HEAT AND LIFE
"It will challenge, if not completely transform, your understanding of dance as an art form.”
Mpls/St. Paul Magazine
Heat and Life is a frenetic world fueled by anxiety, paranoia and fear—a world Catalyst made in connection with global warming, overpopulation, degradation of natural and urban environments, insatiable greed and how we contribute and respond to these human-made disasters. Negotiating rough terrain, each other and the edginess of having nothing to lose, seven dancers aim to thrive in an ever-changing landscape. Using walkie-talkies, electrical cords, 80 pounds of sod, industrial flashlights, gas masks, helmets and a bicycle to adapt, the lines are blurred: Are they emergency workers or disaster survivors? Friends or foes? In this brutal world, it’s hard to pause to take a deep, clean breath.
Multi-instrumentalist composer JG Everest performs his original score live on stage, a hybrid of electronic, acoustic and site-specific found sounds. Randy Kramer’s stark video design enhances the sense of loss and disorientation with “grass so green it makes your eyes hurt” and Heidi Eckwall’s scrappy guerilla lighting sets mobile boundaries through which the dance unfolds.
Heat and Life was choreographed in 2004. We began rehearsals in 2003 on a May day in Minneapolis that was 77 degrees. We rehearsed mainly outdoors, in a variety of locations including beaches, parks, tennis courts, sidewalks, sculpture parks, parking lots, lawns and mountaintops. We performed in all the above spaces, plus warehouses, theaters, roadside stops, a swimming pool and a farm.
Heat and Life was performed in it’s entirety or parts in Alaska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, New York, Florida, Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, Texas, Georgia, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Illinois. It was our intention to cover enough literal ground to define the U.S.A. as a site where art is an impetus for change.
We collaborated with environmental organizations in the communities we performed in and learned a lot about global warming, activism, and politics from Minnesotans for an Energy Efficient Economy, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, and The Will Steger Foundation. Thank you for the endless work you do. Catalyst offset the carbon output required to tour by donating to gocarbonzero.com. Catalyst now donates to nativeenergy.com
“UNCOMPROMISING INTENSITY... THERE IS NO RELEASE HERE - ONLY ENERGIZED, HIGH-POWERED DANCING”
Gay City News
Choreographed and directed by
Performed by Catalyst:
Music composed and performed by
Randy Kramer and Emily Johnson
Lighting design by
Commissioned by the Walker Art Center. Funded by the Jerome Foundation, Archibald Bush Foundation, The Moore Family Fund of the Minneapolis Foundation, The Puffin Foundation, the Elmer E. and Eleanor L. Andersen Foundation and private donations.
“We're led along a hero story, then suddenly uprooted by the consequences, made to face our responsibility in creating situations we need to be rescued from.”
“Like giant birds, the dancers slowly bow their heads, raise and lower their arms—or are they signaling through the flames?”
My admiration and deep respect to Andrea Zimmerman, Natasha Hassett, Melissa Kennedy, Vanessa Voskuil, Arwen Wilder , Sarah Baumert, Susan Scalf and Jessica Cressey who have endured blazing sun, embedded sand, 4 hour uphill hikes, freakish glacial wind, uneven terrain, dirt,grime, red-colored dust, concrete, cold, mosquitoes, New York City heat, Nebraska rains, a muddy cornfield, and really long van rides to rehearse, perform, and live this piece.
Gallery Lombardi in Austin, Texas
March 25-28, 2007
Presented by Dance Umbrella
Choreographed and directed by
Performed by Catalyst:
Music composed and performed by
Randy Kramer and Emily Johnson
Lighting design by
Heat and Life was choreographed in 2004. We began rehearsals in 2003 on a May day in Minneapolis that was 77 degrees. We have rehearsed mainly outdoors, in a variety of locations including beaches, parks, tennis courts, sidewalks, sculpture parks, parking lots, lawns and mountaintops. We have performed in all the above spaces, plus warehouses, theaters, roadside stops, a swimming pool and a farm.
Catalyst is on a 50-State-Tour of the U.S.A.with Heat and Life. It is our intention to cover enough literal ground to define the U.S.A. as a site where art-based work can be seen and be an impetus for change. We have covered Alaska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, New York, Florida, Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota. As part of the Texas tour we will also be in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri. In March we will be at Links Hall in Chicago, Illinois.
We collaborate with environmental organizations in the communities we perform in and have learned a lot about global warming, activism, and politics from Minnesotans for an Energy Efficient Economy, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, and The Will Steger Foundation. Thank you for the endless work you do.
Catalyst offsets the carbon output required to tour by donating to gocarbonzero.com
Sarah Baumert • dancer
Sarah Baumert is a dance artist based out of Minneapolis and Philadelphia. She has been working with Emily Johnson and the Catalyst dancers since 2003. After graduating from the University of Minnesota she began working with Zenon Dance Co. with whom she performed the works of many wonderful choreographers including Jeanine Durning, Keely Garfield, Cathy Young, and Tere O'Conner. Along with Emily, she currently dances with Sean Feldman and Maggie Bergeron. In addition to dancing she takes pleasure in baking cakes, sewing her own clothes, riding her bicycle, bartering more and buying less.
Jessica Cressey • dancer
Jessica Cressey is a freelance dancer in Minneapolis. She has also danced with Hijack, Body Cartography, Morgan Thorson, and many others.
Heidi Eckwall • lighting designer
Heidi Eckwall is a lighting and set designer, experimental film/video maker,puppeteer and writer. She got her start designing lights at Theater Club Funambules/NADAon Ludlow Street (NYC) in 1989 and moved back home to Minneapolis in 1990. She has worked at the Guthrie Theater, Walker Art Center, Ordway Center for Performing Arts, Patrick's Cabaret, Mixed Blood, Heart of the Beast, Red Eye, Southern Theater and Bedlam. She tours nationally and internationally with Hijack, Shawn McConneloug and her Orchestra, Mary Ellen Childs' CRASH, Joe Chvala and the Flying Foot Forum,Zorongo Flamenco, Rinde Eckert, Paul Dresher and Zeitgeist. She has worked with Emily Johnson since 2003.
JG Everest • multi-instrumentalist/composer
Multi-instrumentalist/composer JG Everest hails from Minneapolis, where he has been a seminal figure in the vibrant music scene for over 15 years, performing with everyone from Prince to Atmosphere, as well as his own groups Lateduster,Sans Le Systeme, The Dijonettes, and The Sensational Joint Chiefs. From 2002-04,Everest worked with electronic/multimedia pioneer Riz Maslen in her UK-based group, NEOTROPIC, co-writing and performing much of the 2004 album White Rabbits(MUSH). Since 2002 Everest has been a close collaborator with choreographer Emily Johnson and Catalyst - writing and performing original scores for several performances around the U.S.A. and Canada with both Lateduster and as a solo artist. In recent years, he has come to utilize effects and looping pedals in creating multilayered compositions in real-time performances that allow him to create vast, expansive soundscapes as an individual performer, using guitar, keyboards, voice, percussion, and samplers. In creating the sound score for Heat and Life, Everest incorporated sound samples of dancers’ movement and various environments where the piece was created and performed - ocean beaches, glaciers, bogs, old factories, and riverbanks - to infuse each performance with the audio imprints of those moment sand meanings. He performs Heat and Life live, directly connecting the movement with sound and helping shape the dramas it unfolds, bringing each performance a powerful immediacy. For more information,go to jgeverest.com.
Natasha Hassett • dancer
Natasha Hassett, a Minneapolis native, graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1999 with a summa cum laude degree in Spanish and Portuguese and a minor in dance. She met Emily Johnson at the U and in 1998 became a founding member of Catalyst, from which she has since not budged. She additionally spent 4 consecutive years with Paula Mann Dance, worked briefly with choreographer Gretchen Pickand the theater director/comedian Noah Bremer, and in October 2001 picked up a bass guitar to help form the Minneapolis rock band Revolver Modele. Currently, she is maintaining Catalyst and the band as her primary artistic endeavors.
Emily Johnson • director/choreographer
Emily Johnson is a director/choreographer/curator originally from Alaska and currently based in Minneapolis. Her company, Catalyst, has performed since 1998.She works to make deliberate meaning and powerful movement the essential aspects of dance pieces that are thought-provoking and entertaining. Marked with fiercely intuitive, minimalist, pedestrian-bent choreography, her dances include commissions by institutions, theaters and colleges throughout the Midwest including the Walker Art Center, and Interact Center for the Visual and Performing Arts. She has embarked on international improvisation projects (St. Petersburg, Amsterdam, and Montreal)and her company has performed throughout the USA, including ODC Theater in San Francisco, Velocity in Seattle, and Dance Theater Workshop in New York. Her recent work, Heat and Life was commissioned by the Walker Art Center and is on a 50-state-tourof the USA ( AK, WI, NY, NE, SD, IA, FL, M, OK, KA completed). Her work has been supported by artist fellowships and funding from the Minnesota State Arts Board,the Bush, Jerome, and Puffin Foundations, and the Andersen, and Moore Family Foundations. She is part of the multidisciplinary artist collective Local Strategy whose members from New York, San Francisco, and Minneapolis work to create large scale, site specific art and performance events that draw upon historical, geographical and cultural history to animate public space. She co-curates capture! a dance/film series in Minneapolis and her dance-film work has
screened at the Women With Vision Film Series (Walker Art Center), Captured Series(Dance Theater Workshop), and capture! (Bryant Lake Bowl) and includes Plain Old Andrea with a Gun (2003), Wingspan 5’2’’ (2005),and a film version of Heat and Life (in progress). www.catalystdance.com.
Melissa Kennedy • dancer
Melissa Kennedy joined Catalyst in 2001, shortly after completing degrees in dance and psychology at the University of Minnesota. Since that time she has gleefully danced with and followed Emily and Catalyst up a mountain, into a bog and into the Pacific ocean. Melissa also works with choreographer Paula Mann and animator Steve Paul as a member of Timetrack productions, performs in site specific works by Cynthia Stevens, and has danced in works by Catalyst members Vanessa Voskuil and Andrea Zimmerman. When Melissa is not dancing, she enjoys working as a pilates trainer and learning highland snare drumming.
Randy Kramer • videographer/editor
Randy Kramer is an editor, media artist, and videographer based in Minneapolis. Since initially editing a short Catalyst documentary in 2003, he has taken an active role in the company. His work brings new media elements to Catalyst production sand performances, most notably Heat and Life, and the short film Wingspan 5’2’’.Randy’s commercial work has garnered numerous awards including an Emmy and a place in the permanent film collection of the Museum of Modern Art.
Susan Scalf • dancer
Born and raised in Kentucky, Susan Scalf moved to Minneapolis after graduating from Antioch College (Ohio) in 1992. Since then she has danced for lots of choreographers including Paula Mann, Mathew Janczewski, Baraka de Soleil, Dylan Skybrook, Laurie van Wieren and Judith Howard. She has toured nationally with Concrete Farm Dance Collective and Hijack and internationally with Shawn McConneloug and her Orchestra.She also does a mean Mick Jagger/ Joan Jett/ Frankenfurter at Dykes Do Drag,an ongoing Bryant Lake Bowl Cabaret Theater show. Susan continues to create and produce her own work, a humorous blend of athletic theatrics and dance informed by various improvisation and release techniques. She has received a McKnight Dancer Fellowship (2000) and was City Pages Critics' Pick Best Dancer (2001).Susan works as a trainer at her studio Pilates Uptown and as a trainer for her beloved rat terrier/chihuahua Marky Mark. She has danced for Catalyst
Angie Vo • costumer designer
Angie Vo is a freelance costume designer based in Minneapolis. She began her career as a dancer with 10,000 Dances (under the late Sam Costa), and also ser vedas Assistant Director for Young Dance (a multi-cultural children's dance company).Since transitioning from dance into costume design, she has had the pleasure of collaborating with Emily Johnson on numerous projects for Catalyst since 2000.In addition, she has designed and constructed costumes for Zenon Dance Company,Mu Daiko, Matching Tights Dance Company (GAC), Gomez Dance Group, Time Track Productions, and various Minneapolis choreographers.
Andrea Zimmerman • dancer
Andrea Zimmerman loves to dance. She also loves working as a physical therapist. She received her professional doctorate from the University of Minnesota in 2003, to add to her degrees in physiology and dance. Andrea has danced with Emily Johnson's Catalyst for over half a decade. She has had the chance to move and change and grow with such wonderful women as Natasha Hassett, Melissa Kennedy, Lillian Stillwell, Arwen Wilder, Susan Scalf, Sarah Baumert, Vanessa Voskuil, and Emily Johnson, to name a few. She has also danced with emerging artist Vanessa Voskuil and the Zenon Dance Company, and has staged some of her own works at the University of Minnesota and Patrick's Cabaret. Besides this work, Andrea loves knitting warm things for people, boys who always try to make her laugh, chocolate, performing in new spaces, hearing Natasha play the bass, summertime in Alaska, shopping at thrift stores, red wine, crosswords, and sitting in the company of her family and friends.
CREDITS AND FUNDING
Heat and Life was originally commissioned by the Walker Art Center and is or has been funded by the Jerome Foundation, Archibald Bush Foundation, The Moore Family Fund of the Minneapolis Foundation, The Puffin Foundation, The Elmer E. and Eleanor L. Andersen Foundation
and private donations.
The Austin Tour is made possible by Dance Umbrella.
Support from Mid America Arts Alliance.
This project is made possible in part by a grant from the National Performance Network’s Performance Residency Program. Major contributors of the National Performance Network include the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency), Altria and the Nathan Cummings Foundation. The National Performance Network is a group of cultural organizers and artists facilitating the practice and public experience of the performing arts in the United States. The NPN serves artists, arts organizers, and a broad range of audiences and communities across the country through commissions, residencies, culture-centered community projects and other artistic activities. For more information: www.npnweb.org.
You can support Catalyst’s tour by making tax-deductible donations.
Send checks to:
PO BOX 18262
Minneapolis, MN 55418
You can also support the tour by donating to gocarbonzero.com in Catalyst’s name.
Phyllis Slattery and Dance Umbrella, Mental Contagion, Karen Kopacz, Gallery Lombardi, Karen Pavelka and Red, Audrey Parker, Amanda Butterfield, Wynn Bradford, Robert Jensen, Jimmy, Alejandro, Margaret, Jema, Kevin and Rachel at Gallery Lombardi, Dons Grass, and Ann Mary at St. Edward’s University.
My admiration and deep respect to Andrea Zimmerman, Natasha Hassett, Melissa Kennedy, Vanessa Voskuil, Arwen Wilder , Sarah Baumert, Susan Scalf and Jessica Cressey who have endured blazing sun, embedded sand, 4 hour uphill hikes, freakish glacial wind, uneven terrain, dirt,
grime, red-colored dust, concrete, cold, mosquitoes, New York City heat, Nebraska rains, a muddy cornfield, and really long van rides to rehearse, perform, and live this piece.
Thank you to James for recording the Pacific Ocean and a moving train.
Thank you to Randy for getting everything (even the unauthorized moments) on tape.
Thanks to Heidi Eckwall for her experiments and for keeping me sane.
Thank you to Angie Vo for the fine details.