A Light Conversation

Wally Cardona and Rahel Vonmoos

Friday, September 17, 2010

A dialogue in movement between two artists, Wally Cardona (USA) and Rahel Vonmoos (UK), A Light Conversation reflects on life being lived: choice, commitment, pleasure, sacrifice, boredom, aesthetics vs. ethics, the uncertainty of the future, and last but not least, love – first love, erotic love, marital love, mature love, and friendship. With a sound score that poses as a podcast, philosophers discuss Kierkegaard's takes on truth and love, but the words blur in the visceral presence of the duet unfolding. With astonishing clarity, at times tenderly together, at other times in parallel private worlds, the dancers inhabit a shifting environment of darkness and light, making sense of the ongoing change that is life. The audience, seated on three sides of the stage, often within only a few feet of the performers, shares the same intimate space.

Hélène Lesterlin

Wally Cardona is an artistic director, choreographer, and performer residing in Brooklyn, NY. He has been recognized nationally and internationally for creating vast yet intimate landscape works that use the performance setting itself as an integral partner in the creation of movement. He is the recipient of a 2006 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in choreography and a 2006 New York Dance and Performance ("Bessie") Award for the creation of Everywhere.

Brought up in California and New Mexico, Cardona moved to New York City in 1986 to study dance at The Juilliard School (B.F.A.). The following summer, he attended the Ballet Project at Jacob's Pillow, met Ralph Lemon and subsequently danced with his company until 1995. Cardona's first work premiered in 1992; his next work, Made In Voyage (1995), was performed in seven countries; and his first large-scale project took place in 1996 when French choreographer Hervé Robbe/Le Marietta Secret invited him to create a double purpose/a double emploi for a cast of four French and four American dancers. In 1997, the Wally Cardona Quartet (WC4) was founded and WCV, Inc., an artistic umbrella organization for Cardona's projects, was formed.

Cardona's work has been commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival, the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art's TBA Festival, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project, and The Joyce Theater, among others. International engagements have included festivals in Australia, Europe, and North and South America.

Rahel Vonmoos is a Swiss choreographer and performer who has worked with choreographers Charles Linehan, Rosemary Butcher, Philippe Gehmacher, Philippe Saire, and Iztok Kovac (film on improvisation), among others, and has been part of Ricochet Dance Productions. She has collaborated with video artist Ruth Schlaepfer (Switzerland), creating video/dance installations performed in art galleries, and has participated in several collaborative projects with company Pool (Zurich) and Trisha Bauman (Paris).

Her education began in Chur (Matura) and continued at the Ballettberufsschule in Zürich and the London Contemporary Dance School. She was a recipient of a Kulturpreis, an achievement in arts award from the Canton of Graubünden (CH); a Werkjahresbeitrag, a prize of the city of Zürich; and was in residence at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris (GSMBA Graubünden). Vonmoos resides in London.

A Light Conversation
Studio 2
September 17, 2010, 8PM
September 18, 2010, 8PM

“Where does one dancer begin and the other end? In the arresting Light Conversation, the truth is that they don’t.”— Gia Kourlas, The New York Times

“Watching this small, remarkable collaboration, I sense, as if by contagion, the shadows that beset a thinker’s mind, the moments of illumination, and the constant struggle between these. The painful contest between desire and what is perceived as truth lodges in the heart.” — Deborah Jowitt, The Village Voice

“Truth? It's right here the dancers seem to be saying — it's the evidence before you, how these two exhausted people are managing to stay upright. Intellectuals may debate the existence of freedom; here was the proof of it.” — The Washington Post

“Kierkegaard felt he could only illustrate his philosophy by obscuring it. So, too, Cardona and Vonmoos obscure the philosophy they perform through the immediacy of performance itself.” — Erika Eichelberger, Dance Magazine

“Riveting in its intricacy and apparent simplicity.” — Susan Reiter, New York Press


EMPAC 2010-2011 presentations, residencies, and commissions are supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts (with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; additional funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Community Connections Fund of the MetLife Foundation, and the Boeing Company Charitable Trust), and the New York State Council for the Arts. Special thanks to the Jaffe Fund for Experimental Media and Performing Arts for support of artist commissions.

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation
National Endowment for the Arts
NEFA - New England Foundation for the Arts
State of the Arts - NYSCA