Having Words (New Version) 2013
casebolt and smith worked with DanceWorks Chicago in November 2013 to further develop Having Words, originally created in 2008. The two explore and demonstrate the many ways audience members can assist them in achieving their choreography. From subtle assistance and initiation, to physical support and partnering, Liz and Joel blur the audience performer relationship, work to create authentic interaction with those who are watching them, and demonstrate the challenges of parallel processing: improvised speaking with audience members while keeping time (danced unison) with each other. This work is currently being developed to be an evening length work and is touring (in its current stage) by DanceWorks Chicago.
O(h) – 2010, 70 minutes
Speaking directly to the audience while dancing and sometimes singing, casebolt and smith tear apart their process of making dances, offering honest insights into their limitations as a duet company and their fear of becoming unoriginal. O(h) evolves from demonstrations of what they can, can’t and won’t do into intricate movement phrases layered with pop culture references. They sing show tunes, rewrite iconic rock songs, borrow from famous choreographers, deploy brash humor and lightning-quick banter, and toss in a dash of breakin’. The result is a fast paced, complex and hilarious glimpse into the minds and pants of casebolt and smith.
O(h) premiered at Joyce SoHo in 2010 as a 30 minute work and was revamped and presented as an evening of dance for the Minnesota Fringe later in 2010. Recently, casebolt and smith premiered O(h) in Los Angeles for an unprecendented six week run at the Actor’s Company Theatre. O(h) has since been performed at Contemporary Art Forum in Santa Barbara, St. Joseph College in Brooklyn, Culver Center for the Arts in Riverside, Scripps College in Claremont and the West Hollywood Library in West Hollywood.
“With disarming ingenuity and whip-smart intelligence, they gently serve up – via song, dance and by simply talking to us – our most-cherished and problematic ideas about contemporary performance, male-female relationships and creative collaboration, then graciously and hilariously debunk them.” – Camille LeFevre, Minn Post
casebolt and smith had the distinct pleasure of collaborating with award winning architects Predock_France Architects, Hadrian Predock and John Frane, for the six week run of O(h) in Los Angeles.
Predock_Frane Architects was established by Hadrian Predock and John Frane in the year 2000 as a collaborative research and development design studio. They offer a collaborative working relationship with prospective clients that aims to elicit deep thinking around design problems and produce sensate, atmospheric architecture. Initial explorations with clients include an exhaustive effort to explore a range of possible solutions that nudge both architect and owner to explore outside of conventional boundaries.
The work of their practice ranges from small scale art projects to infrastructure and large public venues. Seeking to open new territories for locality and specificity, their research driven projects seek to extract and transfer extra-disciplinary logics into architectural terrain, while encouraging site and context to become active and vital agents in shaping material and spatial development.
Products of the digital/analog cusp generation, they seek to capitalize on the fertile territory that exists between empirical and computational modes. Holding a strong belief that seemingly dissonant alliances can produce beautiful offspring, they find interest where normally polarized positions interact.
They are challenged by building rich atmospheres out of limited and constrained material sets, thus their work has a strong sensate orientation and experiential bias.
Predock_Frane accolades include the 2004, 2012 Venice Biennale, 2006 Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial, Architectural League Emerging Voices, multiple AIA Honor Awards, and were recently nominated as a 2011 Marcus Prize candidate. They have taken part in many exhibitions, their work is published internationally, and they have lectured widely
Sustainable thinking and design has been a driving force in Predock Frane’s design practice since its inception, and a thorough integration of intelligent environmental strategies underpins all of their work. Rather than applying a monolithic solution, the most efficient approach is carefully assessed for each individual project. Notable sustainable projects include the Center for Gravity Foundation Hall (using locally sourced materials, rammed earth walls for full passive/diurnal heat measures, a geothermal closed loop system for radiant heating, and multiple day lighting strategies which almost entirely eliminate the need for artificial light), the Guadalajara International Book Fair Pavilion (utilizing locally sourced, reusable shipping palettes to create a rich exhibition space that is entirely “re-lifed” when dismantled), and the recently designed public art installation for the city of Perth, Australia (creating an urban oasis that modulates the harsh local environment, enhances the performance of the plaza, and is entirely energy independent, making a strong public statement for civic responsibility).
John and Hadrian have taught at UCLA, USC, Tulane and Berkeley. Predock_Frane’s work has won numerous awards including multiple Nation and Local American Institute of Architects Honor Awards. Their work has been published internationally, and they have lectured widely.
John Frane is a licensed Architect in the State of California; Hadrian Predock is a licensed Architect in the States of California and Arizona.
John Frane was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and received his BArch in 1993 from the University of Texas at Austin.
Hadrian Predock was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and received his MArch in 1993 from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.
Click HERE for more information about the collaboration.
Speaking Out!– 2006-2008 (50 minutes)
Speaking Out! (50 minutes) 2006-2008 Speaking Out! is a collection of three humorous and emotionally charged experimental dance-theater duets, each vastly different in the ways they “speak” and confront notions of gender, sexuality, politics and friendship:
- In The Space Provided (20 minutes), combines storytelling and autobiography to share the intimate details of how Liz and Joel met and became casebolt and smith. Both playful and touching, the dance investigates the ways in which walls come down when potential friends are weighed and measured, and acquaintances become confidantes. In The Space Provided experiments with integrated movement and text, both set and improvised, and includes gestural choreography and partnering.
- After Words (15 minutes) is a danced conversation in which Liz and Joel playfully interrogate their collaborative process. They use rehearsal-like dialogue to earnestly praise and critique their levels of commitment when partnering each other, while working desperately to avoid the clichés of a romantic duet. The two contemplate how not to exploit the other’s gender/identity, but the more they refuse to make the dance a romantic coupling, the more ensnared they become in precarious sexual positions. A crowd favorite, After Words is lovingly referred to as “the boobs and balls” piece.
- In Other Words (15 minutes), an entirely seated dance performed at a 2’ x 4’ table, begins with Liz and Joel vying for space on the limited surface in front of them. Calculated hand placements and gentle swipes across the table evolve into complicated maneuverings of elbow, shoulder, neck and head. What was an exploration of territory soon develops into layers of complex partnering, quick unison, gestural vocabulary and dramatic expressions. The table is enveloped by the tension between the two as they compete for dominance. Richly symbolic, the dance is resolved when Liz and Joel realize the only way to win is to work together.