San Diego, CA–Art of Elan has been pioneering unique events and bringing exciting classical music to diverse audiences for over 15 years.
Blurring boundaries between live music and dance has proven to be a successful formula for the pioneering and innovative local organization. Over the years they have enjoyed successful collaborations with Malashock Dance, Disco Riot, San Diego Dance Theater, and Maile Okamura of the Mark Morris Dance Group. The upcoming presentation of “With Care,” a production of American Modern Opera Company created by Bobbi Jene Smith in collaboration with Keir GoGwilt, promises to be an incredibly moving and relevant reminder of shared humanity, as well as the power of live performance.
“With Care” is a visceral, moving work for two dancers (Bobbi Jene Smith and Or Schraiber, both former stars of the Batsheva Dance Company) and two violinists (Keir GoGwilt and Miranda Cuckson). The one-hour-long work investigates the dynamics of caregiving, carelessness, and loss through a theatrical fusion of dance and music. “With Care” builds on Smith’s previous collaboration with GoGwilt, “A Study on Effort,” the duet version of which was premiered at the Luminato Festival in 2016.
“With Care” is one of the most memorable productions I’ve ever seen. There is something familiar and yet incredibly unique about the way Bobbi dances. I’d never seen anyone move with such intention, such vulnerability, such raw emotion. It was as if I was watching through a window someone’s most tightly kept emotional secrets unfold in different ways,” according to Executive and Artistic Director Kate Hatmaker.
Conceived as a drama between two twinned characters, a caregiver and a wounded spirit, “With Care” is a physical investigation of vacancy, loss, and passion. Smith and Schraiber’s unique movement language is integrated with Cuckson and GoGwilt’s improvisations, and music by John Cage, JS Bach, Charles Wesley, and Reiko Fueting.
The piece additionally includes original music by composer and 2018 MacArthur FellowMatthew Aucoin, a fast rising star in the music world with strong ties to San Diego. He collaborated with the San Diego Symphony and Art of Elan in January 2019 as part of their “Hearing the Future” festival and worked with Art of Elan’s Young Artists in Harmony students on their musical compositions to present a multi-disciplinary performance of all new music.
Founded in 2017 by Zack Winokur and Matthew Aucoin, American Modern Opera Company is a multidisciplinary collective of some of the most adventurous singers, dancers, and instrumentalists at work today in the fields of contemporary and classical music and dance. Recent works include The No One’s Rose, a devised music-theater-dance piece featuring new music by Matthew Aucoin, directed by Zack Winokur with choreography by Bobbi Jene Smith; and Eastman, a multi-dimensional performance piece contending with the life and work of Julius Eastman.
Additionally, American Modern Opera Company will serve as the Ojai Music Festival’s 2022 Music Director, only the second ensemble, and first explicitly interdisciplinary company, to hold the position in the festival’s 75-year history.