Dancing Through Translation

photo: Anton Safonov

Peter Kyle Dance is thrilled to announce the launch of a new project 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 will be implemented with the support of the Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine.

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, Kherson, Kharkiv, Lviv and the Dnipro.

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.

photo: Anton Safonov