Inspired by sources as varied as a childs playground, a line from
Ann Sextons poetry, a Persian dungeon, and the boundless energy
of movement, Digby Dances repertory is as diverse as it is dynamic.
Following is a synopsis of company pieces.
I dance with a Boston accent (2011) Created in collaboration with Erin Gottwald. Photo credit: Rastko Kovacevic
This Is It (2010) Created in collaboration with Holly Jaycox and commissioned by University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee
Orange & Ginger (2010) Created in collaboration with Holly Jaycox
Photo Credit: David Kumin, Spoke the Hub
PolyEsthers (2009) Created in collaboration with Holly Jaycox
Created in collaboration with Erika Batdorf (batdorf.org) "1848" is a dance theater work that explores the relationships between body and mind, women and men through the lens of the historic episode in 1848 when an Iranian woman removed her veil in public for the first time.
Photo Credit: Julie Lemberger
b + e (2005) Created in collaboration with Erin Gottwald through a commission from the Triple Helix Piano Trio
What We Want (2005)
Developed during a residency with the Dartmouth Dance Ensemble as part of the Table Project- a collaboration between 8 choreographers in which each was given two weeks to create a new work using two large tables. “What We Want” uses movement from both “Target Market” and “No Such Thing” in a further exploration of how each of us struggles not to let the illusory urgencies of the immediate distract us from our vision of the eternal.
No Such Thing (2005)
Developed while Digby Dance was in residence at the Yard in September of 2005, “No Such Thing” began as a response to the inanity of America’s pre-occupation with reality television and quickly took on a life of its own. Inspired more by the waves crashing on the shores of Martha’s Vineyard where the piece was created than by the completely uninspirational subject matter of reality t.v, No Such Thing became about the constant struggle to keep on a good face, and whether it is a useful exercise or just a waste of energy that keeps us from honestly acknowledging our true selves.
Target Market (2005)
Created on eleven pre-professional students at Summer Stages dance, “Target Market” takes a look at nature of modern day life where almost everything is reduced to an act of buying or selling. The dancers, equipped with ipods, are engaged in a constant race to get ahead, to get fit, to get spiritual, to get…more.
Commissioned by World Music/CRASHarts and partiallyfunded by the LEF Foundation. Here/Waiting explores the stillness and vibrancy, calm and chaos that permeate modern life. As the piece progresses, four dancers maintain their individuality as they unite in efforts to search out the dynamic meeting place of these seeming opposites and explore the exchange between them. Calm, lush phrases punctuated by darting bursts of energy devolve into duets. Solos emerge and fade back into ensemble passages. The quiet core of the piece informs even its most vigorous phrases and a dialogue begins to emerge between strength and humility, frivolity and reverence.
Sexton Pentagon (2004)
co-created with Melissa Kenny
Sexton Pentagon, a duet inspired by the poetry of Anne Sexton, pairs two dancers first with each other, then with imagery from Sexton’s work and finally with the audience. The piece uses “accumulation and blackouts to organize some deeply expressive partnering.” (The Boston Herald)
Side Up, Down (2004)
The solo Side-up, Down examines what it means to turn something
on its head a person, ownership, concepts of beauty and our physical
nature, by requiring a dancer to have at least one hand on the ground
and at least one foot off the ground throughout. Side-up, Down set
to ironic text by Bruce Grover, appeared to combine gestures from yoga
with the process of action painting
resulting in a compelling investigation
of gravity. (The Boston Herald)
Gear Shifting is a self-consciously funny trio that draws its impulses,
both physical and vocal, from the pressure cooker of work, art,debt,
and life.Seamless,searching movement is interrupted by questions at
once hysterical and utterly sincere.
and Woof (2004)
Warp & Woof contrasts idiosyncratic athleticism with languid,
lush phrasing. Daring lifts interrupt fluid solo work to create a tapestry
of movement that weaves edgy muscularity with grounded simplicity.
Massive Departure is a dense, emotionally stirring work, a
kind of idiosyncratic ritual (the Boston Herald), inspired by 19th-century
religious figure Baháulláhs imprisonment
in a Persian dungeon called the Siyah-Chal (the Black Pit). Nine dancers,
starkly lit from the side, trace a journey from suffering to exaltation.
Encased in a lighthearted, athletic and playful celebration of movement
is a tense, slow, creature-like unease that brings a surprising weight
to Molt. Digby slips through emotional states as rapidly
as a child (The Boston Globe) in this mannerist portrait
(The Boston Herald). Digby tick-tocked her way through a strict
floor pattern, stating her gift for histrionic humor (The Boston
Absolute Zero explores starting places, both emotional and physical. The
first section is an image-rich rapid-fire series of bold lifts, fluid
partnering, and striking solos. Dynamic leaps, collapsing puppet-like
shapes and rhythmic, pulsing motion dissolve into graceful aquatic movements
creating a striking tableau (The Boston Globe). The second
section finds a single dancer surrounded by floating shapes, which gradually
evolve into solos and partnering. The piece ends in a slow meditative
backward diagonal with some dancers lost in their internal worlds and
others looking outward. Stunning, wrote The Boston Herald.
This is choreography as landscape.
Cheeky and unapologetically upbeat, Shameless is a dance about the love
of dance. Six brightly costumed women dance to the music of Ani DiFranco
seamlessly blending pedestrian walks with modern and ballet-derived
technique. The movement is expansive and lyrical with rhythmic punch.
(The Boston Globe)
Things Fall (2002)
Choreography by Alexandra Beller
Why Things Fall began as a physical and philosophical response to the
events of September 11, 2001. On a physical level, the work examines the
effect of gravity on the human body. On a more esoteric level, the piece
examines the effects of gravity on the soul. What tethers us spiritually
to the earth and to each other? What happens when those connections are
tested to the highest degree? With original projection by Amy Upton, and
an original sound design by Alexandra Beller, the piece is an athletic,
mercurial, dynamic dialogue with fate.
Set to an original score by Bruce Grover, this surreal, emotional piece
strikes a balance between provocative imagery and striking movement. Five
bizarre characters explore their connection to a square of grass hanging
up-stage as. A woman floats back and forth in an orange wedding dress,
a brown figure crawls wildly, and a shimmery blue couple absorb tension
from a purple dancer who has lost her center. The piece is a strange
but compelling puzzle (The Boston Globe), a convincing ritual
for five women that unfolded under a large square of sod. (The Boston
Flirting with cabaret, referencing vaudeville and set to the swanky Takes
Two by Bostons lounge-rock sensations Seks Bomba, this octet spins
four couples into vibrant, playful motion. Partnering by couple melts
into group phrases, dancers twirl and fall as the lights transform the
stage into a nightclub.
Boundless, Bounding (2001)
Through short bursts and flinging leaps, this high-energy piece explores
the forces that keep people confined: intellectual boundaries, borders
of the heart, and constraints of the body. As the dance progresses through
three sections, the hardened shell of each dancer softens and her true
self begins to emerge. The dance turns corners, too, The Boston
Globe wrote. It's ostensibly a look at constraints, but it holds
its own as an exploration of the varieties of movement. Bound, Boundless,
Bounding was featured in the WGBH documentary Greater Boston Arts in April
am that I am (2001)
This solo is set to the poetry of founding BLACKOUTBoston members Nuri
Chandler-Smith and Bryonn Bain. The dance and poetry move to their own
pulse while interweaving evocative emotional and spiritual themes.
Prelude to Being (2000)
Prelude to Being was created collaboratively with Canadian movement-theater
artist Erika Batdorf and explores prayer as a literal physical experience.
The intriguing Kate Digby/Erika Batdorf collaboration Prelude to
Being seemed to trace a journey from confusion to transcendence.(The
A trio bursts into brightly colored motion with angular Tweety-Bird
shapes (The Boston Globe). Shy and childlike, three dancers play
a game of tag, draw imaginary chalk circles on the ground and plunge their
fingers into their mouths.
swim forward with wavering resolve (1999)
This piece for eight dancers, set to an original score by Bruce Grover,
addresses the state of the human condition. Each dancer struggles
with hope, disappointment, and disillusionment, continuing forward alone
and with the help of others. (the Jewish Advocate) It sets
a group of women on their feet against a single woman in a shoulder stand,
two women embracing against a swirl of moving forms. Its lyrical
and lush, and packed with high suspensions and willowy limbs. (The
Oh! Darling (1998)
This fun, silly duet celebrating friendship and the joy of dance was co-created
with Jes Shuford.
and the Woman (1998)
This early solo combines original movement with text from sources as varied
as Euripedes, Ani DiFranco and Baháulláh to
create a modern interpretation of Medea.
This sensationally weird (Bay Windows) duet was co-created
with Gabriela Poler and revised by Digby in 2000. Oily Night sets two
red unitard and shower-cap wearing creatures into a compelling game that
wiggles into the imagination like teletubbies on ecstasy (Bay
In this lively, colorful dance, eight women move their way from reserved
dissociation to fully embodied joy with
movement (Boston Tab).
an open hand (1996)
A trio performed in silence, with an open hand is a stark, unsettling
examination of relationships. A single dancer begins by moving her feet
one over the other, gazing straight ahead. Two dancers join her in an
attempt at support only to succumb to their own weaknesses. The group
ends supporting each other through an understanding of shared strengths
© 2015 Kate Digby