Performers for The Philadelphia Matter/ 2020, a remote-created video work
by David Gordon
a project of Christ Church Neighborhood House
presented by Philadelphia Fringe Festival

This summer, David Gordon will create The Philadelphia Matter/2020 through simultaneous rehearsals with dancers/performers in Philadelphia and New York City. Throughout the process dancers/performers will work from their homes, backyards, and other personal spaces via video conferencing – this remote technology will act as both a conceptual framework and a means of continuing to work despite the pandemic. During a July and August rehearsal period - using visual scores (collages) and archival video - Gordon will assemble, disassemble and layer selected movement for performers. Via remote video platforms, Gordon will observe dancers interacting with the materials. He will use their responses to inform subsequent choices for direction of the work. Video/projection artist Jorge Cousineau is a lead collaborator on the project. The Philadelphia Matter/2020 will be streamed online by Christ Church and Philadelphia Fringe Festival in September.

Schedule and compensation:
Rehearsals will take place remotely during July and August. This project is supported by Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. Performer pay is $30/hour.

Seeking intergenerational performers (dancers, movers, actors who move, etc) - we welcome a cast representative of Philadelphia’s performance diversity. Performers need to be willing to move, interpret, help teach each other and to be able to repeat learned physical material and timing. We’re aware that bodies of different ages/abilities will work - do work - differently. A previous performance of related material at MoMA NYC had a cast of professional performers ages 20 to 70 - just bring it and show what you can do.

Auditions will be based on video submissions & invited online callbacks from Gordon’s team. Interested dancers/performers please send the following to no later than June 1st:

      Letter of interest along with any relevant dance or movement or other performance experience and/or resume (if you have one)

      Headshot (if you have one) or any performance photo

      Video sample demonstrating your movement/performance style/ability (this can be a video link with cue points), no longer than 3-5 minutes.

      Anticipated availability including any conflicts in July/August and September

David Gordon, Director/Choreographer:
Founding artist of Judson Church performances and improvisational Grand Union, Gordon purposefully examines/expands/torpedoes conventional lines between theater and dance, pioneering use of text and textual narrative in movement work. He presaged his later writing and directing for the stage and predated the live theater form that became known as "performance art." Gordon's dual status as theater and movement artist was acknowledged when he was awarded a Pew Charitable Trust National Dance Residency grant and a National Theater Residency grant in successive years.

In the last decade he has received 3 NEA American Masterpiece Grant Awards and a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award. His numerous commissions include Actors Studio, American Ballet Theatre, American Conservatory Theater, American Repertory Theater, BBC, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Dance Theatre of Harlem, New York Theatre Workshop, PBS Great Performances, and Serious Fun @ Lincoln Center. Founding Director of Pick Up Performance Co(s) since 1978.

Project History:
David Gordon, founding member of Judson Dance Theater, creates The Matter in 1971 as part of his teaching responsibility (as a member of Yvonne Rainer Company) for an Oberlin College dance residency. For The Matter 1972 performances in NYC (at Merce Cunningham Studio) Gordon snail mails a score composed of Muybridge motion study photographs for a new solo to his wife, dancer Valda Setterfield (on tour with The Merce Cunningham Dance Company). THE PHILADELPHIA MATTER/ 2020 references the original work and is a method of rehearsing with current virtual remote technology. There is no computer or email in 1972.

Philadelphia Producers, Christ Church Neighborhood House,
working in collaboration with the New York-based Pick Up Performance Co(s)

Built by the Christ Church parish to serve the residents of industrial Old City, Neighborhood House opened its doors in 1915. Neighborhood House, under the umbrella of Christ Church Preservation Trust, is now a catalyst for the arts on the historic Christ Church campus. It serves a core constituency of cross-disciplinary performing artists who imagine new and experimental works in their ADA-accessible, 110-seat theater. The Pick Up Performance Co(s) has been facilitating David Gordon’s work since 1978.