Sidra Bell & Immanuel Wilkins: COMMUNION


May 16-18, 2024


Studio H
280 Broadway, New York (enter 53A Chambers St)
New York, NY 10007



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COMMUNION. Photo by Umi Akiyoshi Photography.

Sidra Bell Dance New York and acclaimed saxophonist, composer, and arranger Immanuel Wilkins, are premiering COMMUNION. Bell is the inaugural artist in residence at Gibney and the work was supported by expanded residency time at the center.  The result is a pure dance display of the joy and ecstatic spontaneity created through improvisational modalities that Wilkins’ contemplative and rich composition evokes. COMMUNION was born out of research prompted by Bell’s navigation of disconnection, loneliness, and faithfulness. With a poetic structure that’s based on imagery, emotional structures, body design, and sensation, the work examines the current trajectory of despair and dystopia that permeates the way that we connect with our bodies through society’s apparati. How does humanity intersect and transform through struggle? We allow the viewer to see and feel through frames, ruptures, forgiving structures, wandering pathways, and fragments. Things fall apart. This piece focuses on the ascendancy of community (muscle), compromise, effortfulness, support, simplicity, and love. This elegiac experience is a series of impressions, human huddles, and hybrid forms of movement set against a wild mixture of textures, design, and sound. The work features lighting by resident designer Amith Chandrashaker, set design by architect Cass Calder Smith, costumes by Caitlin Taylor, and sound design by Michael Roche. Sidra Bell Dance New York’s eight-member company performs with live music by Immanuel Wilkins Quartet.

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