The Following is a list of pieces performed by the company over the past ten years.
Watermark: Work in Progress – taking previous work to a new level, Watermark melds the movements of modern dance with foundations of Hip Hop into fresh and original movements accompanied live by Boston Hip Hop artist, AnsonRap$ with Bach specialist and violist, Drew Riccardi. They would be accompanied by four gospel singers. The varied musical and dance approaches in the performance will give the audience an emotionally powerful experience of the disconnection and the connection we experience about cultural differences in America that are always in motion, stretching boundaries. The work will premier in a public parking space in Dudley Square, free to the public in partnership with numerous grass roots organizations.
Shift — pits the work of Bach, represented by classical violist, Drew Ricciardi, against East Coast hip hop musician RealPoliticz. While Bach’s Baroque innovations and hip hop may seem to have little in common, Ricciardi and Politcz discover and share fascinating parallels. These similarities also play into the work of the company’s modern dancers, poppers, krumpers and lockers. Counterpoint and canons that Bach took to new heights are richly used in hip hop; Bach, more than any classicist who preceded him, was also renowned for improvisations. In this way, the piece is meant to show that iconic cultural differences can be both celebrated for their individual contributions but also for what they share that touches us most deeply.
Invisible: Imprints of Racism — an hour-long piece that explores the embedded psychosocial and racial challenges that permeate life in America. This deeply thoughtful and multidimensional production features nine dancers who mesh various styles of movement to create a kinesthetic language influenced Hip Hop and modern dance. Merged with this dynamic group of dancers is a trio of Boston’s top poets whose stories weave simultaneously alongside the movement. The work is followed by a facilitated discussion with the audience.
Between the Lines – Between the Lines is a mixed-genre artistic collaboration about the reflections of three people (a gay female, black male, Latino male) who reconnect as they look back on how they matured physically, emotionally and spiritually when growing up together. As they share the paths they have taken, their journeys become an examination of the universal truths that encompass all of us in seeking identity and purpose. The work asks questions about race, heritage and gender in an emerging America that is challenging old stereotypes and looking past the dividing line between fear and acceptance, and personal responsibility and victimization. The diverse cast of actors, dancers, and spoken word and rap artists are accompanied by a trumpet, cello, violin and drums as they address questions about the driving nature of what we carry from our past that both haunt and strengthen us.
Lenox Street Project – Lenox Street Project created by the teens at the Lenox Street Housing Project with the staff of Anna Myer and Dancers. The work is a mixed- genre performance, spoken word, rap, dance, voice, cello and trumpet performed with members of AMAD. The work gives voice to inner-city youth and their community.
Hoop Suite – Anna Myer and Dancers (AMAD) and North American Family Institute (NAFI) (www.nafi.com) in conjunction with Youth Link, created Hoop Suite, a rap opera that has evolved from a unique collaboration between one of the area’s top performing dance and theater companies and youth from Boston’s toughest public housing developments. Inspired by Myer’s Street Talk, Suite Talk, Hoop Suite melds classical music and dance with spoken word, rap, percussive instruments, and hip- hop movement. However, Hoop Suite takes an emboldened step forward by incorporating inner-city teen artists and encouraging them to explore dance, drumming, poetry, and behind the scenes technical work in a professional setting. In addition to building confidence in youth, the performance aspect of this project is built on a long-term educational plan designed to engender literacy, responsibility, and opportunity. The larger humanitarian goal was to forge bonds within and between diverse communities in the Boston area and urban centers worldwide.
Hindsight Now – As the title suggests, the theme of the work highlights transformation, using the gift of hindsight to inform, fuel, and enrich the moment of now and lead to wholeness. Deeply personal and universally sweeping, nine dancers led by acclaimed choreographer Anna Myer, and four cellists interacted on stage with high- tech sets and “cello carts” designed by Emmy Award-winning set and production designer, Katha Seidman.
Street Talk, Suite Talk – Street Talk, Suite Talk was a unique and extraordinary combination of people with diverse approaches to art. The juxtaposition of artistic voices and backgrounds generated a dynamic vocabulary of dance, music and poetry. In a world that is often fragmented and distrustful, Street Talk, Suite Talk forged bonds between these diverse worlds, with all working to create a common vision by fusing rap, contemporary dance, and music for violin. The evening-length piece was developed through a collaborative process involving the choreographer, seven young poet-rappers, seven dancers, the composer Jakov Jakoulov, and violinist Mark Berger.
Penumbra – The work was a collaborative effort with neon sculptors Alejandro and Moira Sina. A group of ten children joined six company dancers to perform to the music of Bach’s cello suites. The performers’ overlap of ages, races and cultures embodied the concept of penumbra. By bringing together different artistic disciplines and performers of different ages and races, Myer drew a broader audience to experience a common center.
All At Once – All At Once featured music by Russian-born composer Jakov Jakoulov, conducted by Susan Davenny Wyner and the New England String Ensemble. The piece included nine dancers, the conductor and twelve musicians (six violins, five cellos, and one bass) all on stage together.
Angle of Repose – Angle of Repose is a geological term referring to the plane in which rocks, dirt and debris come to rest, as well as the title of a novel by Wallace Stegner. This piece was set on ten dancers, including two children and a 77 year old woman. Danced to an eclectic array of music, including, Jackie Wilson’s Lonely TearDrops, Brahms, and the new-age sound of the Penguin Cafe Orchestra, Angle of Repose charted the unfolding of a life. Built on layers of choreography that use leaning, resting, falling and propulsive movement, the dance developed as a consequence of the weight of preceding and surrounding events and our attempt to give them shape.
Bluebird No. 173 – Featuring seven adults and seven children, this work was inspired by Marc Chagall’s painting, “The Birthday Party,” as well as musings on domestic life, love songs, and the image of a bluebird. The music, drawn from popular culture, pushed at the boundaries of nostalgia and sensuality.
Heartchunks – This provocative piece explored the passions of the human heart. It is punctuated by love-struck cartwheels and heart-stabbing gestures that surround the centerpiece, a romantic pas de deux. Heartchunks was set to a musical collage of Chopin, Chris Isaak’s Two Hearts, Michael Convertino’s It’s a Big Planet, and Los Tres Ases’s Sabra Dios and Queseas Feliz.
In Italian – Set to Vivaldi, Bellini, Verdi, and Offenbach, this sumptuous piece juxtaposed the religious themes of crucifixion and stigmatization, found in Italian Renaissance and Baroque art, with a contemporary, street-style pantomime of Italian conversational gestures.
Quintet to Brahms – Based on elegant postures swung free, this full-length piece created an emotional tumult that is as quixotic as the dancers’ 14-inch Russian tutus and their bare feet. The strength and musicality of Brahms resonated throughout.
Wine and Roses – Exploring the infinite nature of the human soul, Wine and Roses used a combination of movement derived from ordinary activities such as driving a car and those improvised from the ritual forms of Tai Chi. The dancers explored fluidity, definitive shapes and flight through the air, while establishing the language of relationships that celebrate wholeness and the connections between us.