Dancing Through Translation

see below for more information about the project

In fall 2017, Peter Kyle Dance launched its current project, a collaboration with Ukrainian choreographer Anton Ovchinnikov. DANCING THROUGH TRANSLATION is a yearlong research and performance project exploring contemporary dance as a vehicle for cross-cultural exchange. The 2017-2018 collaboration is part of a larger celebration of 25 years of bilateral relations between the United States of America and Ukraine. The project is being implemented with the support of the Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine.

photo: Anton Safonov

Ovchinnikov and Kyle met in 2016 when Kyle was in Ukraine on a Fulbright Specialist grant. Ovchinnikov invited Kyle to teach a two-day workshop for professional dancers and choreographers, and also provided vital logistical support to Kyle as he created a new dance film with local artists in Kiev. It was at this time the two artists had the idea to create a joint project that would be interesting in both the United States and Ukraine.

photo: Anton Ovchinnikov

DANCING THROUGH TRANSLATION builds on Kyle’s earlier choreographic investigations including his 2012 solo, 100 DAYS. It challenges the artists to look with fresh eyes at the wealth of human physicality that surrounds us, and explore questions of how we process movement as language. Over the next year Ovchinnikov and Kyle will catalog, transcribe, and learn borrowed movements from everyday people they encounter in their daily travels on opposite sides of the planet.

photo: Dimitrijs Matvejevas

Drawing on the material they collect, Ovchinnikov and Kyle will build a new production with a team of four dancers (two from the U.S. and two from Ukraine), an American composer, Ukrainian costume and lighting designers, and a Ukrainian tour manager. Kyle and Ovchinnikov will meet in person this fall in New York City, and in regular videoconferences in the ensuing months. In March 2018 Kyle will travel to Kiev to work with the Ukrainian team. The final phase of the collaboration will take place in summer 2018 when Kyle and U.S. dancers travel to Ukraine for an intensive rehearsal and performance period with the other artists. The completed project will tour to multiple cities across Ukraine including: Kiev, Lviv, Kherson, and Kharkiv.

photo: Mike Depasquale

An important outreach component of the project expands on Kyle’s 2016 Fulbright project in Kiev and seeks to engage college and university students in several dance departments in the U.S. and Ukraine. Student work groups in both countries will be invited to conduct their own movement observations, write detailed transcriptions of the material they observe, and share these with their international peers to create their own choreographic translations inspired by one another’s writings. The students will meet to share their creative work via videoconference, establishing a foundation for a “culture-bridge” between populations.

DANCING THROUGH TRANSLATION is in its final phase July 22-August 24, 2018. Having assembled a fantastic team of artists in Kyiv, we are generating the culminating evening-length project, “Shirts and Shoes” for its world premiere performances at the Les’ Kurbas Center, before taking it on the road to four Ukrainian cities. The title comes, in part, from idioms in both English and Ukrainian that charge each of us to develop empathy by putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes (shirts, in Ukrainian).

Here are our performance dates and venues (with links to Facebook event pages for each engagement):

August 14-15, 8pm – Kyiv (Kiev) – Les’ Kurbas Center

August 17, 7pm – Lviv – Pershyy Theatre for Youth (First Theatre for Youth)

August 19, 7pm – Kherson – Kherson Regional Puppet Theatre

August 22 9pm – Kharkiv – Art Area DK

Here is our team:

Peter Kyle – Co-choreographer
Anton Ovchinnikov – Co-choreographer
Mira Matchina – Costume designer
Tetyana Khoroshun, Маria Titova – Composer/Musicians
Elena Chuchko, Iryna Klymenko, Victoria LosYarik Kaynar – Performers
Katte Tiahlo – Stage manager
Stanislava Ovchinnikova – Tour manager
Slava Los – Graphic designer
Alexander Dolovov – Photographer / videographer

Main Information Partner – Ukrainian theater
Production Company – Black Orange Dance Production
Project Organizer – All-Ukrainian Association “platform of modern dance”
Project Partner – Peter Kyle Dance

Dancing Through Translation celebrates 25 years of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Ukraine, and is made possible with generous support from the Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine.

DTT is also made possible by the generosity of supporters of Peter Kyle Dance. Thank you!

First day of rehearsal! photo: Stanislava Ovchinnikov