Site-Specific Dances with Darian Donovan Thomas and Phong Tran in UNFOLDING OLANA, a Work-in-Progress

Culpeper Summer Performance Series

  • -

David Rockefeller Creative Arts Center at Pocantico

Tickets: $16.75

Site-Specific Dances, an interdisciplinary performance company founded and led by Michael Spencer Philips and Dino Kiratzidis, will present two dance and media works from their existing repertory, followed by a 30-minute work-in-process presentation of Unfolding Olana. This work explores the American landscape painter Frederic Church’s environmental masterpiece, the Hudson Valley’s Olana State Historic Site. More than a house or a landscape, Church designed Olana as a three-dimensional work of art that includes the “borrowed views” beyond the immediate site. 

Unfolding Olana is presented in three sections: HOUSE, LANDSCAPE, and VIEWSHED. Bringing together live dance, new music, and media, the presentation explores the physical spaces of Olana through video recordings of site-specific choreography and the “conceptual space” of the site through diagrammatic animations. 

While Church is best known for landscape paintings that can be seen in Hudson River School rooms in museums around the country, Unfolding Olana aims to broaden the public’s perception of his work by showcasing the immersive environment he created at Olana. 

Unfolding Olana will feature new music by composers Darian Donovan Thomas and Phong Tran. The performance will be followed by a discussion and audience Q&A with the creative team and a reception. 

Presented in partnership with the RBF’s Culpeper Arts & Culture program.

Site Specific Dances

Site-Specific Dances (S-SD) is a new type of interdisciplinary performance company—an ambitious collaborative effort featuring choreographers, composers, dancers, musicians, artists, and designers—led by Michael Spencer Phillips and Dino Kiratzidis. At the intersection of performance and place, each project is developed as a response to a “close reading” of a given site while also engaging local community members. Set to original music by living composers, the performances live on as immersive media and performance installations.