Older Newer Things: A Note from Tania Isaac

September 21, 2016
Tania Isaac and Meredith Rainey
Tania Isaac and Meredith Rainey

Last year, under the name Pitch, dancer-choreographers Tania Isaac and Meredith Rainey created and performed (in)visible in the Annenberg Center’s By Local series. Based on Ellison’s Invisible Man, (in)visible is a look at the layering of race and culture in performance, specifically of the quiet questions and the internal monologues that we generate as we navigate our parallel experiences. The project began as Meredith’s solo project with Tania was a facilitator, using her notebook process to investigate writing and ideas around this new work. Now the duet are slated to perform the piece here at the Bride as part of an ongoing residency culminating in Spring 2017. Here, Tania describes what she and Meredith have in store.

I am inherently curious about people and ideas and the ways in which our thoughts finally converge into actions. I am intrigued by how we create spaces for more interchange with art and process and practice. In 2006, I developed the opennotebook– an interactive installation about creative process that brings audiences into the unfolding evolution of an idea. Then, this past spring the Performance Based, Research and Experiment LAB (PBRanE LAB) was born.

Tania’s opennotebook Installation

PBRanE LAB is a residency where we take and shape the curiosity that we have about each other; where we try to see and understand a point of view and the impetus for actions. In its most ambitious incarnation, it provides a conversation space that we seem on the verge of losing—the space that allows us to see divergent points of view, to ask why without penalty, to present ideas without vilification, and try to remain connected to each other outside of the range of opinions we share about the world. In its smallest moment, it simply allows a person to walk into another’s thoughts and to imagine where active curiosity and investigation could lead anyone.

In my designing PBRanE LAB, we are the guinea pigs for this new residency experiment at Painted Bride. We will be in residence from September 2016 to January 2017, drawing on the PBRanE Lab wall, designing programs, rehearsing, and of course performing January 27,28, 2017. As the LAB evolves, I hope you come to see, write, move, experience. We are inviting two artists per year for 6-month residencies that allow them to work with us, with you and with their collaborators to find the space and time to envision, to investigate and to immerse us in each other’s worlds. More to come…..


Tania on her work with Painted Bride:

Painted Bride has been my artistic touchstone. After producing my first evening length production through the CEC New Edge Residency, the Bride embraced my work and ideas, supporting me for a two-year residency that allowed me the space, time, resources and most importantly—community—in which to envision the growth of my work. Even as I moved in multiple directions, Laurel and Lisa have always stayed connected, have been available for questions, for conversations, for small moments that span everything. My experience through the Bride laid the groundwork for my commitment to a balance of art practice, family life, curiosity, and inquiry. So, now full circle.