site work, his choreography and company, Stephan Koplowitz & Company (Kop Art Inc.), has been presented frequently by internationally recognized performing arts venues worldwide.
As a site artist, much of Koplowitz’ oeuvre is concerned with the intersection of natural, social and cultural ecologies within urban environments. His site work aims to alter people’s perspectives of place, site and scale, all infused with a sense of the human condition.
Koplowitz’s recent work includes a site-specific work “iseea” for the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, commissioned by Summer Stages Dance, which featured 22 dancers from 10 local professional companies and was named one of the top 10 dance productions of 2007 by the Boston Globe; “Revealed,” a site-adaptive installation performance with room-sized camera obscuras, which premiered in Battery Park City in 2006 and went on to be installed at MassMOCA and Mead Museum at Amherst.
His large-scale, site-specific works are one-of-a-kind, precedent-setting events and considered historic. They include “Fenestrations,” first seen in 1987 and remounted in 1999 in the windows of Grand Central Terminal; the “Grand Step Project: Flight” (for 50 dancers on grand staircases in Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn); “Kohler Korper,” (at a coal-processing facility in Essen, Germany); and his work “Genesis Canyon” (at the Natural History Museum, London), which won the 1996 Best Dance Production Award from Time Out Magazine.
Koplowitz’s “Mapping Idyllwild” is the first commission in America for the newly formed TransAtlantic Arts Consortium (TAC), a partnership formed by California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), Idyllwild Arts Academy, Dartington Hall Trust, Dartington College of Arts and King Edward VI Community College.


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