FELT ROOM, an immersive performance installation, comes to Carleton’s Perlman Teaching Museum

6 January 2017

The renowned BodyCartography Project, on extended artistic residency with the Carleton Dance Program, presents the first phase of work on a new and unique immersive performance installation titled FELT ROOM. Designed to be more felt than seen, the installation seeks to engage both performers and audiences with a series of live dance performances in the Kaemmer Family Gallery in the Weitz Center for Creativity’s Perlman Teaching Museum.

Featuring guest dancers and members of Carleton’s Semaphore Repertory Dance Company, FELT ROOM takes place in the darkened museum gallery over multiple sessions, premiering Friday, Jan. 13 from 7 to 10 p.m., including a reception and panel discussion from 7-8 p.m. with dance professor Judith Howard and BodyCartography principals Olive Bieringa and Otto Ramstad. FELT ROOM performances then recur Thursday evenings (7-9 p.m.) and Saturday afternoons (1-3 p.m.) through Feb. 23.

The ever-evolving and ambitious project is the result of an artistic residency with the BodyCartography Project’s lead choreographers, Bieringa and Ramstad.

The mission of BodyCartography Project is to engage with the vital materiality of the body. Bieringa and Ramstad create dance in urban, domestic, wild, and social landscapes. Their work is rooted in contemporary dance, somatic technique, education, socially engaged practice, and public art.

Over their eighteen-year collaboration, Bieringa and Ramstad have created projects across the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Norway, UK, France, Russia and South America. Their works range from intimate interventions in public space, large community site works, intimate installations for museums to complex works for the stage.

FELT ROOM aims to engage performers and audiences in a practice of vibrant potentiality. In the darkness audiences will be offered an escape from a world of constant illumination. Energy, vibration, intimacy and imagination will be the primary materials at play. The work will operate in a specially designed sound and light installation, moving into and out of the darkness, transforming our perceptual field. Audiences are invited to gain deeper insight into the nature of reality as a deeply felt personal experience, one that can be at once disorienting, deeply therapeutic and profoundly energizing.

Friday, January 13, 7–10 pm: Opening event and Carleton premiere performance
Thursday, January 19, 7–9 pm
Thursday, January 26, 7–9 pm
Saturday, January 28, 1–3 pm
Thursday, February 2, 7–9 pm
Thursday, February 9, 7–9 pm
Thursday, February 16, 7–9 pm
Saturday, February 18, 1–3 pm
Thursday, February 23, 7–9 pm: Closing performance

In addition to FELT ROOM, the Perlman Teaching Museum will offer continuous screenings of LINEAGE, developed by Otto Ramstad, with a live performance on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. Screenings of LINEAGE will take place during regular museum hours in the Kaemmer Family Gallery, animating the space in between live performances of FELT ROOM

LINEAGE was developed by Otto Ramstad and is a meditation on ancestry and emigration. He explains: “Lineage draws lines between who I am related to, who I relate to, and how I relate and make relations between my artistic lineage with my ancestral heritage. Fresh from a research trip in Norway, I endeavor to use ‘artistic genealogy,’ a creative interaction with my ancestors and the ways that their lives have been recorded, in combination with new ways of creating dance.”

Olive Bieringa is a dance maker, somatic movement therapist and cultural producer who grew up in Wellington, New Zealand, studied at the European Dance Development Center in the Netherlands and completed her MFA in Performance and New Media from Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY. She is a certified teacher of Body-Mind Centering® and DanceAbility, working with performers of all abilities. Olive received the Foundation for Contemporary Art Fellowship in 2015 and a McKnight Foundation Fellowship in 2010.

Otto Ramstad holds a BA in Dance, Improvisation, and the Moving Image, from Goddard College and is a Certified Teacher of Body-Mind Centering®. He has been featured in the work of DD Dorvillier, Miguel Gutierrez, Shelton Mann, Karen Nelson, Lisa Schmitt, Scott Wells, and Kitt Johnson. Ramstad’s solo work has been performed in Denmark, Finland, England, Paris, New Zealand, Italy, NYC, around the USA. He is a recipient of Foundation for Contemporary Art Fellowship 2015, McKnight Foundation Fellowship 2010, an Archibald Bush Fellowship Artist 2006, twice a DanceWeb Scholarship recipient at Impulstanz, and was nominated for a Rolex Protégé Award in 2007.

Support for this project comes from Carleton College, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and Alumni New Works grant and residency from the Headlands Center for the Arts, and an Arts Activity Grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council.

For more information, including museum hours, call (507) 222-4342. The Weitz Center for Creativity is located at Third and College Streets in Northfield.