Pitch Dance For(u)m is pleased to present two intimate evenings of dance and conversation featuring original works by movement artists Tania Isaac and Gabri Christa. Tania Isaac will perform any.body.here., which seeks to unpack the relationship between language, the self, and the body. Gabri Christa will perform a preview of Magdalena, a piece that unfolds the story of her mother’s life and journey through dementia. Both shows come to the Bride on April 27 & 28 at 8PM.
Tania and Gabri met while working on Marianela Boán’s Landscape on Hold (2008), a work highlighting the similarities and differences in various choreographers’ cultural heritages. The artists bonded quickly over their shared experiences (Tania being from St. Lucia, Gabri being from Curacao), but it’s only now that the artists are returning to the same stage. Together, their performances amount to an evening-length experience that lives at the intersection of movement, storytelling, and conversation.
For the performances of any.body.here and Magdalena, attendees will see the Bride’s stage from different vantage points. Both Tania Isaac’s and Gabri Christa’s works are minimal and site-specific, intended for audiences to witness them up-close and personal. The audience will be invited to sit both on stage and off as Tania and Gabri have created to separate performance areas within the main space, creating a different experience from the moment people walk into the space. Painted Bride is limiting both performances to 50 seats to maintain the intimate nature of the performances. Throughout the evening, the audience will be invited to talk back to the audiences about their experiences, a decision that Tania and Gabri agree is increasingly important.
“Mine and Gabri’s work are similar in that we’re always looking for ways to interact with the audience beyond them sitting and observing,” says Tania. “Gabri and I both strive to make work that initiates conversations. We’re both at a points in our careers that we can distill our ideas down to what is really important to us, and I’m honored to be a conduit for presenting Gabri’s work in Philly.”
“My work always starts from a question,” says Tania. “The question of any.body.here. is Who gets to define a body? Who decides what your body represents? Can a body exist outside language—without prescriptions?” any.body.here is s a series of movement vignettes that, with the audience’s help, unpacks the question of identity and how we define ourselves.
“There’s a lot of shame around dementia—a lot of fear. Part of my goal for this show is to hold space for people whose lives have been touched by dementia. By telling my mother’s story, I hope people can feel empowered to tell their own.” Gabri’s multimedia solo performance Magdalena, delves into the life of the artist’s mother, revealing issues of trauma, memory, immigration, motherhood, Dutch colonialism, and through it all: dementia. This version of Magdalena is a preview—the full show will also include a film when it premieres in the fall.