BWW Review: SATELLITE COLLECTIVE Whirls at BAM
She is the young woman counting rhythms silently, whispering mysteriously and distantly on the metro ride home after work. He is the young man moving to a different rhythm behind the cashier, his head bobbing like a life raft on the high seas, far from land. They are the emerging artists, the millennial, contemporary, twenty-something generation of up-and-coming thinkers, movers, shakers, dreamers, drifters and lovers.
They are known as the Satellite Collective. Like the name, they encompass the globe and shine a light. While the young, recently launched presence above and throughout the arts world may be faint amid so many countless fixtures of essentially eternal stars, it is so bright and close to home.
The Collective is a stellar amalgam of thirty impeccably creative minds, as ingenious as diverse, covering everything from architecture to choreography, film to poetry. Recently, the project Telephone skyrocketed the Collective to a sprawling global movement spanning forty-two countries.
Since 2010, the Collective has mounted ballets, music, film, dance, song, spoken word, and even a literary magazine, Transmission. "Song by song / I scatter my birds / away from the fogs of smoke / They say these are ordinary clouds in the sky" reads the poem Baghdad in Detroit published in Transmission by Iraqi poet Dunya Mikhail, now living in the United States.
For the opening of the Collective's evening at BAM Fisher, a most delicate, and quietly inspired solo instrumental for cello titled "Water" released the crowd of the daily neologism into a universe more nebulous and free, holding a strength and balance, like water coursing through a life-giving stream.
Barefoot poet Stelth Ulvang, bespectacled and unshaven, mused from a firmly clasped, well-worn notebook, and drew the audience in to hear a voice wondering, lifted and gaining on the racing mind of today's youth, with lightly poignant wisdom and fine poetic taste. He then sauntered upstairs, a true poet and intellect of sound, to sit in on orchestral percussion.
Under the skilful eye of choreographer Devin Alberda, dancer Michaela Mann brewed a euphoric blend of noetic triumph, one doused with a glorious array of internalized beauty. Individuate ruminated on the bodily themes of oneness, the humbling stretch of the mind to be truly alone in bittersweet union with all.
In A Pair of Ideal Landscapes, filmmaker Lora Robertson graced BAM with a singular magic, set to a munificent score by Richie Green and played by six fantastic musicians of piano, violin and mezzo-soprano voice. Choreographer Esmé Boyce danced with Christopher Ralph in the foreground of Kit McDaniel in celluloid, exuding the live artistry of multimedia, cross-disciplinary wonder only known to the imagination of the contemporary artist.
The film, Edie Leaves Twice, rekindled liberation from the machine-addled human life pitted between ecological disaster and personal exodus. With a heart-rending story by Kevin Draper, and set to a brilliant score by Ellis Ludwig-Leone, director Lora Robertson stunned with a dreamlike fantasy.
From Berlin to New York, Walls Are Here To Fall exhibited dancers Rena Butler, Isaies Santamaria, Gage Self, and Elena Valls. They are virtuosic in emotional range, encompassing the choreographic forms of Manuel Vignoulle with a raging gravity. The haunting composition by Nick Jaina, performed by the house Satellite Ensemble, took the heart of the modern urbanite by storm, and gave it back, thumping with a renewed, wild pulse, and hunger, for life beyond the wall.
Photo Credit: Lora Robertson