"Echo should be required viewing for everyone with a beating heart and seeking mind."
PERFORMANCES | Nate Holden Performing Arts Center 2019, Santee Education Complex 2017
Cambridge, MA Center for the Arts 2015, Lund Theater 2014
CONCEPT and DIRECTION | Brigette Dunn-Korpela
CHOREOGRAPHY | Brigette Dunn-Korpela in collaboration with Dancers
COSTUME DESIGN | Athena Lawton
LIGHTING DESIGN | Dan Norman, Iain Court
MUSIC | Pete Korpela, Neelamjit Dhillon
PHOTOGRAPHY | Scott Groller
CAST | Kyreeana Alexander, Cynn Anderson, Whitney Jackson, Joan Padeo, Dion Pratt, Brance Wiliiam
BOSTON CAST | Olivia Coombs, Hassain Booth, Jenny Oliver
ADDITIONAL ORIGINATING CAST| Shannon Carpenter, Elizabeth Geocaris, Kelsey Long
ECHO is an interdisciplinary multi-dimensional dance performance that examines issues of race, identity and the value of black life on a global level. Traveling through the Caribbean Islands, South America and the United States of America, the play explores the displacement of African Diaspora bodies during the Transatlantic Slave Trade and the effects of displacement through generations until current contemporary times. The play is divided into multiple vignettes: solos, duets, and trios that explore the complexity of trauma, healing and the intersectionality of a wounded psyche. In March of 2014 ECHO premiered in The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance at the California Institute of the Arts, where it was well received to a two night sold out audience. After the premiere, collaborators, Brigette Dunn-Korpela and Shana Mirambeau recognized the relevance of the work amongst a global community of African Diaspora bodies and decided to begin the next chapter of ECHO. To travel ECHO begins the wave of knowledge, healing and linking hands one body, community and geographical region at a time.
Public Benefit and Cultural Vitality of the Community as a Whole
Cambridge, Massachusetts is a special and unique place and it’s an honor to present ECHO at the Multicultural Arts Center. Historically, Cambridge is known for being a distinct, progressive and intellectual community- in terms of race, class, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. The continued growth of multifaceted communities within Cambridge, make the premiere of ECHO, even more pertinent at this time in this supposed movement of “post-racism.” The community we are concerned with is that of the local Cambridge community and surrounding cities of Boston residents. Therefore, we also will be holding an open call audition for four local student dancers and one local student actor to receive training and perform with the ECHO cast. We will also be holding a weekend writing and dance workshop focused around healing, self-esteem and globalized cultural diversity within the African Diaspora the second week of residency. Due to middle passage the displacement of bodies has shifted the visibility of multiple identities of the African Diaspora- constricting it to a singular narrative- many times only displaying a western perspective of the “African American” experience. Instead we would like to honor and awaken the layers within the many identities living within the African Diaspora. Removed from the catalyst of the oppositional “black” and “white” binary- we work to centralize discourse around the universal connectivity of all experiences. Confronting “Black” identity, we explore shades of the political and hierarchical reverence of its history. This shift creates fluid knowledge of what has been lost and engages in the process of retrieval-embracing one another through a global lens. The intention of ECHO is to counteract the forces of hegemony.
Statement of Purpose
B Dunn Movement Dance and Theatre Company is based in Los Angeles, California. Our mission is to provide a space for in-depth creative expression through diverse art forms. We encourage individuals to create art that encompasses critical thinking and an awareness of the multilayered themes within a global community. We examine issues of the human experience through collaborative art making in dance, theatre, music, writing and multi-narrative endeavors of spoken word. The histories of diverse communities and the navigational narrative of the, sometimes political risk of personal evolution, identity and spatial relationship to self, others and the environment are deeply important to us. We are invested in facilitating work that investigates the universal spirit of our humanity and are interested in creating shared authentic-visceral experiences within all bodies of work.
Alongside the many Multicultural Arts Center’s many works, ECHO expands the level of discourse to bring the conversation to broader communities in a productive and intellectual way that may offer continued exploration into the academic and global arena. Memories act as conduits within the vessel of the body, leaving residuals of suffering and ECHO stands as a station of hope. For all groups, our focus is to initiate a sense of value, address issues of self-esteem, cultural knowledge and lineage. Teaching one another how to humanize after centuries of patterned de-humanization and how we all can live balanced healthy lives to become self-actualized to our fullest potential as human beings. Its about empowerment personally and socially and allowing this to reflect within a collective.
ECHO employs the use choreography, video, narrative-text, live music, scenic design, and pre-recorded sounds. Multiple vignettes of solo, duet, and trio performances take place, depicting the contrast between themed alternative realities of time and space. ECHO addresses the many residuals of slavery that still have an effect on the psyche of present-day culture and behavior. Dance approaches and techniques are primarily rooted in contemporary modern dance vocabulary, fused with yogic and improvisational generated movement structures. These various techniques support the artistic and technical versatility, strength, athleticism, sensorial awareness, discipline, and exploratory curiosity required for the choreography and approach to movement expression. ECHO investigates immersion and interactivity between audience and performance members. Upon entrance, the viewer will immediately pass through a threshold and be transported back in time into a space referencing a slave ship and of being submerged underwater. Attention of the spectator will be re-focused throughout various devices of sight, sound, and movement; guiding them out of one reality and into another multi-layered scene of significance.
Physical Description of Space
The physical space is transformed into multiple worlds that depict a bare raw quality of both an urban setting and abstract image of a slave ship. An 8’ bi-level performance area is constructed and supported black metal bars criss crossing beneath that support 4 rectangular pieces plywood above. The metal bars are sturdy enough to support movement and choreographic interaction from the performers and house the musicians seated underneath. Five 12’ large white geometrical pieces of white fabric are suspended from grid to top of platform to provide additional space for video projection and mapping. The use of video projection will play a significant role in order to create the simultaneous multiplicity of environments, moods, and alternate realities. The dance surface is 32’ diameter circular grey marley floor located in the center of the theatre. Images and video are projected on both floor and white sales that suspend from the grid. Images of enslaved bodies packed into the slave ship are projected by video onto the floor. Other images to depict multiple environmental changes are used throughout the entire performance.