Petits Mondes, a dance installation piece performed at CalArts last week, was inspired by the works of visual artist Joseph Cornell (1903-72), best known for his boxes of found objects and paper ephemera.
Director Darcy Lyons (Dance BFA 10) says that she was attracted to Cornell’s work because, “he created small magical worlds within his boxes.” Through Petits Mondes, she hoped to also create other worlds, and put life–real dancers–inside three boxes alongside collected objects. This idea of dancers in boxes was also a reference to Cornell, a recluse who collected images of ballerinas and actresses.
“Petits Mondes was a collaborative process between me and the dancers Katharine Morales (Dance BFA 11), Amanda McNussen (Dance BFA 11) and Jessica Miles (Dance BFA 11), who placed both personal and found objects inside the boxes. The movements and dance phrases of the piece were then inspired by the objects,” she adds.
The 17-minute installation was also a merging of music, composed by Odeya Nini (Music MFA 11), and design by Thomas East (Theater BFA 10), who built and crafted the boxes along three themes for the dancers to play upon: nighttime, afternoon and sunrise. “There’s not really a narrative involved in the piece,” Lyons says. “I mostly wanted to have three different worlds co-existing.”
We posted a short clip from Petits Mondes above.