Beth Gill returned to MANCC to work on Untitled, which is a new site-specific performance installation inspired by archetype, the imagination and the subconscious. As she is conceiving of the project, a symbiotic pair with a mysterious and ever-present bond, a lone heroic female, and a glowing, otherworldly presence inhabit a dreamlike, sensory-rich world that draws the audience into an immersive act of witnessing.
While in residence, Gill worked on creating an intimate, surrealist space, building on the formalism of her past several works (Electric Midwife, New Work for the Desert), while forging new psychologically driven terrain through explorations of role, the gathering and layering of meaning and being, and, ultimately, disappearance. Gill is influenced by the architecture of the space in which her work is situated and used a scaffold to demarcate the verticality of the walls as well as illustrate the final audience’s elevated point of view on the work. She focused, as well, on movement creation and worked with longtime collaborator Jon Moniaci on the development of an original sound score.
As a means of exploring the themes in her work, Gill hosted an informal focus group during the first days of the residency. The curated group included representatives from Florida State University’s Psychology & Neuroscience, Dance, Theater, Visual Art, and Communications departments. After viewing an excerpt of the movement material, Beth oriented the audience around her interest in their impressions of the work: How did they organize and categorize the bodies? What associations did they make about the performers and their relationships? Their varied responses, from the vantage points of their disciplines, contributed to Gill’s investigation.
Untitled will premiere at The Chocolate Factory in May 2016.
Please enjoy a video of Gill’s research conducted during her residency while working on Untitled.