As its lovers know, dance has a language of its own, written in space by the moving body. By graphically integrating the changing shapes of the dancing body with the static shapes of alphabetical letters, the newest issue of Dance Ink, scheduled for publication March 27, presents a dynamic visual relationship between the two languages, both imaginative and newly provocative. Patsy Tarr founded Dance Ink in 1989.
“In founding the magazine, I was committed to having its pages reflect the unique point of view of the selected choreographer,” said Tarr. “It’s the creative collaboration between the choreographer, dancers, photographer and art director that dictates the identity of each issue, consequently distinguishing it from any predecessor. Dance Ink is devoted to ensuring a permanent record of the choreography through its integration of photography and design.”
For this issue, art director Abbott Miller was inspired by the Czech modernist artist Karel Tiege’s Abeceda. Considered a landmark in European modernism, Abeceda, published in 1926, is comprised of a collection of innovative designs for the alphabet created by Tiege, choreographed by Czech dancer Milca Mayerova and photographed by Tiege. The resulting play between Tiege’s “musical typography” and Milca’s choreographic response to it has been described as “the alphabet as a photo ballet.”
Presenting a 21st century exploration of Tiege’s ideas, Miller chose selections from Pam Tanowitz’s choreography, executed by dancer Melissa Toogood, and photographed for Dance Ink by Pari Dukovic. Miller created the graphic connections between the two languages.
For Dance Ink, however, Miller reversed Tiege’s creative process. Where Mayerova choreographed poses to imitate the alphabet that Tiege had created, Miller explored Dukovic’s dramatic black and white photos of Tanowitz’s work in search of moves that suggested letters. In effect, Miller deconstructed the dance from the photographs to create an alphabet from within, without jeopardizing the integrity of Tanowitz’s choreography. The result is a starkly stunning assemblage of images that honors both the original Tiege while creating something strikingly original in its own terms. Writer and critic Nancy Dalva provided the text.
Dance Ink, Vol 8 can be purchased online at www.2wice.org They are $38.00 each. It is also available at Book Hampton in East Hampton, NY, or at www.bookhampton.com as well at Mag Culture, London, England or at www.magculture.com, and at Coffee Table Mags in Hamburg, Germany, www.coffeetablemags.com.
BACKGROUND ON DANCE INK
Dance Ink was founded in 1989 by Patsy Tarr. An avid dance lover since childhood, Tarr began her foray into publishing a dance magazine because of what she felt to be the dearth of serious and beautiful publications about the art form she cared so passionately about. Her commitment has strengthened over the decades, as has her belief that dance deserves a publication worthy of the form, and that as such, it should also be a work of art onto itself. After two decades of editing and publishing dance and arts magazines and books in print, then in 2011 turning to digital media and pioneering a series of ground-breaking dance apps, in 2016, she decided to return to print publication. Dance Ink, which immortalizes moments in dance through the singular and loving eye of the camera, returned to publication last June. This is the second issue of the re-launched publication.
In addition to being the Founder and President of the 2wice Arts Foundation, which publishes Dance Ink, Patsy Tarr produced all 2wice Apps. Past affiliations: Board member of the Nikolais/Louis Foundation, David Gordon Pickup Company, Trisha Brown Dance Company, Dance Theater Workshop, Founder and President Dance Ink Foundation, Cunningham Dance Foundation, The Film Society of Lincoln Center, Vice Chair Chez Bushwick, and Trustee, Fondazione Bogliasco. She is currently a Trustee, Central Park Conservancy. www.2wice.org
Abbott Miller is a designer and art director, and a partner in the international design studio Pentagram. He has served as Editor and Art Director of 2wice since its inception, collaborating with leading choreographers and photographers on this unique performing and visual arts publication. Prior to 2wice he served as designer of the award-winning quarterly Dance Ink. A retrospective of his design work for 2wice and Dance Ink was held at the American Institute of Graphic Arts in 2010. He studied at the Cooper Union in New York and later founded the multidisciplinary studio Design/Writing/Research. Mille has received numerous honors, including medals from the Society for Publication Designers and three nominations for National Magazine Awards. His work and critical writing has appeared in Eye, Print, I.D. and other publications, and he is the co-author of four books, including the classic esign/Writing/ Research: Writing on Graphic Design. A survey of his design work, Abbott Miller: Design and Content, is published by Princeton Architectural Press. www.pentagram.com
Over the past 15 years choreographer Pam Tanowitz has become known for her unflinchingly post-modern treatment of classical dance vocabulary. Tanowitz’ mission is to revitalize abstraction and formalism by obliterating the self-imposed dialectical boundaries of each, while stretching the material into uncharted territory.
Pam Tanowitz Dance was founded in 2000 as a platform for Tanowitz to explore her vision with a consistent group of dancers. Since then the company has received commissions and residencies at prestigious performance venues such as The Joyce Theater, Bard Summerscape Festival, The Guggenheim Museum’s Works & Process series, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Chicago Dancing Festival, Baryshnikov Arts Center and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. The company has been selected by The New York Times Best of Dance for three years in a row (2013, 2014 and 2015).
Most recently, Tanowitz received fellowships from NYU Center for Ballet and the Arts and New York City Center. She received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2011 and a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University in 2013. She is a two-time Bessie Award winner. She has been invited to create new work for The Vail International Dance Festival and City Center’s Fall for Dance Festival; has set work on The Juilliard School, Ballet Austin, New York Theater Ballet and has been a guest choreographer in the dance departments at Barnard College, Princeton University, Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, and Purchase College. Additional awards include three Joyce Theater Residency Grants, and Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Grants to Artists Award. She holds dance degrees from The Ohio State University and Sarah Lawrence College.
MELISSA TOOGOOD is a Bessie Award winning performer. She began performing with Pam Tanowitz Dance in 2006, became Tanowitz’s rehearsal director in 2012 and has been Assistant to the Choreographer for various projects. Toogood was a member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, has taught Cunningham Technique and Repertory internationally since 2007 and is a 2013 & 2015 Merce Cunningham Fellow. She has worked with Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion, Kimberly Bartosik, Rosie Herrera Dance Theater, Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener, Miro Dance Theater, Stephen Petronio Company, Sally Silvers & Dancers, Christopher Williams, The Bang Group:Tap Lab , among others. Dance Magazine named her among their “25 to Watch in 2014,” and featured her in the inaugural episode of its “Behind the Curtain” (2015). She is a native of Sydney, Australia, and holds a BFA in Dance Performance from New World School of the Arts, Miami, FL. She is married to visual artist Kenneth E. Parris III.