Rhythmically Speaking presents . . .
| RadioBody: The Screendance Iteration |
Premiere Event: 7-8pm CST on 2/26 via Zoom Webinars
The RadioBody Project is a collaboration with local composer Mike Lauer exploring the jazz sensibilities and human toil and triumph embedded in the work of pioneering alt-electronic band Radiohead. Originally undertaken with a February 2021 stage show at Amsterdam Bar & Hall in downtown St. Paul in mind (which will now occur February 2022), we’ve pivoted to offer a first iteration of the project as a screendance, which we’re proud to premiere virtually with our home audience before submitting it to dance film festivals across the world! If you haven’t already, hop on over to our GiveMN page to make your donation/s of $15-$20 per person watching (if you are not able to contribute at this time, please consider the event a gift). Remember, 10% of the proceeds from this event will be donated to the scholarship fund of our partner Hopewell Music North!, with whom we are working to help expand access to jazz music and dance experiences for youth on the North side of Minneapolis.
NOTE FROM ARTISTIC DIRECTOR ERINN LIEBHARD
Howdy, Folks 🙂
I’m thrilled you are here to share in the energy surrounding Rhythmically Speaking’s first-ever screendance project! In my own freelance work that I conduct alongside directing this company, I began to dabble in screendance more at the onset of the pandemic, realizing it would be one of few feasible ways to keep making and sharing new work during this time (check out those creations here – password: screendance). I began somewhat begrudgingly, much-preferring the liveness of sharing the same physical space in live performance to creating dance for film. While I still feel quite committed to live performance, I have to admit that I have become pretty enamored with screendance: it opens so many possibilities, from new settings to different viewing angles to layering several visuals at once. There is so much power in the three-fold choreographic process that is screendance, in which the movement of the dancers, the camera and the editing are all key to bringing the work into its own.
After dabbling on my own, I decided to give making a screendance with the company a try, and I’m SO glad I did! While filming outdoors (not to mention rehearsing on Zoom) was indeed initiated by taking necessary Covid precautions, the shoot location became such a crucial aspect of the character of the piece. What emerged from filming mid-Winter on private land in Lino Lakes (thanks to Jeff and Mary Joyer) was a meditation on the human animal striving and thriving. Set to arrangements of Radiohead tunes by local composer and jazz guitarist Mike Lauer, the project explores, as I put it, “the human toil and triumph embedded in the work of pioneering alt-electronic band Radiohead.” I’ve been surprised that as my love for jazz music has developed over time, Radiohead has remained my favorite band, and I’ve long-desired to create a project fueled by their music. As I began to dig into this possibility, I began to understand a deep connection between Radiohead and jazz: thanks to their rich, multilayered rhythms, unique harmonies and long-form jams, their songs are often covered by jazz composers, with beautiful results. In listened to more and more jazz renditions of Radiohead tunes, I felt really compelled to explore these connections through movement.
While I’d initially imagined the final, shareable product of exploring this artistic curiosity to be a stage show, and I intend for it to get there eventually (fingers crossed for February 2022!), I’m thrilled to have been nudged by circumstance to try out this screendance thing. We were very fortunate that on our full-day shoot, the landscapes were just covered in rare ‘rime ice,’ which makes them look like they are made of snow! Magical enough to make me forget I ever even wanted to capture the sunrise and sunset (yep, that day began at 6:20am in PITCH dark). I hope RadioBody: The Screendance Iteration may create some magic for you too, putting to movement some feelings you’ve perhaps been experiencing in the last several months and instilling Winter wonder to help buoy you as these cold months continue.
- Welcome & Acknowledgements
- Peek Into the Process
If you’d like to connect more personally after the show, we’ll be hosting a regular Zoom meeting where we can see and chat with one another! To come by, click this link, and use Meeting ID 865 9647 4076 and/ or Passcode 944146 if needed.
Film accessible to view on Vimeo: instructions discussed in webinar.
- Producer, Choreographer and Dancer: Erinn Liebhard
- Compositions: Radiohead – “Knives Out” from album Amensiac (2001), “High and Dry” from album The Bends (1995), and “Jigsaw Falling Into Place” from album In Rainbows (2007)
- Arrangements: Mike Lauer
- Musicians: Greg Byers (bass guitar and electric cello), Mike Lauer (guitar), Andrew Long (saxophone) and Ben Erlich (drums)
- Dancers: Nieya Amezquita, Doug Hooker, Amy Jones, Sara Karimi, Erinn Liebhard, Kelli Miles, Kathleen Pender and John Surber
- Director, Editor and Costumes: Erinn Liebhard
- Director of Photography: Cully Gallagher
- Drone Pilot and Additional Videography: TJ Tronson
- Production Assistant: Kristoffer Olson
Filmed on location in Lino Lakes, Minnesota (traditional and unceded lands of the Dakota and Ojibwe people), courtesy of Jeff and Mary Joyer.
SPECIAL THANKS: to Matt Joyer for helping set us up with such a beautiful shoot location, Jeff and Mary Joyer and their extended family for use of the land, the St. Paul Cultural Star Office for funding that helped us complete this project, Brenna Mosser/ Analog Dance Works, Lakeshore Players and Michaela Smith for generously lending costume items, Joy & Wayne Liebhard and David & Kathy Olson for lending heating units for our shoot day, and to our steadfast and generous donors who also helped make this project possible.
PEEK INTO THE PROCESS:
Ever curious about how creative, collaborative projects come into fruition? Our Q&A will give you the chance to dig in with the artists, but before we move to that, we thought we’d give you a peek into some of the back-end methods we use to help organize our projects. For starters, we use a ‘Onesheet,’ or a catch-all document holding the details for each project, kept and shared in Google Docs to keep updates live and in one place. Here’s the Onesheet for this project, in case you’d like to take a peek. At the top, you’ll find other links that may be of interest in peeking into the process, including Treatment (film word for a summary document of the project), Shot List and Call Sheet documents. Happy exploring!
Nieya Amezquita (dancer)
Nieya graduated from the University of Georgia with a BFA in dance and a BS in psychology. Dance has given Nieya the opportunity to perform nationally and internationally, showcase choreography at ACDA, work for the Joffrey Ballet school, and teach dance within her communities. She currently works with Threads Dance project, Concerto Dance and Rhythmically Speaking. She hopes to continue to be a part of works that generate conversations about the social, racial and psychological state of our society today.
Greg Byers (Bass Guitarist/ Cellist)
Greg Byers, M.M. uses his talents as a performer, composer, educator and producer to share the wisdom and beauty of great music with people of all backgrounds. In 2008 Greg became the first person in the history of University of Miami to double major in Instrumental Performance/ Studio Music & Jazz on cello and bass, Summa Cum Laude. Since then he has performed on BBC Two (Later… with Jools Holland) and Univision (Latin GRAMMYs); been a featured artist/clinician at New Directions Cello Festival, Creative Strings Workshop, and Mark Wood’s Rock Orchestra Camp; arranged strings for the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and Birth of a Ghost by Omar Rodriguez Lopez. He was the recipient of the 2017 Artist Initiative Grant and the 2020 Next Step Fund, a Global Music Initiative 2021 Artist-in-Residence at MacPhail Center for Music, and the winner of the International Journalists Award at the 2020 Seifert International Jazz Violin Competition. cellogreg.com.
Ben Erlich (Drummer)
Ben Ehrlich is a drummer, composer and educator based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, who specializes in jazz, blues, rock, avant-garde and all forms of improvised music. Ben can be heard frequently throughout the twin cities jazz scene as a part of the Graydon Peterson Quartet, Charlie Lincoln Quartet, Will Kjeer Trio, and countless others. When he is not playing or teaching music, he enjoys cooking and spending time in nature.
Cully Gallahger (Director of Photography, Color Correction and Grading)
Cully is a video producer and cinematographer based in Minneapolis. He founded Flywheel Media Productions to collaborate with organizations on their education, arts, and global development projects, and is no stranger to the Twin Cities dance scene! flywheelmediaproductions.com.
Doug Hooker (Dancer)
Doug graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Dance. He has had a variety of professional performing opportunities, including with the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum & Bugle Corps, the Broadway show Blast! and the Dancing People Company, and locally with ARENA DANCES, Threads Dance Project, Shapiro and Smith Dance and Collide Theatrical Dance Company.
Amy Jones (Dancer)
Amy graduated with a degree in Theater/ Dance from Luther College and has performed concert and commercial contemporary, jazz, hip-hop and ballet in NYC and Minneapolis. She is also a pilates and aerial fitness instructor.
Sara Karimi (Dancer)
A native of Wisconsin and a graduate of University of Iowa (BFA in Dance Performance, BA in English), Sara has danced and toured nationally and internationally with Kayle & Co., 10,000 Feet Dance Company, The Architects and Threads Dance Project, among others. Upon relocating to the Twin Cities seven years ago, she has worked with regional and local choreographers; and is in her sixth season with Threads Dance Project and her seventh season with Borealis Dance. Sara is also a 400 hour certified yoga instructor and has taught workshops and classes in Colorado, Wisconsin and Iowa.
Mike Lauer (Arranger, Music Director and Guitarist)
Mike is a Minneapolis-based guitarist, arranger, composer and band leader with a degree in jazz guitar from Minnesota State University Moorhead. Lauer is the Director of Music at Central Lutheran Church in Elk River, and can be seen playing live with Justin Ploof and the Throwbacks, the Monday Night Jazz Group and with various other accomplished artists in the Twin Cities area.
Erinn Liebhard (Producer, Choreographer, Director, Costumes, Dancer and Editor)
Erinn is a dance artist (MFA University of Colorado Boulder, BFA University of Minnesota) making opportunities for people to experience the reflective and connective power of groove through performance and education. In performance (besides RS!), she’s a member of Afro-Brazilian company Contempo Physical Dance and performs as entertainer “Nerdette” for Saint Paul Saints Baseball. In education, she is an active residency artist, a Teaching Artist for the Cowles Center, and is on faculty for Muhlenberg College (PA), St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, Winona State University, and Zenon Dance School. erinnliebhard.com.
Andrew Long (Saxophonist)
Andrew is a woodwind instrumentalist living in Saint Paul. He pursued classical saxophone studies as an undergraduate and is now expanding his musical vocabulary to the ends of the earth.
Kelli Miles (Dancer)
Kelli is a Minneapolis-based dancer, choreographer, teacher and arts manager. She graduated from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities in the Spring of 2018 with a BFA in Dance and a minor in Leadership. Throughout her training, she has spent time dancing in New York City, San Francisco, Nashville and Israel. She has had the honor of performing works by Ohad Naharin, Banning Bouldin, Uri Sands, Gina Patterson and Angharad Davies. Kelli is constantly inspired by way in which this movement form sparks conversation, invokes visceral reactions and creates community. miles104.wixsite.com/kellimiles.
Kristoffer Olson (Production Assistant)
Kristoffer Olson is an Analytics Consultant with DataDrive, performs as a comedian/magician and emcee for corporate events around the Midwest, and can also be seen entertaining baseball fans at St. Paul Saints games as The Nerd. As a Rhythmically Speaking board member and husband to Erinn Liebhard, he was excited to be more involved in a hands-on way for this project!
Kathleen Pender (Dancer)
Kathleen Pender is a Minneapolis-based performer, dance educator, and arts administrator with a B.A. in Dance from St. Olaf College. She teaches for the Northfield Arts Guild and Young Dance, where she also works as Communication Assistant. She has performed in works by local choreographers Erinn Liebhard, April Sellers, Julie Warder, Taja Will, and Pat Taylor/JazzAntiqua (LA), among others. Kathleen is passionate about community and relationships cultivated through movement exploration, education, and performance.
John Surber (Dancer)
John Surber is a professional dance artist and teacher out of the Minneapolis/ St. Paul area who graduated Cum Laude from Gustavus Adolphus College with a B.A. in Dance in May of 2017. John started dancing in college, training primarily in modern, and dabbling in the areas of jazz and hip hop. John has performed with Rhythmically Speaking, Arbeit Opera Theatre, 16 Feet, Kinetic Evolutions and the Christopher Watson Dance Company and 8:20 Dance Company. He also teaches for Reflections Dance Academy in Shakopee. johnsurber.wixsite.com/johnsurber.
TJ Tronson (Drone Operator and Additional Videography)
TJ works for North Metro TV, covering special events in and around their service area, as well as running shoots, making documentaries and short films, and creating scripts and graphics for them. When Cully Gallagher needs a second camera op packing a drone, TJ is his first call 🙂
If you enjoy the screendance, stay tuned for more about the next iteration of this project, a live stage show in February 2022 at Amsterdam Bar & Hall in downtown St. Paul featuring original dance works to jazz renditions of one tune from each of Radiohead’s nine major album releases, composed by Mike Lauer and played live by a jazz combo, with excerpts of the screendance and visual projections by Dawn Schot. Before then, we’ll be hosting a LIVE, in-person outdoor event May 22 & 23 – the reschedule of our postponed August 2020 show now called The Cohort 20/21 – now in partnership with Keane Sense of Rhythm tap company. Because it’ll be at The Shed @ The Lab Brewery and because we are too corny to pass up the chance, our double-bill is going to be called “Jazz on Tap”! If you wanna catch that show, be sure to keep up to date with us!:
Thank you again for joining us for this event. If you haven’t already, hop by our GiveMN Page to make a donation of $15 – $20 per each person in your household watching tonight. We appreciate your support, and hope we’ve stirred something within you 🙂 Be well!