10,000 (2019)

Dancers: Vanessa Justice and Kelly Garone

Venue: “Dance on the Hudson” at Riverside Park South, New York City

Length: 18 minutes

Commissioned by Riverside Park Conservancy

Using the number 10,000 as a coincidental link between obscure facts in history, this dance assembles aspects of past and present to materialize an alternate portrayal of current anxieties, contradictions, and privileges in America. The work originated from the desire to process problems of the day through embodied, creative action--and to search for and acknowledge past conditions that have influenced where we are today. 

Artist’s Note: I embrace that this Summer on the Hudson event occurs one day following the Global Climate Strike and one month before Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Sky Ambit (2018)

 Choreographer and Dancer: Vanessa Justice

 Venue: “Dance on the Hudson” at Riverside Park South, New York City

 Commissioned by Riverside Park Conservancy

Sky Ambit is an improvised, site-specific dance that opens a dialogue between the performer’s rhythm of the breath, and the negative space within her and within the immediate environment. Conceived while witnessing the haze caused by recent wildfires, the dance honors the air and the sky. It is a study of the perception of space, the interoception of the breath, and the playful interaction between different pathways of sensory information.

 

Turning and Other Everyday Objects (2017)

Created as a kind of homage to the analytic, post-modern choreographers of the early 1970's, the piece explores subtle connections of the dancers’ physical architecture in relationship to gravity and space. (Dance historian, Sally Banes, describes the experimental dance emerging in New York City during the early 1970’s as “analytic post-modern dance,” with Trisha Brown and Lucinda Childs as key artists in this movement. (Though this work was developed as an homage to these choreographers, it does not intend to imitate but simply embrace, deflect, and question the values displayed by them, while staying true to my own choreographic methods.)

Dancers:

Bates College Students

Venue: 

Schaeffer Theater, Lewiston, Maine

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Dancing the Edits: An Experiment in Perception 
                                                         (a multi-channel video)  (2014-15)
In this work, videoediting is approached as a particular mode of dance research, highlighting the dependency of one's "style of attention" on aesthetic choice. Produced during an Auntsforcamera Residency at New Museum, NYC.

 

Video Associate:
Rachel Boggia 
Performers:
Lily Ockwell and Kendra Portier.
 
Music Contribution:
Kerri Lowe
 
Installed: 
Trouw, Amsterdam (2014)
New Museum, NYC (2014-15)
vanessa live-editing
vanessa live-editing

Vanessa explores post-production as a choreography. She captured footage of dancers dancing in the wilds of NYC, which she then projects onto a variety of monitors in a makeshift production studio in the New Museum Theater. She then uses a small handheld camera to dance an in-camera edit of those projections. The in-camera edit is the primary focus of the work. As part of this process, she is exploring in-camera editing through different somatic states and scores.

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vanessa live-editing
vanessa live-editing

Vanessa explores post-production as a choreography. She captured footage of dancers dancing in the wilds of NYC, which she then projects onto a variety of monitors in a makeshift production studio in the New Museum Theater. She then uses a small handheld camera to dance an in-camera edit of those projections. The in-camera edit is the primary focus of the work. As part of this process, she is exploring in-camera editing through different somatic states and scores.

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The Relational Body Project: Installation 4  (2015)

Commissioned by Long Island University, Brooklyn

 

Venue:

Kumble Theater, 2015

Dancers:

Long Island University Dance Majors (Sasha Bowman, Aja   Carthon, Elizabeth Juarez, Janeysi Morel, Timothy Muniz, David Myrie)

Music:

"Take It to the Max" by Dan Deacon, “Edge of Seventeen" by Stevie Nicks

Lighting: Tim Cryan

The Relational Body Project:  Installation 3  (2015)

The Relational Body Project absorbs conversations overheard in NYC (primarily on the subway) and transforms them into songs and dances that are then set within the pedestrian spaces of the city. The intent? To create a connection to "otherness," to energize public spaces, to contemplate our contemporary condition through a myriad of overheard conversations, to embrace difference, to transform fleeting soundbites into art, to witness others as important, to nurture the relational body.

Dancers:

Jasmine Hearn, Marion Spencer, Vanessa Justice 

Venue: Riverside Park South

 

Commissioned by Riverside Park Conservancy

Vanessa Justice 092015-4400.jpg
The Relational Body Project:   Installation 2  (2015)

The Relational Body Project absorbs conversations overheard in NYC (primarily on the subway) and transforms them into songs and dances that are then set within the pedestrian spaces of the city. The intent? To create a connection to "otherness," to energize public spaces, to contemplate our contemporary condition through a myriad of overheard conversations, to embrace difference, to transform fleeting soundbites into art, to witness others as important, to nurture the relational body.

Dancers:

Lily Ockwell and Kendra Portier

Venue: 

The Highline, Chelsea Market, and outside The   Whitney Museum,NYC

Lily in Rain by Martin.jpg
        The Relational Body Project:  Installation 1
        (Studio Series at New York Live Arts) (2012)

 

For the Studio Series, Justice is inspired by vibration and the conductivity of the tissues of the body. She explores the everyday experience of sensory impressions combined with thoughts, emotions, and energy to collectively constitute the contents of consciousness. She sets up a framework for internal and external sources of movement to coexist, and explores the expressive potential of performance in close proximity to the audience.  

The Relational Body Project absorbs conversations overheard in NYC (primarily on the subway) and transforms them into songs and dances that are then set within the pedestrian spaces of the city. The intent? To create a connection to "otherness," to energize public spaces, to contemplate our contemporary condition through a myriad of overheard conversations, to embrace difference, to transform fleeting soundbites into art, to witness others as important, to nurture the relational body.

 

Venue: New York Live Arts

May 4 and 5 2012

Performers: Talya Epstein, Lily Ockwell, Kendra Portier, Devika Wickremesinghe, and contemporary artist Janine Antoni. 

Commissioned by the Studio Series at New York Live Arts

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                            am big ambiguous (2010)

am big ambiguous explores the body in its being-ness as both subject and object—as the element central to our perception and experience, and as a radical ambiguity in the context of contemporary philosophy and culture.

Choreographer:

Vanessa Justice

Dancer: Vanessa Justice

Video design: Rachel Boggia and Vanessa Justice

Sound Design: Nick Patterson

Research included conversation with philosopher Richard Shusterman and the youtube home video "cha la la la la oh oh ooooh."

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                             my copy world (2010)

 

This piece imagines the desire and struggle for human connection within a hyperreal world, as postulated by philosopher Baudrillard, that blends reality and representation, and where social behavior is perpetuated by being viewed and endlessly copied. 

Commissioned by Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance

Dancers: Professional Repertory Company of SEAD     (Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance)

 

Music: Ingram Marshall, Lucky Dragons, Johnny Cash

 

Venue: The Republic (Salzburg, Austria)

 

(Later toured to Poland and Germany)

Expulsion (2010)

Vanessa contributes choreography and performance to Anita Glesta's new multi-channel video based on Masaccio's fresco, "The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden." Vanessa's expressive body, quietly moving in shadowy black-and-white, suggests the humanism and pathos of Masaccio's work.

Choreography/Performance:

Vanessa Justice

Venue:

FiveMyles Gallery, Brooklyn

FLATLAND (2009)

FLATLAND casts a surrealist tone with implications of anxiety and beauty. Inspired by Edmund Burke's On the Sublime (1756), this evocative, layered work creates an alluring tension while juxtaposing different forms and mediums (dance, film, animation). The dance hatches a dream-like world of precise and pulsating movement set against white-washed walls and featuring sound from David Lynch's 1977 movie Eraserhead. Made during a residency through the Joyce Theater Foundation, at Joyce SoHo.

Performed by:

Maggie Bennett, Kendra Portier & Alli Ruszkowski.  

Original music and sound by: Nicholas Patterson.

Lighting design by:

Joe Levasseur.

Additional Sound:

David Lynch's film Eraserhead.

Video by:

Vanessa Justice with Rachel Boggia, Kareen Balsam & Hannah Carpenter.

Animation by:

Emily Wormley.

Costumes by:

Maira Santos Houck & Vanessa Justice.

Sculpture by:

Hans van Meeuwen

Venue: Joyce SoHo

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Visitor (2008)

Set against the sound and flurry of a battalion of fans, this solo explores states of arrival and disappearance, evoking an eerie world at once quotidian and alien. The piece strips away layers of itself to finally reveal its own emptiness and the disappearance of the dancer from the dance. A manipulation of objects suggests a kind of puppetry, until the objects become inanimate—like the detritus left behind after a person passes away.

Performer:

Rachel Boggia

Music/Sound:

Robert Ashley, “She Was a Visitor”

Venue:

Wesleyan University Black Box Theater

This piece was commissioned and performed by Wesleyan University Dance Professor, Rachel Boggia.

Noise'sNoise (2008)

Winter coats, a whistling tea kettle...white noise, tree trunks, long wigs removed and replaced, negative sound and space...These elements form an atmospheric projection of absence (as the dark underbelly of presence?) where the emptiness that we fear finds expression. As six siren-like dancers harness and dispel energy, they hang in limbo between a glassy facade and vulnerable disclosure. A sound installation places the dancers and audience inside an aural environment of varying sound frequencies including Robert Ashley's whispered Automatic Writing and ballgame radio. The dance was guided by the question, "How might the dance evolve tone, subtext and form via movements of attention?"

Dancers:

Kendra Portier, Kristin Hapke, Maggie Bennett, Allison Ruszkowski, Yari Alcaraz. 

 

Sound Installation:

Vanessa Justice

Music:

Robert Ashley, Alvin Curran

 

Commissioned by Dance New Amsterdam

2-Liter Alteration (2006)

The Mirth of Floating Sideways (2003) 

SELECTED WORK BY VANESSA JUSTICE

10000-longview.JPG

dddPhoto: Yoav Cohen

10,000 (2019)

Dancers: Vanessa Justice and Kelly Garone
Venue: “Dance on the Hudson” at Riverside Park South, New York City
Length: 18 minutes
Commissioned by Riverside Park Conservancy

Using the number 10,000 as a coincidental link between obscure facts in history, this dance assembles aspects of past and present to materialize an alternate portrayal of current anxieties, contradictions, and privileges in America. The work originated from the desire to process problems of the day through embodied, creative action--and to search for and acknowledge past conditions that have influenced where we are today. 
Artist’s Note: I embrace that this Summer on the Hudson event occurs one day following the Global Climate Strike and one month before Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Judson Pic in Adidas .jpg

Photo: Ian Douglassg 2

SKY AMBIT (2018)

 Choreographer and Dancer: Vanessa Justice

 Venue: “Dance on the Hudson” at Riverside Park South, New York City

 Commissioned by Riverside Park Conservancy

Sky Ambit is an improvised, site-specific dance that opens a dialogue between the performer’s rhythm of the breath, and the negative space within her and within the immediate environment. Conceived while witnessing the extreme haze caused by recent wildfires, the dance honors the air and the sky. It is a study of the perception of space, the interoception of the breath, and the playful interaction between different pathways of sensory information.

Bates8.jpg

TURNING AND OTHER EVERYDAY OBJECTS (2017)

Dancers: 

Bates College Students

Venue: 

Schaeffer Theater, Lewiston, Maine

Created as a kind of homage to the analytic, post-modern choreographers of the early 1970's, the piece explores subtle connections of the dancers’ physical architecture in relationship to gravity and space. (Dance historian, Sally Banes, describes the experimental dance emerging in New York City during the early 1970’s as “analytic post-modern dance,” with Trisha Brown and Lucinda Childs as key artists in this movement. (Though this work was developed as an homage to these choreographers, it does not intend to imitate but simply embrace, deflect, and question the values displayed by them, while staying true to my own choreographic methods.)

New Museum Aaron Pic 2.jpg

Photo: Rachel Boggia d

DANCING THE EDITS: AN EXPERIMENT IN PERCEPTION 
(A MULTI-CHANNEL VIDEO)  (2014-15)

Choreographer/Film+Editing:

Vanessa Justice

Video Associate: 

Rachel Boggia 
Performers: 
Lily Ockwell and Kendra Portier. 
 Music Contribution:
Kerri Lowe
  Installed: 
Trouw, Amsterdam (2014)
New Museum, NYC (2014-15)
In this work, videoediting is approached as a particular mode of dance research, highlighting the dependency of one's "style of attention" on aesthetic choice. Produced during an Auntsforcamera Residency at New Museum, NYC.
VANESSA.JUSTICE_0890.jpg

THE RELATIONAL BODY PROJECT: INSTALLATION 4  (2015)

Commissioned by Long Island University, Brooklyn

  

Venue: 

Kumble Theater, 2015

Dancers: 

Long Island University Dance Majors (Sasha Bowman, Aja   Carthon, Elizabeth Juarez, Janeysi Morel, Timothy Muniz, David Myrie)

Music: 

"Take It to the Max" by Dan Deacon, “Edge of Seventeen" by Stevie Nicks

Lighting: Tim Cryan

Vanessa Justice 092015-4400.jpg

THE RELATIONAL BODY PROJECT:  INSTALLATION 3  (2015)

Dancers: 

Jasmine Hearn, Marion Spencer, Vanessa Justice 

Venue: Riverside Park South

 

Commissioned by Riverside Park Conservancy

The Relational Body Project absorbs conversations overheard in NYC (primarily on the subway) and transforms them into songs and dances that are then set within the pedestrian spaces of the city. The intent? To create a connection to "otherness," to energize public spaces, to contemplate our contemporary condition through a myriad of overheard conversations, to embrace difference, to transform fleeting soundbites into art, to witness others as important, to nurture the relational body.

Lily in Rain by Martin.jpg

THE RELATIONAL BODY PROJECT:   INSTALLATION 2  (2015)

Dancers: 

Lily Ockwell and Kendra Portier

Venue: 

The Highline, Chelsea Market, and outside The Whitney Museum, NYC

The Relational Body Project absorbs conversations overheard in NYC (primarily on the subway) and transforms them into songs and dances that are then set within the pedestrian spaces of the city. The intent? To create a connection to "otherness," to energize public spaces, to contemplate our contemporary condition through a myriad of overheard conversations, to embrace difference, to transform fleeting soundbites into art, to witness others as important, to nurture the relational body.

studioseries kendra talya.JPG

THE RELATIONAL BODY PROJECT:  

INSTALLATION 1

        (STUDIO SERIES AT NEW YORK LIVE ARTS) (2012)

Venue: New York Live Arts

May 4 and 5 2012

Performers: Talya Epstein, Lily Ockwell, Kendra Portier, Devika Wickremesinghe, and contemporary artist Janine Antoni. 

Commissioned by the Studio Series at New York Live Arts

For the Studio Series, Justice is inspired by vibration and the conductivity of the tissues of the body. She explores the everyday experience of sensory impressions combined with thoughts, emotions, and energy to collectively constitute the contents of consciousness. She sets up a framework for internal and external sources of movement to coexist, and explores the expressive potential of performance in close proximity to the audience.  

The Relational Body Project absorbs conversations overheard in NYC (primarily on the subway) and transforms them into songs and dances that are then set within the pedestrian spaces of the city. The intent? To create a connection to "otherness," to energize public spaces, to contemplate our contemporary condition through a myriad of overheard conversations, to embrace difference, to transform fleeting soundbites into art, to witness others as important, to nurture the relational body.

Am Big Ambiguous Pic 1.jpg

AM BIG AMBIGUOUS (2010)

Choreographer: 

Vanessa Justice

Dancer: Vanessa Justice

Video design: Rachel Boggia and Vanessa Justice

Sound Design: Nick Patterson

Research included conversation with philosopher Richard Shusterman and the youtube home video "cha la la la la oh oh ooooh."

am big ambiguous explores the body in its being-ness as both subject and object—as the element central to our perception and experience, and as a radical ambiguity in the context of contemporary philosophy and culture.

my-copy-world-bw.gif

my copy world  (2010)

This piece imagines the desire and struggle for human connection within a hyperreal world, as postulated by philosopher Baudrillard, that blends reality and representation, and where social behavior is perpetuated by being viewed and endlessly copied. 

Commissioned by Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance

Dancers: Professional Repertory Company of SEAD     (Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance)

 

Music: Ingram Marshall, Lucky Dragons, Johnny Cash

  

Venue: The Republic (Salzburg, Austria)

  

(Later toured to Poland and Germany)

Video-Pic.gif

EXPULSION (2010)

Choreography/Performance:

Vanessa Justice

Venue: 

FiveMyles Gallery, Brooklyn

Vanessa contributes choreography and performance to Anita Glesta's new multi-channel video based on Masaccio's fresco, "The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden." Vanessa's expressive body, quietly moving in shadowy black-and-white, suggests the humanism and pathos of Masaccio's work.

Heading 2

gallery - flatland.jpg

Photo: Ian Douglass, Design: Jason Rylander

FLATLAND (2009)

Performed by:

Maggie Bennett, Kendra Portier & Alli Ruszkowski.  

Original music and sound by:

Nicholas Patterson.

Lighting design by:

Joe Levasseur.

Additional Sound:

David Lynch's film Eraserhead.

Video by:

Vanessa Justice with Rachel Boggia, Kareen Balsam & Hannah Carpenter.

Animation by:

Emily Wormley.

Costumes by:

Maira Santos Houck & Vanessa Justice.

Sculpture by:

Hans van Meeuwen

Venue: Joyce SoHo

FLATLAND casts a surrealist tone with implications of anxiety and beauty. Inspired by Edmund Burke's On the Sublime (1756), this evocative, layered work creates an alluring tension while juxtaposing different forms and mediums (dance, film, animation). The dance hatches a dream-like world of precise and pulsating movement set against white-washed walls and featuring sound from David Lynch's 1977 movie Eraserhead. Made during a residency through the Joyce Theater Foundation, at Joyce SoHo.

 

gallery-visitorgood.jpg

VISITOR (2008)

Choreographer: Vanessa Justice

Performer: 
Rachel Boggia
Music/Sound: 
Robert Ashley, “She Was a Visitor”
Venue:
Wesleyan University Black Box Theater

This piece was commissioned and performed by Wesleyan University Dance Professor, Rachel Boggia.
Set against the sound and flurry of a battalion of fans, this solo explores states of arrival and disappearance, evoking an eerie world at once quotidian and alien. The piece strips away layers of itself to finally reveal its own emptiness and the disappearance of the dancer from the dance. A manipulation of objects suggests a kind of puppetry, until the objects become inanimate—like the detritus left behind after a person passes away.

gallery-noise.gif

NOISE'SNOISE

Dancers: 

Kendra Portier, Kristin Hapke, Maggie Bennett, Allison Ruszkowski, Yari Alcaraz. 

 

Choreography/Sound Installation: 

Vanessa Justice

Wnter coats, a whistling tea kettle...white noise, tree trunks, long wigs removed and replaced, negative sound and space...These elements form an atmospheric projection of absence (as the dark underbelly of presence?) where the emptiness that we fear finds expression. As six siren-like dancers harness and dispel energy, they hang in limbo between a glassy facade and vulnerable disclosure. A sound installation places the dancers and audience inside an aural environment of varying sound frequencies including Robert Ashley's whispered Automatic Writing and ballgame radio. The dance was guided by the question, "How might the dance evolve tone, subtext and form via movements of attention?"

gallery-2-liter-alt.gif

Photo: Paula Court, 2007

2-LITER ALTERATION (2006)

Choreography: Vanessa Justice

Dancers: Kendra Portier and Vanessa Justice

Performed at Kumble Theater, Long Island University, Brooklyn

The duet operates within a shifting context, and continuously alters elements of movement, costume, and set toward an experience of the passage of time. The piece considers cyclic and linear time, markers in time, diurnal time and routine, the movement of presence through time, catching up to 'lost time', and time already past. Photo: Paula Court, 2007

The duet evolved from several prior dances:

1) a solo, forlorn and haunting, set against a suspended two-liter bottle of red paint streaming upon a large canvas.  The dance was inspired by human vulnerability and loss. Blending formalism and expressionism, it references Mary Wigman's "Witch Dance," and the jointedness/folding movements of Trisha Brown. 

2) A series of studies  aimed at healing my body and re-discovering my choreographic interests following a life-threatening trauma.  

3) A solo composed to "Erbarme dich, mein Gott," Aria 39 of Bach's St. Matthew Passion. 

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THE MIRTH OF FLOATING SIDEWAYS (2003)

DD

Choreographer: Vanessa Justice

Dancers:

Kendra Portier, Tiffany Rhynard, Christina Providence, Kristin Hapke, Ashley Friend, Lauren Griffin

 Structured with repetitions of Tchaikovsky's Valse Sentimentale,  this work asked questions concerning choreographic choices and methods.  From this piece, Vanessa developed what she called "poetic-relational body" which refers to the dancer's ability to change the definition of "body" according to context and poetic intention.  Also, Vanessa realized her desire to create pieces by inter-relating texts that exist outside the dance, and to make choreographing an open-process that is responsive to itself and its working environment. Created as part of the requirements for Master of Fine Arts in Choreography at Ohio State University. Performed at Danspace Project, NYC as part of Bebe Miller's curated program, "Academy Dances."

Other Early Works:

Canary and the Gray Matter (2004)

length: 3 minutes, solo

This short solo explored changes of effort quality.

Observing Mona (2003)

length: 4 minutes, solo

Swallow (2002)

length: 7 minutes, 6 dancers

mother invention (2001)

length: 5 minutes, solo

The movement vocabulary for this piece was developed by researching photographs and videotape of master-choreographer, Pina Bausch, in her rehearsal process. It is a dance inspired by the mental, perceptual, and physical motions performed while choreographing. Music:  Poulenc's Stabat Mater

 Banyan (1999)

length: 6 minutes

The trio, with original Gamelan-based musical score by Takashi Koshi, was inspired by spirillic movement, grounding and growing roots, and memories of living in Indonesia.

 

Along the Way (1998)

length: 10 minutes

This group dance for four women originated Vanessa's interest in parallel structure (like parallel thinking or parallel worlds), and was built to repetitions of Dvorak's 'Going Home'-Largo of Symphony No. 9 (in drastically varying instrumentation.) 

 

Chiasma (1996)

length: 8 minutes

This dance was made in tandem to a 91-page thesis concerning the phenomenology of dance for the completion of Vanessa's BA in Religious Studies/Philosophy at Pomona College.  The group piece was inspired by quantum physics' observer created reality, and subject-object dichotomy.