Ktisk Contemporary Dance presents 8 x 8
April 21-22, 2017 at The Pocket Theatre. Choreography and Performance: Philippa Myler
Enter the unknown, a 16 minute sextet, premièred at Velocity Dance enter March 8-9, 2015. Featuring an original musical score by Isaac Castillo and prop design by Alexa Allen, this work delves into the fear and uncertainty of knowing one's life goal but having no idea how to get there.
SeattleDances editor Emily Horton calls the work, "a dreamy meditation on the sometimes elusive, wending, winding business of finding your way in work, and the life it’s bound up in. Visual metaphors set the stage for the work: a light fog rolled across the floor as dancers streamed on and off the stage, each carrying a stone they used to lay a rough diagonal path.
Alone, one dancer (Emilee Putsche) began to trace the steps from one corner of the diagonal to the other with off-balance movements suggesting hesitation and apprehension. As she progressed, a few dancers joined her, giving a lift to her steps and helping to carry her to one step, then another. As the remaining dancers filled the stage, they danced with, around, and past one another. Sometimes they collided with an uncomfortable clash of competition, but increasingly they used each other to mutual advantage, partnering or synchronizing their steps in clusters. The work reached a high pitch as one dancer, in throes of desperation, stopped in a shoulder-width stance and threw her upper body to and fro, beating her thighs and vocalizing angst. This release contrasted with the low emotional register of the rest of the piece as to be jarring. Perhaps that was Myler’s intention. Frustration in life and work is real; here it was palpable.
As the staged thinned, dancers picked up the stones they had so carefully laid down at the show’s outset, sometimes turning them over in their hands, leaving the impression that whatever their path, they’d found it, at least for now. The program notes tell us that in creating Enter the Unknown, Myler specifically drew from her own pursuit of a career in dance, but anyone in the audience, as the notes also suggest, could surely find something relatable in Myler’s portrayal of her work/life journey. And this, ultimately, was one of the show’s greatest strengths—in creating material on a topic relevant to so many lives in the dance community, Ktisk hit on something undeniably resonant."
Performed at The Pocket Theatre, November 20-21, 2015, as part of Ktisk's Beauty Marks
Inspired by adventures in online dating, Swipe Right is a silly, no-holds barred look at the cringe-worthy realities of Tinder, speed dating, and the relentless search to find Mr. Right. In movement 1, an empty picture frame forms the interface screen you see in perusing the dating app Tinder for potential mates. The second movement embodies the duality of being out on a date or a night out at the clubs, while inwardly feeling bored or disgusted and yearning for escape. The third movement gives the viewer a look at the nightmarish weirdos of speed dating, and the final movement, accompanied by elegant vocalist Lindsey Allen, satirizes the manipulation and molding of a match into your dream life partner. Designed to entertain, this piece also contains a societal comment that will leave you thinking about the perils of dating in the 21st century.
Mr. and Mrs. Sprat, a 15-minute quartet, was developed in collaboration with musician Isaac Castillo, who created an original sound score for the work and also danced in the piece. The work was performed as part of Ktisk Contemporary Dance's Rhyme Nor Reason, an evening of creations by four different choreographers exploring the hidden meanings and sinister connotations of nursery rhymes. This work reimagines Jack Sprat as an allegory for modern dating - the search for a soulmate, someone who completes you. Performed by Rachael Forstrom, Lauren Linder, Isaac Castillo, and Philippa Myler with costuming by Jamie Maslach at Velocity Dance Center May 9-8, 2015. Photos by Joe Lambert.
Performed June, 2014, in Seattle International Dance Festival's Art on the Fly, a site-specific festival in South Lake Union, this work explores the theme of individual versus the group. Utilizing both partnering in duets and unison movements, Wage Slave delves into the idea of one person within the whole, alternately fitting in and standing out.
View excerpts: HERE
Inspired by the twenty-somethings of my generation who are old enough to be adults but aren't yet considered grown-ups, this piece integrates dance, spoken word, and projection in order to delve into the inner life of a young woman experiencing a failure to launch during the transition from childhood to adulthood. The projection component creates a context for the character as her shortcomings are revealed with self-deprecating humor. She is costumed in children's clothing that barely fits, giving the impression of being overgrown. The character plays with the idea of giving up, starting something and not seeing it through to fruition, or leaving something too soon because of an attention lapse. Set with impossible physical tasks, the young woman attempts futilely to accomplish them. Projected images reveal snippets of the character’s history: a photograph, an old report card from grade school, and a stats sheet. Eventually coming full circle, she dispenses with her self-defeating attitude and jumps with both feet into the physical puzzles she has been trying to solve, using brute force in trying and trying to achieve these tasks.
Non Starter (14 min.) was performed at Version Excursion's Standing in the Storm at Velocity Dance Center in September, 2014.
Photos: Joe Lambert
This short film was choreographed and performed by Philippa Myler in collaboration with director/producer Ola Landsverk in Vancouver, BC, 2013.
Five dancers strive for perfection, to fit in to the group, to fit into a box, as women. The appearance of success--is that her authentic self? Just as we were taught to conform, we continue manipulating each other.
This 16-minute quintet was created in residency with Claire French as part of Project CPR 4 in 2013 and performed at Vancouver's The Dance Center.
Rehearsal director: Jamee Valin. Dancers: Kathryn Carlberg, Johanna Dalgleish, Anna Kraulis, Kara Nolte, & Myola Pautler.
This 5-minute sextet was performed by 3rd Shift Dance to live accompaniment by Dark Hip Falls at Shift Sessions: Volume 1, at Westlake Dance Center in 2014.
Myler choreographed this 5 minute piece on Triadic Dance Works and performed it at numerous venues around the greater Vancouver area in 2012. Andrew Haw directed the dance film, which was shown at The Firehall Art Centre's BC Buds and Princess Production's Series 8:08 in Toronto, ON in 2013.
This full-length evening work, commissioned by the City of Port Moody, BC, Canada, features wearable art pieces showcased by moving statues. In addition to the choreography, Myler designed the set, podiums allowing the audience to view the dancers' ethereal silver forms more intimately, managed the back of house, and collaborated with live musicians in creating a soundscape atmosphere.
Philippa Myler and Jenn Edwards created and performed this 8-minute duet for Musance, a collaborative dance and electronic music festival in Berlin, DE, in 2012. The work contrasts rapid movements with stillness, proximity with distance (between bodies), and authentic emotions with fabricated states. Original composition by Guido Henneboehl.
Choreographed and performed in collaboration with Jennifer Aoki and Jenn Edwards (Triadic Dance Works), this full-length work was presented at the Scotiabank Dance Centre in Vancouver, BC in 2012.
Collaborators include visual and multimedia artists Andrew Hawryshkewich, Jay Erickson and Bruno Bolcsfoldi, as well as dramaturge Marc Arboleda. Featuring original music by Zane Barratt, and lighting design by Ray Mos.
Spun Off, choreographed in collaboration with Triadic Dance Works, was made into a dance film by Nela H, and performed at numerous festivals, including 12 Minutes Max at Seattle's On the Boards in 2012.
This ten-minute solo, choreographed in 2011, was performed in Vancouver, BC, at The Cultch's Ignite! Youth Festival, as a lecture demonstration at Place des Arts in Coquitlam, and at Port Coquitlam's Village Vibe.
The City of Port Moody (Port Moody Arts Centre) commissioned a full-length work showcasing wearable art created by both local and international visual artists. Myler also stage-managed the performances in 2011.
This ten-minute solo was performed at the Cultch's Ignite! Youth Festival and at the Firehall Arts Centre's 12 Minutes Max in 2010. Kristie McCallum of Vancouver's Plank Magazine said, "Myler's choreography has a deconstructivist impulse that I applaud: jarring, halting movements that undercut our expectations of grace and lyricism in dance."
Created in 2010 in North Vancouver, BC, as part of a generous residency by Creative Dominion Society entitled: Launch Pad, Mission 9, this 14-minute piece was performed by Triadic Dance Works at Anne MacDonald Hall. Mentorship and dramaturgy by Eury Chang.
This 9-minute work was my first choreographic effort, an adaptation of Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf ballet. I created this piece, along with the narration and an accompanying essay about the search for a malaria vaccine, as a senior in high school for the 2006 WA State Biotech Exposition (and won my category). I was also asked to perform the work at the Northwest Association of Biomedical Research (NWABR)'s annual gala.