By Walter Rutledge
Creativity is the original magic. At first it was the way to explain the unknown, but soon evolved into a social necessity enriching the mundane and sublunary.Republics have come and gone, dynasties dissolved, but the greatness of these civilizations remains in the art they have left behind.
The magician/artist is a visionary. They live in the world of possibilities, nourished by their need to explore and create. When they observe the world around, them the glass is neither half full, nor half empty; but overflowing.
In a recent interview with Gus Solomons jr. the discussion was more about the process of creating then it was about the finished work. He graciously allowed me to attend a rehearsal for the upcoming season of Paradigm and to observe his exploration. It was the wind before the storm.
Sitting on a stool at the far end of the studio Solomons jr. was more a conductor, then strictly the choreographer. The process was never dictatorial; it was an ebb and flow of collaborating, editing and refining. The performers were all accomplished artists and focused their energies on problem solving and perfecting the material.
Royal Reduex premiering on Thursday April 14th, features five dancers and live music. Solomons jr. informed me the work was a slight departure from his usual purely abstract style. In this work the performers were given characters and granted the artistic license to participate in the development.
A Thin Frost (1996) was also rehearsed. The work is the company’s first work performed by founding members Carmen deLavalallade, Dudley Williams and Solomons jr. For this performance it will feature an all male cast with Michael Blake joining Williams, and Solomons jr.
PARADIGM will present three performances entitled Paradigm Shift: Past, Present and Future at the Danspace Project, St. Mark’s Church, at 131 E. 10th Street (at Second Avenue) in Manhattan, from April 14 – 16, 2011 at 8pm. At the time of this post the April 14th performance was sold out. General admission tickets are $18 ($15 for students and seniors with I.D), available at 866-811-4111 or www.danspaceproject.org.
In Photos: 1) Carmen deLavalallade and Gus Solomons jr. 2) Carmen deLavalallade and Dudley Williams