Entertainment » Culture

Gallim Dance Performs the Boston Premiere of ’Wonderland’

Tuesday Jan 7, 2014

World Music/CRASHarts presents Gallim Dance performing the Boston premiere of "Wonderland" on Friday, Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 1 at 8 p.m. at the Institute of Contemporary Art, 100 Northern Ave., Boston. Tickets are $40, reserved seating. For tickets and information call World Music/CRASHarts at (617) 876-4275 or buy online at www.WorldMusic.org.

Gallim Dance choreographer and founder Andrea Miller creates works that are simultaneously kinetic and intimate expressions of the self and its dialogue with identity, sensuality, and search for meaning. Hailed for its quick wit, morphing physical quality, and technical virtuosity, Gallim Dance performs the Boston premiere of "Wonderland," a work that uses imagery from war, sports, and communication to investigate the potentially dangerous yet inherently human pack mentality.

"Wonderland" is a 60-minute piece featuring eight dancers and is set to music by Orchestra Barzizza, Chopin, Black Dice, Tim Hecker, Michel Bokanowski, Joanna Newsom, Sebastien Agneessens and Kyle Fische Remix courtesy of the Alan Lomax Foundation. The work investigates pack mentality as an inherent and potentially dangerous element of human instinct. It was deeply inspired by Chinese-born artist Cai Guo-Qiang's installation Head On, which depicts 99 wolves charging into a glass wall. Four archetypal characters ­ the fool, death, the lovers and Cassandra - evolve in a universe influenced by the imagery of the American atomic age. Behind the smiles of an Esther Williams dream world, "Wonderland" reveals psychological and physical episodes of a herd acting as a unit through the uncoordinated behavior of self-serving individuals. Although pack mentality is a natural and ongoing strategy in the animal kingdom, among humans it can indicate a vicious, desensitized brutality and disregard for humanity,­ a concept that is at the core of "Wonderland." The work premiered at the Joyce Theatre in 2010.

Born in SLC, Utah, Andrea Miller is a graduate of the Juilliard School where she received her BFA in Dance. Upon graduating, Andrea joined Ohad Naharin's Ensemble Batsheva in Israel where she performed the work of Naharin and Sharon Eyal, resident choreographers. In 2007, Miller returned to NYC to establish Gallim Dance, a contemporary dance company that supports the creation and performance of her choreography. As a sought-after choreographer, she has been known for her use of extreme physicality movement that shifts between explosive power and contained tension­ and the ability to create an experience where the dancers appear at the edge of their limits. Her work reveals a unique coexistence of classicism and primitivism, with remarkable idiosyncrasies that seamlessly weave together the elegant and the raw in a breathtaking surprise.

In April 2011, Miller was featured on the cover of Dance Magazine as a "wild child" of movement invention, and her honors and awards include: Princess Grace Foundation Special Projects Award (2012-2013), New York City Center Choreography Fellow (2011-2012), Youth America Grand Prix Award for Emerging Choreographers (2011), Wesleyan University's Mariam McGlone Emerging Choreographer Award (2011), Princess Grace Foundation Works in Progress Award (2010), Dance Magazine's 25 to Watch (2009), and Princess Grace Foundation Fellowship in Choreography (2009). Her work has been presented throughout the US, Canada and Europe. From 2009 to 2011, Miller served as associate choreographer of Noord Nederlandse Dans, creating two new works for the company. In collaboration with Alexandra Wells, Miller helped to develop the Movement Invention Project, a summer program for improvisation and movement invention. She has taught movement and created works for dancers and actors at The Juilliard School, SUNY Purchase, The Ailey School, Sarah Lawrence, Wesleyan, SUNY Brockport and Stella Adler. She is also the resident choreographer at Dancewave, a pre-professional dance program based in Brooklyn.

Recent commissions include "Fold Here," which previewed at Guggenheim Works & Process and premiered at Montclair¹s Peak Performance Series (September 2013). In "Media Res," a piece for Nederlands Dans Theater 2 that premiered at Lucent Danstheater in Den Haag; "Howl" and "For Play," pieces for Bern:Ballet that were presented at the Royal Opera House in London; and "69° South," choreography for Phantom Limb that premiered at BAM Next Wave.

The company has performed in many prestigious venues and festivals including The Joyce Theater, Jacob's Pillow, Spoleto Festival USA, New York City Center's Fall for Dance festival, Chutzpah! Festival, Joyce SoHo, White Bird Dance, Movement Research at Judson Church, Dance Theater Workshop, Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater and The Juilliard Theatre, among others.

Free pre-performance talks with dance critic Debra Cash will be held 30 minutes prior to both performances in the ICA lobby.

Free post-performance Q&A with the company on Friday, Jan. 31.

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